How I’m Cramming for the Berlin Marathon in 6 Weeks

Last year I trained for my very first marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon. I had a vague idea of what I was getting into, no idea what I was doing and I learned a lot over 16 humbling training weeks. I felt a little more confident going into training for marathon #2… until I hurt myself. It happened fairly early on, as I was just building up my mileage. I ran a 14 miles / 22 km long run, my longest distance so far in 2019 and just felt terrible afterwards, my legs were so stiff. I thought maybe I had just tackled too many miles, too fast so I took it easy the following week hoping the pain would just go away. It didn’t really so the weekend of July 14, I cut my long run down to 8 miles. Then I started limping and it was clear something was off. I basically took a break from training and started seeing a physical therapist. With 6 weeks to go before the 42nd BMW Berlin Marathon, I am cleared to run again and facing the daunting task of picking up my training again and building up to run a 26.2 miles / 42.1 km without re-injuring myself. It’s not going to be easy (I can basically kiss the social life I’ve enjoyed while I was on a training break goodbye!) but I *can* do this! Here is a quick outline of the abbreviated training plan I came up with:

WEEK OF AUGUST 19-25 (J-6 WEEKS!)

During the week, 2 x 4 miles / 7km runs and 2 x 6 miles / 10km runs followed by a 13 miles / 21 km long run on the week-end. Pre-injury, I had actually signed up for the SeaWheeze Virtual Half Marathon and I have until August 24th to complete the distance so that will be my long run that week 😉 .

WEEK OF AUGUST 26 TO SEPTEMBER 2 (5 WEEKS UNTIL BERLIN!)

Stick with the alternating 2 x 4 miles / 7km and 2 x 6 miles / 10km weekly runs and increase my week-end long run to 15 miles / 24 km.

WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 2-8 (J-4 WEEKS UNTIL BERLIN)

Time to increase the weekly mileage to 2 x 5 miles / 8 km and 2 x 8 miles / 13 km and the week-end long run to 17 miles / 27 km.

WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 9 TO 15 (PEAK TRAINING WEEK!)

3 weeks out should be my peak week before taper… I’ll stick with the weekly 2 x 5 miles / 8 km run and 2 x 8 miles / 13 km and run 19-20 miles / 31-32 km for my long run. Since I only went up to 20 miles when training for Marine Corps last year, I had hoped to go up to 22 miles for this marathon training cycle. Well, 20 miles will just have to do again 😉 I’m also signed up for the Four Seasons Race to Beat Cancer on Saturday, September 14 but I’m not planning on racing it, I’ll just do it for fun and charity (and the amazing brunch afterwards!!)

WEEK OF SEPT 16-22 (2 WEEKS TO BERLIN, 1 MONTH TO CHICAGO)

With two weeks to go, it’s time to cut down a little… I’ll be going back to 2 x 4 miles / 7km and 2 x 6 miles / 10km runs during the week (I might actually even only do 3 runs instead of 4) and a 15-16 miles / 24-25 km long run on the week-end.  I’m actually planning on getting my long run done on Saturday so I can get an extra day of rest.

WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 23-29 (TAPERTOWN + RACE WEEK!)

Taper + travel week! I’ll probably do two easy 3 miles / 5K runs, including one with one of my running groups and the other the Generali Breakfast shake-out run the day before the Berlin Marathon. I’m flying Thursday night and arriving in Berlin Friday morning after a quick stop at CDG, so I can at least pretend I went to Paris! I’ll probably do some yoga as well and generally take it very easy.

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 29: RACE DAY (… AND TWO WEEKS TO CHICAGO!)

Hopefully Ich bin ein Marathonläufer again!  Since I ran my first marathon in 5h23, my initial goal for Berlin was to do better than I did at Marine Corps, with a stretch goal of running under 5 hours. Obviously, those goals are completely out the window. The cut-off time for the BMW Berlin Marathon is 6h15 so I’ll be happy with anything under that really.

After Berlin, Caitlin and I will be traveling to Copenhagen and the week-end after I get back, I get to do it all over again when I run the Chicago Marathon! I haven’t quite come up with my plan for those two weeks… if you’ve done back-to-back marathons, how did you handle recovery to be ready to race again? I’d love your feedback!! 

One thought on “How I’m Cramming for the Berlin Marathon in 6 Weeks

  1. Pingback: 2019 Berlin Marathon Training: Week 11 « French Twist D.C.

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