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Monday, September 14, 2009

Pushing the Wall

Hello folks! Its been a while since my last blog entry. I've been stuffed with tons of work, and of course been very busy with my marathon training.

What I will share this time is my experience with the WALL.

In running parlance, the wall is the point where a runner's body runs out of good running fuel called glycogen. Most marathon runners experience this at kilometer 32.

However, in my case, I'm hitting the wall at a much lesser distance. The reason? I'm running in the wrong zone!

There are two types of running zones: aerobic and anaerobic. The former means "in the presence of oxygen" while the latter is the opposite. The aerobic zone is defined to be between 75 to 85% of our maximum heart rate (click here, and here, for more of heart rate training zones). Books and many experienced runners prescribes training in this zone to burn fat instead of glycogen, and maintain effort over a longer period of time.

In my quest for my marathon dream, I'm following a guide from Runner's World that prescribes training distance and speed for 16 weeks. I was so focused on these, that I even bought a foot pod to somehow measure and achieve both, and forgot about heart rate training. I'm successful with my easy, tempo, and fartleks. But in my Sunday long runs, I end up NOT finishing the required distance, due to complete exhaustion, feeling like I ran out of fuel.

Yesterday, I was scheduled to run 32km. Good thing, the Takbo.ph team organized a long run to cover the stretch of Daang Hari and Filinvest Alabang. It was raining, and everything was fun! However, upon reaching km 22, I suddenly felt like my calves are tightening. I'm well hydrated, which gives me no reason to feel cramps, but when I checked my heart rate, I learned that I was running already in the anaerobic zone. I remembered that when one is in the anaerobic zone, lactic acid sets into the muscles, making it stiff.

I was able to run the next 2 kilometers, however, my calves wouldn't want to cooperate further, forcing me to slow down, and walk. I really wanted to finish my first 32km, and with much courage, I walked the last few kilometers under the heat of the sun (past 10AM). Reaching km32 at 11:30 AM (intersection of Daang Hari near SM Molino), I've learned so many things in the experience, and was very thankful not only for DocT who walked with me, Rico and James who ran and waited for us every 2 kms, but also for Pat, Chris, Nao, Carly, EO, and Marky who patiently waited for us.

In the next 40 days before my marathon debut, I'm back in the drawing board like a child learning his lessons in standing, walking, and running. I resolve to push the wall and go back to heart rate training during Sunday long runs. I will always remember this: MY OBJECTIVE IS SIMPLY TO FINISH MY FIRST MARATHON!


Anonymous,  September 15, 2009 at 7:42 AM  

Good Job, Bro. Experience is the Best teacher...You'll never know what hits you until you get hit!

TIMMY SEBASTIAN September 15, 2009 at 10:36 AM  

bakit wala ako sa greetings mo? star ka pa naman sa Crispy Pata Run! wahehehehe :)

nice post bro, haven't met my wall yet :) maybe when i start training for condura :D wahehehe

Rod.Runn3r September 15, 2009 at 11:21 AM  

yo jet! i'm sorry for leaving you guys during the last stretch of the lsd. alam mo na, itb issues. =D

congrats, bro! see you sa next run!

The Average Rec Runner September 15, 2009 at 1:04 PM  

Hello, Jet. Good luck on your first full mary! I'm sure your very scientific and organized approach will get you through the finish line. See you on the road!


(Yellowcard; lifeisahighway91.blogspot.com)

argonaut September 15, 2009 at 2:24 PM  

Still a good job Jet! 32Km is not a joke!

Rico Villanueva September 15, 2009 at 6:39 PM  

Hey Jet, congrats for soldiering on and blasting through The Wall. Believe me, with enough and proper training, the Wall keeps on moving away until it disappears completely. Keep pushin' :-)

Jet Paiso September 16, 2009 at 12:15 AM  

coach, thanks! see you on the road!

timmy, napansin ko nga... pasensiya ka na, medyo hilo pa ko eh wehehehe

rod, no problem bro! thanks nga pala for organizing the long run. i probably wouldn't be able to run that long alone =)

hi julius, thanks for dropping by and hope to meet you some time.

rodel, haven't seen you lately bro. perhaps your're busy training for the mossimo bikini open with vicky hahaha =)

rico, yeah, see you in front actually inspire es me to push. yep, the wall will be gone soon!

Sam The Running Ninja September 16, 2009 at 5:50 PM  

Add hill runs for 10 seconds at 95% effort with 3 minutes rest in between, do that 10 times for twice a week. This will make your legs stronger and hopefully get rid of any cramps. Goodluck and see you at SIM!

Gingerbreadman September 17, 2009 at 1:14 AM  

Jet, why do I have this weird feeling in my loins that I will be seeing you at one of these ultramarathons very soon? :P

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