Vincent had the chance to run one of the fastest marathons in the world: the Berlin Marathon. At the expense of a great preparation by the RunMotion Coach, he managed to break his record on the course (8 minutes of time saved compared to his last run). For the RunMotion Coach he returned to this race that gave him a lasting memory…
How was the Berlin Marathon for you?
My Berlin Marathon went great. For my 5th marathon, my goal was to get under the mythical 3-hour mark, which I did, breaking my last record of 3:06 hours with a time of 2:57:50.
All the things I set out to do, and with the experience of today I know that everything has to be perfectly planned for the marathon, went through perfectly. And I think that was the key to this success. As for effort management, for the first 30 kilometers I stayed at the heart rate I had set for myself between 85% and 90% of HRMax – the sensations were noticeable, but I did not accelerate – I thought I could at worst accelerate towards the end.
And it was a good thing, experience won out, because it turned out that I could not accelerate at the end, with the onset of cramps in the hamstring 5 km from the finish line, even if I managed to change the pace a little. That’s why this management of keeping intensity for more or less than 3 hours is so important – I didn’t want to cross the Brandenburg Gate walking. I am also proud of my evenness, as I ran through the first half in 1:29:00 and the second in 1:28:50, a small negative split, but a negative split nonetheless.
As for nutrition and hydration, I stuck to my original plan: one bar before the race, one gel every 6 km until the finish line, and hydration at every point with water in addition to the 750 ml of energy drinks I had with me. I think all this contributed to me reaching my actual level, a perfect race.
The course of the Berlin Marathon is great, long straight roads, parts inside the beautiful city (which is a great place, by the way), not a single tight turn: the perfect combination to achieve a good time. A first class organization, you have to remember that we are on one of the 6 majors.
My motivation for this goal was the best, as I saw in the last few weeks that my data was consistent with my goal of timing. But anything is possible on the D-Day of a marathon, so I kept all the previously mentioned details in mind until the end.
I won this beautiful license plate and a stay thanks to a raffle organized by RunMotion Coach (thanks again), and the organization by Contrastes Running was fabulous. The location of the hotel was excellent, the tour of Berlin on Saturday morning, then a recovery time in the afternoon in the bedroom and the departure for the run on Sunday morning in the group.
An anecdote about the Berlin Marathon?
If I had an anecdote about this marathon, it would be passing under the Brandenburg Gate, which has great historical significance, and completing the last kilometer of a marathon where you also break your own record while passing under that gate, well … I still get goosebumps and feelings just thinking about it! These last meters with other runners who are probably also setting their own records are absolutely beautiful, we congratulate each other in French, German and Australian…. The marathon speaks only one language.
How did you handle your preparation for the Berlin Marathon?
I started preparing for the Berlin Marathon after recovering for a week after my Grand Raid of the Ultra Marin, which I finished in 146th place in 25:02:21.
My preparation for the Berlin Marathon lasted 11 weeks, with 6 running sessions per week and a cycling session, completed 90% of the time. During this time, the closer we got to the objective, the better the data became and also the progress. At the beginning I had doubts, since I had trained a lot of endurance during the year to prepare for my 100 km and my ultra of 175 km, but as soon as I scheduled pace sessions during the first weeks, my doubts disappeared.
What motivates you to run?
I’m motivated by the joy of running, of exercise, the feeling of making progress, of surpassing myself and reaching my goals to try to get closer to my maximum potential at the time T. I also get motivated by discovering different things, for example, this year I have completed a distance of 10 km on the road, the half marathon, the marathon, the 100 km, the ultra of 175 km, also a trail of 20 to 80 km, doing different things because the distances and the terrain are extremely enriching.
Being in nature, finding oneself and forgetting for a moment this world that goes too fast for us these days. And to remember that we are simply made to run.
How did you discover the RunMotion Coach app?
I discovered this app when I was looking for an easy way to access workouts to progress and not just practice aimlessly without knowing how to set them up.
What made you download and test the app?
At the very beginning, I wanted to do running training to help me with cycling, and RunMotion Coach had an “Endurance and Explosiveness” program for another sport. I followed it and it started. I felt the results from the beginning. Then the running training took over. I now use RunMotion Coach all year round and have even dedicated myself to running completely.
What do you like about the app?
The individualization of the training, the possibility to customize our training weeks, the intuitive aspect of the app, the export of the training to the different GPS watches. And just the fact that you have your program that you trust and you can do the workout you want without thinking too much to reach your original goal and make progress. I also appreciate the new ability to add secondary goals into the preparation of the final goal, which really helps to create complete and consistent plans.
What is your next athletic challenge?
To wrap up the precious year of 2023, the last goal would be the La Rochelle Marathon on November 26, where I hope to break the 3-hour mark – why not – and also set a new record, we’ll see. As for 2024, it will be about UTMB’s Alsace Grand Est Trail UTDC over 175 km and 6500m D+.
Well done Vincent, you deserve this medal! Good luck for your next challenges 💪