So this time next week, I’ll be in Hamburg! I’m lucky enough to be able to spend a few days there before heading to Berlin on the train. Once I’m in Germany, I think things will become a lot more real. I can’t wait to start running outdoors on European soil, away from the still too hot climate of the UAE. Let’s just hope that my legs remember how to run when they’re not on a treadmill…
Last week, I completed my last ‘long long’ run and began to get excited about the taper. I’m still waiting for that! All of this indoor running has taken its toll, and I feel tired and slightly unmotivated. Still, not much longer to go and the weather will be perfect again, meaning that I can vary my routes slightly and head out to the hills of Hatta as well!
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.
Berlin Marathon Training – Two Weeks To Go!
Monday, 4th September
There must be something about Mondays that I really struggle with. Today there was only 5km easy to get through, but my legs were super heavy and I struggled to maintain even a slow pace. It was just a case of getting through it and ticking the box to say it was done today!
Tuesday, 5th September
8km easy on the treadmill, and today felt much better than the day before. I kept it super slow and although this meant that the time dragged, I knew that I would be thankful for it when it came to more difficult efforts later in the week. Afterwards, I set up my own little strength routine in the gym, which took about 45 minutes, and then I finished with some foam rolling.
Wednesday, 6th September
Time for a quality effort! By now I was feeling a lot better after the slow start to the week, so I was hopeful for a successful session. On the plan was a 3km warm up followed by three sets of 5km at marathon pace, with a 1km recovery in between each set. The recovery was to be run at only 15 seconds per km slower than marathon pace. Despite being bored (nothing new there!), the session went well and I ran an average marathon pace of 4:57/km with the recoveries at 5:12/km. I finished with a 2km cooldown.
Thursday, 7th September
The morning saw the return of strength training at Up and Running, which I had really missed! Just a 6km easy run for today, so I went outside that evening and was pleased with an average pace of 5:46/km, despite the humid conditions.
Friday, 8th September
This was the session I had been dreading all week! A 3km warm up followed by an 8km tempo somewhere between half marathon and 10km pace. Not only was I worried about the pace, but I was also concerned about doing this on the treadmill. For some reason, I have an irrational fear of speedwork on the treadmill, and slightly faster than marathon pace is usually all I can manage, even though physically I am capable of much more!
As I started the tempo, it took me a few minutes to get into my stride, and I felt that I was wavering all over the belt at first. I almost panicked but managed to calm myself down before slowly increasing the pace further. I have to say that I was super happy with how this run went! With an average pace of 4:38/km, I definitely had a lot left in the tank and could certainly have run 10km at this pace, which would give me a 90 seconds PB! Had it not been for my silly fear, I could have run faster too. This run gave me hope that despite all my long distance training, I still have some potential for speed. Sure, I’ll never be fast, but at least there’s some progress!
Saturday, 9th September
28km moderate, again on the treadmill. For this, I planned to do the last hour (12km) at marathon pace. This meant that the first 16km could be quite leisurely. I started early, and for some reason, I struggled with the easy pace. I felt hotter and more tired than usual and questioned how I could possibly manage marathon pace if I was finding an easy pace difficult. Once I switched to marathon pace, I felt much better and completed the hour with no issues, even speeding up towards the end. Funny how things work!
Sunday, 10th September
I was ready for this rest day from running! Apart from my usual Sunday strength session, it was nice to have a bit of a rest.
Total kms for the week: 83