Frankfurt Marathon 2023



It was brutal. Mentally challenging. Windy and rainy.

My expectations were high. The goal was to run under 2:50h. That, at least I thought, would have been possible with my preparation. Far from it, as it turned out….

The conditions

The temperatures were almost optimal with 13-15°. It could probably even have been a little cooler. But that was also the only thing that was suitable in terms of external conditions. In addition, it was windy and from the second half also very rainy. Many voices afterwards said that it was slippery on the track. I didn’t feel that way, but the wet roads and the many puddles certainly contributed to making the race much more demanding and slower.

My race

For me, Frankfurt was the biggest race I have participated in so far. It was very unusual to start with so many people. It was especially difficult to find a group to run with. Again and again there were gaps that you had to close yourself.

Because my Polar Vantage showed very unrealistic splits, I was forced to rely on my body feeling. Finding a group was almost impossible. There were way too many people who were under the 3h mark.

The first 5 kilometers were already well above the planned pace of 4min/km (see splits below). The first two gels went down very well.

From kilometer 25, my stomach began to rebel. The third gel (caffeine gel) didn’t go down so well. My head got warm and the nausea came slowly. After that I just didn’t dare to eat anymore to avoid throwing up in front of the spectators.

It’s just so hard when you know that you have to keep running for another hour after 30km, even though you’re in such a bad state.

However, what saved me a little from kilometer 30 was Coke, which I took walking at two aid stations to me. The last 2-3km went again without problems and I still had a small hope to crack the 3h mark, because the 3h pacer had not yet overtaken me. Unfortunately, nothing came of it, so that I could run into the finish in the festival hall after 3 hours and 36 seconds.

In retrospect, I am very proud of myself that I could somehow finish the race despite the difficulties from kilometer 30.

Frankfurt Marathon Splits
Frankfurt Marathon Platzierung

My preparation

In summary, I can say that the last 12 weeks were probably the most consistent and best running weeks of my life as a runner so far. In addition, with 84km my highest weekly running workload so far and a large number of long runs. Despite the greater number of longer runs, I lacked stamina beyond the 30km mark. I think it makes sense and is necessary to incorporate more runs beyond that mark into training as well.

Still, I have to say that this is probably not enough to crack the 2:50h mark. Before my last marathon (2:58:20h), I spent significantly more time on the bike and trained more overall during the week.

The statistics:

Here a few statistics on my preparation:

  • Average: ~56km
  • Highest: 84km (personal best so far)
  • Lowest: 47km
  • 9 long runs over 20k (mostly at marathon tempo)
  • 1 long run over 30k
  • 15 complete rest day

Long runs (MP = Marathon Pace):

32k 2:15h 21k + 5k at MP

25k 1:53h 10k + 5k at MP

25k 2:18h 10k + 5k + 3k at MP (treadmill)

20k 1:25 3x5k at MP

25k 1:47 21k at MP

25km 2:15 at easy pace

20km 1:36 at easy pace

28km 2:10 8k MP + 5x1k at half MP

25km 2:03 15k MP + 4 MP

My respect to all participants

Congratulations and respect to all 7564 participants. The conditions were really tough.

But I would also like to mention how crazy it is that there are 956 people who run such a race under these conditions in under 3 hours.

What a time commitment, what dedication, what passion must be behind it.

My deepest respect to you.