Running: Stronger and faster

Running: Stronger and faster

Martijn is working from a good base and strengthtraining to faster running times. In his story he tells us how he became stronger and faster in the past year.

In December 2020 Wim and I came in contact during a random coffee moment at work. Wim turned out to be an enthusiastic triathlete and a coach as well. I was looking for a way to improve my running performance responsibly. I was already training with Rotterdam Atletiek, but I was looking for a way of training that allowed me to keep doing the running drills and intervals at my club and have a balanced training plan to improve my running performance. The times I wanted  to focus on were from 5 kilometers up to the marathon distance (42 kilometers).

Together Wim and I started working. I found it important to put some flexibility into my schedule; I wanted to be able to adapt the schedule to the work/life agenda. Sometimes I have a bike ride planned, or can’t make a day of training due to other commitments. Additionaly I wanted to keep training with Rotterdam Atletiek for the social runs. In TrainingPeaks I put these wishes and Wim builds plan around this.

In the past times I have seen three things really changes compared to earlier years:
(i) Run slower – I noticed that running more slow long runs has made me much faster. I increased my slow long runs. This builds a good (aerobic) base for further specific training for races.
(ii) Structured running – With a personalised schedule together with a coach dedicated to watching over my shoulder, I was able to make huge progression. The trainings were right for the time and current fatigue and form.
(iii) More strength training – This year I started doing run specific strength training. I notice that muscle mass is increasing, which gives me more power, despite the extra weight. For me this help prevent injury.

During 2021 we starting building towards one of my goals; the Berlin Half Marathon. Structured and targeted we built towards this race. The right base was created, specific tempo trainings were done and a good taper period into the races was included. Together with Wim we built the plan for the race, to empty the tank right at the finish line. This preparation (and my good execution 😉) result in a nice PR on the Half Marathon in the German capital of 1:28.

This improvement left me wanting more – I notice I really like working to faster goals in a good way. By now I have broken almost all PR’s I had, but there is still more than enough progression to be made to become even faster. I am looking forward to keep working with Wim (and train at Rotterdam Atletiek) to become even faster, but must of all keep enjoying the wonderful sport of running.

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