Monday, November 15, 2010

Penang Bridge International Marathon—The Countdown

Well, this is it, the last week leading to the Penang Bridge International Marathon. It's the final countdown before that gruesome 42.2km torture in Penang!

Over the last few months, quite a number of my runner friends in KK have been training for this event. During the weekdays, we've been running according to our own respective schedules, but over the weekends, we've been running many long runs together as a group under the adiNation Group of Runners' banner. Yesterday was the last of such runs, of which most of us did a mild 12km.

Nevertheless, Dr Peter stands out as the most-trained runner from KK. He's been building up his mileage with hardly any stepbacks over the last few months. Within this final month prior to the Penang Marathon, he's been doing 35km long run every Sunday without fail. The rest of us could only watch in horror as Dr Peter was making history.

Dr Peter and I have a bet for the Penang Marathon. Whoever loses will have to buy a lobster meal. To be quite honest, I'm not really a very big fan of lobsters, but since we've started betting on lobsters before this, we're continuing the same format for Penang.

Although Dr Peter and I are serious about the bet, that is not really the main reason why he's been training the way he did. Actually, he's experimenting a new way of training for the marathon. According to him, he's been following the conventional approach, which was to increase mileage for 2 weeks and then step back on every third week, up to the peak long run three weeks before the event. Yet, during the last event, he suffered cramps in his legs beyond the 30km point. He reckoned that if he did more 30km runs, his legs would adapt to that distance. A very interesting idea and seems very logical.

I prefer to adopt the conventional approach, but I must admit that Dr Peter's approach makes sense. Except that I don't have it in me to train to that extent! I shudder at the thought of running over 30kms for a few weeks, although I've read that elite marathon runners actually do something similar like that. So it will be interesting to see how far can Dr Peter improve.

I regularly run with Dr Peter at the Likas track. And I always find that I'm having a hard time keeping up with him. I think he's doing me good, because by trying to keep up with him, I force myself to improve also. But I can't help feeling that I'm tormented each time I run with him. In Penang, we have made some jerseys, and on Dr Peter's will be the word "TORMENTOR", whereas on mine will be "TORMENTED".

I had a bit of a scare last week. I was down with a terrible flu, cough and fever. But I kept running anyway, although I reduced the distance a bit. By today, the flu and fever are gone, but I still have a bit of cough. So I'm confident that I will fully recover for this Sunday.

There will be a big contingent from KK this time. At a rough count, I know at least 15 runners, most of whom will be running the full marathon. Mia will also be attempting her second full marathon, having had a horrible experience in the Borneo International Marathon 3 in May this year.

Well, just a few more short runs over the next few days and then we'll be in Penang by Friday evening. I know I'm gonna suffer on the slopes, I just hope that I won't get the cramps in my legs again. Keeping my fingers crossed.


kkchai said...

Good luck..I will be at the finishing line cheering you on :-)

Cornelius said...

Wow! Chai, so you'll be there in Penang after all! I'm beginning to have doubts about improving myself there since I found out about the slopes. BIM was a more or less flat route, so I was able to do 4:36. I initially hoped to achieve better in Penang, but now that I know there are 3 flyovers within the last 10km (and have to pass those same flyovers on the return leg), I must seriously doubt that I can improve on my time. I'm gonna try, of course, but I'm a realistic person and am prepared for a disappointment.

My bet with Dr Peter aside, I would be very, very happy if I could go under 4:30. Let's see what happens on Sunday morning!