I will write down some statistics first so that I am able to compare with future marathon-training-cycles:
Race time: 3:16:46 (PB by 30s)
HM 3 weeks before: 1:29:14 (factor 2,21)
10k 5 weeks before: 39:58 (factor 4,92 to M; 2,23 to HM)
weekly average miles last 12 weeks (incl. marathon-race): 44 (70,9 km)
weekly average miles last 12 months: 31 (49,5 km)
10k 23:26, 47:42
15k 22:52, 1:10:33
20k 22:52, 1:33:25
25k 22:55, 1:56:19
30k 22:51, 2:19:09
35k 23:37, 2:42:45
40k 23:44, 3:06:29
M 10:17, 3:16:46, 1:38:11 (2nd HM)
From the start I ran behind the pacemakers for 3:15 hrs. In a field of 13.000 runners we were about 300, maybe 400 runners who followed the pacemakers. The first 10k of the race lead through small streets for such a big event. So we had to deal with the same problems as cyclists in a group do: every curve and every barrier on the streets were very dangerous. I saw 3 people fall in my group in the first half of the race. It got even worse when we came to water stations. Imagine 300 or even 400 runners trying to get water from desks that were maybe between 160 to 260 feet long. We fell over each other and there were several shoves. At one of the water stations, I was tripped by another runner and nearly lost one of my shoes. It was horrible to run in that group! I won´t ever run in such a group again if possible. But I was trapped in that group until halfmarathon, there was no way to run faster and free! That said and seeing my splits, the first 5 k were the slowest of the race (which isn´t bad normally), even the 2nd 5 k were too slow (avg. 5k-time should have been 23:05). So we lost about 90 sec. in the first 10k! Even with such a long distance left that´s a lot of time to catch up! As soon as the pacers were able to run faster, they tried to catch up those 90 sec. Suddenly, we ran in the pace we should do from the start, but it feels hard to push when you´re running slower for 10k. Until 30k, I felt really good and ran exactly the pace that was needed, even if the group ran even faster. But I didn´t have the energy to catch up the time I lost in the first 10k. Also, it was very windy and we had tailwind in the first half of the race where we were trapped in the pack. With legs feeling more and more tired and fighting against the headwind, I got a bit slower from 30k to 40k.
After finishing the race (it´s maybe the greatest destination for a marathon worldwide, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMsNm3nv7ik), I was a bit disappointed to have failed 3:15. But I remembered the following:
- It was my first marathon in 9 years.
- I even ran a personal best by 30 sec. while my times in shorter races were a lot faster 9 years ago.
- I started running again 2 years ago (July 2016) with 5k being the longest possible distance to run for my fitness!
- Maybe it would have been possible to run 3:15 without that lost time in the first 10k. But it´s also possible that I just didn´t have the energy and fitness to run 3:15. Who knows...
There were also some more good points:
- It was the first marathon (of now 5) where I didn´t have any problems with cramps. Maybe I am the most proud about that point. That gives me confidence to run more aggressive in future races.
- The muscle ache the day after isn´t as bad as it were the marathons before.
- Therefore I think the most important points were the training tips in this blog (running consistent 6 x a week incl. a long run) and a good nutrition strategy during the race (I drank every 5 k and used an energy gel every 30 minutes from the beginning)
- The race motivated me even more to reach for bigger goals!
And I know what to do:
- after a 2-week-break from running, I will try to get into more consistent training.
- I know that the training I did the last weeks is the best for me and I just need to go on.
- I need to get up the mile averages carefully for the year and for the last 12 weeks leading to a marathon.
- I don´t need extraordinary long tempo runs to prepare for a marathon. I did tempo-runs at marathon-pace for about 60 minutes.
- It was a great tip from Sasha about the long runs: I alternated easy long runs (stopped at 3 hours) with some faster long runs the other week: 2 hours with some marathon-pace running or a 10k/HM-race
- I made great experiences with stretching 2 x a day for about 5 minutes, just the main gymnastics. I was free of pain since then (had achilles inflammation and runners knee before)
- I need to lose weight from 75 kg (165 lbs now) to 68 to 70 kg (150 to 155 lbs), my height is 180 cm (70.9 inches)