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Maintaining Running Fitness Off-Season – The Plan

recovery training plan

When the racing season comes to the very end, A-races are done and post-race beers (or Colas) are all consumed, every athlete usually asks himself a question — what to do with that all free time that is now left from training? A lucky few may have their next season plans already, but even the most determined athletes need some rest and recovery.

Generally, it’s recommended to take a week or two of complete rest (hey, even Eliud Kipchoge takes three weeks off) but then you usually start making plans for the upcoming year. If your A-race is quite far ahead (say, 30 weeks or even more) or you just want to maintain your so-hard-earned running form until thoughts of next challenge pop up, you may want to fill this gap with some running activities. And you need a plan for that.

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Generali Berliner Halbmarathon 2019: Race Recap

Berlin Half-marathon

Berlin Half, Berlin Half-marathon, Generali Berliner Halbmarathon – doesn’t matter how you call it, this 21K race is a great opportunity to start your racing season. Held in Germany’s capital and sharing a big part of the course with one of the World Marathon Majors – Berlin Marathon – it is supposed to be flat, fast, very well organized and usually in good weather, as in the middle of April spring is already in full swing in Berlin. That’s one of the reasons why it’s sold out as early as February, so better sign up well in advance, get the training plan and start preparing.

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Rowing for Runners: Winter Cross-training Specials

Concept2 Model D undergoing firmware upgrade

It’s winter for a while in the northern hemisphere, however, we still have more than one long month left. As we all know, winter is usually not the favorite time of runners. Even if you are not afraid of below-water-freezing temperatures and cold rains, there are plenty of facts that can ruin your training. Deep snow can impact your intervals and icy countryside roads or city sidewalks are very dangerous even for experienced trail runners. If you’re training for races which happen to be in spring, like Boston Marathon, Paris Marathon or even a Berlin Half (or Halb, as they call it), you don’t have many options but to do some training indoors. And if thoughts about treadmill make you sick, you should try rowing, as there are some good reasons for that. 

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Boston Marathon 2018 recap: right pacing and lessons learned

Make Way for Ducklings

Back in December 2017, when preparing to run Boston Marathon myself, I found an extremely interesting article (in fact, it’s an article series) called How to Pace like an Elite in Boston, written by a data scientist, professor Barry Smyth. It covered pacing analysis of elites, amateurs who reached PR, and not-so-successful runners and provided recommendations on how to pace yourself in this coveted race.

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Boston marathon, 2018 AD

Boston Finisher Medal, 2018

Update, November 2018: I’ll return to Boston on 2019, however this time as a coach. One of my athletes is training for the event using my marathon training program and has high hopes of setting her new PR by hitting 3:10:00.

I won’t be bothering you with a long story on how I wished to qualify Boston, how much did I train for running sub-3:00 etc. It’s enough for you to know that if you would like to run the Boston Marathon, you must run an AIMS certified marathon (even such a small country as mine has two of them) and your time should be somewhat 5 minutes faster than the age group requirement. Unfortunately, if you will barely fit your age group time, most probably you won’t make it; Boston Marathon in 2018 required to run around 3 minutes faster than a time required for qualification.

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