Michael started training with Hungry Runner one year ago, just after he completed his first half marathon in a time of 01:51:43. This is a really impressive time, especially when you consider that Michael is in the 60+yo age group and has a very demanding job! Until then, Michael trained twice per week with a local running group and went sometimes for a longer run in the weekend. But after crossing the finish line of his first half marathon, he got taste of it and wanted more! That was when he joined Hungry Runner. Together we decided that he would first go back to racing shorter distances to improve his speed and get his body stronger. Then later in the year, he would start with specific half marathon trainings. Meanwhile, he would continue his trainings with the local running group as he enjoys running with others. This meant that I had to make a training schedule that would work around these group trainings and his busy life. So, in Michael’s schedule I actually reduced the intensity of his runs but placed key sessions at specific days. This allowed him to train smart and increase his speed, while feeling more rested during the week. He had fun training and racing and smashed his PB every race!
His results show his progression: October 2014, half marathon: 01:51:43 (before training with Hungry Runner) December 2014, 15km race: 1:17:25 January 2015, 10km race: 00:45:31 March 2015, half marathon: 01:43:25 April 2015, 10km: 00:41:53 May 2015, half marathon: 01:39:41 September 2015, half marathon: 01:37:26
Michael is the perfect example to show you how much difference it can make when you train smart and organize your trainings effectively around a busy life.
I asked him a few questions after his last half marathon:
Can you describe the race?
The weather conditions were excellent. 17 degrees, sunny and little wind. Race course went through the suburb, park and meadows. And it was flat of course (Netherlands!). It is a small scale race (about 150 participants) so you can get your own pace quite early in the race. It has all paved roads. I started with my running mate, but he had to let go after 15kms. Luckily for me I could join two guys who were running at the pace I was running at (4:35). At the end it was getting very difficult, but I could just hook on to them.
What made you want to run this event?
This race is in my hometown (Zoetermeer). I had done it last year and I liked the small scale of it. And I like to run one race a month.
What goal had you set for this race? Did you reach it?
I wanted to prove that I am in good condition. I had done my last race in spring in 1:40, so I aimed at the same time. It turned to be 1:37:26 which is a personal best.
What have you learnt from this race?
Interesting is that I changed the length of my stride during the race. The two guys who I joined at 15 km had a longer stride. I found out it felt easier for me to keep up my speed with that longer stride. So now I will discuss with my coach the way to experiment a bit with my stride when training for my first marathon. See if I can improve myself with a longer stride.
Your racing season has already been quite busy, you have trained and raced a few 10km and half marathons, how do you feel about it?
It feels great. I like the training sessions. Sidney has been so flexible to incorporate my group training with his own schedule. So now I have a mix of group training and solo training. This gives me a good feeling and I get excellent feedback from my coach. I can feel I am still progressing and the races are the proof of the pudding.
This year, which race gave you the highest feeling of achievement?
It depends on what kind of achievement you are thinking of. In spring I did a 10 km race through the tulip fields. That was great, Colourful and really nice smell. Spring in the air. And doing a 5 km colour run with my daughter is something I won’t forget, Run is fun! But of course this last race with a PB is unbeatable.
Have you got new goals?
Next year I want to do my first marathon in spring (Rotterdam). Looking forward to it.