Ok, so we are down to the final week of quality training before the taper begins! This training cycle has flown by, despite taking place over the summer. After running and recovering from Comrades, I started my official training for Berlin on 3rd July, but the first couple of weeks were all about building back up again. August was when the hard work began, and all of a sudden it’s September and race day is just around the corner. Yikes.
After last week’s 100km total, this week was pretty much the same. Slightly less volume but some real efforts culminating in my long run on Saturday. I’ve also booked my flights and will be travelling to Berlin via Hamburg before catching the train. I’m really looking forward to exploring two new cities and brushing up on my very rusty German language skills. Soon it will be time to start packing and I’ll be on the road!
If you haven’t already, please do make sure to follow the Chasing Zest Instagram page. I’ll be storying the journey and final week of preparation (not the race itself, of course!), so if you want to learn about pre-marathon routines that might help with your own race, it will be useful for you.
As always, here’s a reminder of what I’m aiming for:
☆ To run a sub 3:30 time (my previous best is 3:37 in Chicago last year – the last marathon I ran).
☆ To achieve negative splits, running the second half faster than the first.
Once again, I’ve been rubbish with pictures this week. Sorry! I’ll more than make up for it once I’m in Germany, for sure!
Berlin Marathon Training – Three Weeks To Go!
Monday, 28th August
I really struggled with motivation today, probably due to a heavy week last week and far too many hours on the treadmill. Thankfully, it was an ‘as you feel’ run, so I took it slowly with the intention of just getting it done. The main bulk was done on the treadmill at home, and then I headed outside for some strides.
Tuesday, 29th August
Another ‘as you feel’ run was on the cards, this time 15km. By this point, the monotony was really beginning to wear me down, so I ran 10km at home on the treadmill in front of Coronation Street before doing the last 5km outside. It averaged out at a slow but steady pace, which was fine by me as tomorrow called for considerably more effort…
Wednesday, 30th August
I had not been looking forward to this one at all. A 3km warm up followed by a 15km tempo at marathon pace and a 2km cool down was going to be a pretty big test both mentally (considering the way I had been feeling up to this point) and physically. I headed straight to the gym after a networking breakfast at which I had not dared to eat too much in case it played havoc with me during the run. I did have three cups of coffee though. Yes, three!
I ran the 15km tempo at an average of 4:49/km, which is a little too fast for marathon pace. Running a marathon at that average would give me a finish time of 3:23, which is not something I am capable of (yet). As much as it helps to be positive and believe in yourself, I also think that it’s important to be realistic and not ruin your race by being too ambitious. Anyway, I felt ok during the run, but I definitely wouldn’t be able to sustain that pace for a marathon. Maybe next year?
Thursday, 31st August
A glorious rest day! As it was Eid, my usual strength training class was cancelled, so I just did 40 minutes of stretching and mobility work at home.
Friday, 1st September
Finally, Friday brought with it a chance to run with other people. 6km easy was on the plan, but I ended up doing just over 13km. No worries, it was super humid and so my pace was nice and slow. Afterward, I realised that my heart rate was a fair bit lower than it usually is on my long slow runs. I hope this is a sign that I am getting fitter! It was a great social run and much needed.
Saturday, 2nd September
The final challenge of the week and it was a biggie. A long run of 35km, consisting of a 10km warm up and then 25km at 10 seconds slower than planned marathon pace. I had been fretting about this run all week. What if it felt difficult? How would I cope if I couldn’t keep the pace?
As it turned out, my worries were unfounded and it was a great run. The 10km warm up was super easy, and the 25km also felt comfortable, so I upped the pace a little to get it over with sooner. My average pace for the 25km was 5:05/km and I completed the entire 35km in 3:03:55, which gives a 5:15/km average. If I’d kept going and run a full marathon (which I certainly could have done), it would have given me a 3:41 finish. So, if I can do that in training on tired legs, can I run it 12 minutes faster on the big day? Only time will tell…
Sunday, 3rd September
A well-deserved rest day. As there was still no strength training class, this was a full day off. Total kms for the week? 95.