There are some things I would like to do before I die. Some things I just want to see – The Sydney opera house, the pyramids and the mountain city Petra to mention a few. Some things I would like to experience, like flying in a supersonic aircraft, own a Porsche and publish a book. Another thing on my bucket list is to run a marathon.

The returning reader of my blog may know that I already ran Médoc Marathon, but that competition was mostly about having fun and drinking wine. I would like to run a full marathon and feel the sensation of reaching the finish line after 4 hours of hard work. That’s why I have decided to run Hella Marathon Nacht in Rostock.


Hella Marathon Nacht

Hella Marathon Nacht is arranged each year in the German harbor city Rostock since 2002. The competition which is held the last weekend of July, or the first one of August is the start of the maritime fiesta Hanse Sail. This years competition will be held on August the 5th.

The nacht-part of the arrangement name suggests that the race is held during night time. I hope that this won’t be true for me. The starting shot is sounded at 18:00 and I hope that I will reach the finish in just under 4 hours. That’s my target. If everything fails I have a maximum total time of 5½ hours before the race is interrupted. That should really be feasible.

Last year, 243 persons reached the finish line in the marathon class, which means that it’s a really small competition. If I had been participating last year and reached my target time of 4 hours, that would had generated a 134th place. From those irrelevant facts I come to the conclusion that around 4 hours is the median time for this marathon.

Since the course is laid out along the water in the harbor entrance I also conclude that it’s a rather flat course. I cannot find an elevation chart of the track, but I hope I’m right on this. Parts of the track will take you back and forth along the same route, which can be kind of boring. I hope that I will succeed anyway.

Hella Marathon Nacht - Map

The Hella Marathon Nacht course.


Smart cardio workout

How will I reach my target of a sub 4 marathon? I’m going to use a training plan which I have found in the great book “Smart cardio workout” by Erik Wickström. This book was released in 2016 (in Swedish) and tells you how to exercise more efficiently.

One example of Erik successes  is in the Swedish cross country ski race Vasaloppet where he was actually in the lead for a short while last year. I suspect that he took the lead just because he could do it. His best results in Vasaloppet was in 2014 where he ended up in a honorable 25th place. Every know-it-all says that Erik doesn’t exercise enough for those great results. Judging by his time spent on training he should be standing in the 4th starting row where I myself was standing in 2012.

In the book, Erik talks about his training philosophy and he gives tips about how to get the best results in running, swimming, bicycling and cross country skiing. The book is a gold mine for triathletes with a tight time budget.

I read the book in a couple of nights this winter. At that pace the book gets kind of dull at some places. I recommend the book anyway since it contains a lot of good pointer what to think about regarding your training. Now that I have read it and know where to look I regularly go back to re-read parts of it.

One of the things that Erik talks about is the myth about exercising short and intensively, or long and calmly. He claims that this method is great for professional athletes on the border of how much they can do. Mere mortals would do better if we exercise long and intensively or short and even more intensively.

Smart konditionsträning - Erik Wickström

Training program

In the end of the book Erik presents training programs that can be used for all the different disciplines. There is a program for the marathon, the 10 km race, the 300 km bicycle race around Vättern, the Vasaloppet, the Vansbro swimming competition and Ironman Kalmar. I will use Erik’s marathon program to get in shape for my race.

I have created a Google calendar where I have inserted the training program. The program is 10 weeks, so I will get started on may the 30th. When I’m done I will have ran around 400 km, 40 km per week.

I will write all about it here on my blog! Stay tuned for Rostock!