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The Road to Marathon Vienna – Slow Running

December 8, 2013

Are you training to run a Marathon?

Are you training to run the Marathon in Vienna?

Then please contact me via this blog!

STILL the fastest marathon that  have run is my first in Paris, 10th April 2011! Since then I have run a total of 5 marathons (one was somewhere around 50 K in the nearly impossible terrain of the Devon coast of England – where time does not count!).

Paris was 4 hours 26 min. It seems eons away from the “magic” 4 hours. Apart from the UK all the other marathons have been run in under 4 hours 50 mins and then mostly around the 4 hours 30 mark.

Bergse Runners looking very cool before the Midwinterduinloop.

Bergse Runners looking very cool before the Midwinterduinloop.

So what did I do then. For one thing I started training in October. I also received amazing guidance from Bergse Runner trainer Mark Hilberts. He and I have discussed how I seem to have reached a “drempel” (sort of “hobble” but now it seems like a mountain) and seemingly need to do something drastic to break through to the “next level” (I just HATE that expression!!).

So its time to start LISTENING to the expert and just DO what he says. I started training 5 weeks ago. Mark arranges the programme in blocks of 3 weeks. The third of the three weeks is a rest week and the three weeks that follow are tougher than the previous three weeks. It’s a very personal programme. At the end of each three week block I e-mail back the “results” of my training. The results are reported as times; heart rate; weight; fat percentage; muscle weight; how easy/difficult I found the training to be.

So far the programme has been extremely varied. It includes interval training, crosses (running in forests, mud, etc.), intensive training and slow running.

Slow running is one of my main focuses. In order to run faster I need to get my heart rate down. This is being achieved by slow running. It brings a new meaning to LSD – see this Wiki article:

In reality, it’s a real head breaker. My fastest half marathon is 1 hour 46 minutes and I my slowest competitive half is 2 minutes over the 2 hours. Its killing me to run 21 k in training in c. 2 hours 20 mins. OR even running 2 hours and only reaching 18 k. HOWEVER – it’s about a CHANGE of GOAL and a DIFFERENT FOCUS. I AM DELIGHTED when I have run for over 2 hours and my heart rate has stayed for the most part in the 125 – 135 range and not gone above 145!

It means that I am running 1 k in over 7 mins. HAHA! I hear you cry – some of you could walk faster.

It is working. We repeated an interval training of 5 weeks ago. We ran 3x 4x 300 metres at D4 (that’s fast but just not killing yourself) and I was consistent 10 seconds faster than the same training previously.

Its also a great way to clear your head. Knowing that for the next 2 hours you just have to run at a low heart rate. No pressure on how far and how fast. Just poddling along… it’s a great form of meditation.

Attached is a link to runkeeper of the last slow running of 2 hours 20 min that I ran:

As a test – I was “allowed” to run 7,6 km as fast as I could (gradually building up, of course), in the Midwinterduinloop yesterday. I ran a reasonably consistent 11,9 km per hour – very pleased. What was most fun was that 11 other Bergse Runners also ran.

If you would like more information about my training programme to date – contact me via this blog.

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