Amphibia – Running a 3 Hour Marathon (Pt 1)
It’s not easy to run a marathon, only about 0.5% of the populations of Western countries have completed one, but it’s exactly why hundreds of thousands of people around the globe set themselves the challenge each year. Sub 3hrs is the Holy Grail for marathon runners, at least the quicker ones! Dont get me wrong – for a beginner it’s all about finishing, then it’s about pushing it under the magic 4hr mark, or just over 6.5 miles per hour, which is a pace of approx 9 minutes per mile… for 26.2 miles. But for the more advanced runners an aim for the future will generally be a sub-3. As it was for me – no mean feat considering a previous PB of 3hr 27mins. But due to the fact that previous races (New York, Paris, Edinburgh etc) had been under the cloud of small ailments or injuries i was fairly confident that if training went well and i could avoid injuries then i could knock 27 minutes off my time.
- Choose the right race – obviously a flat course but nowhere too exciting so i could focus on times. We also had a baby on the way that was due in mid-summer, so it had to be wrapped up before the baby poo hit the fan. After a scan of possible UK and Ireland races i decided upon Cork, a well supported ‘flat’ race at the start of the summer that was easy to get to http://www.corkcitymarathon.ie/
- Training – i followed a couple of basic training plans, taking ideas from both and gradually building up my training for about 3 months. I have a fairly good base of fitness and being a triathlete it offers a good variety of training. I had 2 main aims for my training: Speed & Variety. I had no doubt i would finish the race, so it was all about ensuring i was fast enough to improve my time. With this in mind i conducted more speed/Fartlek sessions than i would have previously and built up the racing distance gradually with 10km races, a ½ marathon (1hr 27min) http://www.dunehalfmarathon.com/ and various triathlon distances. In terms of variety i mentioned already my habit of picking up injuries prior to running races and i can only attribute this to frequency of running alongside old injuries sustained during 30 years of football and a range of other sports. I find if i run more than 3 days in a row i start to get tweaks and niggles, so i aimed to break up run training with a variety of cross training, but particularly cycling. Cycling is great as it also prepares your legs for running, but without the impact. I also did some swimming, limited gym work and yoga. Overall i was happy with my training, didnt fit as much in as i wanted but sometimes life and Amphibia Sports Gear takes over! And so to race day….. to be continued in my next blog!