Running up to the Copenhagen Marathon!

I actually started running up to the Copenhagen Marathon on New Year’s Eve by running the Sylvester Cross. I realise, from the commemorative tiles that I have been awarded, that I have now run this 5 years in a row. Its a mix of sand dunes and wooded area. The recreation run consists of up to 3 rounds totalling some 9 km. There is the option to “finish” after each round. Every year it feels as if the race organisors have piled on more sand. This year was no exception. It was very very busy. In the first round we even had to walk by a rather narrow bit of forest. Putting the shuffling to one side – it was a rather special race. It was the first that I experienced on a Saturday and it was packed with dad’s running with sons and daughters.

The positive thing was that by the third round most people had opted to stop in the earlier rounds so I pretty much had the field to myself! The end of the second round was the toughest. It ends and the third round begins in the deep sand. The temptation to bail out after the second round is very tempting. Once through the sand then the wooded part was already very familiar. A nice temprature, although by this time I was down to my T-shirt (in December!!!) and easy under foot. The “stewards” were looking to pack up the course as I completed my final round and we exchanged pleasantries. These are great people that make it happen every year.

Sylvester Cross 2016 - start of running up to Copenhagen Marathon

Succesfully completed!

Selecting the Copenhagen Marathon

It was not until the next day, New Year’s Day, that I actually made my marathon selection. My husband, Joost, was the stimulator. 2016 for me was marathon free and he had also detected that I needed a goal to kick up my enthusiasm. I grabbed Stans van der Poel’s “Ik, hardloper” (I, the runner) and found her scheme for 19 weeeks training for the marathon. I counted forward  – mid May was the earliest. It then boiled to which weekend we were not already booked and a little weighting to which city we have yet to visit and, hey presto! Copenhagen. Oh yes, it helped that it is described as a flat marathon 😉

A Little Help

Stan’s philosophy is not running a lot but running cleverly. The maximum individual training is 14 klms. When I tell people this they 1. do not believe me and 2. think that they too can run a marathon. This will be my 8th marathon and I ran with this scheme in Dublin and it really worked! And yes the statement is also true!

I began enthousiastically with 8 km, which turned out to be just over 9 km. The Bergse Runners held their first run of the year. I joined and ran with the “hard core” from Group 1. This was a real “wake up” call as we ran just over 10 km (training target 5km – whoops) and I realised how much work there was to do. Running with no goal sometimes 3 or 4 times and sometimes less, has left its toll. The additional trainings in the first week were 3 and 5 kms, respectively. I am also practicing the special breathing that Stans advocates – this includes: two minutes of breathing in through your nose, beathing out through your nose and pause after the breathing out. Make sure that you breath out longer than you breath in. The result is a reduction in your heart rate.

Change of Diet

In addition to the scheme and breathing, I am have also changed my diet. This time of the year is always a challenge, even with the “new year” start there are so many New Year reception that its tricky to stick to a new way of eating. That said I am quite pleased with how its going. I am eating many more vegetables, sprouting things and even purchased some wheat grass and apple cider vinegar (the latter for better digestion in the stomach – balancing of pH). The wheat grass is really disgusting and I cannot say that I am getting used to it but it is going down more easily. The first direct result is that I am going to the loo more frequently so at least I know that its having an effect! I will keep you posted!