Category: Long Distance Rambling


Goals For 2015: Halfway Evaluation

Hooray July! Welcome summer!
We’re halfway through 2015, so it’s time for an overview of my goals for 2015.
3 months ago my quarterly evaluation could be better so let’s see if it’s already better.

2 ultra distances RedCross
Nope, not even one ultra yet.
At least, not in a race. Furthest training has been 46km, so technically I’ve done an ultra already, but I’d say it doesn’t count.
Next week will be my 6h race, so first one is definitely covered!

+2500km of runningRedCrosscheckmark

I have not yet covered 2500km, but I am ahead of schedule, so I’m hopeful.
I should have done 1250km by now and already covered 1476km, which meant I’ve done a whopping 1020km since April ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Break distance record (currently ~57km) RedCross

Nay, let’s keep them fingers crossed for July 11

Break duration record (currently 5:51) RedCross
See above ๐Ÿ™‚


  • PB on the 5k RedCross
  • PB on the 10k RedCross
  • Marathon under 3:20 RedCross
  • Run a nice trail just to enjoy the scenery (chance is, I’ll already get this at the end of January) checkmark

I did the last one with Trail Du Mont and will do it again with Trail Des Fantomes in August.
Funny thing is that ‘PB on HM’ is not included above, but I did achieve this already this year...


So how are your Goals going for 2015? Will you make it or do they need some adjusting?


Morning runs are the worst … apparently?

Since I’m commuting on running shoes (a detailed lookback on this is coming…) I seem to be able to confirm a hunch I’ve been having for quite some time now.

My weekend long runs always start in the early hours (6-8 AM max) and it seemed my body always needed some waking up. It’s often that my heart rate/pace ratio only seem to normalize after about an hour of running. Often frustrating as it skews my training analysis, but I guess it’s part of the deal of doing long runs…

As I do the same run now often early in the morning and in the evening I can clearly see that my heart rate is a lot higher in the morning than it is in the evening.

Evening run may 08
Evening run may 08
Morning run May 08
Morning run May 08

You can see that the morning pace is slower and the heart rate always higher…

Evening run may 15
Evening run may 15
Morning run May 15
Morning run May 15

I don’t know whether this is due to ‘waking up’ or digesting (although I don’t always eat before my run) or hydration…
Googling the issue doesn’t really help much.
Most hits just babble about timing vs sleep etc.

So I guess I’ll just have to live with it. Although nothing life threatening nor really important, it can be frustrating at times (especially when I get out the door just in time ;-))


Does anyone have the same experience? Or maybe just the opposite experience?
Can you explain it?


Registering Training PB’s

My race schedule is fairly empty most of the times.
I run 2-3 big races a year and all my other races usually get decided very close to when they take place (and seldom are consider a “giving-it-all” thing). So in order to keep myself motivated I started taking note of my training PB’s.

It’s handy to see at a glance what my “All Time Training PB”, “2014 Training PB” or “2015 Training PB” is.
At times I don’t really feel fast or strong in the legs and it’s always good to have a reference at those times.

That’s why I choose to have a ‘all time’ but also ‘this year’. It’s not really motivating with a super day of training.

Training PB’s Evernote

I use Evernote for this, in a separate notebook. Keeps it clean and easy accessible.
It’s always fun if I break a training PB. Gives me a small runner’s high ๐Ÿ˜€

Do you keep your training PB’s? Helps it motivate you as well?


Running To Commute

I really want to run more a week, but between work and family I don’t see it happening soon.
My work lies about 3-3.5km (~2miles) away from my house, so I take the bike to reach it.
Some time ago we were informed that showers are now available to encourage biking to work.
I do not need them, but it gave me the idea to run to work.

It’s not that I’m soaking wet after a So starting this Tuesday (Monday is a day off, hooray) I’ll run to work.
Starting with the most direct route and maybe after some time I’ll add a loop to my route.

But this means a daily workout to my body from now on, which worries me a bit.
It will be low intensity (I’ll jog, not sprint), but a workout none the less.
Which makes me quite curious what effect this will have. I surely hope it won’t get me injured, so wish me luck ๐Ÿ˜€

Does anyone else run/bike to commute?
Does it strain your body or is it just enough to be a healthy start to the day?


Goals For 2015: Quarterly Evaluation

Happy April!
We’re three months in 2015, so it seemed time for a first evaluation of my goals for 2015.

I already know it’s somewhat disappointing, but seeing I got nine months to catch up I’m not all that worried, especially because summer is coming, yaay ๐Ÿ˜€

2 ultra distances RedCross
Nope, not even one ultra yet.
Furthest I’ve run this year is about 32km (~20mi), so I’ve got some work to go. One will be no problem (see below), second I’ll need to think about.

+2500km of runningRedCross

Nope, but I think this is very normal at this point.
However, I’m behind on schedule as well.
2500/4 = 625 Current status: 451
This means an addition of roughly 20km per month on average from now on.
Sounds tough, but I think I just make it.

Break distance record (currently ~57km) RedCross

Nope, but I am aiming at a 6h run start of July, so that should be covered then. Once it’s final you will surely read about it here ๐Ÿ˜‰

Break duration record (currently 5:51) RedCross
See above ๐Ÿ™‚


  • PB on the 5k RedCross
  • PB on the 10k RedCross
  • Marathon under 3:20 RedCross
  • Run a nice trail just to enjoy the scenery (chance is, I’ll already get this at the end of January) checkmark

I did the last one with Trail Du Mont and will do it again with Trail Des Fantomes in August.
Funny thing is that ‘PB on HM’ is not included above, but I did achieve this last Sunday...


So how are your Goals going for 2015? Will you make it or do they need some adjusting?

My Step To Ultra

As you might have read on my blog here before I’ve run a marathon in October 2013. (Posts here, here and here, race recap here).
Seeing that the marathon is a mighty big goal, I lacked motivation once finished to continue running for a while.
I still enjoyed it, it helped me relax etc, but feeling that I had nothing to achieve gnawed at me apparently.
This went on for about four months and then I got invited to join a noncompetition trail run at half an hour drive away.
I went there with a couple of friends whom I never met before in real life, but chatted a lot online.

The run was 25km (~15.5 miles) with some nice hills and about 85% off-road. Nothing too hard, but much more enjoyable than constant asphalt.
We went out at about 5:30min/km and roughly continued at this pace the entire run.
Coming towards the finish I still felt very strong and had the feeling I was able to add a lot more distance if it were necessary.
The day after I wasn’t too sore, nothing worse than a tough interval day.

It than came to me that ultra maybe was possible.
If 25km went this easy, I felt obligated to myself to give it a shot.

We’re talking March-April 2014 here and after some looking around on the Internet I found a nice and easy 50k run at Maasmechelen at the end of June.
It consisted of 4 laps and knowing my daughter was coming (turned out to be April 15), I thought this the best for my girlfriend. This way she could come along and see me a couple of times passing without having to drive around herself.

So this meant I needed to start training.
For my marathon I hadn’t really followed a strict training plan, so I figured I wouldn’t look for one now either.

I focused on upping my mileage steadily with some stabilization now and then. Once again, being a ‘new dad’ meant I had to compromise towards my running (with pleasure off course :-), so I only had the time for 2 runs in the week and one long run in the weekend.
In the end I started with:

  • 1 run in my Zone 1 (Heart rate zones, see here…) for 70 minutes
  • 1 run in my Zone 2 for 70 minutes
  • Long run of 22km

And decided to go with:

  • 1 week adding 5 minutes to my Z1/Z2 runs
  • 5k adding (first time 3 to come at a proper distance) to my long run
  • Running the same as the week before

Rinse and repeat…

I had 12 weeks to go and managed to follow it quite strictly

50k schema
My schema

Ending with a 40k run, which was 80% of the distance made me feel confident about the race to come.

Race report coming in a later post, hope you enjoyed ๐Ÿ™‚

Counting down to the next race

This Sunday I have another race coming up, but as I stated before, this will be ‘a run for fun’.

Saturday I went running 25km (~15mi) and that’s the furthest I’ve run since the end of October.
I really really wanted to do a 30km run before the race next week, but holidays, work regimes, being sick just didn’t make it happen…
The distance won’t be a problem, in combination the hills it could get a bit harder than I’d like.

But it’s together with an “online running group”, a lot of people I haven’t actually met before, so fun will be had, no doubt about that.

Last week I totaled at 60km (~37 mi), this week I will be staying abroad again and I would like to run my route twice and perhaps half of it once.
That would give me a marvelous week, distance wise and would put me back “in the game” of high mileage I hope.

I wish you all a happy run week and may Monday be in your favour ๐Ÿ˜‰


Tell me about breathing

There are already a gazillion posts about breathing and the importance of it. Every long time runner knows it, but a reminder now and then is welcome.

I posted earlier this week I went running while reading a map and although it went well, I ran the exact same route the day after on memory and shaved +5 s per km off my time with only 1 avg heart beat higher.

All this because I could focus on my form and especially my breathing.

The first time I often found my heart rate way up when I was looking for the right street, turn or route so the overall graph was a lot more edgy than the second one. Once I focused on my breathing it flattened out again.

Some small pointers from my experience:

  • Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth
  • Breathe with your belly rather than with your chest
  • Try counting your steps and find a nice rhythm, my slow runs it’s 4 steps a breathing in, 4 steps breathing out.
  • If you find yourself gasping, slow down for a second and focus focus focus

Does breathing properly comes naturally to you? Have anything to add?


Pacing a Half Marathon?

Browsing through the blogs I’m following I’m reading a lot of resolutions (which I made myself too offcourse) and friends and family are obviously doing the same thing.

My brother ran his first half marathon this year and everything went way better than expected (Hoped for 5 min/km, ended up at 4:40 min/km which gave him a 1:38 finish time).
After some doubting about a marathon he decided to stick to HM for now and already signed up for one at the end of March.
At Christmas day he asked me to pace him.

I was honoured off course, but didn’t know if I could pull it off. My record dates 1.5y back (which is a lifetime considering my running career) and is ~1:36. My brother aims for 1:30 now.

I’m really considering this, because I think I can pull it off, but just to be sure I’ll test myself in the distance asap.
Last year I paced a marathon for a friend and that was in a relaxing pace for me, which meant I had enough breath to spare to say some encouraging words, With a 4:20 min/km (bit under 7min/mile) I don’t know if I’ll manage.

But see, the year hasn’t even started yet and opportunities already arise.

Have you ever paced a Half Marathon? How was it? I sure could use some pointers!


Holiday Break?

Christmas is coming and so is new year’s, but I bet knew that already ๐Ÿ™‚
Weather is terrible here, wind keeps on blowing 11m/s – 13m/s and my girlfriend has the flu.
Combined with all the dinners that are coming I suppose I can justify a holiday break of running.

Main reason I’m writing this down is because I don’t really feel like it, but I know it gives me stress and puts me in a bad mood if I should be running and I can’t because of whatever reason.
Trying to turn this around I’m putting myself on holiday break figuring that I’ll just be extra happy if I could get a run in.

I don’t know if this makes a lot of sense, but it sure does to me, so there it is … my holiday break starts today (instead of a 30k run :-))

Enjoy your sunday!


Will you be running a lot during the holidays?