Almost 2 weeks ago I completed the Barcelona Marathon. I ran the London Marathon in 2012 in 4 hours 34 minutes. I was therefore overwhelmed when my time came through for the Barcelona marathon as 4 hours 4 minutes…a whole 30 minutes faster than 3 years ago. This got me thinking about what had changed for me this time round….
Before the race….
It is well known that there is a fair amount of training and planning that goes into running a marathon, especially one in a different country. I guess one of the main things that changed for this marathon compared to the last one I did, was the training and planning in the lead up to the event. For the London marathon, I ran it alone and essentially did most of my training alone. However, for the Barcelona marathon, my mum, sister, partner and two friends decided to run too! I feel that doing such event when in a group and having the group to prepare with was a real help. I also feel that I focused more on a training programme this time round, using the Asics running plan to assist with my intensity and frequency of training.
I started my training in November 2013, allowing 4 months of training to take place.
My training involved a gradual build up in intensity and duration, and I complemented my running by attending yoga and continuing to teach and practice Pilates. I feel that this was one of the biggest changes with this training compared to when I trained in London, in which I just trained by running and occasionally stretching. It is for this reason that I am currently writing a blog on ‘Pilates for running’ as I feel strongly that I have generally become a lot more body aware and physically stronger, this assisting with my overall endurance throughout the race.
We arrived in Barcelona a couple of days before the race allowing us to get to the expo site to collect our bib numbers, chips and most importantly make the most of the pasta party.
During the race….
The day before the race we got drenched in sporadic bursts of rain and hail. We were all dreading that we were going to have similar weather on the Sunday of the race, however we were extremely lucky and had glorious sunshine for the whole route round. The mist showers you could run through were welcomed.
Having the lovely sights of a beautiful city to view on route were a great distraction throughout the course and as the race was much quieter than London, I felt I could appreciate the sights of the Barcelona marathon a little more.
One thing I was not prepared for was that the route was set in kilometres and I had done all of my training in miles….42 kilometres seems much longer than 26 miles!!!
Generally the race was extremely well prepared with regular water, powerade, GU gels and fruit stops along the way.
After the race….
On completion of the race we spent the rest of the day relaxing in a rooftop bar in Barcelona. We then had three days to enjoy Barcelona following the marathon. Stiff legs meant walking around Park Guell and down the steps of Sagrada Familia towers was tough going. Overall, a great trip and all very pleased with our times!