Tagged marathon

Race Recap: Marathon van Brabant October 25, 2015

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Intro

Sometimes life just goes and goes and suddenly you realize you haven’t written a blog post in almost two months ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

This will hopefully be the first of many again!

You might know or not know that my first marathon was the ‘Marathon van Brabant‘ two years ago.
I chose this marathon then because it’s a nice calm one, 2 loops in a nice environment on various terrain.
Obviously I ran a PB, but I also managed to run under 3:30, my dream goal back then.

This year, my brother wanted to run his first marathon and was looking for somewhat the same specifications as I was looking for two years ago: nothing too crowdy, nice terrain, not too expensive.
Seeing that I really enjoyed my run in 2013 and knew the supply points were ok and the volunteers were super enthusiastic, I recommended Marathon Van Brabant.
The choices in this period for a marathon are limited here so putting it all together, he decided to run it. I said I wanted to be there when he ran to encourage him, but around three weeks before we just decided it would be more fun if I ran along, which I did ^^

Race Day

The marathon started at 11:45 and we had a 1h40min drive before we got there, so around 9 I stood at Nico’s (my brother) doorstep so we certainly would be on time.
The drive itself was uneventful (carb stocking!) so we got there really on time. Picking up Nico’s bib and registering myself went really smooth, which meant we had about 45minutes to kill.

Hey ho, let's go
Hey ho, let’s go

We strolled to the starting line, where the family run just started. It was great to see all those moms and dads going with their child(ren) through run. We saw some really red faces, adults and children alike, because it was sometimes very clear that mom/dad wanted it more than son/daughter and vice versa and who was trained better than who. But it certainly made for a light mood around the starting line.

After seeing the 5k start, we went back to the changing rooms to make final preparations (toilet!) and headed to our corral of sub 3:30 (there were only 2, where 3:30 was the border).
292 registrations made sure there wasn’t an awful lot of shoving going on at the start, one of the biggest reasons to choose this marathon.

Chipper before the star
Chipper before the start

Once the gun popped we went out and made sure we weren’t going too fast (spoiler: failed) and took in the crowd, scene and weather.
The weather was really good for the time of the year, almost a little too hot. Wind was okay, so it promised to be a nice race.

The aim was going at a 4:50m/km pace (~7:46m/mile) aaaaand we blew it the first kilometers although we were sure we wouldn’t. (4:36-4:33-4:45-4:48-4:41)
Not bad for a 5k, especially in a marathon :-/

Luckily we found our pace after this and managed to run at a fairly consistent pace while putting some time in the bank, which I usually tend to try in the longer distances for when the times get rough. (They usually do).

The first half went really good and we clocked our half marathon 1:39:25, so on cruise speed for the goal:

  • Goal was 3:30
  • Stretch goal was 3:25
  • Dream goal was 3:20

But we all know a marathon only really starts at 30-35km.

In all of his training my brother sometimes had severe cramps, so it was a rational fear that this would happen during the marathon. He took every precaution possible: drank lots and lots of water and sport drinks, ate bananas, dates, … but alas, it was of no avail.

First cramp hit at about 32km, after some stretching he managed to go and run again.
At 36km however we had to make a quick pit stop again and at 41km it really hit.
We had the luck there were 2 children cheering with a chair, so a quick stretch session later we were going for the last piece.

It’s for this that I was happy I tagged along, it’s a lot easier to give a mental boost if you’re running side-by-side. I did my best to keep on motivating and pushing him forward (figuratively off course).

I did my share, but Nico certainly did as well. It’s great to see how good he is at clenching his teeth and keep pushing forward to his goal.

Once we reached the finish line we were both as happy could be with an official time of 3:22:20.

Post Race Thoughts

I’m really happy I did this with my brother, achieving things like this together really tightens our bond!
Further: I started to get in some trouble at about 35k, but with the pauses of the cramps I managed to finish with a more than decent feel.
Which basically means in 2 years time I really evolved as a runner. I shaved 7 min of my marathon time with some gas in the tank left.
So good times coming ๐Ÿ˜‰

Strava & Endomondo stats right here

Full result here: (VolledigeUitslagenMarathonBrabant2015) (only one available places everyone in age groups)

BronzeIAULabel2015

I Signed Up For My 6h Race!

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As some of you might have noticed already in the right sidebar, my next race will be 11 July.
It will be a 6h run in Aalter on an official course of 2km measured by the IAU (Internation Association Of Ultrarunners)
Now that my heavy weeks are going well and I am confident (*knocks on wood*) that I will stay without injuries until then, I finally signed up officially.

6uurAalterParcours
The course in sky view

I’m heavily training for this as I want to break my distance record (~56k) as my duration record (5:57) on this.

I reckon it will be somewhat mind numbing at some points, but I see it as a big training for my ultimate 100k goal. The mind needs training too.

So wish me luck in the last weeks to stay injury free and I hope to do a nice recap with a massive runner’s high the week after July 11 ๐Ÿ™‚

46k Training … Exhausting!

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Last Saturday I set out to run a nice bike route near my home. It’s mostly flat and would lead through a forest, some suburbs, the countryside and canals.
As I’m training for a 6h run in July, I needed to add some extra distance to my long run. This route was 44k, so perfect!

As you all know, preparation is everything for running this kind of distance and durations, so I layed out everything I needed to make sure I had enough supplies.
The weather got me doubting what to wear but I settled for my Tribesports outfit.
The short sleeves could end up being a problem, but I took my chances.

Preparation
Preparation is key!

The route started about 2 miles away from my doorstep, so I took the bike there. An extra 4 miles wasn’t exactly what I needed at this point and in the end it would give me the opportunity to ride the stiffness out at the way home.
At the start there was a nice sign with the entire route mapped on it, so after a quick snap of it for some aid (you never knew…) I set out.

TheRoute
The entire route at the start/finish point

The first 21k/13mi passed at a reasonable pace. I ran consistent (6min/km=9.65min/mile) which was the pace I hoped to average on in the end.
Combined with a heart rate between 130 & 135 I felt good and strong.

Charming-suburbs
Charming suburbs
Piece-of-forest
Some nice piece of forest

 

 

 

 

 

The route was changing enough and pretty enough to be interesting, which helps a lot on these looong runs.

After the first half I felt my energy sapping.
The plan was to eat a date every 2km and something stronger (chocolate, meli-koek, piece of gingerbread) every 8-9km, but I felt I needed to adjust this to every 5-6km or I would be drained way before the end.

Lovely-lovely-sights
Just lovely sights!
Crossing-borders
Crossing the BE-NL border!

 

 

 

 

 

At about 30-35k I felt everything getting harder and harder.
My hip joints were getting sore and my knees were getting more sensitive. The breathing and the muscles however were still cooperating very well.
This all changed at about 38k.
I hit the wall. It wasn’t a big wall, but it was a wall none the less. My emergency caramel gel were promptly put into my mouth along with some gingerbread and a good deal of water and after struggling about 15min I felt it got slightly better.

Some-canal-running
Running next to the canal (watching out for bikers ;-))

But the best was behind me… I already knew at about 35k I would end up doing more than 44k (I was back on familiar terrain) and the last 8k I was struggling.
Not that I was totally kaput, but my heart rate was consistently at about 140 and my pace had dropped almost 30s per km.
To add to my “luck” the weather started getting worse, wind started swelling and was in my face, I got into a rain shower (short one, about 5 minutes) and I because of this all, my arms were getting cold. (this may sound more dramatic than it was.)

But I just kept goingย  and ended at about 46.5k.

EndClock
Timing at the end.

I ended up eating/drinking:

  • 40gr of oatmeal with 250ml water and 1.5 bar of black chocolate for breakfast
  • 22 dades during my course
  • 2.5 bars of black chocolate during my course
  • 4 pieces of gingerbread
  • 3 meli cookies.
  • 2l of water (slightly too little, my head hurt in the end)
  • 0.5l of water during my stretching
  • 1 bar of chocolate during my stretching
  • 0.5l of recovery drink (protein)
  • 1 recovery bar (protein + carbs)

The aftermath is great, yesterday I wasn’t all that sore, but I was tired.
Today the same, no soreness, but I could have used some more sleep… But tonight I’m aiming at another 20k, heavy week 2 out of 3 is starting!

PS: If you’re interested in live updates, you can always follow me on twitter…

 

How was your long run? Seen some nice things during?
Ever ran a layed out route (for bikers)?

Tell Me About The Marathon

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There are TONS of articles out there and even more blog posts that handle the mythical distance that Pheidippides ran somewhere 490BC.
Seeing that this is a mythical distance, I thought it would be nice to write down the general (training) experience and tips surrounding those daunting 42.2km or 26.2 miles.
Pheidippides

1. Don’t try a marathon too soon in your career …

I have totally sinned on this one. I’ve started (serious) running February 2013 and did a marathon in October.
Looking back I should be lucky I’ve pulled this off.
It wasn’t all that wise and many people told me so, but it’s only now I can relate to their advice ๐Ÿ™‚

Another reason to not run a full marathon too soon is that you should be able to grow to it.
First some 5k’s, 10k’s, 10miles, Half marathon, … so that you have always another goal to look forward to.

2. … but if you do, be happy with whatever time …

So if you care to ignore point 1 (as I did myself ;-)) don’t pin too much on a time.
Everything is a PR the first time, so do it at a pace you’re comfortable with.

After all, it’s your first time, that always needs to be comfortable ๐Ÿ˜‰

3. … and always listen to your body during the training!

This applies to a first as well as a 80th marathon training.
Listening to your body is always rule #1!

listen-to-your-body

If you feel injury coming up, don’t bite through it, it’s not worth it and it may come to a moment you need to cancel your race…

4. Eating And Drinking is important

You cannot run a marathon without some supplies. The amount differs from person to person, but fact is that you’ll need to eat and drink during the race.
You need to run far during a marathon, it’s obvious you trained for that.
You need to eat and drink during the race, yet a lot of people do not train for it during the weeks before.
Do it!

supplyPost
You’ll benefit a lot if you won’t choke on a banana or gulp more air than water down!
Hydration is important to prevent cramping muscles as well, so nothing than advantages to drinking (water of course :-))

5. Don’t try anything new on race day.

This is stated in practically every article about marathons, but it’s soooo true.
Run in the shoes you’ve trained in (not counting people who actually own race shoes and really know what they’re doing).
Run in the shirt you’ve trained a lot in.
Do not eat something before or during the race you haven’t eaten before. If your stomach starts cramping up, you’ll regret it for weeks!
ABSOLUTELY don’t decide to fasten your pace because the first mile goes very well, you have a long way to go.

It’s somewhat a mind game as well, if you run in all the conditions (except for the route and gazillion people around you) as you do on training, you’ll feel a lot more relaxed.

6. Enjoy the scenery, appreciate the volunteers/supporters, seize your day

A positive mindset helps a lot.
If you’re positive, every step feels lighter.
Look around you, enjoy the new sights. Say thank to the volunteer that ensures a safe passing, they do long days so everyone is safe.
High five some kids in the crowd, you’ll make their day.
Say an encouraging word to a fellow runner you see struggling.
This day has been marked in your calendar for weeks, so enjoy it to the fullest.

7. Ignore THE WALL

The Wall is something you read a lot about and before you know it, you just KNOW it’ll get hard in the last miles.
Ignore those articles. If you’ve trained well, hydrated well, paced yourself well, the wall won’t be all that high nor that thick.
HittingTheWall

Of course it’ll get hard towards the end, but this is what you trained for, you don’t need to be careful anymore. Right now you’re allowed to be sore tomorrow.

 

Something you’d like to add?
Or (dis)agree with, I’m always open for comments!

50kMaasMechelen

Race Recap: 50k Maasmechelen – My First Ultra

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A while ago I talked about my decision to my step to ultra.

After some nice months of training, I felt ready for my race.
Seeing it was the first ultra I was going to undertake, it was a plunge in the deep.
Therefore I set out with a goal with a big margin.
I was happy to finish under 5h and hoped to get in the 4:30 region.

Race day conditions seemed good and after waking up, a carb loaded breakfast and a 2h drive I arrived at the scene.
The race was part of an ultra weekend. Together with the 50k, there was a 6h run, 12h run, 24h run and a 100k run, so the scene was buzzing with excitement and a lot of fit people were walking around.
Somewhat nervous I got to the start after having some last water and a toilet break.

The race consisted of 4 laps, all on solid and flat ground, basically the biggest reason I had chosen this race.
100k and 50k started simultaneously, but our race got a head start of about 500m so the pack was thinned out.

There were 3 food/drink stations over the course of one lap, which meant I would mainly rely on what was provided.
I had left a camelbak with water, gels, dades and bananas with my girlfriend who would stay with our 3month old at the cafeteria at the start/finish in case of “emergency”, but I hoped I would not need it.
I also had left a bag with sugar water, a banana and a bar of dark chocolate at the 2 stations during the lap for backup.
This way I felt fairly confident I would not have hydration nor food depletion issues and that my stomach would hold up.

When the gun went off, I went out too fast, which by now is just normal. First lap: 5:17… Bear in mind I was aiming for 6minute laps and hoping for 5:24 laps (per km mind you, not per mile ;-))
Although I went off way too fast, a lot of people passed me. Second km I managed to pace myself (5:31) and not look at all the speeders.

After 4km I found my own pace and got into a small pack of runners.
First lap went very well and ended after about 1:07:00, which meant an obliterating success.
I still felt strong and decided to keep on running this same pace.

Second lap went just about the same way and just like that I was halfway my ultra.
Weather was good running-wise: overcast with sometimes just the slightest drizzle and a nice 17ยฐC and I was having fun. So off to the second half.

My heart rate slowly started rising, so I knew my body was starting to feel tired. I made sure I stopped for the necessary time to eat and drink enough at the stations.
Constantly cramming a lot of sugar in my mouth really helped my legs. At the last station during my third lap I decided to drink some Coke and I don’t know if this was the trigger or it was just generally tiredness, but … there were the gut cramps ๐Ÿ™
I had passed the start/finish point about 10minutes ago and knew there wasn’t any toilet available until the near end. I would be unable to make it like this, so went behind a tree.
First time ever this was necessary, thank god for the tip of always taking toilet paper.
Plus side: it helped me a lot. I felt relieved and strong for the last part.

Last 15k I decided to try to step it up a bit and km 42 actually was my fastest one! (4:48)
So in all honesty I can say the last part was just fun as I could still push myself and just like that I ran my 2nd marathon time in 3:39 and my (official) end chrono was 04:23:00.

First ultra: CHECK
Ended it in a hoped time: DOUBLE CHECK
Not walking like a disabled person week after: Not so check ๐Ÿ˜‰ – Quads were sore after, but it was manageable.

Thank you for reading my report ๐Ÿ˜€

My Step To Ultra

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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™‚

2015goals

Goals For 2015

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I gave it a lot of thought and decided on my running goals for 2015.
The major doubt was if I could spent as much or more time in 2015 on running, but after putting the schedules together, J. and I decided it was an option, with a peak somewhere near summer as one of the major possibilities.

So here it is, my goals for 2015:
2 ultra distances
And in these 2 I plan to take on one at least one trail, which means about 90% off-road.
This is nothing extra from 2014 per se, but more to follow ๐Ÿ™‚

+2500km of running
2500km ~= 1553miles.
2014 I’ll strand on 2274km (~1413 miles) give or take.
I planned for 2014km in 2014, and I obviously went way over.
My goal means an average of 210km (~130mi) per month, so this is no small goal.
If I run like this year and make sure I don’t have “down” months like Jan or Feb, it’s definitely possible!

Break distance record (currently ~57km)
Running further in one race or another would sure add to a nice year.

Break duration record (currently 5:51)
This goes for the duration as well.
I’m strongly doubting to run a 6hour run in 2015, if I should do this, I’ll definitely break both.

I have some nice-to-haves as well. It would be great to get these as well, but they are not really complementary to the above goals, so it would be logical if I wouldn’t get them.

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

Be sure to link me up to your goals for 2015, I’d love to read about them!

Race Recap: Marathon Brabant, October 27, 2013

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After the origin posts leading up to my race, here is the race recap itself.

We’re talking about more than a year ago, October 27, 2013.

I have trained for this day … a lot, yet I’m very nervous.
This is the first A-race I’ve planned in all my “running career”.

Day before I laid everything out and hung the bike rack to the car so The Girlfriend could pedal from one point to another and see me go :p

Race day … 6:30am
Had a good night of sleep and woke up fairly rested, time for breakfast.
Thinking I needed a breakfast of champions I go for

  • Banana
  • Honey
  • 3 white slices of bread
  • Dark chocolate
  • No milk, but lots of water.

Start of the race was 11:45 but it was a drive of 1h45, so we got going at about 8:30 am to surely be on time.
Drive was fine, I stressed as little as possible in the passenger seat and tried to clear my head.

Once there the nerves hit me. Looking for my bib I saw all these professional runners and got nervous.
I could choose between two corrals: -3:30 and +3:30.
Seeing I aimed for 3:30 I doubted but went for the -3:30 to push myself a little with faster runners.

Fast forward to the start (nothing happened that all of you don’t know: dressing, being nervous, going to the bathroom thrice, …)

Waiting in the first corral I say to myself I should keep running in my first 2 zones as long as possible, preferably until mile 20. Then I could see what’s left in the tank and speed up if necessary for my goal time. (3:30 = 5:00 min/km = 8min/mile)
I think you all know what they say about plans. I stand there, full adrenaline, seeing my heart rate is already at about zone 2 and the gun goes off.

Go go go … don’t go too fast, DON’T go too fast, … 1km: 4:39 HR: 155 (end of zone 2) *grmbl*

Marathon Brabant - Beginning
Nice action pic from somewhere near the start
Marathon Brabant -Slightly downhill
Look at the arrow, it says marathon and points to me =]

So i didn’t take the best of starts. Every damn article talks about this mistake and I knew it, yet I went. 2nd km was too fast as well (4:43) before I got to pace myself.
Most of the following kilometers where at about 5:00 pace so that went well, but my heart rate was definitely too high. I felt it went well, but was afraid for the notorious wall at km 30-35 (~mile 20) or so. But feeling strong (and naive?) I kept going at this pace.

I brought gel and meli cookies with me, both great for carbs. Had one bottle of water with me and 2 waiting at given points with supplies.
Planning on eating one of these every 30min and drinking every km I had a solid nutritional plan, gladly it was one I actually stuck too!

Marathon Brabant - Meli cookie
Mmmm … Cookie

Everything was very solid until about halfway. That was when it got thoughts. Luckily The Girlfriend stood there and pedaled some time along with me. After 3km we sadly met an official saying this was not allowed, so it was plodding off on my own again.

The course was 2 times the same lap which meant I now knew what was coming.

Nice part through the woods lifted my spirits, but not my pace. It got harder and harder to get 5min km, but slicing the remaining distance in pieces helped a lot mentally.

Marathon Brabant - km31
Hydrating at km 31 (~20miles)

Last part of 4miles got really hard, quads started cramping, it was a boring piece with lots of wind and I knew an uphill and bridge part were coming up. I started passing ever lore walking people what was somehow helping but triggered a little voice in ly head as well. A voice that stated all those people were better trained, so if they were walking, surely I could for a bit. And if that meant not getting my goal time there was always another.

I pushed the voice away, clenched my teeth and got to the final part. Could wave to the girlfriend, could pass some walkers, started seeing more people along the way, last piece uphill was coming with the bridge after it and I pushed through, heavy as it was…

Marathon Brabant - km38Uphill
38km and uphill
Marathon Brabant - km38Uphill2
It’s clenching teeth time!
Marathon Brabant - km39 on the bridge
Marathon Brabant – km39 on the bridge

The finish got closer, a nice banner was put up at the last 500m stretch. I wanted to speed up a little for the last part, but the cramp was too close. Just running out was a-okay at this point.

Marathon Brabant - Finish
Finish!
Marathon Brabant - GooseBumps
Obligatory Garmin shot! (WITH goosebumps)
Marathon Brabant - So Happy
Yup, it’s real, I did it, I’m a marathoner ๐Ÿ˜€
Finished in 3:29:29 (20131027_MarathonEttenLeur PDF), so barely made my goal time, but I made my goal time ๐Ÿ™‚
Heart rate was consistently too high, which accounts for the cramps in the end.
But nutrition and hydration went well, so all in all I was very happy with my debut!

Endomondo & Strava link!

Marathon Brabant - Nailed it
Marathon Brabant – Nailed it
2014_running

Slowly Saying Goodbye To 2014

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December 20 2014
Only 11 days and we can start cursing again when we write down the date (oh right 2015 *grmbl*)

2014 wasn’t too shabby. Not running wise nor personal.

Quick personal recap: I became a dad for the first time! She’s already eight months now and boy does it go fast!

Running wise:

  • Tracked 2274km to date (~1413 miles)
    I guess if all goes well I could add another 50 or so in those 11 days but we’ll see
  • Bought 2 pair of new shoes
    • Pearl Izumi: a brand I had never heard of and will continue buying
    • Scott: a trail shoe that fits like a glove
  • Ran 6 races which means an average of one every 2 months, way better than expected
    • A very low-key trail of 25k that wasn’t a real race (no bibs, no timing) but helped me convince I was ready for longer distances & trails
    • A 5k race where I PB’d below 19 minutes
    • A 50k which went waay better than I had hoped for – 7 min below my aimed time and relatively fresh (see my PB page for exact timings btw)
    • A marathon in one of the nicest settings there are ‘In Flanders Fields’ at Ypres, great way to start the remembrance of WW1. Did this one as a pacer and ended just above 4h. Was very happy with the recovery afterwards etc
    • A 56k trail with 1200m of ascension (~3937feet).
      This was my ultimate goal of 2014.
      I suffered, but in a good way and finished just below 6h.
      Distance record, duration record, busted quads record ๐Ÿ˜€
    • 10k run where I broke my PB. Sadly not below 39 minutes, but since short distances weren’t my focus this year, I’m happy that I PB’d!

2015 goals post coming later, just give me some time to look back at this post with a content smile ๐Ÿ™‚

I’d love to read about your year, be sure to link me up in the comments!

Road To Marathon Brabant 2013 – Final Training

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I’ve already talked about my decision to run a marathon and about my first training months afterwards. I now want to talk about the follow-up training after summer and the final training towards the race. Last post in the series will be race recap of M-Day.

After a pretty decent 396km (246 miles) in the summer months, fall approached and with it my last weeks towards the marathon. Having read up on tapering I knew I only had 6-7 weeks left of serious training.

Since training without a real plan seemed to work for me, I decided to continue with the same principles of my first training months and adding some intervals to gain my wanted speed. Setting my marathon pace at 5:00m/km (8:00 m/mile – 12km/h) this was needed, because many people said this was too fast for my limited amount of training.

Determined as I was, I pulled through with my desired pace and geared up.
Having always trained with my phone and the Endomondo app, I thought it was time for a GPS watch, especially handy for running intervals on heart rates. I won’t bother you with the details about the search for it, but in the end I went for the Garmin 310xt. A Multisport watch (handy for cycling) at a decent price and earned it’s stripes with a lot of honorable athletes.

I cannot say this enough to everyone running longer than the “intro” phase: buy a GPS watch, it was my best buy ever as a runner. Having constant control over pace, heart rate, speed, … without twisting my arm (smartphone arm holder) or being afraid to drop my phone was bliss. Necessary sidenote: I’m a number/statistics freak :-p

Besides a GPS watch it was time to slowly tossing my Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12 aside and getting a new pair. Not knowing a lot at this point about shoes, I decided to stick with what I knew and bought the GTS 13.

The 7 remaining weeks flew by as did I (in my interval trainings) and before I knew it, it was tapering time.
Not entirely knowing what this was (long live Google) I just ate an awful lot of pasta and went running 2 times for a short distance and a slow pace.

October2013 Endomondo September2013 Endomondo

In September and October (before M-Day) joined I ended up with 496km (~308mi) which gave me a very decent base to go marathoning for my first time.

Race report coming up later, thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚