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 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 !
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 !
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!
I love running, I also need it as a way for clearing my head and stay as fit as possible in order to be able to manage day to day activity and keep my balance. As I have mentioned before, after my brain injury , my running prior to the accident saved my life. And it also gave me tools for persisting during my revalidation process.
As with running revalidation starts and ends with keeping at it, and with most things in life this helps a great deal. Being conditioned this way has helped me true rough patches and kept me sane during periods when my brain simply gave in. So all in all running means a great deal in my life.
For this year I am going to write more about running and my day to day with brain damage. As a lot of people can’t really imagine the effects it has on life. But I am starting out with running. I have ran a few marathons and my personal best is 3:17:22 seconds. Which I am very happy with.
Ever since I have ran this fast I am contemplating if it’s possible to run a sub 3 hour marathon. In my case getting 18:17 seconds off my personal best. Which is a bit steep. But if I don’t try I will never know. So I am starting a journey which hopefully gets me under the famous 3 hour barrier.
I have said it , I want to run a marathon under 3 hours. And now you can all help me do this. Any training , nutrition and general tips are more then welcome ! Let’s go!