Training for StanChart Marathon with Journey Fitness Company

In this article, I’ll be talking about the second part of my StanChart Marathon 2015 training series, with Journey Fitness Company’s Coach programme. Click here for the first part, which describes a testing procedure I did, prior to joining Coach.

I did the tests, and now I am trying out the Journey Fitness Co. training programme, which is heart-rate based.

I did the tests at Journey Fitness earlier, and now in this article, I am trying out the Coach Training Programme.

Upon embarking on the Journey Fitness Coach training programme for my first run, the first thing that struck me was how slow my speed had become. For most of my training runs, I do them at a pace of roughly around 6.00 to 6.30 mins/km when I am running by myself.

For the Coach training sessions though, I am supposed to base them on my five heart rate zones which was determined through the testing procedure, rather than by the usual pace or distance.


But when I followed my heart rate for the very first run, as instructed by Journey Fitness Company, I realised that I was moving at about 7.30 mins/km.

This session was supposed to be an 80-minute run at my ‘Easy’ heart rate zone. And I must admit that I found the super slow speed quite frustrating – and I had been itching to move faster. But I quickly realised that I had to stick to the training plan, so I knew that I should not.

I felt like a tortoise running. Photo by:

I felt like a tortoise during my first Coach training run.
Photo by:

Basing your running on heart rate zone is better, because for example, a 10km run on flat roads at 6.00 min/km pace will stress out the heart rate a lot less and be a lot easier on the body, compared to a 10km run over uneven hills and trails at the same 6.00min/km pace due to the heart having to work a lot harder – and the heart rate zones will indicate this. On knowing the zone you are in, you will then adjust your running.


Besides the ‘Easy’ long runs, my other training sessions had included runs of between 40 to 55 minutes at my ‘Steady’ heart rate zone, which is slightly harder than the ‘Easy’ sessions, accompanied by drill exercises either before or after the sessions.

These 40-55min runs have proved to be slightly more bearable, because I am at least moving at a faster speed, but still, they are a little on the slow side, compared to what I have been used to running at.


Hill running is an important aspect of the Coach Programme.

Hill running is an important aspect of the Coach Programme.

Recently, during the last few weeks, my Coach programme training plan has included a lot of hill reps – with the aim of building up strength in my legs. When I first embarked on these, I must admit that because I usually do not run hills, it was quite tough and I found myself panting a lot and also struggled to control my heart rate.

But over time, I can certainly see how these hills will help to build strength, and how by doing this, it will make me into a stronger runner on flat ground.

Now I am currently about halfway into the Journey Fitness Company training programme and I think that there should be some improvements come race day.

Ben's training could be starting to work its magic, during the ST Run over the weekend.

Ben’s training could be starting to work its magic, during my ST Run over the weekend.

While running a recent race, at the 18.45km Straits Times Run last weekend, there were not an awful lot of slopes, but I did notice that the few slopes along the route though did seem to be slightly easier to climb, and I was still jogging up these whilst maintaining my pace towards the end of the race. Usually at the latter part of a race, I would tend to walk up slopes. Perhaps a sign that Pulham’s training is slowly working?


The haze though, I must admit, has been creating a bit of a problem with the Journey Fitness Company training plan though, as some of my planned training sessions have coincided with days when the PSI is at an unhealthy range, which seems to be happening more frequently these days.

The haze is frustrating.

The haze is frustrating.

As I do not have easy access to a treadmill, I have been trying my best, but with the unpredictability of the haze, I can only hope that it does not disrupt my training too much – and that I will be fully ready and fit come race day on 6 December this year – for the StanChart Marathon.

For more about Coach, visit

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