Thursday, February 26, 2015

Andreas Wenger - An Interview of 2hr 51min 28sec in Tokyo Marathon With 5months Training.

By Saranniya 26 Feb 2015 Report
Picture 1 – Andreas, on top of the world to find that he has done a phenomenal time.
From our running group, besides Andreas Wenger, who did exceptionally well, we also have Jennifer Quek (3hr 42min 19sec), Kenneth Lim (4hr 11min 20sec) and Desmond Soh (3hr 36min 30sec)  who have done well for the recently held Tokyo Marathon 2015.
Picture 2 – Jennifer Quek, has been improving her time from 3hr 48min (Berlin Marathon 2013) to 3hr 45min (Osaka Marathon 2014) to 3hr 42min 19sec (Tokyo Marathon 2015)
My intention today is to talk about Coach Rameshon’s coaching of Andreas, who is the fastest in our group to improve at a tremendous rate in such a short span of 5 months. 
In the past, Coach Rameshon has developed a number of runners who could do a sub – 3hr marathon. Marcel Sng will write on the past runners that Coach Rameshon has assisted to do a sub-3hr. In Tokyo Marathon 2015, Andreas did a time of 2hr 51min. In the past, Andreas has not done a sub-3hours in the marathon. He decided to train with Coach Rameshon, after some encourgement coming from Mr Lim Thow Wee to join the Flexifitness running programme.
As an Ultramarathon runner, Andreas was willing to do some sacrifices and do what is important to running a fast marathon. Andreas was swift enough to follow the training principles and concepts that was  given during training by Coach Rameshon and he finally, not only did a sub-3hrs, but also amazed many by doing the phenomenal 2hr 51min 38sec, which I believe is a big personal best time.
From a time of 31min 42sec in 8km, over a period of time, Andreas slashed the time to end in 28min 32sec. This was done in a span of 4 1/2 months.
I have put up an interview that I have given to Andreas so that runners are motivated to improve in running.
 An Interview With Andreas Wenger
 What was your target for this race?
The goal was to run below 3hr.
Are you happy with your timing?
In general I would have been happy with every time when I see the 2hr in front. So the time of 2hr 51m 39s was much better than I expected and I am super happy.
What was your previous personal best and when did you accomplish that?
My previous PB was about 3h 07min run at the Chicago Marathon in 2009.
How was the organisation of the race?
The general organisation was very good. All went smooth from the number collection until the end of the race. The only thing I was not happy about was the grouping in the starting blocks. I had to start in block D and so I had many slower runner in front of me. This made it a bit difficult for the first 1-2km. All the rest was great.
 Hydration Stations?
There are many hydration stations and the stations are also quite long. The runners don’t push to get to the drink station as they are long. So this is very well done.
 Distance markers? Were they accurate?
There was a distance marker every km. I appreciated it towards the end as I exactly knew the distance to the finish line. As the GPS is not 100% accurate I trusted the distance markers and so I believe they were accurate.
How was the race route? (Any part too hilly?)
The route was very good to achieve a good timing. It had only some small climbs (bridges) in between so most of the course was flat.
 What were the challenges you face during the race both mentally and physically?
I planned to run around 4:05min/km at the beginning as I expected to slow down in the second half. As it was cold and packed at the start it was not so easy to find the right rhythm. Than around 25km I slowed down a bit as my stomach didn’t feel so well. My colleague took the lead and pushed me so I could keep up the pace. After a few km I felt ok again. It was very helpful to have a friend there to push and support. I think it really helps if you can run a race together with a friend and push and support each other.
Then at the last 5km the legs start to hurt and I was afraid to get cramps. I only thought to run through without stopping and finish as soon as possible. At the end was more the motto – No Pain No Gain.
Despite all these difficulties what kept you going till the end?
At the end I thought about the time and training I invested and about all the people that supported me on that journey. So I also wanted to make them proud and I think that was a key driver at the end.
 What is your next target?
I want to find out if I can finish a 100mile race and the planned race would be Mt Fuji 100Mile run. I think Japan brings me luck.
For my marathon training I still want to improve my 8km,10km,… timings and maybe try a 21km race in Singapore. In general Singapore is too hot for a full marathon but for a half marathon it should be possible to achieve a good timing.
How did Flexifitness helped you on that journey?
I think without joining the group I could not have achieved such an improvement. I always look forward to the trainings on Tuesday not only because of the running but also to meet the people. It is great fun to run with older and younger runners and to push each other. I am really happy that I joined Flexifitness. Thank you for all the support.