Here we go, again, friends. I’m beginning to train for the Berlin Marathon and I wanted to share my training plan, although this probably won’t be a surprise to most of you. I’m excited to share my Berlin Marathon Training Plan and also to share my training goal with you all!
I am again using the Hansons plan. I’ve made a few adjustments already and I know I’ll make a few more as training goes on. You can get a good idea of how the plan flows in the image below. I’ve written quite a bit about the Hanson method previously (these two posts are a good place to read more), but as a broad overview, the plan prescribes running six days a week (after a 5 week ramp up period) – 3 of those runs are easy, 1 is long and 2 are workouts. The point is cumulative fatigue, and this is meant to simulate the last 10 miles of the marathon. I’ve found that I really enjoy training this way, which was a surprise for me because I never thought I’d like running high mileage. It turns out that I really do!
You can see above my basic framework for this plan. Yellow denotes an easy run, green denotes a long run, blue is tempo, purple is speed work and red is strength (Hanson speak for longer intervals run faster than goal pace). I know many of you are curious about my goal for Berlin. I always reevaluate my goal in the month or so before a race but I am shooting for a big PR for this go round. Honestly, my goal terrifies me and I’ve had mixed thoughts about putting it out there, but I’m claiming it and I’m ready to work for it.
Berlin Marathon goal: 3:55 – 8:58 pace per mile.
There it is, y’all. You might be curious how I came up with this goal. It was a multifaceted process. As many of you know, I made a critical error during the Chicago Marathon – I basically didn’t fuel for 15 miles. It derailed my race and I squeaked in just under 4:30. I believe I was in shape to run about 20 minutes faster than that and indeed, I hit mile 20 at 3:14. Things had started to go bad about mile 18, but the wheels really came off in those last few miles. Okay, so I have a marathon PR of 4:29 and change and I have a half marathon PR of 1:50:21. The disparity between those times (and knowing how badly I messed up Chicago), gave me a lot of trouble trying to set a goal for Berlin. So I asked my friend Pamela to help me. Pamela ran the B&A Half with me and is a coach. She had me race a 5k and send her the splits, plus she had my splits from B&A (my half marathon PR) because we ran the entire race together. Pamela told me that she firmly believes I can run sub-4 and that in fact, I should be able to run in the 3:45-3:50 range. This scared the crap out of me, honestly. I decided to make myself feel a bit more comfortable and shoot for 3:55. The pace per mile seems doable, given that I’ve run 13 miles at an 8:25 pace. I know this will be hard, but I do believe that I’m fit enough (or at least will be fit enough soon) to do it. Real talk, though, the idea that I’m even considering trying to run a marathon at a sub-9 mm pace is absolutely crazy to me. But I’m working to wrap my head around it. What helps is that I’ve done all these workouts at a pace that is faster than my new goal. So I know I can do it. But I also know how damn hard it’s going to be to run 10 miles at an 8:58 pace in DC summer weather. But, if it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it, right?
There you go. Look for my training link up on Sundays – I’ll be recapping every week and would love for you to join in!
Who else is running Berlin? Who has run it previously and has tips? Anyone else trying to go sub-4 this fall?