It is only 6 weeks until the Rotterdam Marathon where I am planning to run my best marathon yet. There were a few marathons at this time of year, such as Paris and London, that my coach and I looked at, but we decided on Rotterdam for a few reasons.
Firstly, it is a quick course and has a long record of fast times with top athletes lining up year after year. The weather should be ideal for a marathon, with an average maximum of 13 degrees during April. Coming from the Sunshine Coast, this is going to feel cold and I will definitely be packing gloves and arm sleeves.
Rotterdam is a mass start race, which means the elite men and women will start at the same time as the rest of the field. This was another important factor for me, as there should be a good pack of guys running around the pace I am after and might prove to be a huge help to my performance. In both the Nagoya and Glasgow marathons that I ran last year, I found myself running alone for a large portion of the race so I hope that running within a pack will keep me on target pace.
With a nine hour time difference and a long flight from Australia, I’ll be flying over 10 days early to allow myself time to adjust. And lastly, there are a few other Aussies that train with my coach, Dick Telford, who are also looking to run PBs at Rotterdam. Being part of a group will add to the experience and I’m really looking forward to toeing the line as a team.
There have been a lot of changes implemented to my training since being coached only 14 months ago, when I would simply head out for a run most mornings before work at whatever pace and whatever distance I felt like. I’ve more than doubled my weekly mileage and have a real structure to the week, focusing on three key sessions plus my Sunday long run. I’ve slowly learned some change of pace and have improved on my speed-endurance and threshold training (although there is still a long way to go there!).
There are so many things to learn in the marathon, and in a sport that only allows 1-2 races per year for appropriate training and recovery, it is a long term sport that takes years of consistent training to reach your potential. I’m really looking forward to the next experience and seeing what all this hard work I’ve put in over the past couple of months will lead to.
Lastly I’d like to thank all the generous people who got me over the line with my fundraiser for this trip and everyone who has supported me along the way, including my amazing coach, family and friends, my sponsors and all the runners I see out there encouraging me every day!