Only a few days are left before Hsinchu marathon. Earlier I ran two marathons and I never trained as much as for this marathon. In fact, for my previous marathon in Tuusula I did not train at all, and I ran it in 5 hours and 15 minutes.
So here I will describe our training schedule for the previous month. We did not stick with any particular plan, even though there are plenty of them on the Internet. Our plan included short runs Tuesday through Friday and a longer run on Saturday, and Sunday, Monday were days off. During the working days we ran inside ITRI campus, on Saturday we went to Nan-liao, a 17km bike path on the seashore. The length of runs varied as follows:
- Week 1 (8/29-9/4) 6km on each working day, 20km Saturday
- Week 2 (9/5-9/11) 6km on each working day, 34km Saturday
- Week 3 (9/12-9/18) 10km on each working day, 20km Saturday
- Week 4 (9/19-9/25) 10km on each working day, 34km Saturday – PEAK LOAD
- Week 5 (9/26-10/2) 6km on each working day, marathon day on Sunday
So what should we expect on the marathon day? A tough race, a battle, a real challenge for yourself. So why is that? Because the weather is still extremely hot, with temperatures approaching 35 centigrade. The marathon starts at 6AM, so there is a period of relatively comfortable weather. At 7 AM sun starts to shine at full strength. The course of the marathon goes on the highway – no shadow, sun shining at you all the time. And trust me, at 7 AM it is already pretty hot, around 30 centigrade. Is it possible to sustain this kind of weather for 3-4 hours? Finishing a marathon is always a challenge. The saying goes that marathon starts after 30km . I think that in Hsinchu finishing a marathon is a double challenge.
It is tempting to start this marathon at a faster pace in order to get through as much distance as possible before the real heat kicks in. But this is a wrong strategy. You will definitely need all your energy to sustain the heat of the second part of the marathon. I experienced a similar kind of situation in the Bronx 5 years ago (Gee, it was a lot of time ago!). That half-marathon began at 7AM on the city streets with lots of trees and shadow, but then it went to a highway and suddenly it became very hot. I was crawling the second part of that race. I cannot call it running.
This time I need to act wisely. Start slowly and save as much energy as you can, even if you don’t run too far during the first hour. Make sure you arrive fresh at 20km, and in a reasonably good shape at 30km. Then try to survive the last 10km, I am sure it is a very very difficult task, but all our previous preparation should do us a good service this time.
I am looking forward to running a marathon in Hsinchu this Sunday!