Gold Coast Marathon: Reality Check.

Counting down to THE day.

Gold Coast, with it's allure of clear blue sky, cool climate, flat fast course ('fast' in a relative sense) and many other attractions for the entourage of the ensuing wife and children, it is almost a guarantee of an event to satisfy all. 

Having read much of it from Jamie Pang's blogs, I took the plunge and decided to sign up for the Gold Coast Airport Marathon (1st July 2012); Not just for the sake of a PB attempt, but more so for the family. This will be their first ever Down Under experience.

However, preparation for GCAM was marred by a few troubling issues, as if life is ever smooth. These were of course related to the nature of my work with it's many on-calls. Therefore, a large portion of the training was done on the treadmill. To make matters worse, recent onset of haze has further foiled my attempts to "condition" myself to be more "road worthy". It was not to be. Yet, plod on, I shall, on my trusted treadmill.

As mentioned in my previous post, treadmill training is a controversial topic. Ultimately, to me, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. This isn't about self-justification. The use of such aid was merely born out of necessity. It was either the treadmill, or missing out on training entirely.

Based on my current form, am I ready to tackle that illusive sub 3? Now is the moment for a reality check. On the whole, I certainly feel faster than a few months ago. My endurance has also improved with the increased weekly mileage. Best time on the treadmill (factor in the 1% incline to mimic the road experience) has shown promising albeit somewhat arbitrary results.I feel ready to take on the challenge.

But, whether or not I am ready to face the challenge is the more pressing issue. One which I need to be prepared to answer in no uncertain terms. Colloquially: Don't Play Play. I remember toughing it out when I did my first sub 4 in 2009. Thanks to the pacers, sticking with them like super glue all the way helped secure a break through. On a scale of perceived effort, it was probably 11 out of 10. My lungs were about to burst.

So, I can imagine this sub 3 endeavour to be way tougher than that. As much as it would thrill me to run alongside the 3 hours pacers the likes of Steve Monaghetti, it would be foolish to attempt something that may be totally out of my league. Again, don't play play.

That was Plan A.

Plan B would be a lot more conservative. A comfortable pace of 4:30min/km would hopefully draw me to a sub 3:10 finish. It is doable. But would I risk that for a outlandish irrational attempt to sub3 and push myself to the limit? The crazy part of me yearns for it. But I hope that Hyde-like behaviour carries me all the way to the finish in one piece instead of ending up on a stretcher at the back of an ambulance.....

Still have not decided. Plan A or Plan B? Any thoughts?


  1. I don't think I qualify to offer any advise at all since I'm still in the noob category but I say go with your gut.

    All the best!

    1. Haha, Nick. The only qualification here is having a sound mind to decide. Something that I am still in the process of grasping...:)

  2. I will steal the idea of "stick like a super glue" to pacer to see if I sub-5 or not.

    For your sub-3 target, I think it will be doable if your condition is great on that morning and your heart is fully tuned to the channel. You done enough physical preparation, throw in all you have on the race day and hope for the best.

    Belief in yourself and have fun!

    1. Thanks Neoh. Yes, the condition on race day is very important too. I certainly plan to give it my best shot! :)

  3. Hi Francis,
    Good luck for you race.
    Plan A or Plan B, it'll be another great challenge and chance to test your limit.
    A lot of runner friends improved in the just happened SCKLM. Everyone is moving forward.

    I'll be at the venue too, considering to change the category... or a miracle that allow me to run it tru.

    Good luck again.

  4. Kent, I think I may have to opt for plan C if my flu doesn't get better by then. Down with it since Sunday. To make matters worse, am now working through 2 days of calls. Will see if I recover enough before the race. :(

    Anyway, whatever happens, it'll still be a good trip for the family.

    See you there! Do say hi to me when you spot me. :) BTW, the Malaysian booth will be #12 after the finish.


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