Dress rehearsal. Last long run before the marathon for conservation.

A birder on the run.

Go, Gunnar Go!
Go, Gunnar Go!

If you wonder why I am writing about running on my birding blog, it is because I have made the marathon on May 31 to a fundraiser for Conservation along the Satipo road. If this is new to you, I suggest you check out my previous blogpost on the Marathon for conservation.

Long runs

Last weekend I ran a 32km run, which was the culmination of building kilometers in the short time (only 5 and half weeks in total) I had to prepare for the Marathon. The mileage and long runs prepare the body to endure and to get used to burning fat, when the glycogen stores become depleted. Depleted glycogen stores in the muscles is the physiological condition of the famous “Wall” that sets in around 30-34km for many runners. At this point you just have to slow down. The long runs have been deliberately slow at around 6min/km or more and gradually accustom the body to be able to endure a run that lasts more than 3 hours. Here are the long runs that I have logged prior to today:

  • Apr 26: 22km 2:20H @ 6:21min/km speed.
  • May 3: 26km 2:31H @ 5:48min/km speed. Training with Juan Liziola, who is also running the Marathon
  • May 11: 30km 3:03H @ 6:05min/km speed.
  • May 17: 32km 3:11H @ 5:57min/km speed.

Training for Marathon speed.

During that last long run I threw in 4 intervals of 2 km with 5min/km which is a speed I can maintain for quite long, but probably not a whole marathon. It is also the speed needed to qualify for Boston Marathon for my age group (45-49). The idea was to practice race speed in small portions during a very long run. After that long run I needed two days of rest for my muscles to be again ready for training. On Wednesday I made a 14.5 k marathon speed run at it went very well. I managed to hold the sub 5min/km speed through-out the course. The plan was to also run a marathon speed training session of 10-15km on Friday, but when I set off I noticed my legs were heave and stiff. I turned around at 2km and thus only made 4km. It was clear I needed more rest. Today it was dress-rehearsal. I had decided I should try to do a half marathon at 5min/km speed. Running a marathon is just as much running with your head as with your legs. If you know exactly how the course is laid out, it is easier to motivate yourself during the race.

Lima Marathon May 31, 2009. Click on picture to see larger size.
Click on picture to see larger size.

During my training I have run on most of the roads mentioned. I know therefore, that after 1km of downhill, then comes two km of uphill, followed by mostly downhill of total 120m drop for 21km. This means that at the half marathon point the my time should be very good as it has been mainly downhill. Then real challenge begin. The last 18km contains total altitude gain of 100m, with 80m constant uphill during the last 8km. Therefore, I thought it was a good idea to do today’s dress rehearsal of the last 14km of the race. This prepares me well psychologically. I know what to expect. In total I ran 22km today fantastically well at 1:44:31 which makes a 4:58min/km speed. I know that I will loose time during the last part of the race, but I am also aware that I could qualify to Boston Marathon if I only could  maintain that same speed. I am now mentally prepared to run the Marathon next weekend. Hopefully, I can make a very good time to be able to raise more money for conserving the  birds and the forests along the old Satipo road. If you want to help me achieve this, please check out the pledge page.

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