Erik’s Blog |

Academic break

A lot of time went by since the last post. Also several things changed in my life once again.

Most of all my career at the University came to an end since my 1-year contract was not extended. The “nicest” thing of course was, that I was informed about it 2 days before the end of my contract (after coming back from the St.Moritz training camp).

The congress of the German Society of Sport Science last Friday was most probably the last time I was active for the Department and especially the working group I was working in. There is still one international publication to come and after that I will make an academic break.

Easter break

After a short easter break at the baltic sea I’m back to business as usual. The four days of holidays were good in terms of spending some quality time with my family. Running was not so well because I took some knee pain with me into the holidays and was able to run only once per day. So I missed on complete block of training but enjoyed some sunny morning walks on the beach.

After returning to Halle the knee was getting better and today I already did 1K repeats on track aöready. Nothing special since I ran around 3:15mins eight times … Typical marathon training.

Weekend ahead

Ahead is the weekend of the first German Championship Race for me this year. It will be the Halfmarathon Nationals that are held in Griesheim on Sunday at 11.30.

My expectations are pretty low and I’m not expecting to be somewhere close to my PB (67:42min). The winter training in general went pretty well but somehow I missed the faster sessions due to minor setbacks. Now I’m still missing the leg turnover and some freshness. A time of sub-70 would be ok on the weekend. That is far away from a good time but I just wanna get a solid basis and give it more time until I’m taking the next step.

Treadmill test No.2/2011

Already last Wednesday I had the second treadmill test this year. However, the flu broke out one night before with a severe sore throat. Still I was giving it a shot because the days before I wasn’t feeling bad at all.

Already at the first stage I felt that I’m not completely fit and that the respiratory system couldn’t work as usual. After 3 stages I discontinued. The outcome of the test was proof enough that I was about to get sick and three days later I can only confirm this fact. Right now there is no reason to evaluate the results or compare them with the first test. Maybe I’ll have another test when I’m healthy again to draw some conclusions about my current shape.

The results were as  follows:

16,6km/h (4,6m/s): heart rate – 166, lactate – 1,23 mmol/l

17,3km/h (4,8m/s): heart rate – 177, lactate – 2,26 mmol/l

18,0km/h (5,0m/s): heart rate – 187, lactate – 4,68 mmol/l

2 months done

The first two months of the year are over and it’s time to draw a conclusion. Time went by extremely last, mainly because of the work at the university. Now it’s semester holiday and I’m going to write some more posts during this time. Now that the shape is coming back there is finally something to write about.

From 11th until 23rd of February I was in a training camp in Spain with fellow marathoners Martin Beckmann and Falk Cierpinski. Unfortunately, I got some stomach-problems after one week and missed 3 days of normal training. That time also included the first day of 2011 without a single running-kilometer. Not the kind of thing you want to experience in a training camp but I guess the stress in the previous weeks was threshold and once my body shut down the stress hormones were missing to keep the immune system in balance.

Anyway, January and February went better than the previous years and I should have a strong basis for the spring races.

Recovery week

The year 2011 started out great in terms of running for me. After 185, 200 and 190kilometers per week I logged in another 200km-week as my birthdayweek i.e. last week. Things are going very well at the moment. There is a good mix between easy and medium-hard runs plus one tempo session each week. As usual the speed is progressing rather slow but I’m used to that. For now I’m satisfied with running some 3:20min-kilometers.

Also on the long runs I have a better feeling and the last long run on Sunday my legs did not feel heavy at all after 25K.

The key thing is to stay healthy. Avoid injury and disease. If that is the case I will have a shape in spring, that I have not had for a long time.

So this week is an easy week with reduced mileage (guess it will be around 150).

32. Neujahrsberglauf Falkenstein 2011: 11,5km – 40:09 min (1st place)

“The same procedure as every year”: For me it was the 15th time I participated in this race (it’s an annual race). After I won the 11,5km in 2009 and won the 20,7km last year this year it was the 11,5 km distance that fitted better into my training schedule. Because of the warm conditions the last days the race took place on a road course (usually it’s a nice forrest loop). Nevertheless it’s a lot of climbing and the altitude difference from the lowest point (at km 1) to the highest point (at km 3,5) is almost 200meters.

The race went like in 2009. It was a clear wire-to-wire race and after 3km the last sounds in my back became silent, signaling that the last competitor couldn’t keep up with the pace. For me it’s kind of a pity because some 10 years ago the competition was much tougher and there were more good runners. But never mind, since I had a high volume week with training in the altitude chamber in my legs it was ok to pick my own pace. Furthermore I realised that there are some small changes in my running style already but I need to refine time to get more relaxed at a higher pace.

Full results here.

Treadmill test

The first constructive marker for the year 2011 was set last Wednesday when I had the performance test in the facilities of the ILUG / Sports Department. The test consisted of 4×15 min running at 16,6/17,3/18,0/18,7 km/h. In my opinion I passed the test and actually I was positively surprised.

The results were as  follows:

16,6km/h (4,6m/s): heart rate – 160, lactate – 1,40 mmol/l

17,3km/h (4,8m/s): heart rate – 170, lactate – 1,98 mmol/l

18,0km/h (5,0m/s): heart rate – 178, lactate – 3,17 mmol/l

18,7km/h (5,2m/s): heart rate – 183, lactate – 5,24 mmol/l

The first two stages felt easier than expected and only on the last stage was a bit tough (well with 5,2 lactate that’s not a surprise). Considering the fact that I ran only very few kilometers faster than 17km/h in training I’m positive about the upcoming weeks and further improvements until the next test in February.


Training at 2500m altitude

The new year starts with some new stimulus: For the first time I’m training in normobaric hypoxia (i.e. “artificial” altitude).

Thanks to the Sports Department of the University Halle (my workplace) and the ILUG it is possible to use the altitude chamber. Together with Falk Cierpinski, who is preparing for an altitude camp in Kenya I did 15K yesterday and 20K today. Pace was easy (4:37min/km) since we were running at 2.500m. Yesterday I didn’t feel anything special and only today I realised after about an hour that the breathing was getting a bit tougher.

Next thing will be a performance test tomorrow morning. Keep updated for the results.


2010 in a nutshell

2010 is over and for me it was not the best year indeed. However I would like to thank everyone who supported me during this time. It makes me proud that there are still so many people out there that believe in me!

In a review of 2010, the following three things should be included:

-return from Finland to Germany in March
-new job at the Sports Faculty of the University Halle in September
-at the same day (6 weeks before the marathon): visiting the hospital and getting a cast
-probably 100 times falling to the ground and standing up again

Some selected pictures of races in 2010.


the year started just fine with a victory in the first race


German Cross-Country Nationals: DNF!! somehow the beginning of the end


another try another fail: halfmarathon in Frankfurt


German Halfmarathon Nationals - I think I never was as bad as this 64th place in National Championships

another training competition that was neither fish nor fowl


one of the few “ok”-races: victory in Mühlhausen 10K

the shape was on the rise at the 10K in Halle, preparations for marathon went ok.


before the start of the German 10K Nationals (road)


the gesture for the athletic year 2010.

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