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Road to Marathon! Set back, interval and fartlek. By Jermain Breidel

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Road to Marathon! Set back, interval and fartlek. By Jermain Breidel

Last month we started our Road to Marathon series with Jermain Breidel. Today part 2 where we will go deeper into different training methods and how to deal with set backs.

Running is very popular nowadays and finishing a marathon is on many peoples bucket list. But how do you make sure you will be ready on time? What is the ideal preparation for a marathon? Read all about it.


September 16th the 45th Berlin Marathon will take place. Jermain breidel, Patta Running coach and Running trainer for Vondelgym will be participating. He has got his target set at a time below 3 hours. How does he make sure to be completely ready and in shape before the 16th of September and how does he train for this event?

  • Jermain Breidel road to Berlin Marathon– Jermain Breidel
  • – 43 years old
  • – Patta Running Coach
  • – Vondelgym Running Trainer

Set backs

Since the last article I have suffered a terrible set back because of which I haven’t been able to train much at all. Physically and mentally I was not feeling well. I was confronted with the sudden passing away of a very good friend and needed time to recover. It resulted into very little to no training at all. I will never fully recover but at least I’m trying to come at peace with his loss and continue my own life. In the mean time I have to move forward and picked up my running training again. Set backs are part of life, the beautiful memories will always remain.

Interval training

In the previous article I explained you my training schedule. At that moment I was in a schedule of interval training, long distance running and strength training, 6 days a week. Today I’m going to focus on interval training because for me this is essential in my preparation for a marathon.

The interval trainings will create strength to run at a fast pace which will make sure you can run at a slower pace for a longer period of time. Because you are building up the strength to run fast you will be able to run slower for longer. You will then spread out your built up strength over a longer distance.

During an interval training I will run for 1000m at full pace. Which means at a speed of 3:30 minutes per km, 17,1 km per hour. Afterwards I take 2 minutes rest of which I will walk normally the first minute and dribble the second minute.

Currently I’m repeating this process for about ten times during a training which will result in the ability to run a marathon at a steady pace of about 13,5 to 14km per hour. Of course this is in combination with the long distance training and strength training I’m doing.

Fartlek training

As of this week I have also included Fartlek training in my schedule. Fartlek is a training method to bring speed difference into your long distnace runs. In my case I do a warming up of around 10 minutes, running in combination with some stretches. After a good warming up I start running immediately at a pace of 15,6 km per hour (3:50 minutes/km) and I hold up this pace for 2 minutes. Then I run 2km at a pace of 13km per hour (4:36 minutes/km). I repeat this process about 10 to 15 times during a training, depending on my other trainings that week. If you repeat this 15 times you will have ran a distance of about 16km in a time of 70 minutes.

You need to maintain the changes in running speed throughout the whole training. It will make sure to improve your recovery capacity during running as well as improve your stamina. A nice additional element is that you can make your training more playful by setting targets for yourself during the run. For example to keep the pace at least until the next bridge or to stay in front of the runner that just overtook you when running at the lower pace 🙂

Updated training schedule

Currently my training schedule is as follows:

– Monday: interval training

– Tuesday: a slow distance run, 20km at a pace of 5:10 minuten/km

– Wednesday: fast distance run, 20kmat a pace of 4:40 minuten/km

– Thursday: interval training

– Friday: fartlek training, 16km at varying speed as described above

– Saturday: strength training + slow distance run of 20km at a pace of 5:10 minuten/km

– Sunday: rest day


Next time I will pay more attention to the distance running and strength training. Also we will be quite close to the Berlin Marathon so I will give you an update on my fitness and feeling before the big event. Keep an eye out on the update and feel free to post questions below!


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