About a week ago my brother told me that he wants to run a virtual marathon at the end of October. Of course, I won't let it be taken away from me and join the project. So today I laced up my shoes for the first time in a long time and set out to train.
Since the whole thing is supposed to be a challenge I set myself a goal of course. I would like to run the 42 kilometers in less than 4 hours. That corresponds to a pace of 5:41 minutes per kilometer.
Me and running
But first some info first. I've actually always walked. As a child I was in the athletics club. While everyone competed in the triathlon (which I wasn't very good at) I always had more fun in the endurance disciplines. So it's hardly surprising that you could see me later on at folk and charity runs. The last such event was a long time ago. 2016 to be exact.
Fitness in marathon preparation
From this year, which was marked by the Corona crisis, I bring a lot of fitness with me. Since February I have ridden a good 10500 kilometres on my bike. Numerous tours with over 200 kilometers, the first time 300 kilometers in one day and at the Dirty Kanzelled also 200 kilometers on the Gravelbike are probably evidence of sufficient Basic endurance.
Marathon: The first training
So on 3.9., just two months before the planned marathon, I was running again for the first time in a long time. Equipped with my Garmin fitness watch, I decided to just run for it for an hour.
Without paying much attention to numbers, I wanted to find out how fast I can currently run.
After the first training I have to say that I am relatively satisfied. On average I was running at a speed of 5:21 min per kilometer, faster than planned for the marathon. That means I managed 12 kilometres in a little more than an hour. But most importantly, I was free of pain and very evenly distributed.
My Heart rate was an average of 168 beats per minute. Considering my cycling experience, I am 10-15 strokes below my threshold. I recorded this with a Forerunner 935 and the integrated heart rate sensor on my wrist. I also use the watch for gravel and mountain bike rides and have always been very satisfied with it.
The traces of the first unit
Of course the first training session did not pass me by without leaving a trace. Cycling and running are fundamentally different in the sequence of movements and the leg muscles are challenged in different ways. Especially with a road bike, you complete long units very calmly and with a very round motion sequence. This is quite easy on the joints.
Running is different. Just as unpractised, the movement process is often rather unround. This is not only exhausting, but also puts a lot of strain on knees, ankles and thighs. So I can't deny that it has pinched my thigh, knee or calf a few times in the evening.
For the coming weeks, my goal will be primarily to get my body used to the noticeably different strain. That means I will leave my bike at least twice a week and start to collect kilometres on foot. Once the joints, muscles and tendons have become accustomed to the movement, more specific units will ensure that I reach my goal.
All in all, I am very confident today that I can achieve my goal. Since I will certainly slow down over the long duration of the virtual marathon, it is good to know that I can start a little faster than needed and thus create a time cushion for myself.
If you have ever run a marathon before, then leave me a few tips for training and the "race day" in the comments