Tagged tips

Running100kAWeek

Running 100k A Week

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In order to optimally prepare for my 6h race that’s coming up I felt I had to step up my game and run more distance per week.
Feeling comfortable with 100k a week was the goal to achieve, but never before having run 100k in one week, this was somewhat challenging.

For me it was a somewhat magical line, that’s why I want to share my experiences with you all.

Make sure you do it in enough runs

Don’t go out as a madman and keep on running until you practically collapse so you only have to do three runs for making it to 100k.
There are seven days in a week and with the rule of thumb of ‘the long run = 1/3 of your total week’ you can even have a rest day (or two) if you plan properly.
I commuted by run to work and easily could go for a 20k a day without really tapping into my family time.

Rest afterwards

Afterwards being the week after.
Especially after breaking the barrier a first time you’ll feel tired. No problem, take a calm week and go back to your comfortable week distance.

Don’t overdo your long run

Sort of covered this in the first point, but don’t go out and suddenly do a long run that’s double as long as your normal long run. Your system, joints, muscles just won’t take it…

Skip the interval/high intensity for a while

70% of my runs were in my lowest heart rate zone (~60% max heart rate), the rest was one zone higher (~70% max HR).
I steered clear of intervals and high intensity for a while, because tomorrow and the day after and the day after … I needed to go running again ๐Ÿ™‚

Listen to your body, as always!

I cannot repeat this enough in all of my “advice” posts.
Listen to your body! Always!
Pain is bad, not just an annoyance.
It’s normal to feel stiff or sore, but pain (stabbing, constant, …) pain is a clear signal that you’re not ready yet.Trim down for a while and try again.

It’s more than running alone.

Once you’re at the point of 100k a week you should know that your body benefits from more than running alone.
Clean, healthy eating and a decent amount of sleep (~+1h per week for every 10km) is paramount if you run distances and as frequent as this.

Make it your new comfort zone

This was my goal, feel comfortable running this much so it doesn’t feel like “having to”
At some point I ran 300k in three weeks and yes my body needed rest after that, but every day I went for “just another run”, which felt nice.

 

Did you break 100k a week? Was it as much planning for you as it was for me?
Or do you have another ‘mental barrier’ that you want to break in one week someday?

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!

Start tips for running

Running: how to start?

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As my friends know I’m an avid runner I often get asked how to start running.

I cannot claim I’m a running expert nor that I tell The Running Truth about everything, but there are some tips I give to everyone when asked this question.

1. Start running 3 times a week or look for a training plan

If you’re serious about running, start running 3 times a week.
My own rule of thumb is: 2x a week is maintaining condition, 3x a week is building condition.

You can just go out and start running the same lap for weeks on end and gradually build up the distance or you can search for a training plan online (see below)

2. Run-walking does not mean you are weak.

Depending on how much in shape you are or how much you weigh, it can be a challenge to go out and instantly run 5km.
In Belgium we have the ‘start ro run’ app and I know there are ‘couch to 5k’ apps out there as well.
The goal is the same, get to 5k of running in about 10-12 weeks.

If getting there means walking-running-walking-… during this process, this is no problem at all. When you keep on running this will get upgraded to running-running faster with interval training, so this is the start of speed work.
“But I’ve gone running for 20minutes and I barely broke a sweat” – Trust me: this will change ๐Ÿ™‚

3. Don’t want too much too fast.

This follows up on my last sentence from tip #2.
It can be that you go running and barely broke a sweat, this does not mean you can skip a week in your training, they are designed like this with a reason.

If you do not follow a specific training plan, don’t just double your distance without thinking it through.
Your body (joints, muscles, lungs, …) needs to adapt to distance and impact. So build up slowly if you don’t want to get injured.

4. If you feel some joints struggling in your legs it might be time to buy proper running shoes

Proper running have an average high cost (it’s soon about โ‚ฌ120) and that’s quite an investment if you’re not sure if you’re serious about running. The advantage is high though! If you can find a store where they can check your gait and do a funded proposition of running shoes it’s worth every cent.

Your joints will thank you, the chance of injury is much smaller and you will feel like you walk on clouds. Bear in mind that this is about the only investment you need to make. Clothing, water bags, … can be bought very cheap at the start of your running career, once you know what you like/dislike you can do some investments there as well.

5. Next investment should be a heart rate monitor.

I swear with running in heart rate zones. So once you kept up with running a month or two I usually say people need to buy a heart rate monitor.

A person’s natural pace is around his turning point (the point where you start producing lactic acid). During the start of your training that’s not a big problem. You come from “nowhere” and will automatically gain condition.
If you’re about 3-4 months further however you should start mixing up your training and do trainings at different heart rates, hence: you need something to be able to check this: a heart rate monitor.

 

What I usually don’t tell is the ground people need to run on.

I live near the beach and people often ask me if it’s better or not to run on the beach. I just cannot give a short answer to that.
For some it’s better, for most it’s not. Yes it’s softer and your joints will benefit, but that’s about the only advantage.
The beach is seldom flat or all proper hard sand.

Mentally it can be very hard because you won’t run consistent laps at all.
Especially if you have proper shoes,I’d say you’re better of with a flat stroke of asphalt.

Do you agree/disagree with this starting tips?
Do you have anything to add?