Marathon runner on dark road

Project Marathon - Day 1

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.

Heart rate curve in marathon training
168 strokes on average, 185 maximum

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.

Training outlook

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

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2 thoughts on “Projekt Marathon – Tag 1”

  1. Hello Moritz, very interesting his project. This immediately reminded me of my first marathon (March this year). I am also a passionate racing cyclist ... I have only been running for 2 1/2 years. I could never imagine how one can hold out a marathon. But exactly that was my motivation - to run a marathon once in my life. I could write down all my memories now, but that's beyond the scope of this article. My tips... The data from your first run should be unique. For your satisfaction in running such times, OK. But now follow a fixed training plan. You can find good plans on the internet, which you can adapt to your times and conditions. 8 weeks preparation time is sporty. Most training plans are 16 weeks. I had also shortened my training plan (due to the road bike) to 12 weeks. Then came Corona... I brought forward my final run once again. In week 10 I ran - also all alone. At the beginning I inserted bike times on my training-free running days. That does not work. You need the rest periods. Don't underestimate the slow, long endurance runs that you need to control your pulse. I don't think it's advisable to "run out" of time at the beginning of your final run either. You need to keep your pulse in check, especially at the beginning. You need the strength for the last kilometers. Believe me. So, draw up a training plan and stick to it. Next, you choose training routes, which you later combine to form the final run, i.e. your final route. That way you will run in sections later on, which helps with the long distance. Begin to test your catering in time. What can you tolerate, what not. Also practice at breakfast. For your day of the final run there should be no gimmicks with food and drinks. Nothing is worse than getting a stomach ache... Get to know your body for this exceptional situation. Do not orientate yourself to your running partner. Run your race, your speed. But you seem to know your body, you are also trained for long distances on a road bike. So am I. But the marathon was a completely new effort. Especially mentally. For the final run one more hint. Plan your breaks where you can drink, also toilet is important. Where or who fills your food belt... Don't run laps, find a nice long distance... and think about your pulse! LG Maik and good luck... In my mind I am already with you (by the way, I set myself the goal to run the marathon with a pace of under 6... I reached my goal... 5:58 pace and total time 4:11 hours - I was satisfied)

    • Hi Maik,

      Thanks for your suggestions. As a cyclist, you appreciate the long and slow training sessions in the GA1 area. Therefore, I will integrate just that more and more. I would like to talk about nutrition, training and route planning in the near future. I only experienced the stomach pain problem you mentioned this year when it was over 30 degrees on my 300 kilometer tour. Then I could neither eat nor drink properly for a few hours and I went straight into the hunger pangs...

      Getting used to it is going quite well so far, controlled pulse and less sore muscles. But more about that in my next article.

      LG Moritz


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