Frank Liew


Founder, qubic store, quarters boutique,

Part-time globe trotter.

September 26th, 2011


So, it’s 11 weeks to go until the 2011 Honolulu Marathon. I’ve been steadily running on and off for the past couple of months, but a lot of travel and work has been in the way. With 11 weeks to go, it’s time to start getting a little serious about my training and to try to condition my running to make it to the 42.195km mark.


From what I’ve been told, the whole of Team GIRA (including GIRA2 - Tetsuya, Tetsu, myself, and Ogawa) will be attending the Honolulu marathon again this year. The lads in the GIRA1 team (JUN, Go, Yas) have set a sub-4 hour target for this year. For me, it’s my first full marathon so I’ll be glad just to complete it. I’ve got my buddy Jules from Leilow Hawaii running and training alongside me too, so hopefully as a two man team we’ll be able to cross the finish line standing.

Marathon Goals:
- Finish full marathon ‘comfortably.’
- < 5 hours, but no real time pressure
- ~6min p/km average pace through marathon
- To complete marathon & post-marathon injury free
- Overall wellbeing, stamina, and just feeling better for myself
- Bragging rights to friends - “oh, you just punched through a hundred emails? Well I just f**king ran 42km, beat that.
- New York Marathon 2012?

Here’s the 11 week training schedule that I’ve got for the marathon. It’s an easier training schedule designed for full marathon first timers. I do have one more round (perhaps even two) of international travel planned before the December marathon, so I hope I can stick to the schedule as much as possible.

After a quick run in Hong Kong a couple of weeks ago, I had a bit of a scare and realized that my biggest challenge is to be able to acclimatize to the heat/humidity of Hawaii. I’ve been running all through the NZ winter - dry, rain, cold. Kind of disintegrated in the humid, wet, hot environment. So I’m timing these runs at about 12:00 noon or whenever it’s hottest to try and start conditioning myself to breathe/operate in heat/humidity. Considering that the other option is to set up a running machine in a sauna, I think this is a pretty good alternative.

As the 11 weeks progress I’ll be updating this scoreboard with my stats; stay updated on my twitter if you’d like to know when I update this chart. The reasoning behind this is that if I etch out this schedule in blogstone, I ‘ll be motivated to follow it, lest face unrelenting ridicule and a shameful exit from the internet.

So, I’m going to count on you, my friends, to remind me if I’m falling behind, or to pester me for updates along these next 12 weeks. I’m a scatter brain at times; so any help is truly appreciated.

11 week schedule - Starting Monday 26/09/11 for Race Day Sunday 11/12/11

Week 1 - 26/09 - 02/10

MON - 40 min - 26/09/11 - 6′05″ p/km - 6.5km
TUE - rest
WED - 30 min - 28/09/11 - 6′00″p/km - 5km
THU - 40 min - 29/09/11 - 5′55 p/km - 5.82km / 554cal
- 40 min - 30/09/11 - 6′05″ p/km - 5.5km / 532cal
SAT - rest
SUN - 60 min - RAIN - (60min Monday)

- First week done, feeling it in my hamstrings and calves. Not used to the back-to-back days from Tuesday-Friday (normally I’m out there on mon/wed/fri) but a learning curve for sure. Sunday was pretty much rained out, so I’m going to make up for it by doing a 60 on the Monday. Going to try and keep the momentum moving.  Jules is also on track too with the week (+swimming in the off days), and evidently he’s made a 60 min soul mix for our running, with the bpm spot on for a 6 min/km. Cool. Week 2 ahoy.

Week 2 - 03/10 - 9/10

MON - 40 min - 6′30″ pkm
TUE - rest
WED - 30 min -  6′00″ pkm
THU - 40 min - 5′55″ pkm
SAT - rest
SUN - 60 min - 5′30″pkm / 10.8km

A little bit disruptive this week, with travel to Tokyo for the Gyakusou FA/HO launch on Friday night, amongst a few other meetings and things to do. Tokyo’s always a bit tough, especially with the late nights, jet lag (I always seem to wake up at 9am, no matter where I am in the world, and no matter what time I go to bed) and liver-busting ‘meetings’ in the evening. Thanks for the new Gyakusou gear, Nike. I still swear that the bitumen is softer in Tokyo than it is in NZ - my joints don’t feel as jarred as they do back home after a 10km+. Bizarre.

Week 3 - 10/10 - 16/10

MON - 40 min - 90 min - 7′00″ p/km - 12km
TUE - rest
WED - 60 min - 20 min - Aborted run.
THU - 40 min -  30 min - 6′00″ p/km Breaking in new shoes.
SAT - rest
SUN - rest

Tried making up for lost time on Monday when I joined the Team (JUN, Yas, Go, and Eiji from Soloist) on an LSD run. They were on a 180min LSD, I was still supposed to be on a 40 min but after 60 I felt pretty good, so pushed it out to 90min. Slow pace, but the purpose was really for lower body conditioning. It was fun running around the Sendagaya area too - normally in Tokyo I’m restricted to running from my hotel in Aoyama to Yoyogi Park, then a bunch of laps, before warming down/walking back to the hotel. Nice change of scenery for once, running around the Olympic stadium and surrounding neighborhoods. Running is always an amazing way to explore the city; can’t wait to see Honolulu from ground level. Had a pretty stink day on Wednesday when I had an allergic reaction and had to abort the run after about 15 minutes or so. Not very cool - I felt dizzy suddenly and rather nauseous. For those who care, I’ve only recently discovered that I’m gluten intolerant. I’m still trying to get used to it, but every so often I still ingest wheat products by accident and it makes me tired, cranky and lethargic, amongst other things.

Flew back to NZ on the Friday, and as most who have been to Tokyo can attest, getting to the airport and then onto your flight can be a whole day affair, so couldn’t get out. Saturday and Sunday were rest days, but spent the two days at work, and Sunday night at the All Blacks vs Australia Rugby World Cup semi-finals… turned out to be a late one. Back to the normal schedule. 80 mins on Monday.


Week 4 - 17/10 - 23/10 

MON - 80 min - (RAINED OUT HALFWAY) 50 min / 8km / 6′30″ pkm / 4′50″ best / 765cal 
TUE - 40 min - RAIN
WED - 70 min - RAIN
THUR - 40 min - (60 mins) - 9.0km / 6′33″ pkm / 5′15″ best / 820cal
FRI - rest
SAT - 130 min - 20.5km / 2:10′05″ / 6′23″ pkm / 5′20″ best / 1315cal
SUN - rest

The weather really packed it in at the start of the week, with a pretty bad weather front coming across the country to remind us that we’re not entirely out of the Winter season yet. Got pretty cold out there - a little annoying when I am trying to acclimatize myself to running in hotter temperatures in preparation for running in Honolulu. Started to get a little nervous when both Tuesday and Wednesday were rained out, with the big 2 hour run on Saturday looming. Luckily, it cleared up by Thursday, so was able to at least warm up the legs before going into the longer one on Saturday. The 2 hour run ended up quite good, just paced myself, concentrated on my breathing technique and tried to keep myself to a 6′30″ pace. I did try and push the pace a little halfway through, but paid for it towards the end of the run - lesson learnt.

Next week is going to be interesting, I’m flying out again on Tuesday, so wondering if I’m going to have time to do the runs on Weds and Thurs before returning to NZ for another 2 hour on Saturday. Wish me luck. The schedule’s starting to ramp up now - just looked at Week 6 and almost fainted.

Week 5 - 24/10 - 30/10

MON - 80 min
TUE - 40 min
WED - 75 min
THUR - 25 min
FRI - rest
SAT - 120 min
SUN - rest

Week 6 - 31/10 - 06/11

MON - 85 min
TUE - 85 min
WED - 75 min
THUR - 20 min
FRI - 20 min
SAT - 140 min
SUN - 40 min

Week 7 - 7/11 - 13/11

MON - 80 min
TUE - 40 min
WED - 40 min
THUR - 35 min
FRI - rest
SAT - 130 min
SUN - 40 min

Week 8 - 14/11 - 20/11

MON - 90 min
TUE - 40 min
WED - 90 min
THU - 40 min
FRI - rest
SAT - 180 min (big 3 hour run)
SUN - rest

Week 9 - 21/11 - 27/11

MON - 90 min
TUE - 40 min
WED - 90 min
THU - 40 min
FRI - rest
SAT - 60 min
SUN - 40 min

Week 10 - 28/11 - 04/12

MON - rest
TUE - 40 min
WED - 30 min
THU - rest
FRI - 60 min
SAT - 20 min
SUN - rest

Week 11 - 05/12 - 11/12

MON - 40 min
TUE - 20 min
WED - 20 min
THU - rest
FRI - rest
SAT - rest

Week 12


1 Comment »
Posted by Frank Liew on Monday, September 26th, 2011 at 9:32 am
July 24th, 2011


Some steady progress for my 2011 running aspirations, and hopefully on track to building my endurance for the Honolulu full marathon with the GIRA team in December. It’s the dead of winter here in New Zealand right now, but I quite enjoy running in the frigid air - I tend to overheat quite quickly otherwise. Just thinking back to that one run in Hong Kong last year in 90% humidity is a little scary; I almost passed out due to overheating. I’ve never liked the summer, nor the heat. I suppose that does not bode well for a 4-5 hour run in Honolulu humidity in December, but I’ll tackle that demon once I get there…

I’ve been using a 3km circuit around the Auckland Domain + some surrounding roads for my runs. It’s a good mixture of flats, slight downhills, and some hill climbs. Some runs I change the course a little to get a steeper climb, or more flats to get the speed up. Trying to keep my bpm in control on some of the hills is proving pretty tough though.

You can keep up to date with the schedule on, our little local running collective. Ivy’s been pushing strong for her Auckland Full marathon campaign in late October - now onto 120 min runs, Hal’e is picking it up to hopefully tackle the Auckland Half in December and has some serious pace behind him, and Levin’s nursing a sore knee. Ivy’s also using adidas’ micoach system, but is proving quite problematic at times with the HR monitor and cutting out every so often. I’m still on the trusty ol’ Nike+ system, albeit hoping to get my hands on the new Nike GPS watch.

The rest of the GIRA lads over in Tokyo are talking about sub-4:00 times for the Honolulu marathon. At this stage, I’ll be happy with anything between 4:30 - 5:00. Or just completing it in one piece, for that matter.

Here’s a quick recap of the last few runs, along with some notes.


GIRA / Antipods Training Diary - July 2011

60min LSD
4’50” pkm f/pace

- Testing out the NB 890 revlite runner. Figured why not, NB sent them to me to give them a go. This was the second run in these shoes, and I’ve got a good idea whether or not to continue using them compared to the trusty ol’ Nike Structure Triaxs I’ve been beating on for the past ~150km. Will write a solid review soon.

60min LSD
5’59” p/km

- Pretty normal 60min run. I felt surprisingly good on this one, did a little off-roading through the Auckland Domain on this one too. I’m not sure if I’m the only one, but running sometimes feels like golf to me. You have your good days, and then some days you just suck at it. This was a good day. Felt pretty strong, could’ve perhaps gone for another 60minutes straight after, but decided not to push it too hard with the time left before Honolulu. Don’t want to do what I did last year and ‘peak’ too early and end up destroying an ankle/knee/tendon/ITB/calves/hamstrings at the marathon.

Thunderstorm run.
5’45” p/km
3’40” f/pace

- Perhaps the most peculiar runs I’ve ever experienced. All started well, until I looked over my shoulder at the 30min mark and saw a gigantic thunderstorm floating my way. Pretty surreal - it looked like a hybrid between Independence Day and Twister. Dark purple clouds, gigantic lightning bolts, barking dogs, gale force winds, the works. I had half expected to see a Winnebago come tumbling out of the air with a couple of cows in tow, and Helen Hunt to run out onto the road and stare aimlessly at the horizon. It was a pretty good motivator to pick up a little speed. Had to cut the run short however, for obvious reason. The last-minute dash home was pretty interesting - I almost threw up on my driveway. Fun.

60min LSD
5’50” p/km
?’??” f/pace

- Sounds like a first world pain, but my iPod died mid run. Sure, cry me a river. I remember not feeling so good on this run - sometimes, your body just isn’t in sync. Whether it was because I didn’t stretch enough before I started or messed up my posture in the early stages, I don’t know… I just didn’t feel so good. Maybe without music I had a little trouble finding a way to get a rhythm going. Ended up pushing myself past the 60 minute mark quite forcefully. I ate a pizza after to make myself feel better, and then I realized it meant I had to run another 60 minutes just to burn it off, and then I was right back at square one.

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Posted by Frank Liew on Sunday, July 24th, 2011 at 7:21 pm
July 13th, 2011

Feeling a bit bored? Need a mind trip? Put this video into full-screen mode for full effect.


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Posted by Frank Liew on Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 at 9:19 am
July 7th, 2011

Apologies for the radio silence - technical difficulties have prevented me from accessing the site in quite some time.

Came across this earlier today. With all the talk of interchangeable, compact cameras and prolification of the m43 format, this is an interesting alternative to the norm.

That said, I would personally have mixed feelings cutting up an old Leica III or II. Still, a rather amazing novelty to have in the sea of EP-3s, GF3s, X1s, X100s; so commonplace today.

Anybody willing to give it a go?

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Posted by Frank Liew on Thursday, July 7th, 2011 at 1:27 pm
March 3rd, 2011

Singapore’s entry into my collection of landscapes. Shot from the middle of the infinity pool on 57th top floor of the Marina Bay Sands Casino, Singapore, January 2011.

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Posted by Frank Liew on Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 at 8:08 am