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A marathon in under 3 hours

Running watch and speed

martski | 2011-06-24 23:09:14 | Nincs hozzászólás!

I bought a running watch recently. I felt that I needed to be better aware of my limits - I often forget myself when running, being distracted with work or family and thinking about all sorts of things. Then 10, 15 minutes later, I realize I am running too fast. I suddenly feel tired and have to slow down - rather annoying!

I wonder if the speed that my body is trying to run when I am distracted is what I can potentially run at if I was completely fit? Or maybe it is my subconscious maximalism - always pushing myself :)

 

The running watch has been interesting - the default settings for my zone had an upper limit of 155, and I am often pushing above that. Also I am often going a little above 155 and feeling comfortable - this is strange, but I wonder if it is because I am coming back into fitness and with time my heart rate will go down.

I changed the upper limit to 158, but still go over, when running steady, and of course when pushing it in intervals or towards the end of tempo runs it goes way over - touching 170 at times.

 

Interestingly it seems that my speed is better than ever. I have a 3.08 km terrain run near Göd that I do often, and today hit 4:30 km pace on my second lap. that was a surprise. Need to keep that going.

Before I did last year's Siofok half marathon I was running that at 4:40 and did 4:28 for 21km then. Terrain does seem harder.

 

Now does that mean I can run a 3 hour marathon in October? :) I think that is a step too far at this stage, but maybe 3h15....

 

Thoughts - continued

martski | 2011-06-17 20:50:33 | 4 hozzászólás

My preparation for that marathon 20 years ago when I was 18 was terrible, really bad. In fact now I have done 3 in the past 3 years, it makes me laugh :)
A week before I ran 13 miles. That was the furthest I had run. So 4 days before the event I panicked a little I ran 16 miles.

4 days before my longest run at 16 miles and no taper :) :)

On the morning of the day, 26.1 miles seemed like a very long way. A friend asked why I was so thoughtful, I explained. That caused a few rather sensible questions - what time did I want to do, what pace was I going to go at, do I have a watch?
I hadn't thought of pace, but 9 minutes a mile seemed about right - slower than my normal pace, but a pace I felt I could keep for the whole distance. I didn't have a watch :) He lent me one - something I was and still am very grateful for!

Running the distance was comfortable, even a little frustrating at having to hold myself back. Many of those starting with me ran off quickly at the start and I had to hold myself back so as not to suffer later.

9 minute mile, 9 minute mile, 9 minute mile again and again and again. Runners joined at stages through the race - 20 miles, 15 miles etc - one runner tagged onto my shoulder at 20 miles and stayed there until I sprinted at the end.

After 16 miles, I thought 'Wow, this is the furthest I have ever run', then thought I still have 10 to go!
I kept on and on going, and after 20 miles starting overtaking some of those who had started much faster than me and were suffering. It was harder towards the end, and the hills in the last 2 miles were really hard. I suspect I was in 'the zone' until the last 2 miles and those hills.
On the long straight in I suddenly felt OK again, I tried to sprint - too early of course :), and had to hold myself back.
Stopping was great - catching my breath for 10 seconds, then a rush of endorphins!

A minute after the end, I was asked a few questions on video by a teacher and he said I look fit and could I have continued, and on reflection, I could have run another 5 miles or so.

Well, I think this partly explains why I feel I was fitter at the age of 18, though I am getting there now. Vienna was the first time I ran a full marathon since then and I am faster now, and continue to lose weight.

This last week has been good as well - there will be 4 runs in total, and the distance is increasing. My Sunday run will probably be 15km - all looking good, and the pace seems to be there as well!

I will try and keep the mileage higher in preparation. If the recovery continues, then I need to start with some hard intervals and tempo runs.

The next question is what time am I aiming for in the Budapest marathon... Let me wait a week or two and see.

 

Oh, my first marathon experience didn't finish there - the next morning I woke up after a really really good sleep. I was lying on my back, and tried to sit up. I couldn;t - I had no stomach muscles left. I had to roll over and out of bed. :)

Thoughts

martski | 2011-06-11 23:26:37 | 7 hozzászólás

One of the best decisions I ever made in my life was to run a marathon at the age of 18.

I haven't told many people that and I am sure it will surprise a few people. However it is true. Running provides me a way out of the stress my working life provides and is such a much much better stress release than drinking too much. Also, I have to say that the best 'rush' I ever had was when I was 18 and I finished my first marathon. I had run 26.1 miles and sprinted the last 100 metres, and stopped and tried to breath, but that endorphin rush, well wow!

Why do I say that it was the best decision I ever made? Because starting to run marathons as a 40 year old holds few fears for me. I have done it before, I can do it again, what's more having done such a crazy thing so young means I have few fears on breaking barriers again and again, though I have learnt patience and hope I am wiser (in avoiding injuries).

Why did I run a marthon when I was 18? I believe that very few people did it at that time. Running wasn't trendy, it has grown so much since then.
It's very simple, it was there for me. My school in England - Stonyhurst - arranged it and I was very fit, no more than that, I was exceptionally fit. It didn't matter that I hadn't run more than 12 miles when I signed up.

It's funny, that in 2011, having done a 3 hour 30 marathon in the past few months, I still feel I am not as fit as when I was 18. I am close, but not there. I want to get there again. In fact I want to beat that feeling! I want to run a sub 3 hour marathon. I will do it unless something major stops me!!!

Of course I knew I was exceptionally fit when I signed up at the age of 18, and I knew that would get me through. I was lucky - lucky in so many ways.
I was naive, so naive. I thought I could take on the world. My preparation was abysmal, poorly thought out and totally lacking structure. There were teachers who took me aside and tried to warn me of the dangers and risks, and an appopriate training plan. They were very responsible as a school, and only 18 year olds were allowed to try. Did I listen? - heh :) make me laugh! :)

I knew I was very fit because I played rugby. Well playing rugby itself guarantees nothing, but I didn't feel hugely tired after rugby practice, so I played squash before it. I felt a bit tired after rugby then, but not too much.

One of my best friends now, Nick, lives in Budapest. He went to the other major catholic school in England and was captain of the cross country (running) team. He took running seriously at that age, then let go a bit afterwards - like I did.
Now we are both pushing boundaries - he beat me by 50 seconds or so in the Vienna marathon (just under 3 hours 30, I was just over). I suspect he is a better runner than me, though I'm not going to say that to him :) (I hope he doesn't read this blog :) ) We're both going to get better :) and We have both now set the target of 3 hours.

I can continue in this topic in the next blogs on how that marathon at age 18 went.

This week has been brilliant, 6 weeks with minimal running, and now suddenly 6 runs in 7 days. No feeling of the ITB right knee injury. The speed seems to still be there. On Monday, I'll push up to 10km, and see how that goes. I have heard that 45 minutes is a critical limit for ITB injuries.

If all goes well, then maybe I can start a proper marathon training plan.

hey! that reminds me, I have already paid for the Budapest marathon, I wonder what time I can do for that?? :)

injury and patience

martski | 2011-06-07 22:18:23 | 3 hozzászólás

Well, maybe 3 hours is out of the question this year :)

I have hardly run for 6 weeks since the Vienna marathon. Every time I tried, I felt the ITB and have been very patient. Until Sunday 2 days ago that is. I am now starting to run again, but am being cautious. I feel something very slightly - not at all painful. But maybe I am imagining, not sure.

I wonder if it is rather scar tissue and I need to try and do small exercise to get through it and slowly dislodge it. I remember running through my left ITB with mild irritation and it eventually faded. Opinions welcome. 

It has been a bit frstrating as I paid for the Szekszard and Keszthely half marathons at the begining of the year, but there was no way I could get to them. 

So now, I guess the objective is to get back into fitness, probably running 5-6 times a week, for some weeks. The good thing is that when running 4 or 5km at a time, it doesn't take too long :) I don;t have to reserve a large period of time.

The other pleasing factor is that I seem to have kept the speed, my body doesn;t accept me slipping back to my speeds from a year ago

 

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