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.

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…

LTBCN 16 – The Rocky mountains in Barcelona

I was not supposed to run LTBCN 16 actually. Back to November 15 when I was planning my race calendar, I was considering running my first 100K there, the UTBCN 16. However, earlier this year, my friend Julien registered for the 70K and so I downgraded the distance. Fortunately! I think it was a wise decision.
My preparation was as it is when you work 46H a week and keep on having a social life. Being sick during the 15 days before the race, when I felt really strong about my training got me worried. A lot. How could I only dream about running a good time at LTBCN 16 while not training for two weeks? My flatmate got to hear about it during the last days before my departure.
“You won’t run on time. That goal is over. Remember: always set different goals for your race” I kept telling myself.
It was a difficult and long process for my mind to accept lowering my expectations. I am really stubborn you know. But in the end, I wanted to enjoy the race as much as I could, and I want to run as long as my body can take me. Don’t understand me wrong. To me, enjoying a race means different things, like competing or just sharing the course with friends.
Finishing the race strong and smiling, and enjoying the surrounding of nature and like-minded people all along would be my A-Goal when I’d toe the starting line that Saturday for the LTBCN 16.

Elbsandsteingebirge 2016 – 4 days of trail love

It all started with a bottle of red wine at a tapas restaurant with Joyce and Iwi. Both talking about the wonderful scenery of Elbsandsteingebirge and talking about how cool Elbi 2016 would be. An entire weekend of running with many others crazy folks. Like minded running junkies, freaks or whatever you like calling them. An entire weekend spent in running shoes, running clothes and – wait for it – chilly comfy jogging pants when not out there…moving. What else would you ask for? I signed right away.

Running is a mirror, let’s say, of life. We may have lost a little bit of ourselves and our true feeling… because we depend on machines and numbers and things like that. You have to rediscover the life and especially in the cities, this crazy rhythm makes you forget thingsDimitris Theodorakakos

Are you failing as a pacer?

What is wrong, did I miscalculate? Was her training enough? Did something go wrong with it? How could that be…
Oriane are you like failing as a pacer? As a want-to-be-trainer? What is wrong…
Yesterday was Berlin Half Marathon day. Ultimate goal was to pace my lovely friend Gina to a personal victory. Not only did we want her to achieve her personal best (last HM Time was 2:09), but we wanted to break the 2H-Mark. Preparation went as a preparation goes, with ups and downs. The conditions for the run were ideal: the sun and the wind were coordinated in a perfectly synchronized choreography.

But let start from the beginning…

Pre-race days… What happened before Vulcain16

Pre-race days are something wonderful. You eat, relax, sleep, share moments with people you love, discover new areas or just do nothing. Maybe you also have some rituals, who knows.
When I arrived on Friday night with my Mum in beautiful Auvergne, I had not planned that Trail de Vulcain 2016 would be such an amazing, fulfilling and generous adventure. More than just running in a beautiful place, my first ultra-race was a discovery of new sensations, of my limits. A discovery of warmhearthed runners, organizers and volunteers. The discovery of a long journey.

Trail de Vulcain 2016 – My first ultra-race

Like really? Are you sure? I thought we only had one big climb at Vulcain 2016, and it was like right now at Puy du Dôme! Don’t they have anything else to do then putting one climb after the other? I mean we’re climbing a lot but what about all the amazing descent we should have?
It’s hurting… Well now it’s warm…Oh LOOK! This region is amazing… Wait I sooo have to take a picture…Which view? Oh yes because of cooourse we’re still climbing! Ok if you say so… hm hm force, don’t stop… Don’t stop ‘til you get enough… Ups, youuu are not alone. OK, I STOP singing. Don’t worry! It’s not like the sun is shining anyway.