Chase Great – Feel great

With the Olympic Games starting today I reflect my own experience running my first full Marathon 3 years ago. Be honest – do you still have it on your life tick box as a to do ?

Do you keep saying I get exhausted after 3 miles walk – how could I ever run 26.2 miles ? Well – welcome to the club, I kept saying the same, but this year I am going to run my fourth marathon. I am convinced, that if you don´t have a serious disease which prevents you from getting it started – everybody can do it. After passing the finish line, to me it was such a feeling of being proud about myself. The maximum amount of endorphines circulating in your veines remains for days and provides you with such an energy which enables you to get things done, start new projects or gives you a total different angle on something you thought you might did right for years, but you haven´t. So what have I done to achieve this goal?

1. preparation is key

Even if I said everybody can do it, it doesn´t mean that you can do it from the scratch. The right preparation is key to success. Today you have endless opportunities to do a research on training plans, nutritions, shoes or gadgets like running watches or mobile apps. Take your time to do it. There are many ways, opinions and advises on how to do it – and many of them are right. There is no single way of doing it perfect. Use best cases like you would do it in your job and transfer it to your own style and condition. Try it out what feels best for you. Some of you may like to do training hours in the morning – others late after work. Listen to your body what feels best. I read many websites, blogs, articles or journals to find my own style and equipment. You would do it for any work related project too. Just one advice – less is more. Find some nice shorts and shirt, buy comfortable shoes in a specialized store (not online) and get yourself a nice sports watch – that´s it. All this energy drinks and sports nutrition to me is useless. Lot´s of water and a banana is doing the same. I prefer a sports watch over an sports app because I don´t want to be distracted while running. When I run I focus on my performance and my goal. When you carry your phone with you to get the running apps working you can always be distracted by incoming calls or messages. (don´t tell me you switch it off) Secondly – if you´re training long distances there is always the chance to have some rain (I am living in Ireland) which may can kill your phone – even equipped with plastic protection.

2. Set milestones – be patient

Do you want to achieve your target quick? You won´t do it when you prepare for a marathon. You will win in small steps. Depending on your fitness level start with small distances but do them regularly. Look for some fun runs and competitions in your area like 5 K runs, family runs. No matter what it is, but subscribe to them because they are your commitment to keep on training. Subscribe to other runs in the nearer future which will be your next achievable goal. Keep it going. You can set yourself a monthly target as well in regards to the amount of miles you want to run in 4 weeks. This keeps you flexible on the time commitment you have on this. Whatever it is, be patient and don´t over pace. Rome was´t built in a day. Give yourself easy 5 months at least to prepare. To me it worked really well to run in the first month some 5K, in the second month some 10 K, in the third month some 10 miles, in the fourth month two half marathons and in the fifth month one or two 30 K to test how far I could go. Always allow yourself as much breaks as you need. Your body will tell you.

3. Be realistic

When you run your first marathon, the only goal you can have – is finishing it. It is about the run itself – and it is about your health and condition. We´re all no pro athletes – it is our hobby and spare time. So you should enjoy it and don´t make it a torture. You will see, a marathon is not as an individual sports as you think. You will be surprised about the vibes and buzz when you do your wave starts among thousands of others. People are running with you on the track for a certain period, push and encourage you and pull you as well. Don´t go too fast at the start. Many unexperienced runners are doing it because they are excited about the people and supporters. I always knew what I wanted to run per kilometer and had a keen view on my watch to measure it. During training you will quickly find out what your best pace per km is. Stick to it all the time and not to be as fast as the people in front of you – even if you get overtaken multiple times. It is not about them – it is about you.

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Do you have this adventure still on you life tick box ? Tell me your experiences ?

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My Marathon Short Story

My thoughts during a full marathon in
Kilometres.

0-5 Km – Great day, great run. Lovely people. I like this crowd. Today I definitely will beat my personal best (Pb)
5-10 Km – I need to find my own pace. When will all these people go out of my way.  I feel really good. Wow,  how fast I am. Everything goes easy.
10-15 Km – I should have subscribed for a faster start time. I am far ahead of the pacemaker. I am thirsty now.
15-20 Km – When I go on with this pace the time should not be too bad. Wow,  only 20 Km so far.
20-25 Km – I can go for a short moment. i was very fast at the beginning. Why is this adipose guy still in front of me?
25-30 Km – Was this wind from the front all the time there?  It makes me f**king slow. The runners around me are annoying.
30-35 Km – I hate running. What a stupid idea. I hate you as well pacemaker for passing by.
35-40 Km – PB is not relevant. If I ever should finish it was definitely my last run. Where is the f**king waterstation?
40-finish Km – Can all this bloody people please stop shouting at me?  I can’t get faster and I don’t care about the fat man finishing before me. Never, ever again.

Finish + 30 minutes – (full of endorphins) what a great run, what a great experience. I love the crowd. Looking forward to the next one.

To be continued.

Haruki Murakimi about long-distance running and writing novels

What I Talk About When I Talk About RunningWhat I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A really nice book and I enjoyed reading it. A running novelist, a writer who runs. At least a normal human who writes about challenges of getting older as a man and a sportsman. It is easy reading while commuting with a train or bus and paints nice pictures about races, tracks, sceneries, landscapes. It is a different kind of approach of describing long-distance running from an open and honest perspective. It is definitely NOT written as a guidline how to run a marathon, what gadgets or shoes do you need and what kind of training will be advisable.
It is about a man who tells about how he enjoys running. He could even tell you this at an open fire place with a reasonable glass of red wine.
I am myself a long-distance runner as well. Having the same kind of frequency running one full marathon a year. But I am definitely not as addicted as the author running every day. I felt a little bit embarressed and jealous while reading about his stamina and will. At the end it motivated me to train a bit harder. It was worth it.

View all my reviews

streaming is like fastfood

Recently some incidents occurred that made be re-think my way of consuming music. Mostly the kind of music to go. Raised up in the analog age where a walkman was a walkman and not simply a branding for mobile devices proving some music features like playlists or boom bass. (Pretty ridicolous when you know a sound of a ghetto blaster). One of these incidents was the announcement by Tim Cook to stop development and production of the iPod classic due to lack of spare parts. This suddenly drove me to use my beloved 30GB 2nd generation device more than usual and I sometimes noticed myself touching it in a tender way. Since this announcement I do take care for this dying species knowing that soon there will be no possibility to get it repaired if something should happen. But what should happen apart from an water incident by too much rain or just by gravity?

This tiny fellow with some 3K songs I carry along with me while commuting to work works propperly and is not showing any sign of weakness. It is great because of its simplicity. It is literally classic. The very, very most important thing which makes this device a classic device is the lack of internet connectivity. This is really the point. Honestly – I have not been aware of it or haven´t even thought about it since I recently read a quote from Haruki Marakumi. In his book “What I talk about when I talk about running” he talked about what kind of device he uses while running cause he enjoys listening to music. He prefers using a MD player instead of using a mp3 player. His reason for this is that he thinks that music and pc do not fit together. They should be seperated. This was the second incident cause it made me think and I agree 100% even if I do not adapt this totally because I still use my iPod classic. To me it is more about listening to music and being at the same time connected to the internet is not the right thing. It disturbs the real interaction with the songs having in your ear. You lose your focus on what you listen because you divide your attraction.

To be frank. For two years I was a heavy user of spotify with a premium account. I absolutey loved this app running on my smartphone and tablet. Specifically I loved the possibility finding and listening to old records which I do only own on vinyl like e.g. Foreigners “Head Games”. I did not use the playlists cause I prefer to choose my own kind of music but the variety of music is amazing. Commuting by train, cycling to work or walking the dogs – I took my phone, started the app and began searching and searching. I started a song, listenened to it for 2 minutes, skipped to a next one and had already the next artist in mind. But I did not listened to one single, complete album like I did in the past. More and more I felt lost cause I did not really know what I wanted to listen next. The choice is too overwhelming and causes a overstimulation. Additonally while being online by nature I answered emails or responded on social network interaction. I was not with the artist.

Don´t get me wrong and I know it sounds oldschool (a consequence of my age for sure) – I do understand and appreciate all the advantages of streaming music. Mostly you have a big choice, flexibility and you save much money (even not so good for the artist cause they do suffer because of this low price policy) but – because I really do like to listen to an album, I prefer listen to it without anz kind of distraction. So I went back to my iPod classic. No Wi-Fi, no bluetooth, no 4 G or any other thing. Just pure music. Now when I bought an album (I never used file sharing cause the quality is disgusting) it feels a bit like in the old times when I e.g. listened to the Back in Black album the very first time after Bon Scotts death. It was like heaven and I did not skip any song. I worked myself through from “Hells Bells” to “Rockn Roll ain´t no Pollution” This is how listening to music should be. I do it less now – but with more intensity and joy. Streaming music is like having fast food. I prefer a propper dinner and a nice glass of wine.

ipodclassic

ipodclassic

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