Overtraining – A chase for more and more

Overtraining is a keyword every athlete has already been confronted with during his/her career.
Being it in magazines, blog posts or by experience, we all know its existence flying above us.
We always hope it will never affect us. It can happen to anybody sooner or later.
But as long as it is off the table, we continue to act like any other day.
After all… Why stressing out about something that didn’t happen yet?

While I was training for the Berlin Marathon, it never crossed my mind a second to be overtrained.
Rather did I felt like missing something and chasing for more.
In fact, I was always wanting to push one more session, even though I ended up frustrated at the end.
Despite signs of exhaustion, the loss for the fun of running, I pushed through.
So, when it hit me at the Berlin Marathon last Sunday, I first cried.
Like I wrote about my marathon preparation in the last article…
similarly to my training, my marathon was ugly and two-faced.

Marathon preparation can be ugly sometimes

Only six days until Berlin Marathon, so I thought I could give you a little look back on my marathon preparation that started on July 4th. It’s all over my feeds in the social media, everyone is tapering, starting to feel excited, a little stressed. Some of you might be worried because the marathon preparation didn’t go as planned. But guys. Writing these words today, I believe there is no good or bad marathon preparation. There is no black and white. Preparing for Berlin, Paris and again Berlin in the last years, I believe I am able to compare what went perfectly and what could be improved. But still. You can have the best-adjusted plan in the world, that suits your needs and level, you will never be able to control all factors influencing your training.

 

Transalpine-Run 2016 – Everyday heroes

Last Sunday, the gun went off at 10 AM for the first stage of the Transalpine-Run. 300 teams of two left Garmish, a village in the German Alps, to run seven stages and a total distance of 247,2KM and 14 862m elevation gain across Germany, Austria and Italy. From Garmish to Brixen. Many friends are participating, as well as my boyfriend and his team-mate Jan-Albert, who were starting as team Willpower until Jan-Albert had to withdraw from the race due to a bad fall.
Selfiing, hiking, going nuts on downhills, driving around, shooting pictures, laughing, clapping, talking shit: Jana, Chris, Stephan and I were supporting our teams all together on Sunday, as we did at Zugspitze Trail Run Challenge a few weeks ago.

Even if I was there just for one day, I believe there is something special about this event. What I witnessed on the trails that day, at the finish line of the first stage or even now back home thanks to the internet make me think about the why and the how of our beautiful sport.

SportScheck half-marathon – Emotional rollercoaster

Last Sunday I ran the SportScheck half-marathon for the fourth time in my life.
New course, same hood, same distance.
It’s been 7 weeks already since I’ve started training for the Berlin Marathon, taking place in one month. This half-marathon now was supposed to be a test. See how my body responds to the past weeks of specific training. To cut to the chase: see how fast I can run, you know.

When we picked up with the training a few weeks ago, I asked my boyfriend (and coach) what time he thought I would be able to run. And he told me 1:35′
No need to tell you how thrilled I was to beat my (at that time) personal best of 1:42’26 by 7 minutes.
So when he sent me the race plan last week, telling me we would go for PB, with a 1:37, I was disappointed. Didn’t I work hard enough? Was I training the wrong way for the last 7 weeks?!
I can be much of a drama queen sometimes.
And such pain in the ass.
I don’t need to tell you the conversation that followed.

The real importance of sleep in “eat train sleep repeat”

I don’t know about you guys, but besides of being hungry all the time, I also feel that my usual 7H of sleep need to be extended since I started my marathon preparation. Funny when thinking that a few years ago, I preferred cutting on my sleep than on my various activities – one of them being partying almost full time. For me, sleeping was a waste of time. Imagine my face when I learned that we sleep 1/3 of our lifetime on earth. OMG!
I was devastated and ready to fight physic. Or science. Or whatever.
If the day still has 24H, my priorities have changed and I moved from party queen to pillow-lover and would like to give you obvious reason/data why sleep should become your priority while training. 

Why a training plan might be a brilliant idea

Now that you’ve decided to run your first or next marathon, you may ask yourself the million-dollar question:
Do I need a training plan?
On one hand, you have this one friend who run without a plan, a watch nor HR belt
– I mean, come on, where are the data if not on Strava?
– or even a cellphone – Not catching Pokemon either?? What’s wrong? Hello, 2016?!
Well this no-technology-while-running-friendly-friends of yours may have adviced you to not run by plan.
No, actually, this friend looks at you incredulously like you would speak in an unknown language.
– A training plan? What is it?
Ok. Next.
Since nothing and nobody can unseat your willpower to be well prepared for your marathon, you keep asking around.
And there you are. Some friends are preparing their marathon or half marathon following a training plan.
Hallelujah, you are not alone!
*Victory Lap*
Hm, sorry. Hello? May I have your attention, please?
I know, the euphoria when you feel belonging somewhere, even to the wide group of we-use-a-training-plan-runners. I do too. Welcome, my dear.
May I give you some advice about that so called training plan now?
Cool. There you go.

Zugspitz Ultratrail 2016 – Eat & Run

Hello Movers! Last weekend, the Zugspitz Ultratrail 2016 took place. Since I couldn’t run any distance myself, I decided to crew Sascha for his attempt at the big distance. Here is the race report I wrote, from his perspective. I am sure you’re up for a 100K and 20H38 ride through a roller coaster of emotion! Enjoy!


It’s been only six weeks since the WHEW where I ran my first 100K, but last weekend I decided to take it to the next level and took part in the Zugspitz Ultratrail 2016, a 100K through the Alps, with 5412m elevation gain.
As the date was coming closer my respect, fears – or was it doubts? – got bigger. But once more I wanted to prove that the human body is capable of much more than you might think. I knew a big challenge was coming, never would I have expected this race to bring me to the edge of my mental and physical strengths. With a quote of 50% DNF, I think I wouldn’t lie if I say this edition of Zugspitz Ultratrail 2016 was one of the toughest in its young history.
Taking off at 7 AM in Grainau on Saturday morning, the blue sky and the rising sun was the promise for a beautiful day. But as it is in ultra running, especially in the mountains, you never know what is going to happen and how everything can change within a second.

Slow descent to hell

The last three weeks have been kind of a slow descent to hell for me.
Sounds a bit dramatic, doesn’t it?
Not a technical downhill as I love them, no.
A sneaky kind of descent, the one you believe every thing will be better at the next aid station. But it doesn’t.

These last three weeks,
I kept hearing this voice whispering wisely
that sometimes the right decisions are also, the hardest.
Sometimes.

Never cross the fine line

There is this fine line you should never cross while training or racing. Pushing our bodies beyond limits just to see how far we can go is something wonderful, and can be dangerous at the same time.
We try to reach for the stars,
the moon or the sun.
How many miles can I log in peak-week?
How many miles can I log in a month, a year?
How fast can I run a hundred milers?
How much ultras or races can I perform in a year?
How much, how fast, how long, how…