Vincent breaks his record at the 2023 Berlin Marathon!

Vincent had the chance to run one of the fastest marathons in the world: the Berlin Marathon. With the RunMotion Coach’s great preparation, he broke his course record, saving 8 minutes 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 break the mythical 3-hour mark, which I achieved, setting a new record of 2:57:50, surpassing my previous time of 3:06 hours.

All my planned objectives, informed by today’s experience, were executed flawlessly, underscoring the importance of meticulous marathon preparation. And I think that was the key to this success. For the first 30 kilometers, I maintained my heart rate between 85% and 90% of HRMax for effort management. I noticed the sensations but didn’t accelerate, thinking I could do so later.

Experience paid off, as I couldn’t accelerate in the end due to hamstring cramps 5 km from the finish line, even though I tried to change my pace slightly. That’s why maintaining intensity for about 3 hours is crucial—I didn’t want to walk across the Brandenburg Gate. I’m proud of my consistency, running the first half in 1:29:00 and the second in 1:28:50, achieving a small negative split.

What about nutrition?

Following my pre-race nutrition plan, I consumed a bar beforehand and took a gel every 6 km until the finish line. Additionally, staying well-hydrated with both water and the 750 ml of energy drink I carried likely contributed to my excellent race performance.

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 at its peak, as my recent data aligned with my target time. However, anything can happen on marathon day, so I remained mindful of all the previously mentioned details until the finish line.

Furthermore, I won a fantastic license plate and a stay through a raffle hosted by RunMotion Coach (thank you again). Contrastes Running’s organization was exceptional, with an excellent hotel location, a Berlin tour on Saturday morning, followed by recovery time in the afternoon in the hotel room, and the group departure for the run on Sunday morning.

An anecdote about the Berlin Marathon?

If I were to share an anecdote about this marathon, it would undoubtedly revolve around the moment when I passed under the Brandenburg Gate. Its immense historical significance, combined with the exhilaration of completing the final kilometer of a marathon while simultaneously breaking my personal record beneath that iconic gate, left an indelible mark. 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. Initially, I had reservations because I had focused extensively on endurance training throughout the year in preparation for my 100 km and 175 km ultra races. However, once I incorporated pace sessions into the early weeks of training, my doubts quickly dissipated.

What motivates you to run?

I’m motivated by the sheer joy of running and exercising, the satisfaction of making continuous progress, pushing my limits, and striving to reach my goals to get closer to my maximum potential at any given moment. Additionally, I find motivation in exploring new challenges, such as completing various races like 10 km on the road, half marathon, marathon, 100 km, and even a 175 km ultra, as well as tackling trails ranging from 20 to 80 km. Diverse distances and terrains provide me with a rich and fulfilling experience.

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 stumbled upon this app while searching for a convenient method to access structured workouts for meaningful progress. It offered a solution to my dilemma of practicing aimlessly without a clear plan.

What made you download and test the app?

In the beginning, my intention was to incorporate running training to complement my cycling performance. RunMotion Coach offered an ‘Endurance and Explosiveness’ program designed for another sport, which I found beneficial for my overall fitness. 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?

I value the ability to customize my training and tailor it to my needs, the intuitive nature of the app, and the seamless export of training data to various GPS watches. Having a trusted program that aligns with my goals and allows me to focus on my workouts without excessive planning is essential. Additionally, I appreciate the new feature that allows me to incorporate secondary goals into my training plan, enhancing the overall consistency and completeness of my preparation.

What is your next athletic challenge?

As I reflect on the year 2023, my final goal is the La Rochelle Marathon on November 26. I aspire to break the 3-hour mark and, who knows, perhaps set a new personal record. Let’s see what the race brings. 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 💪

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Mailis Durif-VarambonMailis grew up in the mountains, where she went hiking and biking every weekend. She loves outdoor activities where she can relax at the end of the day. At RunMotion Coach, she is responsible for communication management.