With my three tune-up races complete and race day just over a month away I think my training for this year’s Ottawa Marathon has me better prepared than I was last year based on some of the changes I have made to my training.
Although I raced the same three tune-up races this time around I think the strategies I had for them this year made better use of the races this time around. Last year I did not really have a strategy going in to the three races. This year was the opposite where I had a focused strategy for each one.
The first 10 km gave me a feel for running at 1:30 half-marathon pace, running a sub 1:30 half-marathon confirmed that it is reasonable to try for a 3:10 marathon time and the second 10 km race provided me with a an opportunity to run at my intended marathon on tired legs since I ran 21 km (13 miles) before the race.
Another change that seems to have made a big difference was the introduction of speed intervals at an earlier point in my training. Whereas in the lead-up to my other marathons I only did speed intervals over the course of the last 5-6 weeks of my training this time I started doing speed intervals regularly in February. There is no doubt that was a factor in my times I had in my three recent races. The discovery of an indoor track close to home was certainly a great find this year.
Not that the tune-up races are out of the way what’s left before the Ottawa Marathon? Since there are five weeks left before the marathon I’ll probably do another three series of speed intervals.
I also have one more 32 km (20 mile) long run to get in. Since I completed my third 30+ km run this past Sunday I will do my last in two weeks. That will give me one final opportunity to get in a long run at a relatively easy pace before the marathon.