May training report and updates

May is gone, and with lots of sunny, warm days we're officially entering summer period. It looks like it will be a hot one. As usual, I'm publishing my monthly summary for the past month. Enjoy.

Traning numbers in May

This month was a substantial increase over April. I was able to run more often and also further. Speed is still quite behind, but I don't focus on it right now. The primary goal is to continue building the base before I'll start my marathon training - which will happen just in one week!

My Strava training calendar for May, 2018
My Strava training calendar for May, 2018.

My monthly stats in Strava have improved: I've logged 121 km and 16 hours across 27 activities. I know that I've tracked few extra walks and a scooter ride, but in the end, it felt like I've trained more. And that's a good thing.

Wings for Life World Run

On the first Sunday, 8th of May I've run in a run called Wings for Life World Run. It's a worldwide charity event, organized by Wings for Life, a not-for-profit spinal cord research foundation. The Motto of the race is: "Running for those who can’t" - race entry fees and donations contribute towards the research.

Running in London
Happy, on the course of the Wings for Life in Richmond Park, London.

The races take place in cities all over the world, but the primary distinction from other events is that runners don't run towards the finish line. They just run after half hour the "Catcher Car" finish line starts moving, slowly overtaking the participants eliminating them from the race until there's only one winner left.

The event I've joined was held locally in Richmond Park, London. It was much smaller than other runs in major cities in Europe, I wonder why as London is quite a big city. But here it was just organized group run, managed via the global app with the virtual Catcher Car.

The course we're running on was set on the same route like the Parkrun in Richmond Park, roughly 5km loop. The starting point was near the Sheen Gate. Few volunteers were there, handling the organization and handing out some water and RedBulls.

Running in London
Running on the course of Wings For Life World Run in Richmond Park, London, UK

There were not many people, I think maybe around hundred, so less than a typical Parkrun here. I didn't have any particular goal in mind, but I've calculated that I should be able to run 10km and then some more.

We started at noon, and I've set myself to a gentle pace. I did some warmup earlier, jogging slowly from the Richmond station, about 3,5 km - perhaps this was not the best choice.

I've crossed the first lap in good timing, around 27 minutes. But on the second loop, I've already started to feel a bit tired as slowing down. From time to time I've been trying listening to live commentary from the app as it was providing nice motivation boost. Unfortunately, the audio streaming was constantly breaking.

On the course of the second lap, I've met one runner - Sergio. We've run together for a couple kilometers chatting and checking the progress of the catcher car that was slowly getting closer and closer. It was interesting to do it via the app, but I can imagine that it must be much more challenging and fun to do it on the big event with real cars behind. Next year I'll be definitely looking for larger event location.

On the course of the third lap, the fatigue kicked in. After I've crossed 10 km mark, I've felt losing speed and energy. I continued for next few kilometers and got finally overtaken at around 13,5 km. In the end, it was a good effort, one of the longes distances covered by me so far this year (still embarrassingly low, but I'll get better).

Wings for Life World Run
Final moment of the run, getting overtaken by virtual Catcher Car

I've got myself icecreams for the reward and went back home. I've watched the live stream for next couple how hours, it was an exciting thing to watch! One of the athletes I follow and admire, Florian Neuschwander aka runwiththeflow, finished 5th globally, with a staggering distance of 69.54km.

Wings for Life World Run is an event that I want surely repeat in the future. Maybe not in London though, I'd be really keen to experience this kind of atmosphere on a larger scale.

Long run and watching the deer

I've returned to Richmond Park once again, 3 weeks later, for another long run. My initial plan was to make a full loop around the park.

Running in London
One of many beautifull views in Richmond Park, London.

I started from the Richmond Station, towards Cambrian Gate entrance and then followed the paths in the clockwise direction. I was a bit surprised to see more runners on the route. Turns out it was also a location of a small marathon race.

The weather was delightful, and I've enjoyed the park scenery. Of course is a Richmond park, so I've got the pleasure to see some deer quite next to the path. What a great experience!

Running in London
Deer in Richmond Park

Real training starts soon

So far I've made some progress, but I feel like I'm still quite behind. Maybe it's just a feeling, I don't know - I'll find out soon.

In just 8 days I'm starting my 18-week marathon training program. I'm pretty sure I'll follow Novice 2 Marathon Program by Hal Higdon. Years ago I trained for my first marathon with Novice 1, and it was quite okay. If I stick with it, everything should be all right.

Over next week I'm going to do some preparation for the training, I need to set up some rules for myself, think about cross-training, diet and the timing. Lots of things that seemingly didn't play any role in the past, now feel necessary. Wish me luck and keep checking my progress!

Written and maintained with ♥︎ — Jan Kraus, 2007 — 2018