Friday, April 27, 2012

Ranking 2011... somehow I am still there...

A moment of self-celebration...
I notice that the local athletic association has published the annual athlete ranking for 2011.
Running in HK has gone a long way from the lows of 2004/05 and around...
for example,  to make it into the top 10 for 5000m, now a 15'xx" is a must, while some years ago maybe even a 17'00" would have landed a top10...
still we are very far from really competitive nations, but the progress is tangible and anyway HK is a small place where sports are not really considered a meaningful way to spend people's time...

this said... despite having a very short season, I could still make it in the top 10 of the marathon, precisely landing a #6 spot!! very sweet to still see my name in the list and for next season I hope to make my name also in other distances (last resort is to switch to racewalking...hehe)

NOTE 1: 2 italians in the top 10 of a "foreign country"marathon ranking...really weird.
NOTE 2: my team mates made it in the ranking across many distances... from 5000m to Marathon, we are all there in scores (especially best wishes to Stefano who got a serious health condition in April and had to stop running for the moment: despite running only 2-3 races, he is still #2 in the marathon and #5 in the half)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

when people really deserve it....

This post is not really related to MY running, but rather to the outstanding performance of my team mate Michelle (her detailed race report HERE).
Thanks to one of the sponsor of our club, she was invited to take part in the Sarnico-Lovere, a point-to-point, 25.2k race along the coast of Lake Iseo in Italy.
In November, Michelle cooked herself up by training too much for reaching the standard for the US trials and fared relatively poorly at her marathon in Japan (2h53'... very far from her target).
She was really low in morale for several weeks and anyway put her heart in training for this race.
This time, she changed her training (in my opinion for the better): less fast&furious interval training, more workouts of long intervals at HM effort and long tempo runs.
I was really happy when we went out together for those long tempo of 15k or 18k...
The result speak for itself: she arrived 4th in a race full of Pro or semi-Pro runners in a time of 1h35'53".
Ahead of her, only a Kenyan, a Moroccan and a strong local girl.
That is like running the HM in 1h19'xx" and add another 4k on a huge "virtual" PB for her

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Week 15 summary

This period of the year is mentally very tough (for a runner living here): the temperature is rising day by day and the perspective of a very long summer would put off also the most committed runner.
It does not also help that basically the next race is 4-5 months from now....
So I honestly did not feel particularly motivated to wake up at 5am to go running... but that's why I started this blog.. at least I can confess my sins ...
Anyway last week I still had some "duties", so It made for an interesting week:

Monday: I remember also going to bed somehow, but the feeling was more like unfastening the seat belts and soon after fastening the running shoes.
well.. anyway, after 4 hours sleep, I gulped some coffee because I was waited for a big day:
I was supposed to pace M. and A. for a 18k tempo run.
In local terms, that make like in UK being asked to pace Paula Radcliffe and Liz Yelling or something like that.
A. is shooting for the Olympic standard in the marathon, while M. is getting ready for her season top race.
The required pace was around 3'55" which was quite reasonable for me, but still not a stroll for a very humid day. So I felt a bit anxious of my legs getting tight or anything like that.
Anyway, we did it, even if A. had to drop out halfway for a niggling pain. 
Total 25km of which 18k @3'56" pace.

Tuesday: rest...I was really cooked by the too little sleep

Wednesday: gorgeous MTB ride with some friends in China. Amazingly I really performed well, despite not having touched the bike for week

Thursday: rest (quite unplanned... but either I go early in the morning, either the day goes away too quickly)

Friday: easy run with M..... I felt very relaxed and maybe pushed the pace a bit too much for her (total 14k)

Saturday: another pacing duty with the 2 ladies... This one was a relatively easier progression run, but it was already very hot and humid so I just wanted to be done asap.
My right calf is tight and it affected the stride, so I was laboring more than planned. Total 20k, at the end we were going around 3'45"/k pace
Definitely flexibility/mobility/strengthening of the right left is #1 target in my future training.

Sunday: rest

Now, looking ahead...

April: take it easy until the 22nd

April/May/mid-june: work mainly of glute activation, stretching, range of motion, etc of the right leg.
Is no point that I start any real training plan if I do not settle the problem of the right leg.
Also I have time to play with different set-up (with/without lift, orthotics, etc).

June/July: base training and build up aerobic strength. 

August/September: try to train more specifically for the Berlin Marathon (30/September)... but without spending all my reserves because I really want to go to Fukuoka in early December, so I can not be too cooked by the training in summer

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

hot week

end of term school break... a bunch of public holidays bundled in the same week...the perfect ingredients for a week at the seaside...
From Hong Kong, so we headed to Krabi, Thailand for a week...
I do not want to bother anybody with the report of my holidays, but just some glimpses of running-related information.

1) to my real surprise, most of the villages around Krabi are 99% Muslims...
I did not see a single Buddhist temple...but actually there were more Mosques there than Catholic Churches in the center of Krakow...

The Mosque just 200m from our place

2) despite the heat, the area was beautiful for running and cycling...
the road were in good conditions and almost without any traffic and there was always the opportunity to dive into some track in the forest for some off-road
Great views and very clean air, so honestly was really a great place.

3) I did not have any specific training target, so I just headed out of the door to enjoy the air and have my 45' of running-induced pleasure.
I sneaked out at dawn (6am) and run for around 45' either on road or off-road.
Despite the temperature around 27C-29C, it did not really feel too heavy. I was sweating, but it was not the "torture like" feeling of the summer in HK. I guess that the pollution and the radiated heat from all the buildings make the difference... 
So I was able to keep "normal" training paces and work a bit on my leg turnover.
total weekly: 70k in 7 runs

4) now some pics...

not difficult to run relaxed with this view
still many wooden houses around
That was my favorite course: a track in  the forest going ahead for miles and miles (unfortunately I was not able to run it all)
road lined by rubber trees (so you know where your Latex stuff comes from)
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