Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Even more addicted for 2021

stats of the week: run 17 km, zwifted 233 km, tm walked 12 km

Looking back to this damned year I have to realise that it was my worst running year since 1995, for 25 years! The corona year saw me running just 1232 km. During summer the motivation was low and in autumn the meniscus knee stopped me right until now.

I can take a bit of comfort in looking at my cycling year. 5,500 km respresent my 4th best bike year of all times. Mounting Mont Ventoux twice, from Sault and from Malaucene, was the highlight of the year. 

A number of events I had entered for 2020 have been delayed to 2021. Syltlauf, Berlin Half Marathon, Gran Fondo Mt Ventoux, Santini GF Mt Ventoux, Karwendelmarsch. The GF Mt Ventoux has already been cancelled also for 2021, Berlin has been shifted to August. I wonder if anything will take place. Only one plan is fixed for the new year. I hope to ascend Mt Ventoux six times, 2 each way. The book "Der kahle Berg", newly translated into German, lets me feel even more addicted. Fortunately we bought a small lodge at the foot of the adored hill what will enable us to spend more time cycling around and up.

(amazon link)

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Surviving in artificial world

stats of the week: run 10 km, cycled 96 km, zwifted 155 km/4:40h, tm walked 12 km

The streak of daily exercising continues. Since 11th Nov I count 40 days of any kind of sports activity. I am happy with this history although I would love to run longer distances and I miss the trail runs. The knee is still improving and I hope the meniscus will recover without surgery.

I enjoy joining the Zwift Ride Groups meanwhile. It is a bit disappointing that I can only keep up with the slowest of four performance categories. To keep a power of around 140 Watt for one hour seems to be my current limit while I see others easily riding at an average of more than 200 W. However, I found a new sports world within I can survive during this long Covid winter.

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Tough Watts

stats of the week: run 13 km, indoor cycled  5 h/155 km, tm walked 12 km, hiked 8 km

Got more involved into Zwift cycling after I joined my first group rides what is much more entertaining than following workouts. My free month is nearly over now but I already decided to subscribe for the lockdown winter months. I find it quite tough to exceed 130 W average for duration of one hour. Counting my current weight 130 W means 2 W/kg what doesn't sound that much.

On Tuesday I was happy to complete a proper run of 8 km by a pace of 5:36 min/k. But things ended up with much more meniscus pain after the next only short jog. Feel forced now to stop running for a week. Luckily cycling doesn't cause any problems. Alas, I am back to Diclofenac for a while.

Monday, 7 December 2020

Lonesome winter coming

stats of the week: run 20 km, indoor cycled 2h45min, tm walked 14 km, hiked 10 km

Although I miss the longer jogs I begin to feel satiesfied with this kind of varied training. Weather get too bad now for more montain biking. You still see tough guys riding the woods but that's nothing for me. I ordered a training guide for indoor cycling and start getting used to Zwift sessions.

Corona is still strong in our area despite a "light" lockdown. It is a lonesome time and life has changed a lot for me. Without the sports I can luckily do it would be really depressing. It is going to be a long winter.

Monday, 30 November 2020

TV zwifting

stats of the week: run 18 km, cycled 88 km, indoor cycled 45 min, tm walked 12 km, hiked 13 km
stats of the previous week: run 16 km, indoor cycled 3:15 h, tm walked 14 km

The knee problem continues and I stick to weekly 3 short runs of 6 km max. At least I started to finish my  jogs by a fast final kilometer of sub 5 min/km. I am happy that I am still capable to do this pace.

As winter temperatures come in I zwift quite freqently. I use a free month I got with the purchase of my new hometrainer. Zwift is a fairly popular software for indoor cycling but I find it less entertaining than expected. I still go over to watching TV while zwifting what means there are two screens in front of my bike.

Got my second London medal this year. It is a pretty impressive one known that I had to run only 10 km to receive it.

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

New experience in the well known woods

stats of the week: run 16 km, cycled 57 km, hiked 14 km, tm walked 14 km
stats of the previous week: run 11 km, cycled 59 km, indoor cycled 66 min, hiked 15 km, tm walked 10 km

Two more active and varied weeks of training. My mountain bike had not been used for many many years. It was a prize I won at a Christmas lottery. The first 3 times I rode it I had 3 accidents without other people being involved. I just couldn't handle the brakes and was out of their depth. After this experience I let the bike rest in the basement. Until now. After 3 rides I am still free of downfalls and I really enjoy cycling through our hilly autumn woods.

During our sort of lockdown I have to force myself to get out every day. My weekly contacts I can count by my 10 fingers. It is a lonesome time and feels like a quarantine for months.

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Staying active despite knee problem

stats of the week: run 10 km, indoor cycled 2.30 h, hiked 22 km, tm walked 10 km
stats of the previous week: run 10 km, indoor cycled 45 min, hiked 18 km, tm walked 14 km

Happy to have received my London Marathon finisher package:

Completed 2 virtual races of 5 and 10 km as a pacemaker for C what the knee fairly tolerated. But it still feels like I will have to wait several weeks to recover fully if ever. I will concede another 4 weeks before consulting the orthopaedist. Alas, I know what he will do: ambulant surgery of the meniscus.

Despairingly I bought a new indoor bike trainer to stay fit during the cold months. I also reactivated my mountain bike that I havn't been using for many years. It is still waiting in the cellar.

The stats show rather active weeks but I miss proper running a lot. However, I try to cope with the situation.

A view of a retiree's home office:

Sunday, 18 October 2020

Low level load

stats of the week: run 5 km, hiked 32 km, treadmill walked 14 km
stats of the previous week: cycled 54 km, hiked 19 km, treadmill walked 14 km

I miss the gym a lot. I never enjoyed doing the gym exercises but my body needs them what I can feel meanwhile. Since March I havn't been to the gym and now have even terminated my contract after 22 years of exercising. I should continue at home but find it too difficult to motivate myself.

The knee takes its toll for the unavoidable London Marathon and I have to be cautious building up more load. Hiking seems to be fine up to 10 km, running is tolerated for 5 km every few days. Could be worse.

Walking on the treadmill is a new habit in the morning before breakfast just to wake up my heartrate.

The hike around the hills of R├╝ggeberg was the week's highlight:

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Done: My 21st London Marathon

stats of the week: run 53 km, cycled 77 km
London Marathon result: 4:39:11

Thanks to a perfect support with numerous food stations and two great companions I was able to finish my 21st London Marathon in a proper time. Walking breaks every 5 km enabled me to get to the finish line in good shape. Surprisingly I could run the last 4 km at pace of well sub 6 min/km. Compared to my ardous long training runs this performance shows the importance of suffcient food and drink. 

This photo was taken after 35 km:

A special experience was the reliability of the official London Marathon App. To make sure that we completed the whole distance we continued till my Polar GPS watch clocked 42.6 km. Then we walked to the car park. Where I noticed that my app had only summed up 26.07 miles. So I had to start again to finish my official marathon and finally got an official time of 4:45:38. Even worse for one of my companions: The app counted just 23 miles and did'nt confirm the finish. Hopefully this will be corrected by sending the GPX file.

Monday, 28 September 2020

Awaiting a special sort of race

stats of the week: run 8 km, cycled 42 km
stats of the previous week: run 9 km

If it wasn't London, I won't dare to run 42 km next Sunday. I have to admit it will be more of walking than running. At least I have started to jog for a distance of 5 km again. A realistic plan could be to alternate slow jogging and walking from the beginning, which means this "race" will last for more than 5 hours. However, it's going to be a special day, with a handful of elite runners lapping St. James's Park and 42,283 registered solo runners all around the world, thereof 256 from Germany. A record of 49.3 % female runners entered the virtual race! The most surprising figure is the number of runners from Taiwan: 1,251 entries make it the third biggest country outside UK behind the USA and Hongkong.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Too long for the knee

 stats of the week: run 43 km , cycled 72 km

The long run this Sunday was my longest run since February and I felt really exhausted at the final stretch. I can't really imagine to go for nearly double the distance. Adding to this a new problem with my knee came up that I can't rate. A couple of rest days will hopefully help.

The elite race of the 40th London Marathon is published now. Not only Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele and Brigid Kosgei will run numerous laps around St. James's Park, also German record holder Arne Gabius has been invited.

Monday, 7 September 2020

Effort week

 stats of the week: run 38 km, cycled 111 km, hiked 42 km

With some effort I was able to fulfil the schedule, however the main performance was to walk the Karwendelmarsch. That's a mountainess trailrunning event from Scharnitz across the whole of the Karwendel for 52 km which I entered for the second time. Of course, it had been cancelled. So I decided to walk at least the short version of 35 km what was still a challenge.

Sunday, 30 August 2020

Hope rising

stats of the week: run 38 km, cycled 198 km, hiked 6 h
stats of the previous week: run 18 km, cycled 114 km

The first of our two holiday weeks in Bavaria was intense. Luckily I was able to stick to the running schedule, apart from some biking and hiking.

Climbing Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze at 2,986 m.

Most cyclists in the area ride a mountain bike, but it is still fine for race biking.

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

False start into London training

stats of the week: run 5 km, cycled 118 km
stats of the previous week: run 33 km, cycled 71 km

I didn't expect the London Marathon to call us for a virtual race at Oct 4th. No question it is compulsary for me to start - and finish! Immediately I set up a new training schedule - only to cause a serious calf muscle problem at the first longish jog. With only 7 weeks to go now I have to start from scratch.

Luckily the London Marathon gives time from midnight to midnight to complete the distance. I reckon I will need up to 5 hours including long stretches of walking. However, the virtual race is counted as the 40th London Marathon, so I have to do it.

This is my adjusted schedule, admittedly not a classic and proper marathon training. The key is to do enough to get to the finish, and little enough to get to the start.


Thursday, 6 August 2020

Cycling Streak

stats of the week: run 5 km, cycled 329 km
stats of the previous week: cycled 407 km
stats of the week before: run 5 km, cycled 271 km

During the Provence holiday I managed a streak of 15 days of cycling, counting 943 km and 13,300 meters of ascent. I don't know a more perfect area for road cycling than the beautiful landscape around Mont Ventoux. You have such a big choice of mountain passes that you don't have to repeat any route during a fortnight of cycling. I look forward to being back hopefully already in October.

However, I hoped to improve my performance by this amount of daily training. Okay, I lost two kilos of weight in spite of a lot of very good food and wine. But having turned back home I feel more exhausted than improved. Maybe it will take some more days to get the benefit.

Sunday, 12 July 2020

French mountains waiting

stats of the week: run 24 km, cycled 36 km, indoor cycled 45 min

I did plan to start at a Solo 10  K run in our neighbour town Dortmund but sudden problems with the Achilles tendon restrained me to race. No idea what the reason for the pain could have been.

However, last week's cycle tour had some impact as I was able to reach a new level on the indoor bike: an average of 168 Watt for the whole of the session. Cycling will be our main sport for the next 3 weeks that we are going to spend at the foot of beloved Mont Ventoux. Lots of sunshine awaiting, great landscape, good food and wine. Looking forward to this!

Monday, 6 July 2020

Cycling the home country

stats of the week: cycled 425 km
stats of the previous week: run 22 km, cycled 184 km

Did a 7-day leisure cycling trip along one of the most German and most romantic part of Germany. Corona lets one see parts of the home country that were never seen before. The journey took us along the rivers Tauber, Aisch and Main for almost 500 km.

Towing the trailer for up to 90 km daily by an average speed of 21 km/h took me to my limits several times.

Approaching Rothenburg when it turned out to be the perfect time to be there. Usually
the Unesco village is flooded by tourists - even from Japan and the USA -
now it was very relaxed.

Beautiful Bamberg was much more busy.

Home of the storks.

Stopover at Kitzingen

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Decent week - almost

stats of the week: run 40 km, cycled 56 km

It was a decent week of running although I did only short distances. Since Corona I havn't run a single long run of more than 20 km. Running performance is still low and most of my workouts were sort of a torment. I remember times when I enjoyed the Runner's High regularly but those times are gone since long. However - never give up!

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Another Comrades Medal

stats of the week: run 32 km, cycled 183 km, hiked 25 km

It was a busy and satisfying week. Cycling meant a 2-day-trip from Rhine to Maas on my cross bike towing a trailer with 15 kg baggage. Good exercise although it was a very flat route. We enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere in the Netherlands.

Hiking meant the first half of a hilly local marathon route I published at the Alltrails platform.

And running included the unique opportunity to get a Comrades medal for running only 10 K. The worldwide virtual race counted more than 35,000 participants on distances from 5 to 90 K!

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Weariness and a race

stats of the week: run 23 km, cycled 217 km

I enjoy cycling but running feels unusually hard these days. Without knowing any reason for it I sense running as a physical burdon.

However, I was fit enough to accompany C on a 5 K race that took place in spite of Corona. A field of 250 runners was started in pairs every minute. So the start procedure took more than 2 hours but it still felt almost like a proper race.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020


stats of the week: run 14 km, cycled 113 km, hiked 23 km

Another low level week owing to some minor muscle problems but adding to this I underwent my very first racebike fall after at least 15 years of cycling. It happened without anyone else involved when I overlooked a small step while passing a construction area. Luckily I was quite slow and only suffered skin surface injuries.

Following the George Floyd murder and the president's behaviour I count 4 countries I would be very unhappy to live in: North Korea, China, Russia, USA. And I am not sure about the ranking.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Constant muscle problems

stats of the week: run 18 km, cycled 182 km
stats of the week before: run 22 km, cycled 138 km, indoor cycled 1 h, hiked 12 km

I am rather gutted about my poor running mileage. Due to several muscle problems I had to stick to cycling most of the time and even had a number of rest days. Probably the reason is the lack of strength training and stretching. The gym has opened again meanwhile but I still hesitate to go. Our town is no corona hotspot but there are still a few new infections and I prefer to avoid the risk. However, I can't find the motivation to do strength training at home.

The one highlight of the last week was our 2-day-cycling tour. Towing the baggage trailer with my bike for 90 km each day was a good exercise and got me to my limits. This was another test for a big project I still dream of to do next year.

Sunday, 10 May 2020

75 years after - German participation

stats of the week: run 43 km, cycled 98 km, hiked 14 km

The week shows a decent amount of training, however I am still not happy with my level of performance. Okay, I should be content with this volume of exercise having in mind that I count 67 years meanwhile.

Hiking does not only exhilarate your mind. This is how spruces in the local forests look like this year due to the mighty bark beetle.

By the way the ugliest term of the year does not deal with corona. When Germany prepares to be able to throw US American atomic bombs by German jets and threatens to kill hundreds of thousands of people they call it nuclear participation.

Monday, 4 May 2020

Less bruises and higher speed

stats of the week: run 42 km, cycled 63 km, indoor cycled 1 h, hiked 30 km

In Germany we are still lucky to be allowed to do our sport outdoors. So staying at home develops to sort of a training camp.

I am very happy that I no longer have to take the antikoagulants that had been necessary for one year after my heart attack. It not only means less hematomas. To be honest I now hope to get faster again. I will do some speed intervals to show proof of that.

On our way to a hiking marathon we have now reached 30 km. 42 should be possible in a few weeks.

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Increased sadness

stats of the week: run 25 km, cycled 175 km, hiked 36 km

What a sad day! For the first time after 20 years - a third of my life - there is no London Marathon for me. There was no action necessary to have this in mind but to increase the grief I was wearing London Marathon finisher shirts all week.

The event is officially postponed to 4th October, but I doubt that it will take place. Today first thoughts were published that the marathon could be limited to the elite field. That would make another very sad day.

I wonder how long hiking through the local woods can keep us in a good mood. The situation starts to get depressing especially there is no end to be seen.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Tough lonesome job

stats of the week: run 19 km, cycled 145 km, hiked 44 km

Did another virtual lonesome race, this time a 10 K on a flat local bike path. The speed was rather okay as I finished after 53:00 min. Usually I enjoy running speed intervals on my own but to keep up the pace for a total of 10 K without any competitors is a tough job. Alas I feel a rising motivation now to get back to speed training.

The Berlin Marathon that was scheduled for 27th Sept is already cancelled. I doubt that London will take place on 4th October.

We still try to stay in good mood by hiking the local woods.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

New heart rate wake up custom

stats of the week: run 8 km, cycled 130 km, hiked 51 km

During the first Corona panic I bought a treadmill to ensure exercising while being locked-in. Luckily we are still allowed to run and cycle outside. However I developed a new morning habit. To accelerate my morning sub 40 b/sec heartrate I walk 2 km on the treadmill to wake up before breakfast. That really helps my body to get under way.

Corona time is hiking time. As you see my weekly mileage schedule is still fulfilled thanks to long walks through the local woods.