Sunday, May 26, 2013

Aiming for Athens - week 3

Another busy week at work, and at home, but I managed to follow the schedule quite well. Running the shorter weekday runs is not too difficult it doesn't need to take up too much time and is manageable in the evenings after work. But the warm and sunny weekend have made me realize that if I'm going to fit in the longer weekend runs later in the program, in the middle of summer, I will probably be forced to start running early Sunday mornings before it gets too hot and that will be a challenge since I'm not a morning person. But I guess I'll have to adjust.

Tuesday: I felt tired and my legs hadn't really recovered from last weeks longrun but I ran 7 kms in the neighborhood. Even though the weather looked like it was going to rain any minute I managed to get back home without getting wet. Running this season is great in any weather, the trees and flowers are amazing and the forest is filled with birdsong.

Thursday: I was not in the mood for running but I reluctantly went out, much too late in the evening , and after running only a few hundred meters everything turned around and I felt so good. Running was fun, and I wasn't feeling as tired as I did just before I went out. The bad mood I was in turned into a really good mood and the bad and boring thoughts I carried with me from a not so good day at work suddenly disappeared. I ran a few hills without feeling too worn out and I once again ended up running longer than planned.

Sunday: It was time for the first magic mile of the Galloway training plan that I'm following so after warming up I ran a mile on the bike path. I have measured it up on google maps and think it is accurate enough. The mile I had measured up more thoroughly and used for magic mile running a few years ago is no longer there because of road construction and a new bridge over the railroad.
  As I started out I hadn't decided weather I would take a walk break or not when running the mile but at halfway I realized that I had been running a bit faster than my current fitness level allowed so I walked for almost a minute before heading on. The time for my first magic mile was 7:54 and even though I'm not going to set a time goal for the marathon I couldn't resist doing the math and see what the time might predict. I also have to be aware that this is only the first magic mile but the time hints towards a finishing time of 4:30 if I run at "full speed". 
  I am not going to run the marathon at full speed though, that is not the way I prefer to run. I enjoy running for experiencing things along the way, taking in the scenery of places that I pass, watching trees, animals, buildings and things and for a marathon in Greece I also hope to get the chance of chatting with fellow runners along the way. Running at full speed might limit the possibility to enjoy the event the way I want to. Nevertheless it was interesting to see what the prediction pointed at.
  Total distance for the week ended up at 24.45km/15.2 miles a bit shorter than last week but this was an easier week according to the plan.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Aiming for Athens - week 2

This week was a bit tougher, maybe not running wise but I had a very hectic week at work which involved too much sitting on trains and meetings. Long days of traveling also made it difficult to get enough sleep. I haven't been able to squeeze in any stretching or strength exercises this week but I'm very pleased that I could fit in the running days according to plan. All the sitting made the legs a bit heavy and stiff at the start of each run but I warmed up pretty quick and after a little while running (run/walking 3/1) was easy and I felt strong.

Tuesday: I celebrated my 53rd birthday with a 53 minute run on the narrow paths. I had a very good time and ended up with 7.55 km even though the plan said less running but I thought I'd cut back a little on the other days of the week to compensate - little did I know.

Thursday: The first really warm and summer like day and I got the chance to run a bit earlier than usual in the afternoon. Even though the temperature was a bit too high I couldn't resist  to go running in the sunshine. First run in shorts for the season. I ran smaller loops not too far away from home with my winter white legs in bright contrast to the marine blue shorts. I had such a great time that I kept adding loop after loop until I finally, after a 9 km run, arrived at home.

Sunday: The plan said 14.1 km and I decided to run a loop that I thought would be around 15 but after 5-6 km I realized that I was wrong and that I would have to run much longer to get back home again. I tried a few shortcuts even though running shortcuts in an area you're not familiar with can turn out even longer. I managed to decrease the distance a little but ran longer than intended for the third time this week. Distance for the week ended up at an (for me) amazing 33.05km/20.5miles. I've also surprised myself with a really good pace and a feeling of being strong. All in all a great week.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Aiming for Athens - week 1

Hopefully this will be a series of posts where I'll reflect on my marathon training. This post will sum up week one of the training and I intend to write down some of my experiences over the weeks to come.

After having a hard time deciding whether I could/should run a marathon or not I finally made up my mind. I decided to give it a try. The Marathon that I have in mind to try is the Athens Classic in November 2013. I am going to follow the Galloway marathon training program and I have chosen the time goal program. I am not going to set myself a time goal though but will run the marathon with a "to finish" approach. The reason why I picked the time goal program is that I think I have a good enough base to start from and feel that I will enjoy the longer distances involved in this program.

I have never run a marathon before, I have done a couple of half marathons and in order to prepare for them I have run slightly longer distances. The longest distance that I've covered is probably around 25km, so in a way this will be exploring uncharted territories. I have been run/walking the Galloway way for a few years and have found that it suits me well. I am confident that the Galloway program will guide me through the training and later on also the race.

Ok let me sum up week one of the training.

I've had a fantastic week of running.

My intention is to run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays but this week I had to swap the days around a bit.

Tuesday: I started my training by running a local 10k race and manged to squeeze one second off my old PR. I finished in 54:03 which I'm very happy with. To me that's a fantastic start to the training. I ran/walked the race with a 3/1 ratio with minor adjustments.

Friday: My daughter Ellen joined me for an easy run/walk which turned out to be more walking than running but after running hard during the race I didn't really mind. She brought her camera and produced the great video that can be seen in the last post. We had a great time together in the forest and I really appreciated her company.

Saturday: The plan called for a long run of 12.1km and I went for a loop that I have used for several weekend runs lately. It is slightly longer but I thought I'd run slow and easy and that one more km would not be harmful. I ended up running a bit faster than I intended but felt good through most of the run. I ran/walked 3/1 this time also. That is the ratio I have come to use on most of my runs and found to be good. The distance for this run turned out to be 13.8km and the total distance for the week ended up at 28.6km/17.8miles. That puts this week among the top 5 distance wise so far this year but probably as number 1 when it comes to the having fun category.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Here is a video produced by my daughter. Take a look and you'll get a glimpse of the Narrow Paths where I enjoy to run.