I’m not quite sure where to start, and not sure where this will end.
I have always been a sporty person. I’ve played cricket all my life, at the top level in Holland, captaining the Belgian national side and playing in numerous tournaments around the world. I still love the game but time constraints mean I can’t play it at the level I want to. When I go for something, I don’t want it to be half-hearted.
I started cycling and running two years ago. Never with much in mind, just as a hobby. But the big difference with team sports is that I can decide when to go running and cycling. I can fit it around my schedule, and don’t have to fit my schedule around my sports. Being a new dad, this is probably one of the most important benefits of being a so-called lone sportsman.
Of course this doesn’t mean that everything you do needs to be individual. I love cycling with friends and running during lunchtime with colleagues. But if you can’t make it, then you can’t make it. You’re not letting a team down and your mates or colleagues are usually in the same boat.
In April this year, two colleagues and I decided we needed a challenge. And I’m not one to shy away from a challenge. As we all enjoyed running, we picked out the Amsterdam marathon as a target. We each went to a sports doctor who set up individual training plans and here we are now, five months later.
In a little over four weeks’ time, we will all be running in our very first marathon. Training is getting tough but we are looking forward to it. Although we are getting a little nervous too. Nerves aren’t a bad thing, as long as they don’t get the better of you.
This weekend I have a 25km run coming up. Next week I’ve scheduled a little over 60km and the week after that is 70km. Then we start a two week taper period.
I have a last appointment at the doctor in two weeks’ time where he will take me through my pacing strategy for the marathon. Getting close now!
I’ve already started dreaming of my next challenges, and have singled out three for 2018:
- The Antwerp marathon on 22 April
- The 70.3 Ironman in Moselle, Luxembourg on 17 June
- The Brussels marathon in October
I’m not sure whether it will all be feasible, and I will make sure to get in some rest after the Amsterdam marathon. But I will be back at my doctor’s door in November to figure out a training schedule to make the above possible. And who knows what might lie ahead after that. It’s exciting though!