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First Marathon, 4 Month Of Training, 3 Hours Or Less. Can I Do It?

I must be crazy…

Yesterday I went for my first run of the season – and what can I say: It hurt.

Here is the thing – Marina half forced me (and I half volunteered) to run the Berlin marathon this year.

Now, I’m not afraid of beating my first marathon – yesterday’s run wasn’t a completely fair assessment of my capabilities. Beating the marathon in under 4 hours should be easily doable.

Long road to go - first marathon
I’ve got a long way to go – this was yesterday’s run.

When I was younger, I always wanted to run the Berlin marathon. It’s the marathon where records are broken almost every year. The atmosphere is legendary (almost as legendary as the New York marathon). But my dream wasn’t just to run the Berlin marathon. My dream was to be good.

3 hours… Beat the marathon in under 3 hours.

I never ran the Berlin marathon, but while I was under 30, I would have had an easy time achieving this goal. I was in good form back then, I did a lot of sports – including running, rugby, climbing, and boxing. When I turned 30, I founded my first company, and I turned into a workaholic. And running my first marathon seemed an unimportant goal.

Yesterday, while I was choking on my own spit on what should have been an easy 6.5-kilometer run, I made a decision. While I was longing for air and water, while my legs hurt, and while I thought about taking the train home, I decided:

This year I’m going for it!

It’s not going to be easy – honestly, I’m not sure if it’s doable. I’m not I didn’t run for half a year, I smoke, and I sometimes drink too much. But for me this is about personal achievement. Even if I fail. Just like Rocky (who lost in all the best movies of the franchise – but to this day stands for personal achievement).

But I’m also a very competitive human being. And if I do this thing called marathon running, I’m going to do it right. From the start – with my first marathon.

This year I’m going for it! Whatever the cost will be.

Things In My Favor

It’s not like I don’t have a few things that are working in my favor:

  • I’m not overweight. If I was, this would be impossible. Actually, I might be slightly underweight – for this training procedure that might work well.
  • All my life, it was relatively easy for me to get in form – even during my lazy times. I doubt I have lost that capability.
  • I was always a good runner – and while yesterday’s run doesn’t add that much confidence, I was actually relatively active last year and ran half a marathon. Marina hated me for always beating her on our companion runs – while she was training for her first marathon.

Things Not In My Favor

Here is the hard truth – I don’t get an easy ticket here. And there are a couple of things that are not in my favor. Really:

  • Speed: My average running speed is far from this goal. Yesterday I ran 6.5 k in 37 minutes. That makes roughly 10k in one hour. If I want to make my 3 hours goal, I need to up my average speed to 14.065 k an hour.
  • Distance: This is actually not my greatest concern, distance hurts – but it doesn’t scare me. I was always able to cover the distance. So here is the thing: If I can match the overall speed within 2 – 3 month, I will be able to cover the 42.195 k with this speed. Even though I am far from this goal right now.
  • Consistency: Ok, here is the thing – even though I did a lot of sports in my life, I was never the one for consistent training. But if I want to make my goal, I will need to train consistently. I will need to push myself to my limits at least 4 times a week.
  • My sins #1: Smoking is going to be hard to make do with. I will have to cut down at least. Now. Better yet, I will have to stop. Now here is the good thing – I tried vaping the last couple of years. And while I never stayed at it, it does improve fitness tremendously without me having to quit nicotine completely. It will have to do for the next 4 month!
  • My sins #2: Drinking too much. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not an alcoholic, but enjoy a couple of drinks now and then. And when I drink, I often drink too much for my own good. I will have to cut down – but that shouldn’t be the hardest part.

First Marathon In Under 3 Hours – Is This Doable At All?

I don’t know – maybe not.

That’s not the point. I’m going to try and I’m going to keep you updated on my progress for the next 4 month. It’s going to be painful and exhausting. But I’m going to learn a lot!

I’m will learn a lot. About myself, my body, my limits, and my capabilities. But also about my strength, how to train, and how to achieve more than I thought possible.

And so will you.

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The Berlin marathon is on Sunday, September 25. 4 months, 15 days.

(I will share everything with you: Training plans, running schedules, my pain, and frustrations but also my successes.)

End of post, I’m going for a run.

Update – Just came back from the run:

Slightly better than yesterday - had a lot of steps on today's run. Just like Rocky.
Slightly better than yesterday – had a lot of steps on today’s run. Just like Rocky.