Third fastest legs in the world
I wrote earlier about the marathon career of my father (http://www.stutisheel.org/press/my-father-the-marathon-runner/). I wanted to share an update, as the last two years have been particularly bright in his sport life.
Following his principle, my father always selects one significant race to start the year, training for it and performing at his maximum. At other times, he occasionally participates in various short races – varying from 5 to 21 km in length.
In 2014, he chose the marathon at the European Masters Games in Turkey (age category 70- 74). As usual, he trained hardest in the last month before the race, running up to 155 km per week. Previously, my father’s only supplement was a multivitamin. Recently, however, I was able to introduce some useful supplements into his diet to help him recover faster after his runs. I tested out all these supplements at my 3100-mile race performances.
When my father arrived in Izmir, Turkey, a few days before the start of the race, he was stricken by the heat - 36 degrees Celsius. He was not prepared for that and I had no time to figure out a way to help him cope with it. According to the story my father told me after the race, the marathon went pretty well up to 35 km, when due to the great heat and dehydration, he started having cramps. He tried to cope with them by pricks of pins, which he salvaged from around his bib number … One cramp was pretty severe just in sight of the finish line… Can you imagine: you see the finish line but can hardly move! He managed to finish and overtook the second runner by 90 seconds. At the age of 73 my father, Dmytro Lebedev, became European champion with a time of 3:40:22.
2015. World Masters Athletics Championship in Lyon, France.
I convinced my father to pay more attention to his heart rate during training and competition, so he bought a Garmin watch. By uploading his workouts to the internet he also gave me the opportunity to adjust the volume of his running and his nutrition regime. In previous years, he had counted the workout time based on the given distance and the approximate pace. Now the watch was measuring the distance and pace, and it turned out that he was running slower than he thought. As a result of the watch he was able to adjust his pace and run about 530 km in the last month of preparation.
As the weather was hot in Lyon, we decided to make a special drink for the marathon, which contained salt, minerals and other components to support performance in the extreme heat. But on the day of the start, the temperature decreased to 23C, and weather conditions were pretty good for the race. My father finished third in his age group M70-74 with a time of 3:25:39. As he joked later - the third fastest legs in the world.
When he came to New York last August and we all met together it was especially touching to see how he inspires and encourages his granddaughter Alakananda in training for her first marathon.
1. Three generations: Dmytro Lebedev, Stutisheel, Alakananda. After 2 mile race, New York City.
2. Finishing Lyon Marathon