It is already over again, the 8. Ibbenbueren cliff run, where I dared to run the long distance. My first Landschaftslauf and my first competition over more than the half marathon distance. So there is a lot to tell.
The registration for the cliff run was done early November and after only 75 minutes (!) all 1.300 starting spots were taken. Thankfully, Mike, who had suggested the run, Norbert and I were in. So there were 24.7 kilometers with 500 meters altitude difference waiting for us. The second number was a big unknown to me, because so far all my running distances and competitions were flat.
Therefore, we have met in early March for a track inspection. This not only was a great event with a spontaneously mixed group, but also really helpful. Not only for the preparation, but also for the run itself.
Nevertheless, I was wondering how I should train best for the run. Just in time, Michael Arend Training had finished their new training plans for the Rennsteiglauf. The profile of the runs seemed to be comparable and so I decided to use the marathon training plan for 4-5 days per week. That was a very good investment! You get a very good manual with explanations to all core training units, a method to easily determine your training zones and also the entire plan is in TrainingPeaks! I shortened the long runs a bit, because I’m not really running a marathon, but I was able to do the rest 1:1.
What was new to me were units just above and below the anaerobic threshold like the rollon intervals. This trains the metabolism of the lactate produced, which is helpful when constantly changing between zones 3 and 4 during such a run. Overall, the preparation period worked very well and was only minimally affected by a slight cold in one week.
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In addition to the good preparation, the weather on the day of the event was also really beautiful. With 18°C it was almost too warm, but in short/short it was bearable. The good mood was also helped by the fact that the day before I received a message from a runner from Coesfeld who offered me a ride. I was really very happy about that! Although I didn’t use it, because I arrived together with Mike and Norbert, I met with Wisi and the other Coesfeld runners of course on site.
In general, I have seen many familiar faces in Ibbenbüren, I have had a lot of conversations with work colleagues, met readers of the blog (best regards to Andreas) and of course Matthias from the RunningBLOG. Our pre-running picture is slowly becoming a fixed event. :)
The photo in front of the Klippenlauf banner is not to be missed anyway. After all, the point is to prove that you are not a wimp. ;)
I was somewhat irritated that the start gate stood in the middle of the schoolyard. Also nobody wanted to warm up with me. “Let’s do it on the track” was the motto. So we roughly sorted ourselves into the first third of the runners and waited for the start.
From the start at the Ludwigschule, the route takes you straight ahead along Groner Allee out of town towards the Teutoburg Forest. As soon as the “tree line” is reached, the first cliff is climbed.
We hadn’t agreed on any big race tactics, but we wanted to stay together as long as possible. During the first kilometres we used every opportunity to get further ahead, so that we wouldn’t be slowed down later on at the narrow passages. Wisi was also in tow. :)
Starting withthe second cliff we didn’t run all the climbs anymore, because it just doesn’t pay off. Sure, you are overtaken by some runners, but on the following downhill you catch up with them all (and more).
There was a constant change of places with the runners around us over a large part of the course. At some point “us” was reduced to Norbert and me. I thought I saw Mike behind me for a long time, but neon-colored shirts were probably very common… ;)
There were always encounters on the course – like with Andreas, who always accompanies the Stadtlohn route at the Muensterland Sternlauf. We also ran into Matthias relatively late. He seemed to have really accelerated on the search for the much praised “Maikaeferflugbenzin”.
I was just having a great time. :D I knew that I wasn’t going to run up all the cliffs. But I never thought that we would be so fast on the other parts of the course and especially downhill.
I always had a lot of power in my legs, especially after the climbs! Which I blame mainly on the tempo change training and the rollon intervals. While Norbert always brought us up the climb, I ran us far forward again afterwards. In general, our interaction during the overtaking etc. worked like an old married couple: one was always lurking on the left side and only waited until the other one ran free. As soon as he changed slightly to the left, it was clear: “we can start” and we stormed off.
What also worked out well again: stumbling… Just a moment ago I had seen Norbert’s slight stumble in front of me and thought: “That’s right, we didn’t fall doen yet! – …and I rolled. Once again, the years of judo fall school paid off, because after the root, a dull groan and the elegant roll, I was able to walk straight on. And even collected praise and recognition from the people behind me. :) Of course Norbert didn’t want to stay short and copied me shortly after…
We understood: the best times were probably over. At the Hassberg cliff we had to take a longer break from running. At the top, however, a highlight was waiting: there was the announced “Maikaeferflugbenzin”. A shot. Had to be tried, was also tasty – but not really good during a run ;) Luckily the next aid station was only 200 meters away and I could neutralize with water. As it turned out later, I had missed a folding table in front of the cliff, where Nussecken were served. That would have been the better alternative. ;)
The final, almost one kilometre long Wurzel cliff lived up to its name: you have to watch your step to get up there safely. A long, moderately steep downhill followed, which Maike had flown down so incredibly fast during our test run. Now I am too. :D Top speed: 3:47 min/km at 21,4 km! Nothing is better than flying.
But this should be the penultimate beautiful moment of the day, because the “little swerve” to the finish line was waiting with nasty surprises. No “it’ s all downhill from here on!”. Every small gradient was now sanctioned with walking breaks. That’s not how it was planned! Even marathon man Norbert had to bite on the last kilometers.
And so we crossed the finish line shoulder to shoulder after 2:24 h. Totally exhausted, but also totally happy. Mike also bit his way through and arrived only a few minutes after us. Only 2-3 non-alcoholic beers and some stories and conversations later we were ready to go back towards the gym.
There it not only was comfortable, you could also sit and eat a piece of cake. By the way, we learned that Anika Fels (LG Coesfeld) set a new course record for women with 1:46:32! Wow! Congratulations!
Conclusion: everything done right
The bottom line: it was a truly successful event. I also have to praise the club “Marathon Ibbenbueren” as the host: everything was perfectly organized. Large parking lot close to the start, sports hall for your stay, changing rooms, showers, cake buffet, supply during and after the race, helpers at the track, motivating drum groups, … absolutely the best. The registration fee of 14 Euro for the long distance is a real bargain. I would pay double any time and still like to come back.
My personal conclusion is similarly positive: although it would have been good to start training earlier and even more focused, the Rennsteig training plan prepared me really well. My form looked quite different at the preparation run… I also ran with two watches for the first time (Forerunner 935 and Vantage V), of course had the Stryd on my shoe and also the Humon Hex on my thigh – but I never (!) took looked at the watch(s) and ran completely by feeling. Maybe otherwise I wouldn’t have accelerated so much in some places and would have to walk less at the end. However, when I look at the extremely even graph of my heart rate curve, I don’t think I could have controlled it any better.
What I will remember most, apart from the athletic performance, are again the many personal encounters before, during and after the run. Wisi, Andreas, Andreas, Marc, Sven, Anika, Matthias and of course Mike and Norbert: it was a pleasure to run with you. :)
This is where Thomas Pier writes about running and (much more than just the necessary) equipment. I don't run particularly fast or far. But I like to share my experiences as an ambitious recreational runner, curious early-adopter and as my own trainer.
I am happy about every digital contacting - but even more so about every kilometer run together.