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Week 1/13 Amsterdam Marathon Training

July 24, 2011
Van Leer Brug, a drawbridge in Vreeland

Image via Wikipedia

My week began with a visit to our trainer at the Bergse Runners Club, Mark Hilberts to obtain a new training programme for the Amsterdam Marathon. He supported me for the Paris Marathon. He knows that I can be a rather ambitious and try to “run before I can walk”. I also (now) realise that I must listen to him. As my friend on Saturday advised, he advised more training at 10 klm per hour rather than forcing myself and running too fast at the start.

Its only 13 weeks before the Amsterdam Marathon (16th October) so its an intensive programme – as he knows what I can do and that I run 4 x a week, he designed it to have 4 runs a week (except in rest weeks).

Key points for me:

more rest (ummm.. . so trying to cram 25 hrs into the day by borrowing a bit from the next day won’t work?!);

more control; and

more management

He explained to me about “periodiseren” training, i.e. training in periods of three week blocks, with two weeks increasing in intensity and the third week a rest week. The next block of three is even more intensive and includes a rest week in the third week. In this way you build up in steps, with a rest week before the next step.

He also explained that I should alternate the trainings through the week: hard; easy; hard … i.e. never two hard trainings two days in a row.

A further recommendation: go to the doctor and have a general blood test for “standard” blood values including cholesterol – I am a fan of this and usually have my blood tested with our company in the USA by Spectracell so I am curious to know which values they will test. Finally to be tested by a Sports Doctor who will undertake more intensive tests, such as photographing my heart.

In short this will check my condition after the last marathon and see how well prepared my body is for the next one.

Having received the programme Monday evening it was going to be tough to cram it into the week. I already had already done some weight training and general fitness (including 40 mins cardio) on Monday. Tuesday was a bit crammed time wise so I ran 5 klm at 10 klm per hour plus 15 min stomach exercises. Wednesday morning the same.

Wednesday evening is the BRC night. What fun we had! proving that you only have to look around you to find HILLS in The Netherlands. We jogged to the next village (warming up in between) – some 5 – 6 klm. Here there is a cycle tunnel under the road with also steps for pedestrians. It difficult to explain exactly what we did but it involved jogging slowly to the tunnel then running as fast as we could through the tunnel, round a gate to go up the steps back down again, through the tunnel and up the steps on the other side of the road, before jogging/dribbling round to take some rest and then gallop into the tunnel again! Hope that you get the picture!! This we did 6 times. It’s miserable to be the last so I also kept our tail-ender company – she beat me to the steps in the tunnel!! We then continued our run around the village – splitting into two groups to allow one group to run a little further and at a faster pace, before meeting up again for the cooling down.

Thursday I ran 10 klm at 10 klm per hour on the running machine. I had “Autovisie” to keep me company and a few other things to read to keep my mind off the excitement.

Friday training – handy as I had to be at a seminar at 10 am in Hoofddorp so the 5klm at 11 klm per hour (5.30 per klm) was great to slot in. I mislogged my Runkeeper but nevertheless could use it to keep track of the speed so it worked out very well.

Saturday – I could have a little lie-in as nothing that time required in the day. Still I had no intention of taking the entire morning up with running! The schedule said 22 klm at a 10klm per hour pace. From my previous training I knew roughly where I needed to run to hit 22 klm but was not overly sure so I had a few options in my head for the last part of I needed more klms.

I set out towards the north end of the village in the direction of Weesp. I set the Runkeeper. At some stage I also wanted to do some warming up so when I reached the end of the village I paused RK and did some exercises to warm up. I re-set and carried on. The pace was exactly as I wanted – it felt very slow and I wanted to get a move on – especially as my head was playing with ideas of all the things that I wanted to do that day. As I came to the main road I looked to my right. I could see a boat waiting to go under the bridge, which was still down. As I ran onto the bridge the red lights started flashing – quick, quick!!! sprint! I did and just reached the other side of the bridge as the “arm” to prevent cars (and runners) from crossing the bridge across the Vecht was coming down. I ducked under it and ran on, slowing down to my required pace. Phewee!!

I ran round the corner onto the road to Nichtevecht – agh! what a wind! Still I was enjoying the dry. Just before I came out it had rained but cleared up the moment I stepped out of the house. I hate to be too warm, so I had left my waterproof jacket at home. I little further and the road turned so that I no longer had a head wind AND the sun began to shine – fab!

I always enjoy seeing our village, Nederhorst den Berg, from “the other side” of the Vecht and it looked really great today. Everywhere was green due to the rains that we have had and the aromas were super!

Its so social – dog walkers, cyclists, even a few other runners – all smiling and saying hello, good morning…I debated about taking the longer run to along the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal at the end of Nichtevecht. No, stick to the original plan and run along the Vecht to Vreeland. Again always a pleasant run.

As I approached the house boats just before Vreeland, I was struck by the number of Storks there are around us at the moment. I saw three adults in the field and a little head sticking out of a nest on top of a tall chimney. A little further along and 3 more of these huge birds were soaring and almost floating on the wind. They landed gracefully in the field and were followed by two more. 5 storks in one place! To demonstrate how strong they are, at almost the same time a pigeon tried to take the same route. He was violently shot back by the wind and could not fly into it!

Further along –  tempted to take the longer route around the outside of Vreeland. No, stick to the original plan and add on the small island, if needs be – its better for klm control – otherwise I could run much further and be tempted to quicken the pace to lessen the time…

Through Vreeland and over the Vecht again – a sharp little pointy bridge outside one of my favourite restaurants, De Nederlanden. I am now about 16 klm and legs were not fond of the pointy bridge!

Now a nice relaxed run along the other side of the Vecht, past the Polo field and on the next bridge (also past another stork’s nest!) – which was just opening as I arrived – just to late to make the sprint. However this is over a lock and there is a very precarious bit that I could walk over so, I pause Runkeeper and carefully negotiate the plank across to the other side. RK back on and I continue.

As I suspected, I needed to add the small island to my run. Sun is climbing quite high – its just past 11am and getting very hot. Good job I brought my water bottle with Winrgy our vitamin drink – I really needed it on this run. To be sure, I added a little bit of the village and ran past the supermarket in the direction of home. STILL on time and pace – quite amazing! RK shows a slightly slower average time than I did as I always seem to muck up the stopping part! Wow I was hot and sweaty and gritty from the salt that I had sweated out. BUT – boy did it feel good. First week complete and all on target!


4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 28, 2011 11:35 pm

    Interesting reading about your runs! I dont know that I could recall mine with such precision, but maybe I’ll try 🙂


  1. Wk 2/13 Amsterdam Marathon Training completed! « Every Run's a Winner
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