Tag Archives: Stanchart Marathon

2011 Stanchart Nairobi Marathon Training Week 7

“The marathon is a charismatic event. It has everything. It has drama. It has competition. It has camaraderie. It has heroism. Every jogger can’t dream of being an Olympic champion, but he can dream of finishing a marathon.” Fred Lebow, New York Marathon founder.

After seven weeks on marathon training for 2011 Stanchart marathon, everything is going like clock. I have been very consistent with my training: 3 speed works in a week plus a long run on Sunday. Every day am feeling more confident of achieving a sub 3 hours marathon.

The last week consisted of intense speed works. I did Basso 800 on Wednesday, followed 10ks speed runs on Thursday and Friday. I feel am getting more benefits from this speed work because they are really challenging my body. During the runs I can feel the strain on my lungs and feet but at the finish I feel relaxed and satisfied.

I have been working on my feet movement, especially on my landing, to try and get the perfect foot strike. I have tried landing on my forefoot, mid foot, heel and I have found landing on my heel seems to work for me. There is no answer to the perfect foot strike, you have to experiment and see what works for you.

Another important area of focus is hydration. I have been seriously water loading. Drinking plenty of water is important to ensure quick recovery.

This week I will miss my Sunday long run because I will be traveling. The trip had been planned months in advance and there is no way I can cancel it. I don’t plan to try to recover it when I come back, I will just skip it and restart my training next week.

upward and forwards.

 

 

Race Report : 2009 Stanchart Marathon Results

2009 Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon. I finished in a time of 2:57:29, one minute slower than 2008…..a rather disappointing race.

Pre Race

I travelled from Embu to Nairobi on Saturday. When I arrived in the city I realised I had forgotten my racing short back home and I had to buy a new short. Luckily I had arrived early and I had time to go shopping and buy a new Reebok short.

A friend of mine was working at the marathon secretariat and he invited me to the offices. The lifts at the building were not working and I was forced to walk up nine floors.(what a waste of my energy)

Instead of staying in a hotel I stayed at the home of my childhood friend Alex who lives a walking distance from Nyayo Stadium, the start and finish area of the marathon. Alex and his girlfriend Miriam were running the half marathon.

The Race

The first kilometres were fast. I had trained to run at a pace of 4 minutes a Kilometre. I had hoped to see a 5K mark and calculate whether I was within my pace but I never saw any markings of distance. In the runners guide it was indicated there would be markings every 5K but this was lacking on the course.  SHAME ON THE ORGANISERS! Without markings I just followed the fast moving crowd and made my own mental estimates.

As usual my breathing was hard at the start but I knew things would get better and easier the longer I kept running. After 1 hour of running my breathing never got easier, I guese I was running faster than my planned pace. After 1 hour 15 minutes we hooked up with the half marathon crowd and the course now got more crowded. I found myself weaving from side to side trying to overtake the half marathon runners.

I got back at Nyayo stadium at 1 hour 35 minutes, at this point the half marathon runners headed towards the finish line while the full marathon runners were supposed to repeat the circuit. After parting with the half marathon crowd, I looked ahead of me and shocked to see an almost empty road, it was clear many of full marathon runners had decided to drop out of the race at that point. The idea of repeating the circuit was too bitter to swallow for many runners!

Doing the second circuit was hard because I was running alone. It is at this point when it started raining and I remember at one time I thought………this sucks am done with marathons!……… Although my legs were feeling fine my chest was having a harder time. Make no mistake, I wanted to go faster…I would look at my watch and say ok legs, lets speeeeedup! and I would think I was going faster, but then I would check the watch a little while later and, nope, no faster!

After 2 hours and 10 minutes of running I got at the final turning point and I was now on the home stretch. At this point I could feel the smell of fresh bread from a bakery on the route. The smell of bread induced a feeling of hunger. I started having this imagination of eat a post race meat pie. I guese I was getting delusional!

As the clock hit 2.40, the finish line was out of sight and it was clear my goal of 2.45 finish was way way out of reach. My target now was to atleast match my PB.At this point I met up with Miriam, my friend’s Girlfriend. The half marathon was proving too hard for her to handle. As I overtook her she tried to run after me begging me to wait for her……….I just couldn’t…nothing personal!

Luckily for me a determined young lady who had an elite badge on her chest caught up with me at this point. I chased her tooth and nail. Although it was physically hard on me she kept me on my toes. She was my white knight, she pulled me to the end. We crossed the finish line together at 2 hours 57 minutes 26 seconds. Uh! what a relief. At least I stayed under 3 hours.

After The race

My recovery has astonished me. Two days after the race and am feeling like I can run another marathon next weekend.

With the 2009 Marathon gone I can’t wait for next year. 2010 I will have another opportunity to get a crack at it. 2.45 is my target.

StanChart Marathon Training Week 20 : Tapering

After 5 months of marathon training I finally did my last long run. It was a 37K run that took me over 3 hrs 15 minutes to finish. My initial plan was to do a 34K final run but when I got at the 17K turning point I was having so much fun and my inner voice said ¨Come on you are having so much fun, dont stop now” I guese it all started on Saturday, I spent the afternoon listening to the classic song ‘dont stop me now, am having such a good time’ by Queen

Am even thinking of making the song my official humming song when I run Stanchart marathon in two weeks time. Humming a song as you run can inspire you to run stronger and faster.

I had prepared well for this final run, I made sure I carried a bottle of water to keep me hydrated. Last year I finished my last run, cramping and feeling sore feet. I wasted a whole week without any training, recovering from the after effects.

Two days after the run am not feeling any negative reaction. Instead of the usual two days rest I have given myself an extra day of rest to ensure full rest and recovery.

My tapering plan is to do speed works to maintain (or even improve) my cardiovascular fitness.

StanChart Marathon Training Week 19, Fatigue & Stretching

Week 19 was supposed to have been the week when I did my final long run (a 34K run) before I start tapering, but I canceled it. I woke on Sunday morning feeling like my legs were cemented on the ground.

The leg fatigue had built up during the week. I did a 28K run on Sunday followed by two 16K runs, on Wednesday and Friday. The two 16K runs were on high tempo. I guess with the 2009 Stanchart Marathon 3 weeks away am getting excited and running very hard and fast.

Although I had been stretching my legs I had not been massaging. Professional massaging isn’t cheap? I decided to give myself a massage. When I squeezed my calf muscles I felt like screaming. All the stress of running had accumulated inside.

When am walking or running I cant feel the pain but i feel the effect of fatigue in form of slowed pace. No matter how had I try to run I only move in a slow pace.

I suspended my Sunday log run and decided to spend two days massaging myself. I have been squeezing my calf and shin muscles and now my legs are feeling lighter.

As I head into the last two weeks of training I will pay more attention to stretching and massaging.

Stanchart Marathon Training Week 13 : My First Injury

Suffering injuries is part of the deal of choosing a running lifestyle.

The last week I suffered my first injury as I continue training for 2009 Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon. I have suffered an Achilles Tendonittis in other words it is an inflammation of the Achilles. For a good description look at the image below.

achillies-tendonitis injuryIf I was to take an x-ray of my leg it would look something like that.

Thanks to the injury I had to cancel one day of speed work and I have decided to cancel my weekly long run.

I have this nagging pain on the area, it is not serious and I could still run with the pain but I have decided to take precaution and avoid see it turn into something more serious. After all time is on my side, I started marathon training two months ago and I have made great progress and I still have two more months before the marathon. Start your training early and you will have time to treat inevitable injuries and get back to training.

What caused the Achilles Tendinitis.

I speculate it has something today with the changes in my training. The last two week I have been doing serious speed work and I guese the fast running was more than my body could handle.

Treatment of the Achilles tendinitis

A one week rest,wearing my sports shoes instead of my heavy boots to work, a few calf muscle strength exercise plus applying an anti-inflammation cream should heal the archilles tendonitis.

Stanchart Marathon Training Week 12 : Time Out

Last week was a rest week.I took a one week rest from running. I had been running for four weeks non-stop and my last 28 K long run had been difficult than usually. I had struggle for breath during the last miles and I thought I needed to give my body a rest.

Sometimes you need to take a step backward to make two steps forward.

Rest and getting stronger

Taking a period of time out during a training program is good for your running. The rest period will give your body extra time to recover from the stress of running. Joint muscles are in constant action during running and the impact of road running leads to small tissue tears. A prolonged rest period will allow complete rest of joint muscles and total healing of the tissue tears. Once the body recovers you will be a stronger runner.

Best time to take an extra rest from running.

When you feel your run times are getting slower. Another indicator is if you feel your legs are getting heavier or you are struggling to breath, which is a sign of tired lungs.

Rest can be a stimulant

That one week of rest stimulated my appetite for running. I kept longing for the next run and feeling confident about it.

2009 Stanchart Marathon Training Week 10 Freak Accident

Last week I had a minor set back. I suffered a slight back problem, a little pain on my back. It happened while I was drinking water. I normaly drink water from a bottle and I guese I overdid things because I pushed my mouth up and head backwards. The head moved far back pushing the spine down hard. Overstretching the spine!

I wasnt feeling the pain most of the time I only felt a slight pain whenever  I swallowed air.

I managed to do the two midweek speed runs without any problem. Yesterday I managed to run a 30 K run and everything went well.Today morning I decided to treat my body to a thermal massage to remove any physical stress that has accumulated in my body.

This year am trying to focus in finding a perfect running technique.

Leg movement

Am trying to ensure my leg swing starts from the hip downward that way I use all my leg muscles. Another area is the foot strike. I want to perfect the technique of pushing foward using the front of the foot. Using the front of the foot is the way to stronger and faster running.

See you next week.

Stanchart Nairobi Marathon Training Week 9

After two months of training for 2009 stanchart marathon am feeling good. The last two Sundays I have run two 28K long runs, the first one turned horrible when I suffered a blurred vision near the end. Yesterday I had a strong 28K, I finished the run feeling strong.

Long run marathon training to build fitness.

Until now my training was focused on building physical and cardiovascular fitness by running a long run once per week at a slow pace. Mission accomplished!

Shifting to speed.

My goal this year is to finish the 2009 Stanchart marathon on a New PB of 2.44. I want to now start focusing my marathon training on speed work.

I am now increasing the number of training days by two days. I will be doing two midweek speed works, on Wednesday and Friday.

The speed work will be around a running track. 10 repeats of 2 x 1. That is two fast paced laps followed by a slow recovery run.The follow this with a Sunday long run.

To run like Kenyan runners you have to train like them.

The long run will no longer be a slow paced run, I plan to step up my game by increasing the pace to near my race pace. Kenyan runners are great runners because they do their long run at a race pace.

Staying Injury during training.

My biggest achievement so far has been able to stay injury free. I believe am benefiting from three years of consistent marathon training. When you run consistently over the years all that pounding tends to make your leg, ankle & heel muscles and bones strong.

I hope I can keep it going.

Training Plan: StanChart Marathon 2009

Am starting my training for 2009  Stanchart Nairobi marathon. I have had a seven months rest from serious running. During that time I learn’t how to swim.

My running goal this year is to finish the 2009 stanchart marathon in a time of around 2.45. My personal best is 2.56. I will be a smiling runner if I can be able to shelve 10 more minutes from my PB.

Am confident I can run faster. At the finish line of 2008 Stanchart marathon my legs felt strong, no fatigue & no cramps. I had this feeling that I could still keep running another 10k.

Taking My Running To the Next level

This year I will build on the strength of my three years of marathon running. I believe my body is now physically strong and it can cope  with stress of more weekly miles and faster running.

Advantages of many months of training

To reach to my goal am dedicating 5 months of serious training. More training time means, no over training, more rest and fewer running injuries. If I suffer the unfortunate injury at least I will have enough time to recover.

In the month of June I will focus on cardiovascular fitness. I will do this by  accumulating as many miles I can at a slow pace. I will also assessing my physical condition to see whether I might be carrying a running injury that I might not be aware of.

In July, that is when I will start on speed work. Am yet to decide on my actual mileage and exact tactics so keep reading as I will keep posting my plans and progress.