As I limped myself to recovery, its a good time to take a step back and go meta to assess the situation and improve from there.
To begin, I’ll start with the first one which is:
Training. I used Runkeeper’s training program designed by Jeff Gaudette and I have no problem following it. I did missed 2 sessions but with very good reasons and despite the hiccups, I managed to cover all the longer LSDs. The ones I probably may need to fine tune are my pace for LSD (been running at almost race pace), location for my speed works & tempo runs (ran most of it at hilly Taman Tun Fuad) and to dwell into a bit more detail, breathing techniques & running form.
Physical condition. I probably lost more weight in a couple of months this year compared to the whole of 2013. And that leads to getting my runs better, feeling fitter and lighter. I’ve been doing core & weights training on and off at my own time assisted by apps on my phone but now I need to make it a constant, weekly effort. I’m also highly considering attending yoga classes to increase flexibility and breathing techniques. I’ve identified one – Gokul Yoga, and I might try it out one of these days.
Now, to the actual run. I realised I’m easily influenced by other people’s opinion – which I gratefully appreciate, but I definitely need to digest and assess whether it is to my best interest or otherwise.
Time. I really don’t have a clear cut targeted completion time. I’ve trained to complete but further into my training I realised I could probably run and complete it under 6:00 hours. In the future, I will set a realistic time and work towards it. Now I have a benchmark to refer to, I might just aim for a slightly higher finishing time.
Pacer. This to me is a definite MUST. As I mentioned earlier in my previous post, I lost Pammie to her commitments and have been training either alone or with Milly during my LSD. If I were to run any FM in the future, I’ll still choose Pammie but Pammie, if you’re reading this, you better get your ass working my friend because where we are going, its 5:00 baby!
Now, weather plays I gigantic part in marathons, I get that. But I personally sweat A LOT. Bucket loads. When others brought a cup, I might need a jar. Thus comes my next mention –
Hydration. For BIM2014, I brought with me a 235ml (8 oz) Nathan handheld flask. Its definitely not enough and I have to rely heavily on water stations which primarily served water and 100Plus. I mostly dunked water & replenished my flask with water once my ration of Accelerade diminished – which could be the reason for the near cramps I encountered along the way. I do have my stocks of gels with me but for future runs, I probably need to learn to control my fluid intake and balanced them with gels for the FM duration.
Self belief. It may sound corny but mental strength plays an important role and must work in tandem with physical strength (whatever left of it after 30-35km). It worked to an extent especially after the 30km-mark when my 7:30 target pace appear no longer achievable. Rather than panicking, I quickly changed to a ‘run-walk’ strategy and did a ‘fartlek’ like run, picking out targets along the route before stopping for a breather.
Now, these are the main factors which I thought plays a part during my maiden full marathon run last Sunday. Any other thoughts, points come to mind, I’ll update it here.
Till then, AUSF!