The Rotterdam Marathon – Arhturs’ Experience

After 3 years of not running a marathon, due to corona and all kinds of injuries that suddenly appeared after I was 40, I ran the Rotterdam Marathon again. In the autumn I started working fanatically with an old training schedule that I still had. My condition grew and everything seemed to be going well, until I suffered another hamstring injury in early December. I can get into quite a negative spiral, but since I still have 2 (my first) half triathlons planned this year, I decided to start training again at @Tri-PT Studio/Concetta from January. Because I can motivate myself for running, but cycling and swimming I really need some direction (read: kick in the ass).

So, despite the hamstring pain, getting started. Also to a sports physio, sports masseur, nutritional supplements. If walking is not possible for a while, then try to do everything you can for the rest. The training schedules were great again. Quiet recovery bike rides, longer endurance rides, walks to what I could (obviously I wanted a lot more) and intervals on the Tacx with FirstDates on the TV (hey, everyone has their quilty pleasure). The injury was slowly moving in the right direction. But so slowly that until 4 weeks before the marathon I had not run longer distances than 14 km. I did train on average about 7 hours a week with cycling. Concetta asked how I was doing with the marathon and we decided to build up the kilometers and see if I would start (I had already written it off in my head, but I can enjoy long runs). So I walked another 20+ km 3 times. 3 weeks before the marathon, when I had done a wonderful endurance run, she called: of course you will do that marathon easily! ‘Sure’, I thought, I would also say as a coach. But I’m used to doing 30+km long runs in preparation, so I’ll see if I’m going to start at the last minute. After an ’empty’ 10 km the week before the marathon, which went very well, I decided to start anyway. Sub 4 hours I thought there was no chance, Concetta looked at my training and condition and was convinced that I would succeed. Got some tips about nutrition and how I can prevent muscle cramps during the marathon.

And so the well-known marathon things happened last week. Every pain or itch that you feel you make big in your head. It would be cold at the start, but warm up later with a sun, so what kind of clothing? At what speed do I leave? And so forth. Because I had trained up to 25 km, I decided to walk until that point and enjoy it and then take the pain. That pain in the woods that I felt so bad in previous editions. It was beautiful again, from Lee Towers at the start, the well-known marching tune after the start and all the audience at the Erasmus Bridge. Nicely drink a few sips every 5 km, neatly a gel every 7 km and this time don’t try to achieve a certain pace and just overtake people left and right. After the cycle path on the south, you turn into Slinge and there it is so crowded with people, where my sister and daughter were also. So far so good. Up to 25 km it went well, back across the Erasmus was again phenomenal with all those people. The tunnel afterwards always hurts.

And then came the forest! In the meantime I had completed the 30 km running and it was still going well. I barely had any decay. So just go from kilometer to kilometer and wait for that man to come with the hammer. I always have an appointment with him out there somewhere… But he didn’t come. Left and right I saw people having a hard time and of course I also had a hard time. My legs were severely cramped, but I enjoyed knowing how it felt on previous editions. And then there comes Crooswijk. What a party! I felt like Gert-Jan Theunissen in the polka dot jersey climbing the Alp d’Huez! At 40 km I knew I would finish without walking. And I knew that this would be done well within 4 hours! The bend to the Coolsingel is a wonderful moment. Another 500 meters and all the audience, stirring music. At 100 meters before the finish there was my daughter Robin and my sister. I cheered like I was the winner. And that’s how I felt. Completing a marathon is always the end of a period for me and that brings a lot of emotions with it. That I can be proud of myself again!

I’m grateful to you Concetta, without you I wouldn’t even have started, let alone finish in 4 hours!

On to the next races and definitely Rotterdam again next year!

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