Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Training for TCS 10K 2016 and other events

My friend, Athreya and I started Drava in May 2015 to coach runners. Check out our website for some details on our running and coaching. Since May 2015, we have coached several runners in groups (for companies) and individuals for events ranging from the 5K to 50K and beyond.

Our coaching is based on a runner-specific philosophy. We use approaches which work for the runner. So we coach people from 3 days a week to 5 days a week. Our runners in the last 6 months alone have run times ranging from 1:36 hours for a half marathon and 3:44 for a full marathon to 2:42 for a half marathon and 5:48 for a full marathon. We don't care whether you are fast or slow and want to run fast or slow. We care a lot about you being uninjured and happy while you are running. We aren't concerned with whether you want to run for a specific event or not. We have multiple trainees who are not training for any specific event. However it helps if you have a coherent goal - whether it is time bound or distance bound.

Our current batch of trainees are training for the following events
1. Auroville Marathon
2. Boston Marathon
3. London Marathon
4. Berlin Marathon

We have trainees around the world. So remote training is a possibility too.

We intend to commence batches for the TCS 10K event in Bangalore in May 2016, 16 weeks for which start from 25th Jan 2016. Do take a look at our site for more info on our coaching philosophy, fees and other details. There's also a link to a questionnaire for prospective trainees on our site. Please do fill it up if you want to explore training with us. One of us will get in touch with you soon after you have done so. We already have a few people signed up to start training with us for the TCS 10K and we have a limit on our intake. So if you are interested, do get going on having that discussion with us.

Happy Running!


SCMM 2016 FM

I can't tell you how much I was waiting for 17th Jan 2016. Well, not the race as much, but the time period that begins immediately after the race. Not as much like an excited schoolkid waiting for summer vacations but more like an Indian engineering college hostelite, heading for that railway station, after the close of a semester. Plain relief. When you reach that state, it is a good sign for a break. I had decided on a break, regardless of how my race went and have plunged into with earnestness - initiated by a certain Bruichladdich!

As I have whined/recounted here and have no plans of dwelling on it, the period from 16 May 2015 to 17 Jan 2016 has been more of an annus difficiles than an annus horribilis on the personal front. The SCMM FM was an extension of that. And it wasn't for lack of trying. I ran nearly 3000km in the above time period in the quest to set PBs or explore new ground. It is almost as if statistics were having their share of my time to restore parity for that amazing year of 2011.

Anyways, here is the summary from my race. I ran splits of 1:32:30 and 1:56:55 to end up at 3:29:25. I had planned to negative split and the first half had felt smooth and easy. I was raring to go and waiting for the Pedder Road climb to make my move. Except, the move never came. Sometime around the 30km mark, my adductors started cramping incredibly making it difficult to walk even, let alone run. After having consciously DNFed at 50K mark at the Ultra 75, I decided to not be effete and finish the race, even if it wasn't going my way. And it really hurt, even physically. I took 16 min for the last 2 km. I can walk faster than that. And this, after aiming for a worst case of a 3:10!

When A and I were doing our recovery run on Tue, I remarked that I was already faster than my race pace on Sun. C'est la vie.

I have tried to not beat myself up over the result since I am not exactly sure about why it happened. I have had calf and quad cramps before. I have never had adductor/hamstring cramps. I think there may be some contribution from the fact that I haven't been in a gym since June 2015 but then I did run faster at BLR FM. I have loads of time to remedy that.

I don't think a 3:05 or a 3:10 is as daunting as it seemed to me in Oct 2010 when I began aiming for my first BQ. I have no races planned till Sep 2016 when I will try KTM and then Nov 2016 when I will try the 75K at the Ultra. I haven't decided whether to do the FM of HM at KTM, but I know that I will want to be there at the 10th anniversary of both events. And there's some exorcism to be done at the Ultra anyways. I may run the TCS 10K but mostly to go see my trainees finish, than to chase a time. Targeting the ultra means I will run on a high mileage base with not much speed training like last year and that works well for me. I'd rather not change that. See what that "minor" tweak of skipping weights did in the last few months!?

What hasn't changed in this year, is the love and support of those who were involved with my training and life in general. Thanks to everyone involved. I look forward to more of the same in the future too. I would not exchange this for anything.

In the meanwhile, as the Zen parable goes, "Before enlightenment - Chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment - Chop wood, carry water..."