Category Archives: Sports

Krakow marathon (2019)

Last Sunday, April 28th, together with my friend Juan and my brother Jaime, I took part in the Krakow marathon, with above 6,300 runners registered.


The three of us subscribed to the marathon following our series of marathons abroad (to combine tourism with long distance running) that has taken us to run together in Athens, Sevilla, Madrid, LisboaVienna and now Krakow.

As with the previous two marathons in 2018, in Vienna and Dublin, I arrived to Krakow short of training, with just above 458 km in the legs (in the previous 16 weeks), some 15 km less than for Dublin and 10 more than for Vienna, but between 200 and 300 km less than when I have closely followed the training plans in the past years. As you can see below, I found myself at the end of the 8th week of the plan (beginning of March, just after the skiing break) without having trained much and with 8 weeks to go and about 10-12 kg overweight, and then I put myself to the business. The same story than for the previous two marathons.


In the 8 weeks prior to the marathon week I averaged 49 km per week, but I only did a couple of long runs (of 25 and 27 km) and didn’t complete series sessions as after the increase of volume in the 10th week I started having pain in the hip, so I kept up the volume, softened the pace and forgot about the series. In the last 3 weeks, however, I did not keep up with the good volume of the previous ones. Meanwhile, I lost some 6 kg and arrived with the confidence of being able to finish it even if the final time was uncertain.


The profile was nearly flat with a few short climbs. The temperature was fresh (10 degrees Celsius at the departure time), the sky was covered and it rained from the beginning to the end. My strategy was to start with the 4-hour pacers until I could not keep up with them, hoping to come with them until the km 30 and then see. Juan started the race with me and we ran together for about 14 km ahead of the pacers.


With less than 6,000 runners taking part in the race (a few hundreds of those registered didn’t start), we could easily run from the beginning and in fact we did the first couple of kilometres a bit faster than intended so we softened the pace. Since then we ran more or less at the target pace (5’41” per km), at the km 14 Juan dropped a bit backwards as he had announced much earlier, and at the km 26 I was caught by the first of the 4-hour pacers, the last of which overtook me at the km 29. I tried not to lose much distance with them but after the km 32 I was feeling the legs much stiffer and I started to soften the pace with only 10 km to go and the only mental objective of finishing the race.


In the end, I clocked a net time of 4h11’17”, a time around of what I expected (5-10′ worse than 4 hours) in view of the lack of training and the rain; it was a tough day of running (a bit better than the feelings in Vienna though). It was my 20th marathon completed, easy to say today but not so on April 30th 2000 when I completed my first one in Madrid.



With the 4h11’17”, I was again above the 4-hour mark, and finished in the 3204th place of the 5184 finishers (see the diploma below), that is in the percentile 38% (bottom half). That time makes it my 4th worst marathon, after 2 of the first 3 that I did almost 20 years ago and that of Vienna a year ago.




After crossing the finish line, I crossed the market square of Krakow, entered the hotel, took a picture with the finisher medal (above), took a shower and waited for Jaime and Juan to share the experiences of each other and start thinking of the next marathon.


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Col du Tourmalet (2018)

Last August 18th, together with some friends from the university we climbed with the bike the Col du Tourmalet, the mythic climb of the Tour de France in the Pyrenees. That was an excursion that I had been wanting to make since moving to Toulouse 8 years ago.


Training. I had bought a road bike 3 weeks before the climb. I used it 3 times, to ride in the roads of the Gers (France) close to home. I rode 21 km, 26 km and 60 km in each of those days, at average speeds of between 20 to 22 km/h. I then went on holidays with the children and could not train any more. When back to my home in France, a few days before the climb I preferred not to use the bike to avoid arriving to the Pyrenees with some muscle pain.

None of us was well trained for the challenge, so we were prepared for the worst. The day before, I think none of my friends was confident in being able to climb up till the end, though I kept telling them we would make it.

Route. We decided to climb it from the Western side, departing from the village Luz Saint Sauveur. From there the climb is a bit longer, 19.0 km, with an average slope of 7.4% with a maximum of about 10.2% near the end. We planned to only climb up and descend back home (~ 40 km), we would not simulate a longer Tour de France stage with several climbs. Just one. Below you can see the profile per kilometre.



We woke up early and had an average breakfast. The weather was good for the ride: fresh (14 degrees Celsius at 7:45 am, in the middle of August) and cloudy at the start from Luz. And 21 degrees at 11:45 at the top (at 2,115 metres of altitude) before starting the descent.

We first descended the 2.5 km between our hostel and the starting of the climb in Luz.

At 7:58 am we started the climb. We had rented a Scott Addict 10 (CD22) with a compact 50/34 crankset with 11x32 cassette (7.74 kg of weight). I did the complete climb without changing gears: 34 – 32. Since I was not well trained I did not want to push muscles any more than required by moving a more demanding combination (other colleagues did and had no problems either).


Kilometre zero at Luz St. Sauveur.

I decided on my own strategy for the climb the night before. In bed, I read some blogs about the climb and one rider recommended to mentally split the climb, in stretches of 15 minutes. So I did. Mentally and physically. I rode at a comfortable but steady pace about 15 minutes and then I took a pause of 3-5 minutes. And then again, and again. Not all colleagues did that. We saw other riders taking similar pauses, though I would say that early in the morning most riders were better prepared and rode faster and with less pauses than us. When we descended the climb we found more casual riders (or this is what it felt when you watched them climbing while you descended).



Pause at 1 km from the summit.

I found it hard, but bearable. The last 3 km had a more difficult profile, which added to the accumulated fatigue. The muscles were tired after each 15 minutes stretch but after the small pause we could continue without problem. I did not feel any pain, or had any cramps or injures. In that sense I found it less aggressive than marathons.


In all, it took us about 2h12′ riding from the bottom to the top (find here my Garmin record, which misses about 2 minutes in a ~400 m stretch of the 1st km). The pauses must have taken us another nearly 55 minutes in pauses, for a total time of about 3h10’ to reach the summit, at ~11h10 am. The average riding speed was 8.5 km/h, which started between 9 and 10 but at the end it was rather between 7 and 8.


We then took some pictures, a coffee, a beer and had a chat at the cafeteria in the top.


The descent to our hostel (16.64 km, 2.5 km from the start) took me another 28 minutes at 35 km/h, as I did not take any risk.

The experience was great. The views are breath-taking. The feeling of accomplishment very pleasant.


Some more practical comments:

The descent. I was afraid of being too cold but it went well (not so for other colleagues who felt more the cold). I wore one t-shirt, the short-sleeved cycling maillot and an over-sleeve.

The road. It is rather wide at most points compared to other mountain roads. Cars during the climb did respect very well the distances to overtake riders. The asphalt was in good condition. I imagine that due to the Tour de France and the skiing stations they do maintain the road in good conditions, renewing the asphalt every few years.

Water. I did not see it while riding, but at the station on km 12, where there is the telesiege “Caubere” there was a water fountain where you can refill your bottles. I did the refill with river water a bit later, in the km 15 close to the a second telesiege at the station Super Bareges.

Logistics – Housing. We booked rooms in advance at La grange du Bois. That is a chambre d’hotes off the village of Luz Saint Sauveur at about the 2nd km of the climb. It was big enough to accommodate our continuous demands for more beds, as in the end we were 13 adults and 8 children. The house has capacity for 33 people, though if you go in a big group you might have to share some rooms (with capacities for 5 and 6 people). The price was reasonable and included half board (~44 € per adult and night ).

Logistics – Bike rental. We all rented road or mountain biks for the occasion. We picked Ardiden Vélos at Luz Saint Sauveur, just 100 metres from the start of the climb. The rental for 24-h cost 55 € (for the higher scale and lighter weight model), this allowed picking and adapting the bikes the previous evening so we could start cycling early in the morning. The rental included helmets and pedals. It did not include water bottles, which you can bring yourself or buy at the same shop.

Excursions. The day after we went on an excursion to Cauterets and the Pont d’Espagne walking to the Lac d’Aube. We did not feel any muscle pain and had a good time there.

In the future, if I ever get to ride on bike often on weekends, I may give it another try.

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Dublin marathon (2018)

Last Sunday, October 28th, together with my brother Jaime (see here his post about it), I took part for a second time in the Dublin marathon, the “Friendly marathon” according to one of their lines, the 4th largest marathon in Europe with about 18,000 people registered, above 16,000 finishers.


Jaime and I subscribed to the marathon after the good experience I had in Dublin two years ago (see here my post about it), when I ran it with Serna. After the bad experience in Vienna last spring (see here) I wanted to have better prepared this marathon, but I did not. I arrived to Dublin with just above 470 km in the legs (in the previous 16 weeks), some 70 km more than for Vienna but between 200 and 300 km less than when I have closely followed the training plans in the past years. As you can see below, I found myself at the end of August or the beginning of the 8th week of the plan without having trained much and with 9 weeks to go and about 10-12 kg overweight, and then I put myself to the business.


In the 8 weeks prior to the marathon week I averaged 50 km per week, but I missed many long runs on weekends and wasn’t able to complete good series sessions until the last 3-4 weeks. In any case, I could complete some trails, lose some 6 kg and arrive with the confidence of being able to finish it even if the final time was uncertain.


The circuit of the marathon was the same as in previous years.


From experience, I knew that the profile was not flat with a few climbs but that the crowd, with plenty of Dubliners cheering at the runners, and the cold weather (5 degrees Celsius at the departure time) would help in keeping us running at pace. My strategy was to start with Jaime from his box and run together with the 4-hour pacers until I could not keep up with them, hoping to come with them until the km 30 and then see.

Due to the big crowd of runners at the start of the race, it took me some 3 kilometres to get to the pacers, with whom I lost contact after the km 6 due to a short technical stop, but I quickly recovered the gap. I skipped taking a bottle of water at the supply station around km 10, and got to some distance ahead of the pacers. I then doubted what to do, whether to wait for them (to actually run between them) or keep going ahead pacing myself. As in 2016, I took the second option and I went ahead, running consistently a bit faster than the target pace for a 4-hour marathon (5’41” per km) until the km 33, and only then, at km 34, I felt that it was a bit harder to sustain that pace so I softened a bit, not much, and I kept some strength to run a faster last 1.5 km to enjoy the last crowded streets.


In the end, I clocked a net time of 3h55’15”, better than expected and with great feelings while running all along the race, as it was the case in 2016. It was my 19th marathon completed, easy to say today but not so on April 30th 2000 when I completed my first one in Madrid.


With the 3h55’15”, I was again below the 4-hour mark, and finished in the 7181st place of 16236 finishers (see the diploma below), that is in the top 44%, just in the upper half. That time makes it my 10th best marathon, just in the median of the 19 I have completed.



At the finish line, I changed clothes and waited for Jaime to take a picture with him and share the experiences of each other before going to our hotel. It may not have been the last time to run in Dublin.


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Detalle de las votaciones para el premio FIFA The Best 2018

Ésta es una pequeña entrada futbolera para mirar el detalle de las votaciones para el premio FIFA The Best 2018 al mejor jugador del año, que fue ganado hace pocos días por Luka Modric.


¿Qué es lo que se premia?

De las reglas de FIFA para la organización del premio [PDF, 243 KB]:

Art. 2 The Awards reward the best in each category, regardless of championship or nationality, for their respective achievements during the period from 3 July 2017 to 15 July 2018 inclusive for the men’s awards and from 7 August 2017 to 24 May 2018 inclusive for the women’s awards.

Art. 3. The Awards are bestowed according to on-field performance and overall behaviour on and off the pitch.

Es por tanto una definición genérica: no se elige al que más goles meta, ni al que más títulos gane, ni al que gane el Mundial, ni la Super Copa de Europa, etc., se vota “al mejor por sus logros de acuerdo a la actuación en el campo y al comportamiento global dentro y fuera del terreno de juego”. A partir de ahí, cada uno vota al que quiera, siguiendo el procedimiento descrito a continuación.

¿Cómo se organiza la votación?

Según las reglas de FIFA para la organización del premio:

  • Un panel de 13 expertos (1) selecciona una lista de 10 jugadores sobre la que después votaran capitanes, seleccionadores nacionales (coaches), periodistas (media) y aficionados (fans). (2)
  • 168 capitanes de selecciones votaron a 3 jugadores de entre la lista de 10 elaborada por los expertos. Los clasificaron en primer, segundo y tercer lugar, obteniendo el jugador seleccionado 5, 3 y 1 puntos respectivamente.
  • 171 seleccionadores nacionales votaron del mismo modo que los capitanes.
  • 168 periodistas designados (uno por país) votaron del mismo modo que capitanes y seleccionadores.
  • Aficionados de todo el mundo votaron en la web de FIFA.
  • La votación tuvo lugar entre el 24 de julio y el 10 de agosto de 2018.
  • El resultado final para la designación de los ganadores es una media ponderada en la que los resultados parciales de los votos de capitanes, seleccionadores, periodistas y aficionados pesa cada uno un 25% del total.

Por España votaron Sergio Ramos (capitán), Luis Enrique (seleccionador) y Francesc Aguilar (periodista de Mundo Deportivo).

El resultado global, es el publicado en diferentes medios, con un podio formado por Luka Modric (29.05% de los votos ponderados), Cristiano Ronaldo (19.08%) y Mohamed Salah (11.23%). Dejo debajo una tabla resumen. Esta misma tabla se puede descargar de la web de FIFA [PDF, 260 KB].


Por otro lado, en la web de FIFA se puede encontrar el detalle de todos los votos emitidos por capitanes, seleccionadores y periodistas, en un documento PDF de 16 páginas [PDF, 517 KB]. Y es a partir de ese documento del que muestro las tablas resumen de debajo.

Tabla resumen con el voto de los capitanes:


Tabla resumen con el voto de los capitanes, si solo votasen aquellos pertenecientes a las selecciones que disputaron el Mundial de Rusia 2018 (31 capitanes de entre los 168 de la muestra total):


Tabla resumen con el voto de los seleccionadores:


Tabla resumen con el voto de los seleccionadores, si solo votasen aquellos pertenecientes a las selecciones que disputaron el Mundial de Rusia 2018 (31 seleccionadores de entre los 171 de la muestra total):


Tabla resumen con el voto de los periodistas:


Tabla resumen con el voto de los aficionados:


Esta última tabla con el voto de los aficionados se obtiene a partir del resultado global y tras haber calculado los resultados parciales de capitanes, seleccionadores y prensa, dado que en los resultados de FIFA no aparece publicado el voto de aficionados.

Comparación de la tabla resumen oficial con todos los votos con cómo quedaría la tabla si se excluyese de la ponderación el voto de los aficionados.


Comparación de la tabla resumen oficial con todos los votos con cómo quedaría la tabla si se excluyese de la ponderación el voto de los aficionados y la prensa, es decir, si contase sólo el voto de los profesionales.


Y por último una comparación con cómo quedaría la tabla si contase sólo el voto de los profesionales de aquellas selecciones que participaron en el Mundial de Rusia 2018 (los 31 capitanes y 31 seleccionadores).


Comentarios finales:

  • En todas las votaciones aparecen destacados siempre en primer lugar Luka Modric y Cristiano Ronaldo con diferencia entre ellos y con el tercero.
  • En el tercero y cuarto lugar aparecen distintos jugadores según se cojan los votos de capitanes, seleccionadores, prensa o capitanes y seleccionadores de las selecciones participantes en el Mundial: Salah & Mbappé, Mbappé & Messi, Salah & Varane, Mbappé & Hazard, Griezmann & Hazard, Mbappé & Griezmann.
  • La excepción se da en el voto de los aficionados, donde en primer lugar destacado aparece Salah, seguido de lejos por Cristiano Ronaldo y Messi y en cuarto lugar Luka Modric.

(1) El panel de expertos [PDF, 402 KB] estaba formado por: Sami Al Jaber (Saudi Arabia), Emmanuel Amuneke (Nigeria), Cha Bum-Kun (Corea del Sur), Fabio Capello (Italia), Didier Drogba (Costa de Marfil), Kaka (Brasil), Frank Lampard (Inglaterra), Lothar Matthaus (Alemania), Alessandro Nesta (Italia), Carlos Alberto Parreira (Brasil), Ronaldo (Brasil), Andy Roxburgh (Escocia), Wynton Rufer (Nueva Zelanda).

(2) Una vez elaborada la lista todos los votos se circunscriben a ella, es por tanto normal que no haya votos para Neymar, Sergio Ramos, Isco o Cavani, dado que no forman parte de la lista hecha por el panel de expertos.

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Cómo pondera la UEFA el palmarés de los clubes

Ésta es una pequeña entrada futbolera para compartir una curiosidad sobre cómo pondera la UEFA el palmarés de los clubes dentro de los rankings de clubes que realiza la UEFA.

La UEFA publica varios rankings de clubes y asociaciones de futbol (federaciones de cada país). Para realizar los ranking de clubes, la UEFA asigna una serie de puntos según los resultados conseguidos en los partidos de las competiciones que organiza la propia UEFA. A partir de ellos, cada año se puede ver cuál es el club europeo que ha obtenido una mayor puntuación.

A partir de esas puntuaciones, la UEFA publica un ranking a 5 años y un ranking a 10 años. El ranking a 5 años es el que la UEFA utiliza, por ejemplo, para distribuir a los clubes en los diferentes bombos en los sorteos. También es el que utiliza para publicar cada año cual es el club que lidera el ranking UEFA (que no es necesariamente el que haya obtenido más puntos en ese año de competición, sino en los últimos 5 años).

Por otro lado, la UEFA aclara en su web que el ranking a 10 años sólo lo usa para la distribución de los premios en metálico a todos los clubes participantes en sus competiciones. Para realizar ese ranking a 10 años la UEFA utiliza la puntuación que los clubes han obtenido en cada uno de los últimos 10 años y a esa cifra le añade un coeficiente al que llama “títulos”. Y es sobre este coeficiente sobre el que quería escribir.

Primero dejo debajo el ranking a 10 años ordenado por la columna “títulos”:

Ten-year_UEFA_club_coefficient_2018.06.19_filtered by Title

En la tabla se puede ver que lo lidera el Real Madrid con un coeficiente de 98, al que le sigue el Barcelona con 45, el AC Milan con 42, Bayern con 31…

¿Cómo calcula ese coeficiente la UEFA?

  • Copa de Europa / UEFA Champions League:
    • Ganadas en los ultimos 5 años (2014-2018): 12 puntos.
    • Ganadas desde la creación de la Champions League hasta hace 6 años (1993-2013): 8 puntos.
    • Ganadas antes de la creación de la Champions League (1956-1992): 4 puntos.
  • Recopa (Cup Winners’ Cup) / Copa de la UEFA / UEFA Europa League :
    • Ganadas en los ultimos 5 años (2014-2018): 3 puntos.
    • Ganadas desde la creación de la Champions League hasta hace 6 años (1993-2013): 2 puntos.
    • Ganadas antes de la creación de la Champions League (1961-1992): 1 punto.
  • UEFA Super Cup: no suman para el cómputo del ranking de títulos UEFA.
  • Intercontinental Cup / FIFA Club World Cup: no suman para el cómputo del ranking de títulos UEFA.
  • Competiciones nacionales: no suman para el cómputo del ranking de títulos UEFA.


  • La UEFA, entre las competiciones que ella organiza, da un valor a la Champions League 4 veces superior que a la antigua Recopa o a la UEFA Europa League.
  • La UEFA aplica una ponderación temporal:
    • Los títulos conseguidos entre 1956 y 1992 tienen un valor hoy de un 33% de los conseguidos en los últimos 5 años (4 vs 12 para la Copa de Europa; 1 vs 3 para la UEFA).
      • Por tanto, la Copa de Europa del “Dream Team” (Barcelona FC en 1992, en “color”) para la UEFA tiene el mismo valor temporal que uno de los “botijos” que ganó el Real Madrid de Di Stefano en los años 1950 (“en blanco y negro”).
    • Los títulos conseguidos entre 1993 y 2013 (para el ranking de 2018) tienen un valor hoy de un 67% de las conseguidas en los últimos 5 años (8 vs 12).
  • La extinta Copa de Ferias (Inter-Cities Fairs Cup), a la que en España se le da mucha relevancia, no computa para la UEFA. No era organizada por la UEFA, no había criterios de clasificación para la misma…
  • La Supercopa de Europa: no suma. Un torneo veraniego, que es mejor ganarlo que perderlo, pero que para la UEFA no tiene mayor relevancia que la fiesta de ese día.
  • La Intercontinental Cup / FIFA Club World Cup : no suma. Para la UEFA es un torneo pre-navideño, que es mejor ganarlo que perderlo, pero que para la UEFA no tiene mayor relevancia que la fiesta de ese día.
  • El palmarés europeo del Sevilla (13) es, para la UEFA, superior al del Atlético de Madrid (8). No obstante, el Atlético de Madrid en 2018 tiene una posición en el ranking (4º con 230 puntos) bastante superior al Sevilla (13º con 163.5 puntos), dado que a pesar de no haber ganado ninguna Champions League (palmarés), sí ha sumado puntos para el ranking por sus buenos resultados obtenidos entre 2014-17.

¿Qué club europeo tiene un mayor palmares de títulos europeos?

La respuesta es clara, el Real Madrid. Tan clara que tiene un coeficiente por títulos (98), aplicando las ponderaciones de UEFA, igual que la suma de los coeficientes de Liverpool (28), Juventus (17), Atlético de Madrid (8) y Barcelona juntos (45), es decir igual que todos los otros cuatro finalistas de la Copa de Europa en los últimos 5 años (2014-2018).

Por último, debajo dejo una tabla clara donde muestro el cálculo de los coeficientes de Real Madrid y Barcelona.



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Simpatía por el Real Madrid en 2007 y 2014 en España

Ésta es una pequeña entrada futbolera para compartir la gráfica de debajo donde se puede comparar el madridismo o simpatía por el Real Madrid en 2007 y 2014 en España con respecto a la simpatía por los otros equipos con mayor afición en España, incluida la propia Selección española de fútbol.


La primera vez que se me ocurrió escribir esta entrada fue el pasado mes de junio, tras el anuncio de fichaje de Lopetegui por el Real Madrid y leer cómo diversos medios y comentaristas indicaban que con ello el Real Madrid creaba antimadridistas. Como digo, en junio preparé la gráfica pero se me quedó pendiente el escribir este post. Es ahora, cuando tras la contratación de Mariano he vuelto a escuchar la cantinela de que con ese proceder el Madrid creaba antimadridistas, que he terminado el post.

La fuente de los datos son los barómetros del CIS (Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas) de mayo de 2007 y de junio de 2014 [PDF, 217 kB]. En ambos barómetros se incluían varias preguntas sobre actividades de ocio y deportivas. En una de las preguntas se requería lo siguiente: “¿Podría decirme cuál es el equipo por el que siente Ud. más simpatía?”; y en una segunda pregunta: “Además de por este equipo que me ha mencionado, ¿siente Ud. simpatía por algún otro equipo?”

Comentarios a la vista de las respuestas:

  • El madridismo creció de 2007 a 2014.
    • Como primer equipo: de 32.8% a 37.9%, esto es 5 puntos más, o un 16% más sobre la referencia de 2007.
    • Como segundo equipo: de 6.8% a 7%, o 0.2 puntos, un 3%.
  • El barcelonismo, sin embargo, decreció de 2007 a 2014. Tanto como primer equipo, como segundo equipo. La diferencia no es muy grande, con lo que puede estar dentro del error de muestreo. Según las encuestas, lo que no hizo fue crecer.
  • La afición por el Atlético de Madrid tuvo en esos años un crecimiento espectacular en términos relativos. En términos absolutos el crecimiento fue más discreto que el del madridismo.
  • Igual sucede con aquellos que a la primera responden con la Selección española de fútbol: gran crecimiento relativo, pero menor en absoluto que el del madridismo.
  • La afición por el resto de grandes equipos (Valencia, Athletic, Betis, Sevilla) se mantuvo en parecidos niveles o decreció.

Por poner algo de contexto: En 2014 el Madrid ganó la Décima Copa de Europa, con Ancelotti como entrenador tras 3 años de Mourinho (de quien se decía que generaba antimadridistas por doquier). Quizá la consecución reciente de títulos tenga más influencia que ningún otro aspecto, pero no se puede hacer un seguimiento anual, dado que el CIS no incluye estas preguntas sobre simpatía con equipos de fútbol todos los años. Por otro lado, en 2007 el Madrid entrenado por Capello estaba en la carrera para proclamarse campeón de Liga empatado a puntos con el Barcelona.

Igualmente, uno puede imaginar que los títulos de la Selección entre 2008 y 2012, o la Liga de 2014 para el Atlético de Madrid pueden haber tenido influencia en el crecimiento.

En el caso del Barcelona: en 2006 ganó Liga y Copa de Europa, en 2007 nada. Entre 2008 y 2012 se nos decía poco menos que estaba inventando el fútbol. En 2013 ganó la Liga y en 2014 perdió la final de Copa y quedó segundo en Liga.

Alguien podría todavía decir que el Real Madrid, con Mourinho, con Lopetegui, con Mariano (y con cada argumento que se utiliza cada pocos meses), crea antimadridistas y que los barómetros del CIS no lo desmienten. Y técnicamente es así: Los barómetros no incluyen una pregunta del estilo “¿se considera usted antimadridista?” Podrían incluirla, pero hasta ahora no lo han hecho. Y, por tanto, se podría dar el caso que entre el 60.4% que no declararon simpatía por el Real Madrid en 2007 hubiese menos antimadridistas que en el 55.1% que no declararon simpatía por el Real Madrid en 2014. Pero afirmar eso, sin datos, no deja de ser un brindis al sol.

Por último, la primera vez que vi hablar de estos estudios del CIS fue gracias a un artículo de Kiko Llaneras donde con los datos de las encuestas dibujaba unos mapas de España por aficiones. Os recomiendo ver ese artículo.

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Vienna City marathon 2018

On Sunday April 22th, together with my friend Juan and brother Jaime, I took part in the Vienna City Marathon.


At the Wiener Riesenrad in the Prater amusement park.

Since some years ago, I always follow the same 16-week training plan to prepare for the marathons. That lead to a start of the plan at the beinning of January. However, I got the flu at the end of January and that got me for a week in bed. It continued with an otitis and then skiing holidays at the end of February. It was not until the beginning of March that I managed to clock some serious training for some weeks in a row. By then the objective had come to get a level of fitness to finish comfortably the race, no more. In the two half marathons I did in the month and half before the race I could already see that my fitness level was the worst in years…


During the 16 weeks of the nominal training plan, I completed:

  • 447 km of running, thanks to a streak of 5 weeks from March in which I averaged 58 km per week.
  • 13 series / intervals training sessions, out of the 28 included in the plan, and many of those I did were not the ones included in the plan but softer sessions trying to catch up.
  • 4 long runs of over 20 km, 2 half marathons and one session of 28 km plus one of 31 km.

The circuit of the marathon would take us from the International Centre to the Prater, the parks by the Danube river, and then to the city centre to make another excursion through the outskirts of the city, this time to the Schönbrunn Palace and back to centre, then back to the park by the river and back again to the centre to finish by the Rathaus. The organization wanted to show off a bit of the centre and mix it with classical music being played at some points, to match their motto Theatre of emotions.


The circuit was flat. The only inconvenient of the race was the heat of the day. That Sunday several marathons took place in Europe (Madrid, London…). In all of them the main issue was the heat. We had almost 19° C when I started, it went up to 27° C or more by the end. The organization did not spare the provision of water but when the heat hits like that you need to focus on not getting suffocated and run at a softer pace.


My race strategy was clear: to complete the marathon comfortably at a pace slightly slower than the one I am used to; for that purpose I would try to run a 3h45′ marathon for while to fall back at the second half of the race targeting a 3h55′ or 4h marathon. I quickly found that it would be hard to be under 4 hours. Just before the half marathon point I had to make technical stop which cost me a few minutes. Since then I ran at about 5’45” per km for a few more kilometres.


In my mind I started figuring that I could encounter my brother Jaime, since he had started about 15 minutes before from a different block and was shorter of training. And so it happened. At about the km 30 I saw him at a cross road and I caught him about 5 minutes later. He told me to continue ahead as he was suffering and struggling with the pace (see here his post about the race). I told him that by then I would no longer be under 4 hours but rather 4h06′, 4h16′ or 4h26′, so I’d rather stay with him and finish another marathon together as we had done in Madrid in 2015 or in Millau the same year.


From then on we ran at about 7’15” per km till the end. They were about 11 kilometres of keeping a soft but steady pace under the sun, drinking at every supplies post, chasing the few shades along the circuit and getting prepared for the finish line.


In the end, I clocked a net time of 4h23’08”. It was my 18th marathon completed. It is  great feeling of accomplishment to finish a race in such conditions even if with a discrete time, and always happy to still be able to complete them, even more together with my brother and friends.


With the 4h23’08”, my worst marathon since 2001, I finished in the 3236th place, out of 5434 finishers, in 40% percentile, down in the lower half.

At the finish line we took some pictures with Jaime and with our friend Juan and Balint, a Hungarian fellow that Juan had met in a previous marathon in Madrid.


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