Business travel should not derail our workout habits but it often does. Between packed agendas, transportation and fatigue, there are few opportunities to keep up with our fitness routine. The solution? Running. It is the perfect travel workout because it requires minimal workout gear and it can be practiced in most places.
Berlin, Germany’s capital, is a year-round destination. Renowned for its art scene and modern landmarks it is becoming an increasingly popular city to visit, especially for keen runners like myself. Competitive athletes travel from around the world to take part in the Berlin Marathon in September as the course is flat, wide and the weather is often favourable for those wanting to beat their personal best times.
What To See In Berlin:
- Brandenburg Gate - The Brandenburg Gate is Berlin's most famous landmark. It was a symbol of Berlin and German division during the Cold War but it has become a symbol of reunification. Tip for those taking part in the marathon - the gate is NOT the finish line. It is at the 42km point, the finish is another 195m further so don’t start your sprint finish too soon.
- Alexandraplatz - Alexanderplatz is a large public square and transport hub in the central Mitte district of Berlin. It is home to the tallest building in the city, the 365-meter TV tower, which can be useful when trying to find your bearings.
- Checkpoint Charlie - Checkpoint Charlie was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War.
- East Side Gallery - The East Side Gallery is a conserved graffiti project by 118 artists covering part of the Berlin Wall. It is located near the centre of Berlin, on Mühlenstraße in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. One of the best known graffiti paintings on the wall is “My God, Help Me to Survive this Deadly Love” or often referred to as the Fraternal Kiss.
- Tiergarten - The Tiergarten district, near the Brandenburg Gate, houses a massive park and the 19th-century Reichstag, Germany’s parliament. As the paths around the park are wide and flat it is the perfect location for training runs.
The Running Routes:
As I was in Berlin to watch the marathon I needed to fit my training in around sightseeing and socialising. With the Munich Half Marathon on the horizon I opted to run a few short track sessions. Luckily we were staying on Schoenhauser Allee just one mile from Mauerpark where there is a track open to the public.
1. 1200 @ 10k pace, 400 @ 3k pace X 3 (70s recoveries between reps.
2. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 minutes at tempo pace (around 10k pace) with equal jogging recoveries
Inspired from watching the marathon I decided to do a long run to the Olympic Stadium and back, totalling 28k. The route took me along the river, through Tiergarten and passed Charlottenburg Palace. It was a lovely run to explore the city. I was amazed how flat Berlin is, it allowed me to hold a consistent pace. I will most definitely return to take part in the marathon in the next few years.