Australia, Motivation, Travel
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Training Melbourne Marathon and the MaxChallenge

In March I arrived here in Australia on a WHV (Work Holiday Visa) the travel part wasn’t that hard and we did an amazing 17.000 km road trip through Australia.  But of course, I have to work for my money. After a mini online campaign and contacting all the people I know in Australia I was lucky and could get an interview at Full Circle Investment Group. Made it through and could come for a three-day trail! At the end of the week I had the job, what an awesome feeling!

Back in structured life

New job, new challenge. Mentally a new job asks a lot of energy. Learning new structures, learning “business” English in stead of my backpacker English etc. But if you train your body you have a fresh mind. So I saw the Melbourne Marathon event and signed up for the Melbourne Half Marathon. Sunday the 16th of October D-day!

Started training (4 months ago)

I bought some running shoes and started training almost every morning. Started with 3 km and slowly and made progress. The progress made me happy and the happiness gave me more motivation to book progress.  During my first weeks of training, Instagram launched Instagram Stories. Little stories that are online for 24 hours and your followers can see. With my marketing role I wanted to test all the functionalities so I started to use stories for my daily training routine.

I thought if I show my goal to everyone I have to do it! Everybody can see me fail, there is no option anymore GO!

A bigger challenge (3 months ago)

Colleagues started the Max Challenge so I signed up for that challenge as well. The Max Challenge is a 3-month fitness challenge with as goal to get the best possible body in 12 weeks time. The Max Challenge provides a different diet and training plan for every 4 weeks. Sends motivational newsletters and you can use a forum to ask questions about training, nutrition and more. I thought, that is awesome, cardio part in the morning and building muscle in the evening training.

Feedback on my stories

While training and recording my stories followers start to react. Lets say it nice: not everyone liked the stories and they let me know. Why should you make videos of everything you do? They were challenging my thoughts and behavior. One moment a close friend challenged me with a lot of questions about the stories, I thought about stopping with the Instagram stories.

Motivation from people I don’t know

Just  in the week where I got negative feedback, a couple followers and friends responded with great feedback. You’re eating so healthy, keep it up! They asked questions where I was training for. Some said that I made them exercise again 😀

Awesome feeling, thank you!

With more motivation from the followers, I recorded almost every meal and training for the last 3 months. The feedback that I got made me train more and harder. Rainy day? Just Go! Tired? Just Go! On some points the stories and the feedback made me go!

Training for the Melbourne Half Marathon (21.1 KM)

Before I started training I searched the internet for training schema’s and saw a challenging one. 21.1 km in 1 hour and 45 minutes. That is a little bit faster than 5 minutes per km. While training and 6 weeks before the marathon I came in a flow. Mind and body were awesome, I start believing that 1 hour 40 minutes was an option!

Test run half marathon (2 weeks before)

On my schedule, they told me to do a test run, two weeks before the Half Marathon. Two weeks before I didn’t train on Saturday and on Sunday I started running. WTF after 8 kilometers I had to stop. I was tired, my legs couldn’t go anymore. So I took rest and went for a second test run on Tuesday morning. After 18 KM I got back home and started doing the math. What if I can keep going for 3 more kilometers on this pace. Wow 1 hour 38 minutes!! That would be awesome, I never thought I could do that.

Sunday the 16th D-day! Half Marathon of Melbourne

At this day I was running for 3 months and training in the Max Challenge for 2 months. On D-day everything was prepared, didn’t go to the gym for the last 5 days, did some maintenance running the last week and was ready to go. ^&%*$ can’t sleep. I was awake till 2 AM and had to get up at 6AM for a good breakfast. My alarm didn’t go off. Benni my hero of the day woke me up, made coffee and I had breakfast. Checked the weather, %^&*(#$ windy!

Half marathon Melbourne

Keep calm and focus

Because of the good test run, I was really calm and could enjoy the morning. This is my day, it has to happen. Walking to the start and looking for the right spot (near other runners that want to run 1.40) I felt the adrenaline. This is the moment where I trained for. 3 months 5/6 days a week preparing for a run, less than 2 hours.

The race

While running, my legs felt awesome. I could hide from the wind in groups and till Albert Park, by the app I could hear I was running just below 1.40 minutes! But on the way back it was all wind from the front. Looking for an awesome group I saw the pacer from the 1.40! That was awesome and stayed with that little group. On km 15 I met my friend Benni for some photos and he gave me an energy gel as extra power for the last kilometers.

That feeling I will never forget!

It was crazy, I saw a guy passing and that challenged me to follow him. After 2 minutes I decided to give everything to the finish line. On the bridge to the MCG I was flying, I could almost touch the finish line now and only 500 meters to go. The moment I will never forget is the run into the MCG stadium, that rush of adrenaline and seeing the clock on the finish line 1 hour 36 minutes and 19 seconds! 4 minutes and 29 seconds a kilometer, on 21 kilometers Did I do that? CRAZY!

Half marathon Melbourne

Marathon done: 4 weeks left on the Max Challenge

The week after the marathon I was completely exhausted and took some rest. After a couple of days, I started the training in the gym again. During the weeks I noticed results, I was building muscle and lost weight. There was the key again. Progress = happiness and happiness = motivation.

Mental game and discipline

During the Max Challenge, there are 3 blocks, one month each.When you say it simple: First month; eat much train hard to build muscle, second month; cut ingredients and train hard to build muscle. Last month, keep up the training and focus on fat burning while you keep your muscles.

In the last month the challenge is full on, the training is a hard part but the diet plays your mind. “I trained hard so I can have some more chicken”, “Couple of extra nuts today doesn’t matter right?” etc. All those thoughts are playing the whole day. If you want to achieve your goal it is about consistency. Do what every it takes to get the results you want.

The support <3

Through the support of my Max Challenge colleagues and keep each other accountable we created a team that supported each other for the best results. Everything is easier when you do it together. When I reflect back, I’m so happy that I didn’t gave up the Instagram Stories! I brought me a lot of support from friends and even people I don’t know.

A result to be proud of!

After 3 months training twice a day the Max Challenge is over. I will go to the store and buy all the things that I missed during the Challenge. After this cheatday I will keep doing the maintenance on my body and go to the gym, keep eating healthy, enjoy life and Live to the Fullest.

Results max challenge

Special thanks

To my mom! She ALWAYS supports me, packed training clothes in the Netherlands and delivered them at the place of my buddy Daan who took them to Australia. My sister for her support and personal stories on her blog, when the stories and they make me realize that challenges like the Marathon and that MaxChallenge are just fun. The training, the food, the metal games, it makes me see everything in perspective. When you think a Half Marathon or the Max Challenge is hard, read here stories.

And a special mention to my buddy Daniel Tanbour for his true friend support. Last march (2016) on winter sport holiday he planted a seed. “Paul, you can’t get a belly when you’re 30. Work on it.”

Daily motivation: hustle hard, be humble & be grateful!

If you want to know what is the next Challenge, follow me on Instagram

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