Category: Long Distance Rambling

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Mixing it up

On top of lacking motivation because of the short days recently, there is a lot of wind here the last few days.
It keeps on blowing and has no intention to stop, so it seems.

Yesterday I went running for 80 minutes on a low heart rate, today I was scheduled for a slightly faster pace, but finishing work I already felt the excuses coming up in my head.
“It’s cold”, “It’s a lot of wind”, “You’re not fully recuperated after the 10k and your run yesterday”, “Your long tight is dirty and you’ll have cold calves”

I don’t think I need to tell all of you guys how easy it is to give in to this voice, but having the time and opportunity for the last time this week (except for somewhere in the weekend) it just had to be today.

So I decided to mix it up and switch pace in the middle.
It ended up being a 70 minute run from 20′ Z2 – 30′ Z3 – 20′ Z2

The wind sure gave me a hard time when returning, but constantly having the different pace to look forward to, it made the run a lot easier and more fun.

Being a creature of habit, it isn’t usually I change my training last-minute, but this time it surely did some good.


  • Ride Name:
  • Distance: 0 km
  • Elevation Gain: 0 m
  • Moving Time: 00:00:00

Do you have some (mind) tricks to break through the lack of motivation?
Or do you have some other way to make that little voice shut up?
Is changing pace something you like or not?

Road To Marathon Brabant 2013 – Final Training

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 πŸ™‚


Rest Day: The Sauna

Tuesday was a rest day and I had a day off from work.
It was an eternity ago The Girlfriend and I had a day to ourselves so we decided to drop our daughter off with my mother and head out for a relaxing day in the sauna.

This is not at all interesting for you all off course, but while sitting there I came to thinking if the sauna was beneficial to a runner. And that in return IS interesting πŸ™‚

Obviously I’m not the first to wonder about this fact.
Most links to relate regular sauna visits or post-exercise visit, so I don’t think one sauna day will help me with my PB tomorrow, but it won’t hurt either I guess plus I had a super relaxing day where I could catch up on some sleep as well (8 mo old daughter remember), so that will definitely help πŸ˜€

Tell me: do you include some wellness into your schedule? Sauna, jacuzzi, steam bath, …



10k: To Taper Or Not To Taper

As you can see from my featured image taper plans exist for a 10k, however I’ve never done it.

This Friday I really would like to break my PB so it crossed my mind to do it for once, but everything I found seemed too … serious.

So the plan is easy run last Monday, easy run tonight with some sprints mixed in, tomorrow rest and Friday hopefully accomplish a PB.


How do you stand on the topic?


Road To Marathon Brabant 2013 – Training Through Summer

So last time I talked about my decision process to go for the marathon. Right now I’d like to explain how my trainings went.

We’re talking late June 2013. I have my heart rate zones and a rough training plan.
I have no week-to-week plan and seriously doubting whether I need one.
The problem back then was that I went running when I had time. Generally this meant 3-4 times per week, but it was no guarantee. With summer approaching I decided to not be to strict on myself, just train as much as I can with crude guidelines.

  • Weekends are for the LSD runs at a heart rate of max 135
  • One training run is in Zone 1
  • One training run is an interval that consists of zones 3 or 4
  • One training run is in zone 2

I supposed if I kept this in that order I would improve enough over summer to start a x-week plan begin september.

Summer total: 396km (246 miles)

I ended up running almost every week 4 times so everything actually went very well.

For only being fulltime into running since February I was very pleased with myself and could start a final countdown towards October 27, 2013.

More later!

Feel free to let me know if you like my story πŸ™‚


Road To Marathon Brabant 2013 – The Decision

42.195 kilometers.
26 miles and 385 yards.

As you can read in short in my About page I have gone from zero to marathon in less than a year. Which means the journey towards it has been full of anticipation.

At first I just liked being active and getting in shape, but soon I found out I actually liked running.
Running gave me a certain calm and gave me time after a busy day to clear my head.

So after training for a couple of months I found out running goes well for me. I see improvement, but start to stagnate.
Time to find some theory that can support me.

I started reading up on Long Slow Distance, watching your heart rate, make sure you don’t produce lactic acid in slow runs, minding your posture, stride, foot landing, … and started putting it in practice.
This wasn’t always easy (I’m sure some post will once go about my cursing on midfoot landings), but I did see I was getting better all the time. Sometimes barely noticeable, some weeks I amazed myself.

After my 5k race that started all my trainings (read the recap here) I wanted a new challenge and decided I wanted to go for the big leagues: marathon!

After some talk with the Mrs. I decided to undergo a medical screening, lactate test, vo2Max test etc. so I could decide if I was built for it, wouldn’t crash during race day and if our joined schedule could find the time for all the trainings.

The calendar got filled out, the appointment at Mensana set for the medical part and just like that the decision got made for sure.
I was going to run a marathon.

How my training went? I’ll write about it in a not so distant future.


Have you ever run a marathon? How did you decide about it?
Have you taken a medical exam as well? Why (not)?
If you haven’t run one, do you want to?