Berlin; Third Time Lucky?

It’s confirmed! I’ll be heading back to Berlin in September to run the marathon. Hopefully, this time, I will actually run it.

Regular readers will know that I deferred my place from last year’s trip with adidas due to a niggling knee injury, but you may not know that I also had a ballot place for the Berlin marathon in 2014 too. I entered while I was out in Dubai but, having injured my knee (sense a theme here?) during VLM 2014, I wasn’t in a state to be running another marathon in the following autumn.

Berlin marathon is now a bit of a thorn in my side and, being stubborn, I just can’t let it drop.

To be completely honest with you, marathon running isn’t really for me. I work long hours and struggle to fit in the training. I always seem to get injuries and niggles with the longer miles and struggle to fit in the massages and strength training and yoga and sleep that it takes for my body to be ready. The thing with marathon training is that it is so much more than just running the miles. It’s an entire lifestyle change and requires a huge amount of commitment to do properly.

Soph, if you’re not in to marathons, why do you keep running marathons?” – you might ask. I don’t blame you, as I often ask myself this too. I run for fun and I don’t really find marathon training fun. As I’ve mentioned, I am pretty stubborn. I know, deep down, that these little legs are capable of a sub-4 hour marathon. I know that, for a lot of runners on the world wide web, that might not be a big deal, but I’ve run three marathons now and a sub-4 still eludes me. At present I have no ambitions to qualify for Boston or run all the majors, but I really do want to run a sub-4. I’d like to think that, once I’ve run a sub-4, I can put marathon running to bed and focus on doing the type of running I really enjoy (lovely trails and half marathons!).

So, 2016 is the year of the marathon. I made a promise to myself in January to do everything I can in order to achieve a sub-4 run in Berlin in September.

I started off by signing up for technique lessons at The Running School, to sort out my sore calf muscles and over striding issues. I’ve been working in the gym to build up strength in my legs and core (something I personally find necessary to prevent injuries) and I’ve also been working on my glutes on the instructions of coach Nick at the City branch of the Running School! Hopefully this will provide me with a strong base to start my training plan.

I’ve also been looking in to different training methods and, having followed Cathy and Sarah on their training journeys, have ordered the Hansons Marathon Method to read more about the Hansons method of training. Hansons looks like a really interesting way of training and, from previous experience, I know I am going to have to shake up my approach if I am going to make real progress. Cathy’s on the Hansons method is a really good overview.

I figured the next step in making this happen is to put it out there so, for the record, I will be running the Berlin marathon on 25 September 2016 and I am aiming to finish in under 4 hours. It’s on!