Reflecting on this year, my training and races, it proved a very satisfying time. First year that I tackled more than a single race and pushed myself hard to try and find these so-called limits. Not easy but as one of my inspiration said, it’s all about going further and further in order to learn about them.
This years goal was the Marathon – 42.195km – distance which I failed to achieve. It started well with the preparation and as early as January with the Paris Half-Marathon which was held on the 6th of March, as part of my official training plan in order to race the Geneva Marathon on the 8th of May. But well, that never happened.
Paris went well, it was an easy day, cold temperature and a course I knew well, having ran it twice in the past. It just went smooth and I reached my personal best, 14 minutes faster than in 2015 but yeah, hard running in the 5 months before had me change my body completely, losing some 20kg. I think it helped… As some say in motor sport, light is right and it probably applies to running too.
But anyway and back to the simple reason behind me failing to reach the distance or let’s say, even taking the start of that Marathon. It was because of my training plan. I’ve been a runner since 3 years but not with a real commitment or training plan. Just relying on my belief and not really listening or taking advice as possible and truly good information. So yeah, back to it, I just ran, more or less the same distance that I’ve always ran in the past, more or less 30km a week. And again, thinking I could just go for a Marathon, I just decided to have my first and proper long distance run, a 30km on a Saturday morning, 3 weeks before…
Funny is that as usual, I just went for it, running at an average pace of 4:20/km. It went well for the first 23km and then I just started to fade with a little pain appearing in my right knee. I tryed to get the pace a tiny bit slower but well, not enough and from the 25km I just couldn’t run anymore and finished the 30km training walking myself back while my three other running buddies did complete it at an average pace of 4:35/km without falling apart.
Getting back to Geneva, I went and saw my buddies which were having a coffee with other runners, I kept it cool and easy, yeah, that’s how I described it when coming back and more or less thought it would be alright in the next couple of days but it wasn’t to be this way. I just couldn’t run anymore and went to see a doctor and physio as well as a chiropractor the coming week. All said one thing, REST and DON’T RUN for at least 3 weeks. This was in effect the end of my “plan” and Marathon goal.
For the first time, I listened to the doctors, possibly because of a previous running injury I sustained a year before that with my ankle going a little bit funny but yeah, I had a knee tendinitis and therefore, only rest, stretch and easy indoor training and spinning would help. And yeah, I took it for granted and just went to the gym almost every day for 2 weeks to keep fit and build on strength and core training…
Those two weeks were far from easy as I couldn’t run, possibly it was worst than being injured as it took something of my routine and I had to sort of move everything around in order to be happy but I kept on going to the gym.
And then, after two weeks, as the usual mental madness took over, I started running again, very easy peasy, on the week of the Marathon as well as going to the gym aside. The first run felt very good and after those two weeks of monster stretching and spinning, I started to see the light..! And I entered the Half-Marathon instead of the full distance on the Friday with almost no proper training in the previous weeks and possibly two small runs during that same week.
And it all went fine, I just finished the race on the Sunday with a time of 1hr32:14min which proved to be good compared to the Paris Half-Marathon which was my PB with a time of 1hr31:08min, 2 months earlier. I just think the mental made me do it and the body and knee were on the verge of being back in the game. Just me giving it a good go as I usually tend to do in any situation anyway but not something to considered as safe and intelligent of course.
But there was a conclusion and something I did learn here, funny is that I remember one of my running pals saying something about that and which was “remember the 10% rule”. Which is in situ that you should never stretch your weekly training more than that if you want to keep it safe… And yeah, I should have listened. As said earlier, my training up to that point only consisted of 2 weekly 10km run and a longer one of about 15km on the weekends. Giving it everything while trying to keep up with people which had been running for longer than I ever did and which were certainly more experienced. And no, that wasn’t the way to go. Also I had never really considered building any strength or core in order to help my body sustaining all that, I was just a normal guy giving it all or let’s possibly say, a clueless runner! And well, that’s what I actually started considering after…
To be continued… Louis.