Part one of my second attempt at running a sub 3 hour marathon has begun with testing out a new training schedule. It’s not that different from my old one but has some significant improvements. It has 6 instead of 5 runs a week , and more marathon pace km’s in it.
This week started of easy with 4 short runs with a distance of 6,5 km, one 10 km hill training and a long run which consisted of 16 km. Next week will be a similar week with slightly more km’s.
I looked into my previous schedules and the corresponding times I ran the miles at. Which made clear I ran my long runs were structurally too fast. This is a point I think I can improve my training quality on by watching my pace more. Which should result in a better condition and faster recovery. Although in the past the faster pace in the long runs didn’t really seem a problem. But science tells it’s contra productive to run your long runs too fast.
The idea is to test the new schedule before I start my training period for Dusseldorf, getting a feel for the new training load and see if I recover fast enough and don’t get injured. The journey has once again started !
While preparing for my last marathon I set a goal , running under 3 hours. At the time it meant a 18 minutes discount from my personal best. Quite a bit, and a reach. But the effort of chasing this goal was a new Personal best , 3:09:25. Excellent progress, and thus proof that setting goals is a very rewarding activity. Now it’s time to try again.
The goal remains the same. A sub 3 hour marathon, the same location, Dusseldorf. What will be different this time is my training method, amongst other things. I have been training with a schedule for running a marathon and getting across the finish line in one piece. Which was a feat in itself 3 years ago after suffering my brain damage. Running saved my life when I got ill, simply because I had an excellent fitness level. Ever since it helps me function within my new boundaries to the best of my ability. So largely because of the running and the discipline it brings I am were I am today.
All the more reason to set this goal and get cracking. So the training schedule will be different. So the first step is figuring out what it takes for me to be able to run under 3 hours.
In the meantime I will keep training as usual. until I am largely confident of my new direction.
The second step will be nutrition , I already eat as healthy as possible without overdoing it. Om my longruns I always bring food and drinks , mostly gel and bananas for the food part. Only problem is I mostly don’t eat it. I simply forget when things go smooth, and when things get though, only then I start eating. Which means I am always too late.
When racing a marathon I never forget, simply because all the stations which can’t be overlooked.
But in order for me to get the most out of the nutrition I need to practice more. I am now looking into simply setting alarms on my watch so I don’t forget. Also the recovery food after my run can do with an improvement. So lot’s of work on that front as well.
Third step is a more efficient resting method. I already need lot’s of rest because of my brain damage. So I am not really sure how to improve this bit. I will need some research. Anyway I will update as much as possible on my progress and process. Until next time !
Last week was my final week of training before the marathon. And all of a sudden it was quite a bit warmer. Sudden temperature changes are always take a bit of getting used too, but all in all it went relatively smooth. Training wasn’t very long or intense in this last week which helps.
Oddly enough my last long run wasn’t one I was keen on for some reason. I just wanted too stay in bed. Got myself out of bed and after a few kilometers it all went as normal. The temperature reached above 20 degrees Celsius at some point , which wouldn’t be ideal for the marathon. Hopefully we’ll see a drop in temperatures this week.
The goal running a marathon sub 3 hours is one I am not yet going to achieve. I’m simply not fast enough. But because I set this goal and adopted a new training method I did achieve a lot of progression. By getting out of my comfort zone I have learned a lot of what I am capable of and what is out of my reach. By slowly increasing and breaking through barriers you will see improvements in the long term. Something I hope in achieving in other parts of my life as well.
For this week its a lot of resting and recharging, something which is a bit of an odd moment in itself. Getting out of the rhythm of training. Luckily I can stop myself from going out and train and causing unnecessary riks by doing too much. Now it’s waiting and hoping for good circumstances. I will write a race report when it’s all done. I can’t wait.
Another week of training goes by, fast. The end of my training schedule is in sight. And so is the big day. The ultimate goal of running under 3 hours might in this instance be a bit of a stretch. My newly acquired long run pace has just been on the right level for a short amount of time. Too short in order to do a solid attempt at under 3. So this adventure will go on for a bit longer. But with the new way of training, the adjusted schedule and all things considered I have made some serious progress.
So I will go on and continue in this fashion. So how did it go this week? To be honest, it’s about time to run that marathon. Training went fine but the real drive is a bit lost, I am just excited to go out and run that marathon!
At the beginning of the week there was a bit of fatigue due to lack of sleep and therefore I had a bit of a hard time getting into the groove. Luckily after a few Km’s this mostly goes away and I have managed too run all planned runs. The longrun was not that long anymore with 24K so I had more time for recovery.
Yoga is still part of the routine and as I have said before whether it really helps or if it’s just in my mind, it works ! So I will keep practicing Yoga. One more week of training, then a restweek and then it’s the big dat. I for one can’t wait !
Another week in the bag , in other parts of my daily life things were very hectic and this week I really needed the running to keep it all together. Fortunately I was able to digest all the runs planned and I am really getting the benefits of the small and incremental improvements I am making. All these little things are adding up and are playing a big part in my overall condition and health.
This week also marked the last of the big long runs, 34 kilometer in this case, now the schedule gradually winds down in the coming weeks , the milages still is pretty substantial in the coming week just divided over more days.
I am really amazed by all these shall we say 1% improvements that starting to appear. It has inspired me to write an upcoming blog on the importance of small and continuous improvement. It really adds up.
The 2 weeks ahead are still in full swing of training, but it slowly depreciates in volume and after that it’s recovery and then it will be time for the Dusseldorf marathon, and I have too say , I am excited !
Week 12 is a wrap. This week its been harder than normally, my brain didn’t cooperate at all last week, mentally I was very tired. My daily dose of outside impulses I could not process. Running mostly provides a way for me too process all the left over information my brain hasn’t dealt with during the period before the run. Now it was a nessacity just to get some of the unprocessed information out of my head.
But because of my fatigue I really had to force myself out of bed, starting a run and simply showing up was the hardest part. Once outside it was mostly ok. These hard weeks make me very appreciative of the good ones. Training itself went pretty good, the long runs in my new pace start too feel more and more easy and relaxed. I will not run a sub 3 hour marathon at my next attempt , but I am hoping this progress will continue.
Onto week 13 !
This week a lot of long runs and a bit more yoga too keep everything moving and flexible. Four longer runs ranging from 14 to 34 K and one short slow run of 6,5 K. They all went well, made one mistake and forgot too drink enough on my 34 k long run on Sunday.
I was just running very easy and did pay attention too my gel intake and didn’t get thirsty , but at 32 K I suddenly felt my leg getting heavier and I was thirsty then I realized I had relied just of my gels and forgot about the water.
So the last 2 K were a bit harder. But all in all a very good long run. No muscle pain or other inconveniences afterwards. I do think yoga is playing a big role in keeping my body healthy and problem free. Usually I had more muscle problems, tiny pains and sometimes smaller injuries during long training periods and after long sessions. Knock on wood off course , but since I incorporated yoga these all disappeared.
4 more weeks of intensive training to go and then a week of relaxation and rest. I am very happy about my progress, whether I will ever be able to do a sub 3 marathon remains to be seen. But the road is so enjoyable and exciting just because it seems an impossible goal. The progress is real so it helps me in a lot of ways.
Till next week !
Another week of training is done, one less run but all the others were a bit longer. With some build in speed parts and hill training. I was a bit tired at the beginning but at the end of the week it all went better. Lot’s of rain and wind as well all week, I don’t mind a bit of rain but every training gets a bit too much.
This is the first week of a serie of weeks where the amount of kilometers gets too an all-time high. In order too get me into marathon mode if you like. The long run was especially cold , wet and even some hail too accompany me on this 32 Kilometer long run. I started out early and after a few km’s in, I was already soaked. So I decided too ditch all the watching the hart rates , speeds etc on my watch and just focus on running and enjoying a nice pace.
After the first half the rain got a bit lesser, and even the sun showed up sometimes. It went very well and also my gel intake was up too par. I wasn’t really fatigued at the end and my muscles were not sore after and not the next day.
It also was pretty fast, I did however got some rain damage along the way but it wasn’t too bad. A very good week again despite tired me starting out.
Onto the next one !
Week 9 , time flies. This week was relatively calm in the way of training with a half marathon run as the piece the resistance if you will. Not a road race but a bit of trail run. Apart from a few patches of hard surface the track mostly went via horse trails and forest lanes. With the added bonus of a few climbs along the way.
The start was a bit slow, it was pretty busy and it took a while finding a free zone and picking the right pace. Ahead of the race the warning was too save a bit of energy in the first part , because the hard bits in regards too climbing were in the second half of the race. I took this advice , and didn’t go too fast in the first half. Retrospective , this part could have gone faster. But because I am in the buildup towards a marathon this isn’t a bad thing. It’s good not to go all out and exhaust yourself.
The second half of the run was easier then expected and I could keep my pace without a problem. Didn’t force anything towards the end and ran the remainder quite relaxed. Net finish time 1:29:59, just shy of 1,5 hour. Excellent result, and a happy me.
The usual Yoga strength training and the rest of the runs also went excellent this week. No complaints there either, all in all a good week. Hopefully this will continue in week 10!
2 weeks of training already over, forgot posting last week. Anyway back again. Week 7 went well. Bit harder because of a lack of sleep and a lesser recovery. Which you will notice , but by paying attention too my body I could manage the training load pretty well. It took a little longer than usual before I got into a comfortable rhythm. Fortunately after the training is done it always feels good and I got an empty mind. All very good benefits.
Week 8 was a lot easier then week 7. Thanks too some adjustments in my overall planning and getting more rest moments pushing it a bit in training went a lot smoother. This week was the first week we got to a 30 K long run. Lot’s of rain and wind and it took a while before the auto pilot kicked in. After 8 K all went smooth and the right mindset and feeling were there. Did a bit of experimentation with gels on route and none of them were a problem for the stomach or otherwise. This is usually the case but better test it beforehand.
The recovery on this beautiful Monday is good as well, no funny pains and or sore muscles. This week the program is somewhat less demanding since I got a half marathon next weekend. A trail run , looking forward on pushes the limits a bit on this one. Let’s see how it goes!