• Barry Gerhold

Away with the crazy gang.



The lead up to Edinburgh...

On the lead up to this event, my goals changed many times. My fitness levels were lower than they should have been due to last month’s illness and I doubted I would get back to my best anytime this year. A month before the event, I knew that a PB was out of the question and that I would be happy with a 3:45. Two weeks prior, my fitness levels accelerated. I hadn’t done anything different to normal, my body had just had the opportunity to recover and get back to where it should be.

I love my gadgets and also my stats. I often use the data that Garmin provides to give a rough indication on how I am performing. Some of it can be taken with a pinch of salt, but the V02 max indications seem to be fairly on the mark. V02 shows your level of fitness and bases this on several factors, such as the heart rate that your body begins to produce lactic acid. A reaction to this lactic acid would be deterioration in performance. This V02 indicator usually requires a few tests in a lab with sensors, blood tests and all that jazz, but the app does enough for me.

Garmin also shows race predictor times and this figure, 9 days before Edinburgh, was telling me that I could achieve a sub 20min 5k as well as a 3:13 marathon time. This filled me with confidence, but I would need to test the accuracy and do a parkrun to see if my fitness levels would indeed enable me to get a sub 20min time. Parkrun went perfectly and I managed to get a 19:57, which altered my goal for the marathon to attempting a PB and aiming to get a sub 3:15. After a mid-week training session, the Garmin race predictor time improved even more, claiming that I was capable of a 3:03 marathon… Garmin was clearly drunk at this point and being daft! My goal remained sub 3:15.

These days planning for a marathon is much harder than it was just over a year ago. Back then, I could lay out all my kit the night before, pop it in a bag, remove my drinks from the fridge the next morning and away I would go. Now I am with Nat and we have the little pickles to think about, all planning seems to go straight out the window and it feels a hell of a lot more hectic. This marathon includes a four day trip with the family and my anxiety levels will be high just making sure that everything goes to plan. Aiming for a personal best will raise my stress levels even more, so sitting at home 45minutes before heading out the door to make our way to Kings Cross, I imagine that my blood pressure will be a tad higher than normal.


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