Penang Bridge Marathon 2014: What Did I Do Right, or Wrong?

The Bridge Icon
The Icon of Penang Bridge

Today is 1 week after Penang Bridge Marathon. My leg has almost recovered, but the memory of the run still linger on my mind. The marathon is so enjoyable, being so quiet on Penang Bridge in the middle of the ocean, made more surreal with the street lights.

More importantly, I was so in control with my pace. Walking to the starting line with the thought that I will not reach the finish line within the 7 hour cut off time, I manage to pace myself so that I reach the half marathon mark still feeling fresh. There are only slight pain on my leg, but other than that, my breath and heart rate is very much under control.

I run the second half with confidence to make a new personal best of marathon run. And I did clip almost full 10 minutes faster than my previous marathon.

So, in the last 3 days, I can’t stop to think, what I did right days before and during the run? And what to improve to finish in less time for my next marathon, if I’m going to run another one?

So, here is the list.

What did I do right in Penang Bridge Marathon?

  1. Proper food. Yes, the proverb is right, you are what you eat. After a not so great medical check up result, I started to pay attention to what I eat in the last 2 weeks before the run. In particular, I start to consume coconut water, vanilla rooibos tea and replace my snack of fried food with fruits.
  2. Endurance training. Different with my former marathon training, I run more half marathon during my training. Sometimes I run 2 half marathon in 2 consecutive weeks. Each run focus on endurance training: slower speed with lower heart rate. This training sacrifice my speed in race of half marathon or less distance, but it pay off during full marathon run
  3. Nibble during the run. This is an advice that was given my a friend, an ultra runner. Instead of finishing a bread in one go, try to nibble it in a small chunk. It didn’t make me bloated and make your throat dry. Yet, at the same time, nibbling will give constant supply of carbohydrate as energy source. I nibble my bread from km 28 up to 38. It is also help to pass the time.
  4. Keep your heart rate under control. This means that you run slower to achieve target heart rate, giving illusion that you will finish mich longer. But, it will prevent the exhaustion and drop in speed at the later part of the race. I reach the half marathon mark in 3 hours in my previous marathon, compared to 3:15 in Penang Bridge Marathon. Yet, I finish almost 10 minutes faster than my previous marathon
Sunrise On Penang Bridge
Sunrise on the horizon, as runners march toward the finish line

What Should I Improve for my Next Marathon?

  1. Do non-running training. In particular, I feel that I need to do more weight training, and improve my core muscle strength. Swimming is a good exercise that will develop core and upper body strength necessary to improve running endurance
  2. More mileage. I did one 100km/month project in June. Instead of one time project, I need to be more consistent to achieve 100km running per month
  3. Include speed training. Endurance training will decrease your speed. So, to be faster, you need to include speed training along with endurance training.
Eventually, all the improvement will need significant amount of time to put in place. Am I able to commit the time necessary for the training? That is the question that I have to answer before deciding to run another marathon.
Penang Marathon Official Result
My Official Result of Penang Bridge International Marathon 2014

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