Tag Archives: 16 week marathon training

Week 16 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


There really isn’t much to add in terms of training this week. My 16 weeks of training are complete. Race day is now only two days away. In terms of running this week, I only fit in two runs – an easy 8 km run home from work Tuesday and an easy run with my coach Wednesday which was basically just to discuss my game plan.

I made it to Philadelphia this afternoon and have already been to the expo to pick up my race kit and my gels for Sunday. Tomorrow I will go out for a 20 minute run but that will be a very easy run to shake out my legs. Other than that I am just going to try and relax and keep myself prepared for Sunday.

In terms of training, this time around I took a different approach to training. For my first 8 marathons I chose a training plan and did a lot of my training on my own. This time I worked with a coach. The biggest change for me was the fact that my coach cut back on my overall mileage compared to the other times. His reason was that he wanted me to focus on quality over quantity.

Since this was new to me I was concerned at first but when I look back on it I certainly got in more quality runs this time with the tougher hill workouts and new speed workouts added to my training. In addition, the 36 km run I did nearly 3 weeks ago solidified confirmed for me that I am still ready to run a marathon.

Now I am all set to go run 26 miles Sunday morning!


Week 14 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon

20131025-220440.jpgAnother week of training is complete. Race day is now two weeks away. In two weeks from today I will be in Philadelphia getting ready for the marathon, number nine for me overall.

This week was the start of the taper for me. After getting in my longest training run Sunday morning I’ve only run twice. The run run being a set of intervals and the second one being an easy run tonight. Tomorrow is another day off for me then I’ll end off the week with a 12 km run Sunday morning.

Speed intervals this week, as you can expect after a 36 km long run, were short and quick. After an easy 2 km warm-up I did a series of 10 50m sprints. I finished the workout with an easy 2 km cool-down.

So that was it for my week. Not much to say this time around. The key to this week was recovery after harder weeks of work.

How did your week go?


Week 9 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


Another week of training is nearly complete. It has been another strong week of training with two more runs yet to come, a 15 km effort tomorrow and a 25 km long run Sunday. Once again the highlights of the week were my speed and hill workouts, my most intense training runs of the week.

I say my speed and hill workouts are the highlights of my week because they are the runs where I get to test my fitness and when they go well leave you feeling pretty good about your training. The easy runs I do around these two workouts are equally as important but I look forward to these workouts more each time.

My speed workout was one I reported on a couple weeks ago. This week was my second week trying it. The workout consisted of increasing my every 2 km with the last two km being a 100 % effort. Those last two km are particularly tough given I have already increased my pace a couple of times by the time I reach that point but at the same time I find motivation to keep pushing because at that point I am almost finished my run.

My new approach to hill training recommended by my coach has suggested is also proving to be a tough workout I enjoy. As previously mentioned that involves a tempo run after hill repeats. Tonight it was a 4 km tempo run after my hill repeats. The hill I have used the past two weeks is on the way home from work and involves a couple of pitches along a windy bike path. Here are a couple of pictures from tonight’s workout…



How did your week go?

Week 8 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


With this being week eight of training I have officially reached the halfway point of my training for the Philadelphia Marathon. It was another strong week of training, particularly with the speed work and hill training I did this week.

Thanks in large part to the new exercises my coach has me doing and the new running workouts that have been added to my schedule I am feeling really positive and confident at this point in my training. Of course there is still a long way to go and much can change but for now I am having a strong training cycle and feeling positive about where I am headed.

The highlights this week, as has been the case witht he previous seven weeks so far, have been the speed and hill workouts where I get a chance to push the pace and get a good test of where I am at right now.

In terms of speed work this week’s workout was different in that it was a new workout for me. The workout had me progressively pick up the pace every 2 km with the final 2 km being the quickest and toughest ones because they were run at 100%.

My hill workout yesterday once again involved a tempo run following my hill repeats. So far I have been doing fewer hill repeats than in previous training cycle but the difference here is finishing the workout with that tempo run. That aspect makes it a tougher workout than I had previously been doing when doing hill repeats.

This weke of training will end off with a race on Sunday. As previously mentioned, I will be pacing the Army Run half-marathon Sunday. It will be another good test of where I am at currently since I will be running at my goal marathon pace.

Training Update

I’ve nearly reached the halfway point in my training for the Philadelphia Marathon. So far things have gone well. I’ve managed to keep up with all of my runs and the exercises my coach gave me when I started training.

Getting close to the halfway point means one thing, heavy mileage and the toughest part is right around the corner. Last week was a recovery week but this week I am back to regular training. That will include my first run over 21 km in a long time.

My next race is also upcoming. In a week from this Sunday I will be doing my next race. That of course will be the Army Run half-marathon. That race will bring a different challenge as I am scheduled to pace a 1:35 race which is my goal pace for the marathon. I am looking forward to this one, you may recall that last year I was scheduled to do the same thing and sprained my ankle about one week before the race.

Following that I don’t yet have a ace scheduled for October but I am planning to look at 10 km and half-marathon options in the area that would fit into my schedule. The idea there being giving myself a final test of my fitness before I head to Philadelphia in November. I will make the final decision based on discussion with my coach and what options fit best into my schedule.

For now I am feeling positive about my training so far. Of course, as mentioned, the toughest work is yet to come over the next few weeks. That will be the real test of where I stand before the marathon.

Week 4 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


I am late posting this update since I was away camping over the weekend and did not have an opportunity to make my regular Friday post. Fortunately I managed to keep up with my runs so I can say week four was another good week of training.

The highlight of my week was Tuesday’s 10 km race. I decided to run the Xerox 10 km race instead of doing my planned speed work this week. The plan worked out better than I expected. You can read more about that here.

The other key workout for me this week was my hill workout which I managed to do at lunch in the rain on Thursday. I took advantage of the fact we have an old ski hill about 1.5 km from my office to get in my hill repeats.

Speaking of hill repeats, this is one area where my coach has changed my training. In addition to doing hill repeats he has me ending the workout with a tempo run after my last repeat. This week it was 3 repeats followed by a 4 km tempo run. It is not an easy workout but I can see how this may prove to be beneficial overall.

I ended week four with an 18 km run today. It was my longest in a while and a sign that my training is ramping up. The most enjoyable part of the run was that I had my 9 month old daughter with me in the Chariot who seems to enjoy rides in the Chariot as much as her older sister does.

How did your week go?

Week 3 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


Week three is nearly complete. This week marked the first full week of me working with my coach. The biggest difference so far is that, as mentioned earlier in the week, in addition to running I now have a series of exercises to work on strength and stability and a series of exercises to work on stretching and mobility. The exercises will be on my calendar for at least the next four weeks.

My week has gone according to plan so far. In addition to the aforementioned exercises I have been doing, alternating which one each night, I have managed to fit in all of my planned runs so far this week for a total of 50 km with another 8 -9 km to go tomorrow.

With regards to my runs this week, while I did manage to fit them all in I did do something I won’t want to repeat in my training too often. Due to rain Tuesday and runs with friends my planned speed work was pushed to today leaving me to follow that up with hills tomorrow. Ideally I will leave an easy workout between those two workouts.

Other than leaving my two most intense runs of the week for consecutive days I felt positive about my training this week. I think the addition of the exercises my coach gave me will be a great addition to my training.

How did your week go?

Week 1 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


This week marked the start of my training for my latest marathon adventure. I will be travelling to Philadelphia in 16 weeks from now. It will be marathon number nine for me and as mentioned already my second time running Philadelphia in the last three years.

The plan for this week was basically just to get back to running six days per week. I also wanted to get in a longer run and get in at least on quicker paced runs. So far I have managed to meet those goals.

Since I was returning from vacation in the United States it became my rest day by default. As a result, I did not get in a long run to start the week. Monday did not quite quit as planned either hen my run was cut to 2.5 km because of heavy rain.

I did manage to make up for that yesterday with to 9km runs. I did not plan a two run day yesterday but ended up going for a second run with my neighbour after I ran home leaving me with 18 km of running.

So far I have managed to run five out of six days this week and will get out again tomorrow to make that six. In terms of mileage, tonight’s run pushed me to just over 50 km for the week so a run tomorrow will likely put me over 60 km. I think that is a good start to my 16 weeks of teraining for Philadelphia.

How did your week go?

Training Plan for the Summer and Fall

I just finished entering my 16 week training program for the Philadelphia Marathon into a calendar. In a way it felt strange to be doing that so soon after the Ottawa Marathon but at the same time it won’t be long before I have to start focusing my training toward my choice of fall marathon.

Once again I have used the advanced plan from Bart Yasso’s book and as was the case with my previous two marathons I will use it as more of a guideline as opposed to strictly following it. By that I mean I will make adjustments here and there in terms of workouts and distances.

Since Philadelphia is not until November my 16 week training plan won’t actually start until late July leaving me with over a month of running without a plan. Basically the only plan I have until then is to start building up my mileage again and to continue running 5-6 times per week.

I do plan to fit in a couple of shorter distance races over the summer to use as part of my marathon training as I did the previous two times. I have not yet made a decision but I will look to fit in at least a 10 km and maybe half-marathon between now and the fall. I say maybe a half-marathon because I am already running the Army Run in September.

I am still not in a position where I feel a sense of urgency to register for anything else. Right now I am still just enjoying running because I enjoy it.

Week 16 of Training for the Ottawa Marathon


This is it. The final week of training is nearly over. There really isn’t much to say about my training this week as I only went out for a few runs. The goal of those runs was simply to stay loose and focused on Sunday.

My final week consisted of three runs. An easy 16 km run Sunday morning and easy 8-9 km runs Wednesday and Thursday. I contemplated making one of my shorter runs a marathon pace effort but in the end  decided to stick with easy runs because I did not want to take any unnecessary risks.

Had we not had so much rain this week I may have gone for an additional easy run Tuesday but again there wasn’t a need to push any harder at this point. I don’t think there was anything extra I could have done this week to improve my chances on Sunday.

Overall I am very pleased with how the past 16 weeks of training went. I did not miss many planned runs and I managed more overall mileage this time around, largely in part due to multiple run days that helped me get in the necessary mileage during the peak of my training.

In addition, my three pre-marathon tune-up races went according to plan. Like last year I used these early races not only as training runs but also as a judge of where I stood with regards to my goal for the marathon.

As a result of my overall mileage and my results in earlier races, I feel like I am better prepared than I was for my previous marathons. Now I just need to put it all together on Sunday and have a good race.

On a lighter note, I have also been watching running related movies this week. So far I have watched Spirit of the Marathon, Running the Sahara and Without Limits. Tomorrow I plan on watching Run Fatboy Run before I head to bed. I’m not sure if any of this will help inspire me when I hit a tough patch Sunday but it can’t hurt and it added a bit of fun to the week.


How was your week of training?