Training for any event is tough. The longer the race, the harder the training. Each new training cycle has taught me something different and training for the BMW Berlin Marathon has been no exception. Having previously completed three marathons as well as a middle-distance triathlon (i.e. a half ironman), I’m no stranger to putting in the miles.
Despite that, it doesn’t make them any easier. We’ve all been there when the 6am alarm goes off and all you want to do is snooze, and even though. Summer training is easier than Winter, I still find those early starts incredibly difficult.
To help with the early mornings and ensure that I get out of bed, I arrange plans with friends. This makes me accountable to someone else and feel guilty for snoozing. If I tell enough people that I’m going for a run, I’m more likely to get out there.
Having someone training for the same race as you is the ideal scenario, but the next best thing is finding someone, or a group of people, mad enough to go out early. I’ve been lucky to tick both these boxes.
I do long runs most weekends with LDN Brunch Club (it’s always great when you end a run with brunch) and run early in the morning every Wednesday with friends. Thursday’s are used for track running, both with
friends and some extra solo runs. Running far can be lonely but running with a group means that you can cover the distance easier.
I also find great inspiration from other runners. They’re all incredibly strong in completely different ways and this pushes me beyond my limits. During longer races, they’re what keeps me putting one foot in front of the other.
It’s also helped me to pick up some good habits pre and post run. Whilst I’ve always stretched to some degree, getting feedback from other runners has helped to perfect my post-run routine.
Running with other people is the best thing I’ve done since moving to London. I’ve made so many great friends this way and would absolutely recommend joining a running group to meet new people when moving to a new city.
The other thing I’ve learnt over the years? Training for a marathon is hard. The longest runs in training start 6-8 weeks out from race day and take up most of the weekend. Come race day, each of those long runs makes it all worthwhile. The race is the victory lap, the celebration of your training. Train sensibly and the race will be the most rewarding challenge you’ve ever done.
Photo credit: Gavin Batty