Well, I did even less running than that!
In total I only went for 5 runs. A couple of them were 2-3 hours, the others were for 1.5 hours or less.
Why? It’s simply because, at the moment, I don’t find running for long periods of time that engaging.
How I Prepared Without (Or With Very Little) Running
What I did do was follow the Squash Core Foundation Workout, as well as:
- Regular calf-raises throughout the day
- Lacrosse balls & Voodoo bands for squash fitness recovery
- Static stretching after a run/workout
- Deep breathing
One of my goals was to finish without stopping. I had to stop a few times to pee but that’s all.
It’s not the best time but considering it was my first and considering my preparation of next to no squash cardio training, I was happy with the effort.
The Fun Adventure On The Big Day
- The first 15km was quite enjoyable – running over Boğaziçi Bridge amongst everyone with fresh legs, checking out the scenery.
- I took my first pee behind a tree at the 3km mark – maybe first-race nerves but I had to go 4 or 5 times in total.
- I passed a guy at about the 12km mark who was juggling 3 balls while running! He was ‘in the zone’ – just looking straight ahead in deep concentration.
- At 18km, a guy giving bananas to people refused when I asked for one. “None left,” he said, even though he was holding a bag of ‘em!
- By 20km I was getting close to the elusive 25km mark, which I was told gets easier after that (because it’s like you’re running down hill towards the finish line).
- This was not my experience!
- Just before the 25km mark was passed we started to run on a straight road out to the Ataturk Airport… nothing but straight road… not very inspiring!
- Then we had to run back again to Eminönü, where the Sultanahmet Mosque and Hağia Sofia attract all the tourists.
- Apart from enjoying seeing the race-leaders heading back with speed, it became a mind-game to just keep moving.
- Runners started to drop off, with the occasional unlucky ones suffering cramps. Fortunately, my situation was manageable with no major issues. Just a mind game – in a situation like this, the legs power the will.
- With 5km left it was smooth sailing – apart from the last little incline, which seemed like a mountain.
- I sprinted the last 200m because people were watching 🙂
What I Learned About Squash Cardio & Would I Do It Again?
First thing is I don’t particularly like city-marathons, one, because there are many other people doing it and, two, I don’t think the hard surface is great for your joints.
For the ultra-marathon, I would do the same preparation – focusing on the Squash Core Foundation Workout & other elements – but with 2 differences:
- No long-runs (or squash cardio)
- I would make time to go for all-day walks; that is, extended time on my feet
From my Istanbul Marathon experience, I’m thinking that the Squash Core Foundation Workout would be even more effective for an ultra-marathon.
Final Thoughts On My Short, City-Marathon Career
My unique squash fitness workout helps with endurance, even long-distance running.
On the other hand, long-distance running doesn’t translate onto the squash court.
Add to that the time-investment needed, the value it offers your squash fitness is ridiculously low.
Have fun & play your own game!