Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cross Training

In December 2008 I decided which marathon I wanted to run. My marathon was the Kasumigaura marathon in Ibaraki prefecture Japan on April 19th 2009. With this goal set, I could really start concentrating on a serious training program and make myself mentally ready. Since this was going to be my first ever marathon and the biggest physical exercise in my life I felt increasingly stronger and more confident as the weeks went by. After doing some research on the web I found that it would probably be useful to collect some cross training exercises to further strengthen other body parts. I started with pushups, hooking, and bridge training. Also I do some exercises with light 1kg dumbells to strengthen my arm and shoulders.
I found some wonderful core exercise video's on Runnersworld demonstrated by Matt Tegenkamp. There are various useful video's here made with and by highly experienced and professional runners. Core strengthening, dumbbell, and balance training are really helping me to improve my posture and running style. Creating a stronger upper body gives me more speed as well.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Protein Supplements

Suddenly going from doing no sports at all to running around 50KM a week took its toll on my health and physique. I went to look for protein supplements which also contained Glutamine or Chondroitin to give some protection to my knee and ankle joints. I found that the most reasonably priced (whey) protein supplement was Weider Muscle Fit Protein. weider muscle fit protein
Calories 73Kcal Vitamin B2 0.54mg
Protein 14.2g Vitamin B6 0.46mg
Fat 0.3 - 1.1g Vitamin B12 0.80~3.60µg
Carbohydrate 2.6g Niacin 8.0mg
Natrium 60mg Folic Acid 80µg
Calcium 300mg Pantothenic Acid 2.4mg
Iron 3.6mg Glutamine 3,000mg
Vitamin B1 0.46 Isolated Glutamine 26mg

Weider Muscle Fit Protein seemed the best because it also contained Glutamine, vital vitamin B, and a fairly large amount of calcium. Within a few weeks of taking protein supplements I started to notice that my recovery time was shortened, muscles felt less sore the day after intense workout and a quicker buildup of muscle tissue. This protein supplement powder is easily dissolved in cold water and doesn't taste bad at all. I drank some protein before doing a work out and always before going to bed at night. Taking protein supplements at night gave me the best recovery and muscle buildup results.

Winter Training

Marathon Winter Training
From October (2008) I started to increase distance and frequency of my long-runs to four runs a week with a weekly total of between 40 and 50 KM. very soon I felt my body becoming stronger and fitter than ever before. From December I did cross training almost every day, only taking Mondays off to recharge. Winter temperatures were between minus 5 to plus 10 from December to March. Doing warm-ups and stretching in this cold weather wasn’t really fun so I did that as quickly as possible, probably inviting injuries to start developing from this stage.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Last summer (2008), I heard one of my colleagues talking about his preparations for running his first marathon ever. Somehow he seemed so motivated and ready to work hard in order to finish a marathon race that I felt deep respect. I thought it could be a great challenge for me too, so I stated with runs of three or four kilometers. Feeling sweat run over my face after many years of being a couch-potato, I remembered the euphoric feeling and sensations of a good workout, and I loved it!!

I'm living in Japan where the summers get humidity percentages in the eighties and nineties so the summer time is not the best for practicing long runs. I tried to do two runs a week until October. then it started to cool down and as my physical endurance was build up little by little I increased my weekly runs to somewhere between five and seven kilometers. It felt really good and mentally I was completely convinced that I would be able to finish a marathon race.

From November (2008) after browsing the web about marathon running, I started to do some simple cross-training like sit ups, push ups and playing with 1KG dumbbells. Very basic stuff but it felt good to work on other parts of my body while resting between running days.