Those splits are a thing of beauty. Great performance.
Name Conway Turlough
Distance ABN AMRO Marathon Rotterdam
Overall place 109 / 7530
Category place 20 / 842
Speed 16,330 Km/Hour
Gross time 2:35:13
Net time 2:35:02
Net split times (difference)
5 Kilometer 18:34 (18:34)
15 Kilometer 55:16
20 Kilometer 1:13:46 (18:30)
25 Kilometer 1:32:22 (18:36)
30 Kilometer 1:50:46 (18:24)
35 Kilometer 2:08:59 (18:13)
40 Kilometer 2:27:13 (18:14)
Seriously impressive, brilliant performance T.
If ever there was an example of getting what you deserve then this is it.
An example to us all that hard work is key to getting quicker.
Well done T. Excellent stuff. Truly delighted for you.
Plan on going again?
On a more serious note, how much extra work do you think you'd have to do to knock another 5-10mins off?
I know its probably not what your thinking now, but no harm in planting the seed
Fantastic result T runner, superbly executed.
Some of the work is done already i that my aerobic capacity has increased. It is essential that i maintain most of current fitness.
Ill write a report tomorrow but ill answer your question by first saying what id do differently with the training abd racing for last Sunday.
Training: in hindsight i feel a 2:31xx was possible (in good conditions) 5 weeks out when i managed 20 k at 2:31 pace on a hillyish and windy trainijg course. I suffered from severe mental fatigue for a lot of the rmaining training due to too many very hard sessions/races. I experienced severe aversion (detestation infact) to any type of running. Thats sounds dramatic but its the truth.
Solution would have been to eliminate the winter league and continue with my controlled aerobic progression with a monthly road race as progress indicator/reward. That would have made me faster in training and enabled me to sharpen during taper.
On the day i started too far back and spent the whole day chasing but not catching a group of 20 runners 30-40s up the road. If i had been on that group when it formed i could have been 40s further up the road at 30k in a much more rested condition and really attacked the last 12k when wind conditions improved realatively from 30k on. Possibly 75s went a begging.
Im noy knocking my run, im absoultely delighted with it, but with a different training build up and with good conditions/better tactics i could have good close to 2:30-31.
Long story short i need to improve my aerobic capacity more/build on it and work on my speed/form. I think/hope theres more there but im turning 40 this summer so the next few months are important. Id do Rotterdam as a Spring marathon again in a heart beat.
I got up to about 120k at fast aerobic paces this time before slowing the speeds to reach 160k. Id imagine id need several weeks at fast paced 160k running to stimulate more improvent. Id imagine id do some speed evelopement before this training and i might toy with a 4 week speed development phase immediately prior to a marathon specific phase of 6 weeks (Rosa).
Anyway thats all hypothetical, im very happy and relieved to have a solid time in the bag. Ill have an upbeat and less analytical report tomorrow.
One great discovery i made for banishing bad mental patches which ill share now. My wife sent me a picture of our 11 month old smiling daughter with a card saying "good luck daddy". Was a lovely photo. So instead of having a vicious internal argument with myself (which id no gurantee of winning) during tough periods i decided to invoke the memory of this picture. The result was that both positive and negative T Runners took time out of their negative arguing to smile at the image of their baby daughter.
Soppy enough stuff but having a positive picture to call on can be a very effective method to harden a weakening mind. More prime BS coming tomoorow i promise!
That's not BS, we all need a happy place/image to go to during a race and that was perfect. Well done again
You can stay in Amsterdam, Brussels, Eindhoven etc and still do the Rotterdam marathon. Transport is excellent. We took Fyra train direct: good value at about €14 between the two cities (Amsterdam and Rotterdam). Hotel in Rotterdam to Schipol airport Amsterdam took 40 mins.
Getting to the start pen is straightforward. There is a significant difference between a big city 40,000er and the 20,000 person Rotterdam. Plenty of room to warm up in side streets too.
Training: Training had overall been very good. From late September I had built up to 100-120 kpw at fast aerobic paces. From then on it was 160-70kpw at slower paces with long hard runs thrown in.
Some of these runs helped on the day. A hard 35k at 4 min pace stands out which set me up for a tough Canova style 35k with “speed variations”. These two sessions, although a long way out, were key.
I kept this volume more or less through a series of 4 races in 5 weeks (the 3 winter league IMA races and Nat Intermediate XC). After a half marathon 6 weeks out volume dropped to 120-130k mostly easy and it was in effect a very long taper from this point. 5 weeks out a tough 20k pace run required a full week to recover, with a long run and 10k 4 weeks out the last significant block of hard training.
After my pace run 20k 5 weeks out (although a great session) I found it difficult mentally to do any hard running. I picked the unscheduled 10k 4 weeks out because only a race (with a steady start) would bypass this aversion to running. From being ruthlessly clinical in all my hard sessions I now felt I neither couldn’t nor did not want to run with any intensity. Easy running became jogging and I arrived at the race morning with serious worry that I had blown it. Anything to do with the marathon felt like a choir. After my final breakfast (last choir) I actually shed the worry and decided to get on with it. (Get on with the story says you).
Race: I had decided that 2:33:30 was a reasonable target. The wind was a worry and it was blowing as predicted on Sunday morning, worse in fact. My start steadily strategy might not suit a day when running through the field was hampered by the wind. I decided to stop worrying and get on with it: perhaps this time one more piece of analysis might have benefitted...more later.
Warmed up, about 4 by 2.5 mins building up to marathon effort each time. A few strides and I arrived in the pen 15 mins before kickoff. I was in pen B (2:30-2:45) pace and I immediately saw people there who shouldn’t have been. I considered pushing to the front but thought it impolite and anyway, this way id guarantee a steady start.
An Ingleburt Humperdink character sang “you’ll never walk alone” and I was amazed to find out later that this man was the Lord Mayor of Rotterdam!
The people in the high rise apartments on the south side of the Maas had their usual nervous wait but thankfully the race start cannonball whizzed peacefully by.
The race start is actually tight. Two lanes of road with no hard shoulder meant that I was immediately boxed. After a couple of k we climbed the Erasmus Bridge for the first time. I’ve passed loads and finally have room. I remember the pace from Paris 2010, not pushing, not holding back. Feels OKish although legs feel funny, not warmed up or something. At 3k I spot a very sizeable (30+) runners 100m ahead up the road and I am confident that I will catch them soon and will have my shelter. Passing Feyenoord Stadium and 5k in 18:34 and the group is still elusive. I start to up it a bit and am working well with an Italian guy. A group has formed behind us. Me and my Italian friend are doing all the horse work and the U turn at 8k shows me that the group I covet is worth coveting and still 30s ahead. Doing all the work is annoying me and I stand aside and move back into the group. The pace slows. This is the 2:40 train that I’ve caught. Mine is 30s up the track. The wind is significant and I realise that a windy marathon is a marathon of groups. You need to be on the ball at the start to get your group. I was pushing and not gaining and knowing I could be idling at the same speed 30s ahead. OK I need to get into that group. Through 11k and a left turn into shelter (18:18 second 5k). My target is 18:20s as I know that’s under 2:35 which is now very much my target. Here we go. I kick clear of the group and eat the ground up. The Italian follows me. Good. 2k of progress and then a sharp right into a forceful wind. Keep working but at 15k I’m sickened to see an 18:26 split.
It’s into the wind all the way now. My friend is stretched and can’t help. I tell him not to bother, just to tuck in behind. We start passing elite females at this stage, dropping back from that big female qualifier/men sub 2:35 group. I’m going well but the group is now 35 s up. 20k split is a not unexpected 18:30 despite running well. I see the HM at 77.55 I think and I’m a little concerned but I’m feeling strong now and am moving economically through the wind. 25k (18:35) and the Erasmus bridge and my frind is dropped. I know my Dad is there so I run strongly through. He is in charge of texting the news at this stage. Feeling good I take the bridge without increasing effort. Near the race start/finish area and we veer right and West for a lap of a park. The 2 kilometres before this are the worst for headwind and I feel like cursing my luck. Chalk it down to a bad day a thought advises; settle behind that big Dutch guy ahead. My wife has sent me a good luck FB pic of our baby daughter. I invoke the image and storm passed the Dutchman. 30k (18:25) is encouraging. Time to crank it up. Wooohoo!!! Amazingly the park is sheltered. A beautiful surface, no wind. I’m pushing now, long fast strides, eating ground. I realise I’m lacking sharpness from my steady taper, but I’m not short of strength.
A horrible little U section out of the park on hard modern cobbles, the dreaded wind returns but it’s an 18:13 split and we have only 7k to go. Run it in steady now T, you’ve done enough, I hear in my right ear. Sort that out picture of little baby. Sorted and advise to kick on.
I up the effort. Passing a lot of people now, many female Olympic aspirants. Some make it. It’s distressing to witness others in torture that won’t.
The group has disappeared like a dying comet. 40k in 18:14. The maths tell me my average is over 18:20 so 2:35:40 or so is predicted. Pass a few more, shout bravo to a couple of females as I pass. Now nobody ahead for 200m. Passing through the spectators running up the last k on the Coolsingel (Main Street) I wave my arms and whoop to try and get a cheer. I feel embarrassed after doing it so abort the planned side break dance moves. With 30 m to go I look at the clock. 2:34:50. I sprint to try and get my chip under 2:35 and narrowly fail. Doh!
Of course 18:20 ave for 5k splits gives under 2:35 (2:34:20 I think) so I was on for a sub 2:35. Not to worry. Delighted to have bagged a solid time. I reckon a potential minute was lost by the boxed start and missing that group. My own fault. Skinnier arses in front and less skinny arses behind will decide my start pen position from now on.
Conditions were reasonable in hindsight especially considering what people had to endure in Boston the following day.
I’ll have a go at 2:30 again for sure. Considering Dublin and possibly a final cut at Rotterdam 2013.
I actually liked the city a lot. For anyone with an interest in modern architecture the city seems to have the excellence only philosophy of cities like Barcelona. Probably the most convenient European marathon from Ireland (and including Britain).
Very thoughtful, well written report T. Respect for the achievement, well done mate. Nice touch with the photo to dispatch any negative ghosts that might otherwise haunt.
Well done T Runner enjoyed that report and great race. I always find it helpful to have something to fall back on from my bag of tricks when things get tough and negative thoughts creep in...funnily enough faces of my kids gets regularly used
I wish my race report was a little more like yours. More results, less waffle! Sub 2:30 will feel comfortable for you next time. I look forward to the next chapter.
You were guaranteed your time as far as i could see bar the weather. There wasnt much waffle in the training you put in. There was nothing you could do taht you didnt do re. the race. My goal is to try and maintain most of fitness in next 4 weeks. If you maintain fitness then you should move to the next time barrier.
Sounds like perfect timing for a very strong IMRA Irish champs performance. Will you be making an appearance?
Not at Donard anyway! A little soon.
I was looking at Daniels book last night. I need to gain speed. His 5k-15k training involves R training T training and I training. I was speculating it might be possible to just do the R and T training while leaving the I training. That way i could do speedwork while maintaining high mileage and progressing Aerobic Capacity as well as speed and form. I'd aim for a few 5-10ks and Warriors run at end of August. Maybe start training for Dublin marathon then.
I found it difficult to race winter league while training for Rotterdam. The Irish champs would be a different kettle of fish altogether.