Last weekend was the time. After eight weeks of preparation I ran a marathon for the first time on Saturday. As you know, there are no competitions due to Corona, so I was without competition, just fighting with my watch and myself.
The final preparations
After I had breakfast on Saturday, there was actually not much more to do before I could finally start running. I filled up my bottles, one with water and the other with ISO powder. For that I put out some gels and two bananas. I also had a few small cans of coke as food. These have with only 150 ml a portion size perfectly suitable for the sport. So nothing could go wrong in sunny autumn weather.
Marathon - The run
Tie your shoes, put on your heart rate belt, pull off the watch. And then it was on. On my four-lap route, a family member always accompanied me on the bike. So I could have a drink or something to eat at any time. It also made me all the more motivated to keep up my pace.
The beginning went pretty well. A bit distracted by the bike I might have started a bit fast but within a reasonable range. After 6 kilometers I took my first gel as planned and drank as needed. The first lap of 10,5 kilometers I did after 56 minutes. A solid intermediate time and so far no problems. I walk a few meters to drink the first can of cola before I start the second lap. It can go on like this for all I care. And it does for quite a while. But towards the end of the third round I notice how my legs become more and more noticeable. Here a pinch in my calf, there a twitch in my thigh. After 2 hours 50 minutes and already 31.5 kilometres I am actually well within the time limit. Another can of cola and a small bite of banana, then my brother euphorically rings in the last round with his bicycle bell.
It gets harder and harder from here. With every step the consideration of whether to slow down a bit swings, but I can't afford that. I am already on the way with only 6:10 min/km. Especially when it is slightly uphill I lack the strength to keep a reasonable pace, but that doesn't matter now. Again and again my companions play the iconic Rocky soundtrack "Eye of the Tiger" to keep me moving. It's all about biting your teeth to stay under the four-hour limit.
Then at some point, it's finally done. I'll run a few more yards... GPS-preventing mistakes before I enjoy the feeling of having made it.
With a few days between us, I would like to draw a small conclusion about my marathon experience. The marathon last weekend was certainly one of the biggest challenges I have ever faced. Especially the last hour was a pure fight with myself and the exhaustion in my legs. Despite a short training phase of eight weeks, I was definitely relatively well prepared. Especially the many endurance kilometers I did on the bike this year were decisive. After a short muscular adjustment I was able to start right away.
Basically, however, I would always recommend a longer-term training for the marathon. Just a few very long runs of 25-30 kilometers would have been helpful. 3-4 months for athletes from other disciplines and at least 6 months for newcomers are reasonable. This way one can react correctly to weaknesses and causes of pain and avoid injuries.