April Runs

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Archive for the category “Juneathon 2014”

JUD30 – I made it (again)

So we made it to the last day, well done everybody,… and as always during this love-hate relationship that I have with the Athons, I will miss it. I will miss being in the middle of the challenge, I will miss the evenings that I had to push myself to go running, I will miss the lack of inspiration to write down at least a one liner for my blog. Luckily, I can already look forward to January 2015!

In June, I exercised for 30 consecutive days. I climbed  2000 vertical meters on the staircase and ran 151 km. I managed to maintain a reasonable diet with regular breakfasts, no bread, limited amount of sweets and coffee and not more than a couple of glasses of wine/beer during the entire month. I think I lost 5 kg or so – but what’s more important, I regained some of my better eating habits.

I participated in one running race which also happened to be the longest run of my life (so far). And I spent a lot of time with my girls :-).

JUD27-29 Outdoor life

The weekend found us mostly outside, with some running but mainly walking and hiking at Maiskogel and watching a cross triathlon race under the Weißsee. There was a lot of core exercise and vertical meters with the stroller. And we had a lot of fun together.








JUD24-26 Running up the hills

When it comes to blogging, I am obviously slacking. Two years ago I wouldn’t have thought that running and exercising become easier than writing and look at me now – empty headed I run my miles and when back at home, there is no inspiration for a blog post. So here I am, stealing other people’s thoughts yet again (Lazy Runner’s blog)…

How to cope on a hilly run:

1. Look ahead to 50 metres in front – Easy. Spotted a dead mole yesterday.
2. Take shorter steps – I am taking them on flat course as well.
3. Maintain Correct Posture – Ehm, next!
4. Positive Talk – You love that hill! – Do I?
5. Train on Hills – Yes, mother!
6. Use the downhill as recovery – How do I explain this to my quadriceps?
7. When you want to walk..don’t…Push through -Easy peasy.
8. If you have to walk, only one minute and then run again – Or what?


JUD22-23 New challenge

In the hours (and days) following to our race in Salzburg, my muscles went from “I am feeling totally ok” through “my right leg hurts a little” to “ouch, I cannot walk the stairs”. In other words, all fine here.

As the previous challenge (650 km in about  4 months) has ended (we didn’t quite make it due to circumstances…), it is time for another one – and it starts today: Till the end of August, we should climb Matterhorn. This does not necessarily mean to travel to Zermatt (well, D. will go there, anyway) and buy ourselves crampons. The idea simply is to log 4478 height meters in 10 weeks.


Trail running, staircases, walking the hills – all is allowed, as long as the total comes to the magical altitude of this magical Alpine peak.

June 22: 6.2 km running, 3 km walking, spa
June 23: 15 x stairs

JUD21 – Hills hurt

After a long count down, the Race Day of Mozart100 finally came. Together with Iva we drove to Salzburg early in the morning. The weather looked promising – half cloudy and temperatures around 12 degrees with forecasted max around 22. We found a good parking spot and quickly walked towards the race office, picked up the bibs and looked around.

Mozart 100 logo

Mozart 100 logo

While our race was a ‘Light Trail‘ counting only 25.8 km, there were already runners on their way, fighting with 100 km or a 55 km distance… as we were walking through the city, we saw them passing by. Despite their distances, they looked so fresh!

Soon afterwards we found a shuttle bus to Fuschl am See where our race started. Fuschl is a popular summer holiday destination as it is located on the shores of a beautiful lake. It is about 25 km away from Salzburg but the racing buzz was there as strongly present as in Salzburg. As we were waiting for the start signal, we were checking our co-racers – a couple of Kenyans, some nordic walkers but mostly nice and friendly runners with ambitions similar to ours: to enjoy a beautiful summer day while running.

The Lake

The Lake

Almost immediately after the start, a narrow forest path took us along the lake. It lasted about 4 km and I hardly noticed I was moving – somehow I felt like running rather effortlessly, a feeling that would accompany me almost all day. Another 3 km on a small paved road and there was a sign ‘The Wall’ on the side of the road. For a moment I was wondering what did it mean, until I spotted a group of runners walking right above me. The Wall referred to the hill bringing us to Hof bei Salzburg, one that cannot be run by runners like myself :-).

the wall

The Wall…

Just like the rest, I started walking as well and soon ended up on top. From here, it was just a short run to one of the food stations. As I was chewing my water melon, I spotted a famous silhouette: it was Dan Oralek himself, the icon of Czech ultra running. Of course I only saw him for 2 seconds and then he was gone for good but still – from now on I knew I was actually running on the same path as a celebrity :-).

From Hof the race course took us passing the beautiful chapel through meadows and woods to Ladau, Koppl and passed the Salzburg Ring. I was still running well – SLOW but steady, feeling good, enjoying myself, enjoying the scenery. From here (km 16) I knew I would make it despite the fear of the last climb…


The chapel in Hof

After the blossoming meadows and soft forest paths of the countryside the ‘city trail’ started as we were approaching Salzburg. My half marathon time was 2:36. Around the 22 km mark we passed the railways and then I saw the Kapuzinerberg in front of me (640 m above sea level). Quick cup of water at the bottom and off I was. Vaguely I remembered that the climb was supposed to be spiced up by some stairs. Or were they on the way down? Well, 600 stairs further (and I was sooooo lucky to have trained the stair running throughout Juneathon) I still was not on the top….

Half way up I (barely) passed an elderly lady with poles – probably a local who gave me a friendly smile. She probably SAW the lactate accumulating in my legs by then. It hurt. At that point, I was already running for 3 hours (and Iva was at the finish line for a quarter of an hour…). And then after reaching the top, I realised that what goes up must come down and since my Garmin was showing that the finish line is only a mile away, the descend would inevitably be steep…. which it was.

Stairs case at Kapuzinerberg

Stairs case at Kapuzinerberg

Good thing that the horse smelled the stables – very very carefully I was descending and against all odds, I felt cheerful and happy. After crossing the river, there was the finish gate. My Garmin showed 26.3 km at 3:31:40 (and 531 m up). I made it, the longest, nicest and most enjoyable run of my life! On top of this, I did not end up the last (30th out of 35 women; congrats to Iva to 14th place at 2:42:15!).

JUD20 – Quiet before storm

Advices on what to do just one day before the D-Day (= race day):

1. Eat carbs

2. Avoid unusual food

3. Stay hydrated

4. Don’t overdo it

5. Go for a short run if you need it

6. Clip your toenails

7. Get your gear ready

8. Stay relaxed

9. Plan breakfast

10. Review the course map (again).

JUD19 – Carbs

After forty years of random carbs usage, I read that there is a whole science around it – there are good and bad carbs, carbs to use before the race and apres-carbs,… Lets just look at the top-10 for runners:
1. Bananas
Because they are easy to eat and digest and are loaded with fast-acting carbohydrates (one large banana provides 31 grams of carbs), bananas make the perfect pre- or post-exercise snack. Just be sure to have your banana with some form of protein after exercise to promote muscle recovery and repair.
bananas larson2. Berries
Strawberries, blueberries, and other berries are among the most nutritious sources of carbohydrate. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that promote health and performance in all kinds of ways. Berries are not the most concentrated source of carbs, however (a full cup of strawberries contains just 12 grams), so don’t rely on them too heavily to meet your daily carbohydrate needs.
3. Brown rice
Cereal grains such as brown rice are among the richest sources of carbohydrate. One cup of brown rice has 45 grams of carbohydrate. Whole grains such as brown rice are considered healthier than refined grains such as white rice because they contain more fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are also absorbed more slowly (their glycemic index is lower), so they provide more lasting energy and promote less fat storage.
4. Energy bars
Real energy bars — the kind designed specifically for use before, during, and after exercise — are great for fueling and refueling around workouts as they provide abundant, fast energy. Before and after workouts, choose bars that are high in carbs, moderate in protein, and low in fat and fiber. For snacking, choose bars made from real food — fruit, nuts, and whole grains — and with minimal added sugar.
5. Lowfat yogurt
Lowfat milk-based foods such as yogurt are very rich sources of carbohydrate. A six-ounce serving of lowfat blueberry yogurt supplies 26 grams of carbs. Lowfat yogurt is a better choice before and immediately after exercise because it has a higher glycemic index, so the carbs go to work quickly. Most yogurts, even those with fruit in them, contain added sugar, which is totally unnecessary and less healthy. So try to find a brand with no added sugar.
6. Oatmeal
Old-fashioned oatmeal is an ideal pre-exercise breakfast choice. It’s easy to eat and digest and provides a ton of carbs: one half-cup gives you a whopping 54 grams! Add a sliced banana and you’ll take in 100-plus grams of carbohydrate.
7. Sports drinks
provide the carbs you need to fuel your muscles during exercise, along with water and electrolytes for hydration (plus protein to reduce muscle damage, in some cases). Because they are high in sugar, though, these products should only be used immediately before, during, and right after workouts and races.
8. Tomato sauce
Tomato sauce is a rich source of carbohydrate (at roughly 21 grams per cup), as well as various vitamins and minerals and antioxidants such as lycopene. Studies have shown that thanks to these antioxidants, regular tomato sauce eaters have a lower risk for certain diseases, including prostate cancer in men.
9. Whole grain bread
Whole-grain breads don’t have any more carbohydrate than refined-grain breads (one slice has 12 grams), but they have more fiber, vitamins and minerals, and a lower glycemic index to give you longer-lasting energy. Just note that even most whole-grain breads have added sugar, so try to find brands that don’t.
10. Whole grain pasta
You don’t need me to tell you that pasta is high in carbs. One cup of whole-wheat spaghetti provides 37 grams. As with other grain-based foods, whole-grain pasta supplies more nutrition, yields longer-lasting energy, and promotes less fat storage than regular pasta. Serve it with a protein, such as shellfish or meatballs made with lean ground beef or turkey, and you get a lower glycemic index meal for even longer-lasting energy.

(by Matt Fitzgerald)

4 km slowly…

JUD18 – Tapering


“In the context of sports, tapering refers to the practice of reducing exercise in the days just before an important competition. Tapering is customary in many endurance sports, such as the marathon, athletics and swimming. For many athletes, a significant period of tapering is essential for optimal performance. The tapering period frequently lasts as much as a week or more.”

Does this sound familiar?
taperingStill, one has to continue Juneathoning so there are some short easy runs and of course the staircase…

JUD17 – Short stride

To make my run today more fun, I was attempting to:

1. Keep my steps short because: “shortening one’s stride helps keep one on top of one’s feet, which helps one hit mid-foot (instead of heel-striking) and keeps one’s momentum going forward”.

2. Keep my feet close to the ground so that it feels like I am shuffling and my feet barely leave the ground (Don’t I always do that??).

3. Count my steps and practice running with a high cadence (85-95).

Why all this? They say that running with a high cadence shouldn’t be as tiring as running with a low cadence. Efficient endurance running requires just a slight knee lift, a quick leg turnover, and a short stride. I’m still working on that one…..
poster7 slow km


JUD14-16 – Boring numbers?

Distilled out of the sea of numbers available on internet:

Running uphills:

When during a 10 km track from A to B there is an ascent of +100 m, the track can be compared to a 10.8 km one.

Running around:
When during a 10 km track from A back to A there is an ascent of +100 m, the track can be compared to a 10.4 km one.

Weight loss:
Loosing 1 kg of body weight increases your speed with 3 s/km (oops – some sources say 1 s/km and others 15 s/km).

Men vs women:
On all tracks between 800 m and 42 km, the difference between male and female running speed is about 11%.

The length of equator is 40,075 km.
numbersOff to the second half of Juneathon…


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