Taper Time

Road to Berlin Blog 9 - Weeks starting 3 & 10 September 2018 (2 & 1 weeks to go!)

Over the next few weeks I'll be explaining how a normal guy with two daughters, a wife and a full time job can try and realise his dream of running a sub 2.30 marathon in Berlin on September 16.  

Over the last two weeks before Berlin I feel like i've spent more time picking up more toys and food scraps off the floor than i have training!  Life with a toddler is full on, but the good times do far outweigh the bad ones!  


I've been keeping the cross training going (hit a personal record of 1,000 calories in an hour with HR around 140) to keep fitness going and did one tough half marathon tempo run.  When I haven't been working or undertaking family responsibilities I've been trying to plan the weekend ahead to try and get the best result possible.  

Cross training really has been great over the past few weeks; I've had the Nomad Glide for 20 days and spent 17 hours on it; which has helped me maintain fitness and stop myself from going (even more) crazy.  I've now got to the point where I can comfortably use upto resistance 10 (out 16), to think when I first got it I was on resistance 2!  


Last Friday I wanted to get out for one final decent run.  I knew I'd be sore afterwards, but I had 9 days before marathon day and plenty of time to recover and feel (comparatively, with a peroneal tendon injury) fresh.  I was planning to get out early morning as usual, but our baby Francesca just hasn't been sleeping very well.  I had to use the time I'd be out running to look after her while Sarah got some much needed sleep.  Fortunately, by going at lunchtime Paul was able to join me on the bike.  

This was great news as any company is welcome and it meant I could hear first hand about his brilliant new 8.45 3000m PB achieved last Wednesday at Watford.  I drove down to Caldecotte Lake (not as flat and smooth as Willen, but still good) and set out a couple of cups of water.  Unfortunately, time had got away from me so to maximise Paul's lunch hour I set off much harder than I usually would; 6.00 for the first mile.  Paul told me the tale of his race which really helped the miles tick along, he's been progressing so well but until the MK5000 hadn't been seeing the results this summer.  Now he has 8.45 and 15.32 with a lot more still to come; brilliant! 

I wanted to get a couple of 2 mile goal marathon pace efforts in the run and they felt pretty manageable.  After the first 5k loop I collected one of my cups of water without issue, but the 2nd one on lap 2 slipped out of my hands; not good; but not the end of the world.  


We hit 8 miles in 47 minutes and I was feeling great, then Paul had to get off and do some work.  This left me needing to do 5 miles solo.  It wasn't fun.  

Almost immediately it felt so much harder and I had to dig in to keep the same pace.  I felt my muscles start to cramp up too and knew the next day or two wasn't going to be fun.  I finished a half marathon in bang on 77 minutes; my cardio felt brilliant, my legs did not.  Suddenly the lack of warm up started to look pretty foolish, but there wasn't a lot I could do about it afterwards.  I gulped down a protein shake and a big bottle of water.  

Over the weekend I spent a lot of time stretching, icing and rollering to try and help, my quads were very sore, but I had faith they would loosen after a few days.  

Week Summary (starting 3 Sep)

Mon AM 1 hour XT PM 40 mins XT 

Tues AM 1 hour XT PM 40 mins XT 

Weds AM 1 hour XT PM 40 mins XT 

Thurs AM 1 hour XT 

Fri 13 miles @ 5.53

Sat Rest

Sun AM 1 hour 10 mins XT PM 1 hour XT

Total: 13 miles + 8 hours XT

Final week has been very quiet runningwise.  I've done a couple of gentle 5 milers with Jamie and tried to just relax as much as possible.  Work has been pretty full on, but to be honest I like it like that.  Meant I didn't have a lot of time to think about Sunday!! 

I have however given some decent thought to how I'm going to pace it on Sunday.  I could go and (sort of) enjoy it and get round in ~2.40, but I think if I did that I'd always have 'what if' regrets.  So I'm going to stick at sub 2.30 pace (5.43 per mile, 3.33 per km, 17.40 per 5k) and try and relax as long as possible and hope i can hold it together. I saw a girl's tatoo this week that just said 'Carpe Diem'; which in latin means 'seize the day' and that's exactly what I intend on doing.  


I'll be thinking of all my family and friends that will be with me in Berlin supporting and everyone who will be following online to help me get through!  Thank you so much for all the encouragement over the past few months and I hope you've enjoyed following my journey!  

The BMW Berling Marathon app is available to download for Apple and Android now; I'm number 21688! The splits will also be available on their website


My legs have loosened up well and last night I went to see Campbell at Releaf for a pre-race massage.  My legs are feeling heavy this morning, but I know by Sunday they will feel good to go.


See you on the other side!  

Week Summary (starting 3 Sep)

Mon AM 30 mins XT 

Tues AM 5 miles v gentle


Thurs AM 5 miles v gentle PM massage @ Releaf with Campbell.



Sun AM Berlin Marathon!

Total: 10 miles (so far) + 30 mins XT