Venice was already a city of classical art, if not one of even more historical commerce, to run in.

Florence is the peak of all that.

And where the Venice Marathon provides a good reason to visit that city, but starts quite far outside of it, the Florence Marathon (now in its 33rd edition) started right from the heart of it all, and winds its way back and forth from there in several loops…

Screenshot of Firenze Marathon track from Movescount

Screenshot of Firenze Marathon track from Movescount (Ambit3 Peak recording)

The heart of the Italian Renaissance, Florence is a fascination.

This being Tuscany, the Italy that attracted so many artists from up north, the light has a different quality…

Ponte Vecchio in Morning Light

Ponte Vecchio in Morning Light

…and the temperatures were great for a run even now that it was November.

Or so I, from farther north, felt.

The Italians at the start who were all wrapped up in the protective plastic provided to us didn’t agree, except with the addition of a “for you, maybe.”

Still, it was considerably more comfortable, weather-wise, than it had been at the Venice Marathon.
Admittedly, we also got lucky, with a sunny day with not too much wind, when there had been rain and flooding not too long before.

So we ran.

Firenze Marathon at Palazzo Pitti

Firenze Marathon at Palazzo Pitti

The history of the city showed itself in the narrowness of many of the roads we ran on, which made for an interesting GPS track (from both the Ambit3 Peak and the Spartan Ultra), even as the distance was counted nicely.

History and art also showed themselves in many of the buildings seen along the way, of course.

As always on such run-seeing of a city, one got to know both how close many such sights are together, and how much wider the city would go – or not so much, when it comes to true sights:

We mainly went into a park that I can’t imagine many tourists visiting, to the stadium where we had picked up our starting numbers only the day(s) before, but otherwise we only crossed the center of the city.

That, however, multiple times, in meandering ways.

Just watch:

When it comes to performance, I had a bit of a tech glitch and used it as excuse to approach this marathon differently again:

Somehow, not taking care about it, I seem to have managed to get both Ambit and Spartan paired with the same HR sensor rather than one each. Thus, one sensor ended up useless and the Spartan ended up not receiving a HR signal.

That was annoying at the start of a marathon, of course. Doubly so when everything seemed okay when I checked it in the hotel, but it seems to have been my mistake.

Anyways, as I said, I took it as an excuse.

An excuse to just not watch my heart rate, for once, and go by feeling, with just a few looks at the pace at times.

As a result, I was a bit faster at the beginning again, and I started to get signs of cramping from around km 30.

Strangely, however, I still managed to go on running, slowly and steadily, and finished slightly faster than I had in Venice.

Particularly strange: I hadn’t found the time and drive to do more than a grand total of 3:45 hours of training between the Venice Marathon and now. Not that it would have made much of a difference; one month is no time to improve running speed or endurance, but it is interesting.

After all, it’s a little indication of how my recent time in marathons is rather more than the time I have spent running as training. Hardly how one should go about it…

Perhaps, all that walking I do every day is truly of effect.

I sure keep arguing so, and a generally active lifestyle is often presented as much more important than a few hours a week, if that, spent in a gym (or on running training).

It all still begs the question what middle-aged me could do if I went about it putting the training theory I’ve learnt into practical use.

Not that one necessarily has to be the greatest runner to be a good coach* (if not almost the opposite; you don’t need such a tactical approach if you simply are good at something), but that would be a worthwhile experiment.

The next year beckons…

(*Coaching offers will come shortly, on here and via Movescount.)