Entry one: Quest for a career best marathon!
By Dane Verwey
Hey all, this is the first installment of my weekly journal detailing my preparation for the 2018 Berlin Marathon!
It is 16 weeks or 117 days, until race day! I have started this journal as I feel it will be a great vehicle to cover a lot of my thoughts on running and training.
I will publish a blog each Tuesday for the next 16 weeks. Each entry will detail the physical and mental ups and downs that are involved in a typical marathon prep.
So, why do a blog? Well, I’ve been a runner for 20 plus years, I’ve run 7 marathons over the last 5 years between 2:24 and 2:31, I’ve run 2:24 twice, won a marathon and come second in two. I feel I’ve got a fair idea about what works for ‘me’ (key word) and some good ideas to share for anyone looking to run their ‘career best marathon’. I think it’d be disrespectful to say I’ve mastered the marathon but I’ve definitely served my apprenticeship.
Why else? Well, I feel weekly self reflection and reader feedback/ interaction/critique will ensure I leave ‘no stone unturned’ and grow further as a marathoner. The marathon can be a cruel event, there is no hiding if you were slightly off in your prep or on ‘d-day’. I’m hoping this weekly journal entry and having to report in on things like my weekly sleep patterns (I’m notorious for not getting enough) etc. will hold me more accountable in the lead up.
This blog is certainly not meant to be self-indulgent. Yeah, I will benefit from sitting down and reflecting but as will so many, well I hope you do! I will continue to blog even if ‘the chips are down’ as this is part and parcel of marathon training. I’ll aim to provide an honest, unfiltered account. So, get ready for the ride!
It must be said that the foundations for the ‘breaking 2:24’ blog concept belong to ‘The inside running’ podcasters; Brady Threlfall, Bradley Crocker and Julian Spence. It was their 2017 ‘Road to Berlin’ on the now defunct TMYT podcast that inspired me to commit to the ‘Breaking 2:24’ project. Their podcast was addictive long run listening, a learning experience and almost like a podcast version of ‘reality TV’. If you haven’t listened to ‘The inside running podcast’ give them a listen! I hope to establish a similar following/readership and provide similar value to all keen runners lives.
Will this weekly blog give me unnecessary pressure? That’s a great question. Pressure is self-inflicted. I know what I want to run in Berlin, I feel I know what I’m capable of running. I know what training I have to do to do this. Doing a blog will not change what I do or how I go about it. What I do is deeply ingrained, I know certain things work for me. I know certain things don’t. It’s the pressure I put on myself that I will have to keep in check. After all this is just a hobby, it’s just running and all I can do is my best. The more support the better really, especially when the going gets tough out there.
Sure, this is no ‘Nike sub 2 campaign’ (albeit this inspired the name, sorry Nike) but breaking 2:24 is my personal goal! Why? Well, I ran my 2:24:18 my personal best for 10th in the 2014 Melbourne Marathon in my debut and haven’t been able to better this in the 6 valiant attempts since! It sure doesn’t sit well that my first attempt has been my fastest marathon.
Who actually am I, you all ask? It’s probably time 500 words into my blog to describe the main character of the script. My name is Dane Verwey, I am a 32 year old male full time physiotherapist at a private practice called Southern Suburbs Physiotherapy Centre in Parkdale, Victoria, Australia. I am getting married at the end of this year on December the 8th to my amazing fiancé Jess. We live together in a small house in Frankston. I have two brothers and amazing parents that I love to bits too. They all run but I’ve always been the most ‘obsessed’!
I run 10 times a week and average 120-160kms/week. I am self coached nowadays but have been fortunate enough to have learnt a lot from some wise hands, including; Peter Schuwalow, Nicky Frey and Gregor Gojrzewski.
I’ve run since I was 11 years old and my passion and commitment for the sport hasn’t wavered since. I’m lucky to know just so many people in the Victorian/Australian running scene- they have fast become a big social outlet of mine.
Random interesting information about me;
- From a physiotherapy front; I have been a physio for 9 years. I specialise in treating running injuries and have been the team physio for the last two World Cross Country Australian teams in 2015 Guiyang, China and 2017 Kampala, Uganda.
- I have been the key physiotherapist for several Athletics Australia altitude distance running training camps in Flagstaff Arizona and Falls Creek throughout 2015/16.
- I have personally trained in Iten, Kenya for 7 weeks back in 2014 and spent 2 weeks in Boulder Colorado in 2011.
- My career PBs are: 5k: 14:50, 10k: 30:42, 15k: 47:26, 1/2M: 68:10, Full M: 2:24:18
The Breaking 2:24 team;
-My fiancé Jess- ever supportive and personally just couldn’t have met a better match!
-Man on the bike for key marathon work outs; one of my best mates, journalist, a fiery passionate greek, who loves to push, he has a heart of gold and is to be the MC at my wedding; Joshua Papanikolou
-Training partner in crime; Matt Davy. 2017 Auckland marathon winner. Our PB’s are literally the same across the board. I lived with Matt in 2011 in Bonbeach it was a memorable year and have trained with him just about every week for near on a decade! We know each other back to front, he is one of my ‘groomsmen’ come December. A rhythm runner, amazing to run with, can judge pace.
-I put the call out to any other 30-33 10km runner, 71’ish minute half marathoners or 2:20-30 ‘thoners around the Mornington peninsula if you need another guy to help get you through some of the hard grind, I’m all ears! Just get in contact with me on; email@example.com
My Training plan:
This year I won Hobart marathon in 2:24:54 on January the 14th and came second at the Canberra marathon in 2:26:13 on April the 15th. I have just come off a 6-week recovery phase. I tested the fitness with two races over the past 2 weeks. I came 5th at the Great Ocean Road 14km (avg 3:14/k) and 26th at the Aths Vic Cruden Farm 12km XC (avg 3:23/k). I was rapt with both of these hit outs and they showed that not only have I recovered but I have maintained some condition.
The aim is to target the Gold Coast ½ marathon over the next 5 weeks, with some ½ marathon specific speed work (yes, it feels weird now calling ½ marathon pace speed work) and some strength runs. However, fundamentally I will err on the side of caution and just be consistent.
The reasoning for the half focus for 5 weeks? To run faster than 2:24, I have to get comfortable running faster than 3:25/k for 42ks. The thought is, if I can focus on roughly 3:10-15/k (my half marathon pace) over the next 5 weeks, rolling 3:23/k for my marathon specific work over the 8 week marathon prep I have planned for Berlin will be more achievable (sounds good in theory, doesn’t it).
My program for the coming 5 week lead into Gold Coast are below:
16 WEEKS till Berlin
T-35, Mona or easy
T-6 to 8 by 1k at 3:00-3:10 off 1min with papa on bike (1/2 mara spec session), 35
S- 35, 60
S- 50easy/10 @ 3:24 /40easy/10 @ 3:24/k/20 easy/10 @ 3:24/k with papa on bike.
15 WEEKS till Berlin
W-30 min fartlek (going to build this into a 40 to 50 min fartlek after goldy) either through hilly langy or on flat gravel course not sure. Aim- sheer aerobic strength.
S-35, 3-4 by 2k in 6:20 on road or track with papa on bike (1/2 mara spec session)
S- 2:20 slow cape shank hills or Ferny
14 WEEKS till Berlin
W-3 by 3k in 9:45 on road with papa on bike (half mara session)
F-50 inc. 4 by 30sec @ ½ mara pace 3:14/k
S- Bundoora state 10k cc hilly (great race for strength)
S- 2:20 cape shank hills
13 WEEKS till berlin
W- 5k,4k,3k at 3:14/k with papa on bike all off 1k float (half mara session)
S- 35, quarters 8 by 400 off 200 float in 45sec (sharpener)
S- 2hrs on flat slow
12 WEEKS till Berlin
T-60 inc. 6 by 1min at half mara pace, 30
T- 60 inc. 6 by 30sec at half mara pace, 30
S- July 1st Gold Coast ½ mara.
Alright guys, that’s it for the first blog. More of an introduction and setting the scene really today. I’ll catch you all next Tuesday! Please share this with whoever you feel will be interested. Please also don’t hesitate to message me on firstname.lastname@example.org with any reader questions, topics you want me to interwine into my blogs or other thoughts on how I can improve the value/interest I provide you all.
Anyway, as always
And have a ripper week