Monday, 24 December 2018

New schedule has two options

stats of the week: run 39 km, gym 3.5 h
stats of the previous week: run 33 km, gym 2 h
stats of the week before: run 32 km, gym 2 h

I am back to decent training, including two 10K races that were somewhat disappointing. Having clocked around  51:25 min both times, I have to face that I am not able to run a sub 50min 10K any more and I doubt that I will be able to come back next year. However, I will try. I set up a training program for the first quarter 2019 ending with London Marathon in April.

I consulted Joe Friel's book "Fast after 50" once again. May be at bit late at 65 now. The main difference with my new schedule is that I get back to intervals. Two options come with intervals: get injured or get faster.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Great experience, more disappointment

Stats of the week: no sports
Stats of the previous week: some high level trekking
Stats of the week before: run 15 km, gym 1 h

Nepal was more disappointment than fun. I became ill only at the 4th day of scheduled 14 days of trekking. We were forced to turn back and after 7 days we were back at Lukla for an advanced flight back to Kathmandu followed by an advanced flight home. To add more discomfort I catched a severe cold during the homeward journey and still have to wait for a come back to running.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

A race with a smile

stats of the week: run 11 km, gym 3 h
stats of the previous week: run 56 km (NYC marathon 4:26)

This photo was taken at mile 14, later on I looked different.

I had a surprisingly short day at the NYC marathon. Our bus arrived at Fort Wadsworth late at 8am so I had to wait not very long to my second wave blue start at 10.15am. Then I was happy to be able to run properly until 35 km before I had to walk several times to reach the finish. 4 minutes slower than last year what I regard as the usual age decline. The medical supervisors unfortunately ignored me so I went straight on to the subway station and was back in the hotel at 4pm proudly looking at my medal.

Some Manhattan views:

Saturday, 3 November 2018

New York no 11

stats of the week: run 13 km, walked a lot

As it was the case so often I am barely prepared to run 26 miles. I will have to start modestly and humbly, and hopefully I will reach the finish line in a represantable shape.


Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Count down to big events

stats of the week: run 37 km
stats of the week before: run 43 km, gym 2 h

To prepare for a high level hiking holiday in Nepal I started some artificial altitude training. In my small home town is a fitness hall available that simulates an altitude of 2,000 m.a.s.l. where you can do endurance and strength exercise.

However, before the hiking comes the marathon. In a desperate thought of final preparation I took part in a local hill race of 23 K and 500 altitude meters. That turned out to be fine. I was able to run every ascent and finished in the middle of the pack.

Travelling is not the perfect way of preparation for a marathon but luckily I managed to do some running around watching the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington. It is a big event with some 20,000 finishers, also called the People's Marathon, as there are no high prize moneys.

Count down is now clocking to my 11th New York City Marathon on Sunday.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Failed preparation

stats of the week: run 15 km, gym 3 h
stats of the week before: gym 1 h
stats of the week before: run 25 km, cycled 260 km

Had a decent week of training with glorious weather on Majorca.

Col des Reis

Climbing Sa Calobra Road

However, this didn't help me a lot as I came back home with a stomach infection that struck me down for nearly a week. Trying to jog again I obviously had lost too many minerals during this week. My left calf muscle cramped after only 4 km of very easy jogging and it stayed tight for another 3 days. 

Now time gets short to get prepared for the New York City Marathon. Only 3 weeks left and no long jog completed so far. I think about adapted tactics. Some walking right from the beginning may let me get through the 26 miles.

Monday, 24 September 2018

Modest happiness

stats of the week: run 38 km, cycled 58 km, gym 4 h

Looks like a decent week of exercise. So it was. I took part in a local charity run where my intention was to test my projected half marathon speed of 5:10-5:15 min/K. No surprise I started faster than planned, sub 5 min, but managed to keep the 5:00 min/k pace right to the end of the 10.8 K race. That is a kind of performance I hope to develop. I am fairly happy that I obviously can still finish 10 K just under 50 min. However, that means that I lost nearly 3 min within 2 years.

 Don't worry this is my regular finish face:

Seconds later a smile is possible.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018


stats of the week: run 26 km, cycled 62 km, gym 3 h

I know I should be happy about my ability to run at the age of 65, alas I am not really happy with my performance. I think I have to get out the training book of Joe Friel again: Fast and fit at 50+.
It's somewhat crazy that I create training schedules for friends but do not train by a plan myself.

There are things that should be changed. My first try is to drink less alcohol. Red wine is reduced to weekends now.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Travel time

stats of the week: run 51 km
stats of the week before: run 50 km, hiked 20 h
stats of the week before: run 21 km, cycled 90 km

The Achensee Run was not bad, but also not convincingly good. For the 23 km with some tricky trail parts I clocked 2:16 h, what was exactly 15 min slower than 15 years ago. My ranking was a disappointing 6th place in my age group. I don't know how other guys manage to be that fast.

Well, a week of hiking in the Dolomites might not have been the best preparation possible. But I enjoyed the mountains. This area around the "3 Zinnen" is absolutely breathtaking.

Pragser Wildsee

Surrounding Seekofel

3 Zinnen

Finally I enjoyed the Medoc Marathon at Pauillac in France, a festival for all friends of red wine. Imagine, there are 22 stops en route to taste the products of the famous Bordeaux chateaux.

Nearly all 8,000 participants are costumed. Not alone 22 tasting stops, at the finish you receive another bottle of red wine. After 5:18:55 h we were placed at the front of the pack because most runners use the time limit of 6:30 to make the most of their day.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Podium but 18 min slower

stats of the week: run 47 km, gym 3 h

My next goal is the Achensee Run where I want to run as fast as I can. The week before the race is another hill walking week without any running. So I decided to take part in a local hilly 20K race to prepare and see my current performance level.

With an average of 5:36 min/K I was happy with my race until I noticed that 15 years ago when I did this race last time I was 18 minutes faster! 15 years, 18 minutes. Well, I think the next 15 years will make more than 18 minutes...

There were only 4 runners of my age group. 3 of them could enter the podium.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Hot hiking

stats of the week: run 14 km, cycled 63 km, hiked 20 hours
stats of the previous week: cycled 173 km, hiked 20 hours

Due to the heat there was little exercise but almost daily high level hiking. Above 1,500 meters a.s.l. temperature was fine so we preferred to take the cable cars to reach upper levels and enjoyed the summer. We'll see how this helped my future running performance.

A brief gallery, chosen of lots of photos:

Schwemmalm, Ultental

Meraner Höhenweg 

Pircher Hut, Meraner Höhenweg 

Via ferrata Heini Holzer, Meran

On top of Großer Ifinger, 2,581m, Meran

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Success and pride

stats of the week:  run 42 km /2,800 am, cycled 125 km, hiked 12 h

I successfully finished the Suedtirol Sky Marathon at Bozen within 7 h 30 min. Very happy about my performance. The time would have placed me second - last year! This year I ended up 5th and the winner of my age group was 1.5 hours faster than me! However, I am still proud of myself. The first 20 km included a climb of 2,000 meters, that took me nearly 4 hours. So this was one of only two marathons where my second half was faster than the first half.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Award ceremony

stats of the week: run 32 km, cycled 62 km, hill walking 17 h / 3,600 am
stats of the previous week: run 36 km, cycled 45 km, gym 2 h

I took part at the Ultner Hoefelauf today, a hilly alpine valley run in South Tyrolia. The route turned out to be much tougher than I expected from studying the profile on the map. It summed up 500 altitude meters within the 17.9 km of distance. So that meant a good part of walking on the steep terrain for me. Anyway, I was happy to finish 2nd of the 5 runners in my age group and got a present at the award ceremony.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Happily running again

stats of the week: run 48 km, cycled 36 km

Back to running and some hill work. Right at my door step there is an altitude difference of around 50 meters. So I try to run up and down several times to get prepared for the alps. In former years I used to run up to ten ascents. I have reached just 4 now and there are only 3 weeks to the race. I am still confident to get fit enough for Bozen. I still feel to be a runner, not a cyclist.

Some Maratona photos:

(like every year I pushed up my bike along the cat's wall, still in protest about the introduction of this artificial obstacle)

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

End of cycling season

stats of the week: run 17 km, cycled 321 km
stats of the week before: run 28 km, cycled 167 km, gym 2 h

Although I have ordered a new bike I regard my this year's cycling season as closed now. I finished the middle distance at the Maratona dles Dolomites 20 minutes slower than last year. Nevertheless I am satisfied with my result. I still felt some tiredness from a long hill run midweek. Along the wonderful route around the Dolomites mountains I tried to enjoy my day and thought about to retire from this race after 10 participations now. One should know when one's time is over. I can feel this time has come.

Running is more important than cycling to me this year. I look forward very much to my next challenge, the Bozen Sky Marathon in South Tyrolia. It includes 2,800 meters of altitude difference. There is still some work to do to get fit for this day.

Photos: Cycling in the Kaiserwinkl, Austria

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Cycling season close to its end

stats of the week: run 12 km, cycled 49 km

It was a lazy and boring week of recovery. The wound from last week's downthrow is still not closed but healed so far that I was able to restart cautious running. However, the next challenge is a cycling event again, the beloved Maratona dles Dolomites, that I will take part in for the 10th time in a row. Maybe last time, we'll see.

Well, after that cycling season will be finished and I will concentrate on running for the rest of the year. Three very special marathons are on schedule: Bozen Sky, Medoc and New York.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Risk stops fun

stats of the week: run 31 km, cycled 64 km

I felt it's time to get back to running. So I chose a trail run in the nearby hills, a challenge of half marathon distance and 540 altitude meters. Still a bit of a risk after I didn't run a longer distance than 10 km since London.

The risk turned out to be a different one. I felt happy on the course, I have always enjoyed trails. So I increased the speed on the very last steep descent, flew into the very last bend before reaching the road to the finish. Alas, I reached the road, but in full length from knee to face. Shocked and full of pain I raced the final 400 meters to the finish line, still winning my small age group of 5 runners from 65 on.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Cycling the giant of the Provence

stats of the week: run 10 km, cycled 209 km

The Gran Fondo Mont Ventoux was a perfectly organised event for just 700 participants along a more than picturesque route. Every road crossing was blocked for us and food stations were great. We took in the legendary Mt Ventoux first and went down to Malaucene. Then there was a hilly loop around a green valley and a finally climb to Suzette to reach Beaumes de Venise and the finish line.

This great race should have deserved more cyclists. As it was Saturday and perfect weather there were more private cyclists on Mt Ventoux than those with a bib.

However it was a great day to remember. I was also happy with my performance although I was at the back of the pack. There were only 48 participants in my age group 60-66 and I finished 41st. There were also 27 cyclists of 67 years and more. Most of them were faster than me, too.