Mörfelden Staffelmarathon


A few weeks ago I saw an email from Stephan, from TCEC, asking if anyone fancied running in the Mörfelden Staffelmarathon (relay). I am trying to race myself fit at the moment, so jumped at the chance. I ate too much cake on Saturday, so work up weighing 81kg, but I know that my true weight is 79kg at the moment.

Lex Laufexperten

Lex Laufexperten, a running shop chain, had quite a few teams signed up for the Staffelmarathon.  They were kind enough to cover the entry fees for us too, which was good of them.  I seemed to have been put onto the ‘fast’ team and was given the last leg, which had the bonus of meaning that I didn’t have to be there at 9am, when the race starts, as I wouldn’t run until at least 11am.

I had to get the tram, then 2 trains, then walk to the start in Morfelden. It was no biggie, except that it was absolutely freezing! It was about -10degrees at 9am when I was waiting for 20 minute for the next train at Frankfurt stadium.  I arrived in Morfelden desperate to find a toilet, but couldn’t find one, so I waddled the 15minutes to the start.

Cooold Continue reading “Mörfelden Staffelmarathon”

Berlin Marathon 2016 – 2:55:16 a PB but…


So finally it was time for the Berlin marathon.  I didn’t know what to expect, and that is exactly what I got!  so let’s start at the start and go through my training going into the race.

12 week build up

I had decided that I would do a 12 week build to the race, starting straight after the Maratona.  It would be 3×4 weeks with an easier week every 4th week.  I was aiming to run 100km on my up weeks and obviously less on my down weeks.  My routine for Rotterdam worked well and I wanted to do that again. That means running 8 times a week, with intervals on Wednesday, a ML run on Thursday, an easy double on Friday, and a long run on the weekend. Continue reading “Berlin Marathon 2016 – 2:55:16 a PB but…”

Backeslauf 2016 – Burning in the heat.

I hadn’t raced in a while, not since Rotterdam actually.  I took 1 down week after Rotterdam and then got started on triathlon training.  I have been aiming for 70km per week of running, swim 3 times a week and do what I can on the bike.  Training seems to have been going well, my legs aren’t too happy about the cycling, but swimming is coming along nicely and I am running far more than I usually do post-marathon.

So to the race.  I did this race last year, it is a hilly 14.3km affair.  I cycled to the start in Framersheim, which is about 30km away.  It has been a fairly mild winter, it was rarely really cold, but it also hasn’t been warm at any point in spring, up until now!  There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and it was 25 degrees, a bit warm for my north of England blood.  Anyway before the start I had a good chat with all the regulars and lots of fast runners were there, and most on form as Mainz marathon is in 2 weeks time. Continue reading “Backeslauf 2016 – Burning in the heat.”

Race Report – Lindenseelauf 15km

I haven't been posting my weekly training updates, but I have been fairly religiously following the Jack Daniels' 5-10km plan for the last 9 weeks, whilst slowly increasing the amount I run by 5km every week too.  Last week I ran 96km and I will run 100km this week.  I have also run every day for the last 40 days or so, obviously a big record for me as I doubt I had run 10 days in a row until this streak!

So to the race.  It started at 2:30pm but had to set off at midday to get the tram, train, then bus to the start!.  I was happy to see a few TCEC guys were also doing the race, 3 others doing the 15km and the younger lads all doing the 5km.  It was pretty cold at about 3 degrees, so I wore long sleeves and long tights, but after a few seconds of the race I noticed that everyone ahead of me was wearing shorts, maybe I need to wear shorts too!


I started and straight away there were 5 guys ahead of me, one more passed me after a few hundred metres.  I didn't overtake anyone all day!  I looked at my pace and saw that I was running 3:35/km, too fast but not crazy for the first km.  I settled in and soon realised it would be a lonely run, the guys in front of me had all paced well, and those behind me were well behind me.  I felt a bit tired after 6km, and with 9km still to go I was a little worried, but soon enough I reached the airport which I knew was the furthest point of the course and made the turn.  I realised that we had been ever so slightly climbing for a while, so now I could enjoy the slight downhill, though my pace didn't really show that!

At the 10km marker I made a lap on my GPS, it showed 37:30, 10 seconds outside my 10km PB.  It also meant that I could technically run 19:30 for the last 5km and still beat my main goal time of 57mins.  I still felt strong but after 12km it started to hurt.  My heart rate monitor slipped down, so the readings went crazy, I pushed to hold my pace and felt confident of keeping below 57mins, but 56 seemed a real push as I would have to have a great last few km.  I could hear clapping behind me after I ran past some onlookers, I was worried that that meant that someone was coming up behind me, but I soon saw that it was a race official cyclist, and they were ironically clapping him – phew!.

The last km was ok, I didn't have a sprint left in my legs, but I wasn't dying either.  I crossed the line in 56:28, well inside my goal time, but short of my dream time of 56mins.  A quick look at the Vdot charts shows that it was my best run ever, and equates to a sub 37min 10k and a 1:21low HM, both much better than my PBs.

I think that if I had tapered into the race I could have run a bit faster, but this isn't my goal race, so I am happy that I didn't.  It was also run mainly on trails, not on asphalt.  I think that makes it a little slower, but it is still a good and fast course, they are nice wide trails, hardly technical!  I will definitely be back to do the 10km in Rüsselsheim early in January to try to beat my 10km PB again.

I was 7th place overall, 2nd in my age group so I got some lemonade and a certificate for my troubles!  The other TCEC guys all seemed to have a good race too, Torsten wasn't ecstatic, but I think everyone enjoyed the run.

Next up – Ebersheim Adventslauf on December 13th

Jack Daniels 10k Plan – Week 1

I've decided to start doing the Jack Daniels 10k plan to try to get some structure to my running, and, hopefully, be on top form for Ebersheim Adventslauf on December 13th, where I want to try to go for the win.

I haven't followed a running plan before, but as I have the Jack Daniels Running Formula book, and I have heard good things about it, I chose that one.  It will also be a stepping stone towards Rotterdam marathon in April 2016.  The problem was that I have to select my VDOT.  My garmin showed that my 5k time recently was 18:20 (VDOT 55), though the course was long so I actually finished in 19 (VDOT 53). I also ran a bumpy 10k in 40:08 (VDOT 52) but I was tired post Ironman and it wasn't so flat, so I have decided to go for a VDOT of 55.  My PB half marathon scores best on the VDOT system, and that would be a 57.

Now that I have selected my training paces, I can follow the plan.  The week starts with a long run, but only up to 25% of the total mileage I run per week.  This week I just did a normal 11.5km run to ease into things, in the future it should be a 16-20km run at easy pace (about 5:00/km pace).  On Monday I had a day off as I was climbing for several hours during the day and was pretty tired.  Tuesday was the first workout day: 2 sets of 8x200m in R pace, i.e. 40 seconds for 200m.  I went to the Willy Wacker track to do the workout and was consistently under 40s for the intervals, apart from the first interval, where I was basically guessing the pace needed!

I felt good post-workout, but I had really bad muscle ache in my calves for a few days afterwards (along with arms, chest and shoulders from climbing!!).  On Wednesday I did an easy run with strides, 10.9km with 8 strides.  My guts weren't happy with the gap left between eating and running, something to remember for future runs.  On Thursday I was exhausted, but got out to run 7.3km, it was actually at a decent pace, even though I was planning a really slow run.

Friday was workout 2. 4x200m R pace, then 2×1 T pace, then a final 4x200m R pace.  I had seen this in advance and knew that Jack meant for me to run 2x1mile at T pace (3:56/km) but as I am easing into the quality sessions, I went for 2x1km instead.  I also messed up the paces so ran 3:41 and 3:46 for the 2km.  My legs were still feeling tight before the workout, but actually felt better afterwards!  The T pace was ok, though I was still happy to cut it short this week.  Next week I will have to push through.

Today I ran an 11.5km route at E pace with 8 sets of strides.  I feel like I am getting into my rhythm already as today was much better than the other E days.  I ran at a decent pace (4:55/km) but my HR was quite low at 145.

I plan to follow the plan as closely as possible for the next 11 weeks.  I did 62km in the first week, that will rise to at least 66km this week, maybe 70km.  I will keep the day off for a few weeks, then add in a 7km run, then increase it to a normal run, so I'll be up over 80km by that point.  I don't want to do too much too fast, so increases will be gradual.  I want to try to lose a bit of excess weight too.  I have started well this week, my appetite isn't so high when I just run, cycling always seems to be the killer!

Tomorrow I will run 16km or so at E pace. I think my calves are recovering well, my Skechers Go Ultras are on their way too, so I am confident I will start hitting all of the prescribed workouts in the very near future.