Tag Archives: 16 week marathon training

The Last Run Before a Marathon

Race day is only a few days away now. I may still go for a very short and easy run Saturday morning but for all intents and purposes tonight’s easy 8 km run was my last run before Sunday morning’s marathon.

This last run before a marathon always has a different feel to it. This close to the big day your pace and distance don’t really matter. Let’s face it at this point, after four months of training there really isn’t anything else you can do that will make a difference on race day.

After all the long and hard miles completed over the course of 16 weeks of training I find this last run before the marathon to be a very relaxed and carefree run. There is no pressure to hit a certain distance or pace.

For me tonight’s run ended up being 8 km in 40 minutes. I only know it ended being 8 km after checking my Garmin at the end. I had no idea what pace I was running at during the run because I was not paying attention to my Garmin.

I am still very much focused on my goal for Sunday but I think this carefree run did me some good too. Now that the run is out of the way it is time to get back to preparing for Sunday.

What do you enjoy about the last run before a marathon?

Week 15 of Training for the Ottawa Marathon


My second last week of training is nearly complete. A run tomorrow will see me end the week with 65-70 km. So far I have completed 57 km this week and my plan for tomorrow is for another 10-12 km.

Following 70 km last week this was the second week of my three week taper. Next week will see my overall mileage drop even more as I get ready for race day a week from Sunday.

Despite the fact that I cut back on my mileage once again this week it was another good week of training. The week started off with a 20 km long run with my daughter in her Chariot Sunday morning.

In terms of intensity, I also took it easier this week. Not wanting to push too hard, following my long run Sunday I did get in 10 km tempo run Tuesday. My other runs this week were easier efforts. My plan for tomorrow is to end the week with another tempo run.

So far I have not had much difficulty adjusting to the reduction in mileage last week and this week. after three consecutive weeks of heavy mileage my legs were ready for a break last week and hopefully this three week taper period will leave them feeling well rested.

The biggest adjustment during this taper period has not really been the reduction in mileage and number of runs per week. It has come more in terms of being more careful of how much I have been eating the past two weeks. Coming off a period where I was constantly eating to fuel and recover from my heavy weeks I have managed to cut back on my intake as I cut back on my mileage.

Week 16, my final week of training before race day, starts off with a 15-20 km run Sunday morning. It is almost hard to believe race day is nearly here again but at the same time I am feeling ready and looking forward to seeing how I can do after a strong training cycle.

How was your week?

Week 13 of Training for the Ottawa Marathon


Week 13 is nearly complete. It is almost hard to believe there are only three more full weeks of training left before the Ottawa Marathon. In terms of mileage it was another busy week of training.

Previously I have managed to hit at least 100 km in a week once during a training cycle. This time I have already managed two consecutive 100 km weeks. Last week during my recap I mentioned that I was leaning toward taking it easy this week and making next week my final week of heavy mileage.

After posting that my plan changed and I decided to make this week a final week of heavy mileage followed by a three week taper. With a 12.5 km run tomorrow I will hit the 100 km mark for the third consecutive week. I guess I will see on race day if this extra mileage has paid off but so far it has certainly been a good confidence booster ahead of race day.

in terms of my runs this week, a couple of multiple run days consisting of an easy run at lunch followed by a tempo run on the way home from work. This has been a great routine for me so far. I would not have been able to complete the mileage I have the past three weeks without these multiple run days.

As mentioned, I am planning a three taper starting next week. I am planning to drop my mileage back to approximately 30-35 km next week. After three weeks of heavy mileage I am looking forward to being able to relax a bit although it might feel a little odd not getting in as many runs as I have been these past few weeks.

Week 14 kicks off with a final 30 km run Sunday morning. How was your week?

Final Four Weeks

In Friday’s weekly training recap I mentioned that I was facing a bit of a dilemma in terms of how to approach the final four weeks of training for the Ottawa Marathon. After a couple of days of thought I have decided on an approach that will hopefully help me meet my goal on race day.

If you read Friday’s post you will recall that my dilemma was whether to opt for a recovery this week followed by a final week or heavy mileage or go for one final week of heavy mileage this week followed by a three taper.

Had you asked me on Friday I would have said I was leaning toward the first option but after more thought and consulting with a friend who runs a faster marathon than I do I am opting for the second option. After two straight weeks of 100 km mileage I am going to aim for a third straight 100 km week.

My previous marathon training plans suggested a two week taper. This time I am hoping that the extra week of tapering will leave my legs feeling stronger on race day. One thing is for sure, three straight 100 km weeks will certainly help my confidence on race day.

The decision to go with this approach had an impact on today’s long run. Since I am planning for a three week taper, I completed my final 32 km (20 mile) run this morning. As any of you who have run a marathon before will understand, this is a great training milestone to reach. It is another sign that race day is getting closer.

This morning’s run went well. I started off with my daughter in her Chariot for the first 8.5 km followed by the final 23 km on my own. I managed to keep a good pace for most of it. In fact, I caught myself going too fast several times. I was pushing closer to race pace than I wanted to on a long training run.

Do you opt for a two or three taper when you train for a marathon?

Week 12 of Training for the Ottawa Marathon


This week was another busy week in terms of mileage. Last week I managed to fit in 100 km. This week I am on pace to match last week’s total. With a final run tomorrow still to go I have completed 91 km so far this week.

The week got off to a good start with a 32 km (20 mile) run Sunday morning. That was my third run of at least 30 km in this training cycle. I plan to do one more 32 km training run before race day.

Once again this week I was not able to do speed intervals so tempo runs ended being my key workout. Since I ran at lunch and home from work three times this week I decided to do easy runs at lunch followed by tempo runs after work.

Now that there are four weeks remaining before race day I am having a bit of a debate. Should I do one last heavy mileage week next week and taper for three weeks or should I cut back my mileage next week followed by a final heavy mileage week and a two week taper? Right now I am still undecided. I will likely make my decision after tomorrow’s run since it will impact Sunday’s run.

How did your week go? 

Week 11 of Training for the Ottawa Marathon


Another week of training is nearly complete. It was another solid week of training that started off with a half-marathon Sunday morning. With a 12 km run planned for tomorrow I am pace for 100 km, my biggest week of training so far. So far I have completed 88 km this week.

As mentioned, my week started off with a half-marathon Sunday morning. The race went according to plan with a finishing time of 1:30. That was the last of my planned warm-up races ahead of the marathon.

Unfortunately again this week I was unable to fit in an interval session at the dome. I think I made up for that with two solid tempo runs Tuesday and Thursday. Combined with Sunday’s half-marathon I had three solid high intensity runs this week.

Once again multiple runs days were the key to fitting in the mileage I had planned for this week. Wednesday and today were both two run days with a run at lunch followed by a run home.

Since I cut back on my long runs the past two Sundays this Sunday will be my next 32 km run, my third 30 km run so far during this training cycle. I will definitely do one more the following week and possibly a final one in May since I still have time to fit in another one.

How did your week go?

Week 10 of Training for the Ottawa Marathon

imageWeek 10 of training is nearly complete. Although I intentionally cut back my mileage a bit this week because I am running a half-marathon Sunday it has been another good week of training. So far I have completed 70 km for the week. A final run tomorrow will leave me at or around 80 km for the week.

The biggest change in my training this week was drop in mileage on my long run. Following 30 km at Around the Bay and 32 km the following Sunday this week’s run was 25 km. As mentioned, this Sunday my Sunday run is a half-marathon so my distance will drop again. I will likely follow up with another 32 km the following Sunday.

Once again this week I did not do speed intervals on Thursday. This week I replaced my regular intervals with a 9 km loop through a hilly neighbourhood which was good enough for a tougher workout. I also managed to get in two solid tempo runs this week.

Oddly enough, my toughest run this week was probably tonight’s “easy” run home from work. I say “easy” because though I planned to run at an easy pace, the weather made it a more difficult run. What made it difficult was a winter storm that brought strong winds and ice pellets, this after I was running in shorts earlier in the week. I shouldn’t really complain about it because it is likely the last winter storm of the season for us and it did not prevent me from running.

Week 11 kicks off with the Minto Run for Reach Sunday morning!

How did your week go?


Week 9 of Training for the Ottawa Marathon

Another week of training is nearly complete. The plan for week nine was to aim for 100 km. With one day left I am close to that mileage but with another 20 km needed tomorrow not sure I will get there. Still with a minimum of a 10 km run tomorrow I will hit at least 90 km for the week which is not a bad week of training.

The week got off to a good start with the second of my planned long runs of over 30 km. Not having time to go earlier in the day I ended up heading out for a 32 km (20 miles) run after the kids had gone to bed. This is certainly not my favourite time of day for a long run but under the circumstances it is what worked best and it felt good to complete.

I was not able to make it to the dome for intervals this week but think I made up for it with a couple of solid tempo runs including a 12.5 km effort Tuesday night. The second effort was an 8.8 km run last night.

My plan to aim for 100 km this week was to fit in 2-3 multiple run days. I was able to do so with two runs on Wednesday but busy days at work yesterday and today prevented me from repeating that.

While I might not hit my mileage goal for the week I can still say I had a good week of training and there is still plenty of time for me to hit that 100 km goal a couple of times before I start my taper. Week 10 kicks off Sunday with an anticipated 24-25 km run.

 How did your week go?

Week 6 of Training for the Ottawa Marathon


Week six of training is nearly complete. I have one more run to go this week, a 10 km race in the morning. This will end up being my best week of training so far. As of this evening I have managed to get in 70 km this week and with 10 km to add in the morning I will have completed an 80 km week for the first time in a while.

The week got off to a strong start with an early morning 24 km run on Sunday morning. The only downside to that run being whenI hit a patch of ice as I was going around a corner a few hundred from my house at the end of my run and fell on my knees.

Last night might have been my best workout of the night with another set of intervals at the track. Last night’s workout was a series of five mile repeats with splits of 6:47, 6:17, 6:19, 6:17 and 6:32.

With tomorrow’s race I should be able to end the week on a high. The plan for tomorrow is to run at approximately a 4:15/km pace to finish in about 42-43 minutes. The reason for this is that I am aiming to run a 1:30 half-marathon next month which works out to a 4:15/km pace.

Week seven kicks off with a 25 km run Sunday morning.

How was your week?

Week 5 of Training for the Ottawa Marathon

Week five of training is nearly complete. Already it has been a better week in terms of mileage than last week turned out to be. Despite the fact that I was not able to get in a long run on Sunday I have already managed to fit in 64 km this week thanks in large part to three two run days. Tomorrow’s run will push me over 70 km for the week for the first time in a while.

I mentioned using two run days to build my mileage. I did that on three occasions this week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This allowed me to get in daily mileage of 17, 15.8 and 14.3 km. For me it is the easiest way to fit in extra mileage during the week and as I have mentioned before, running at lunch is a great way to break up the work day.

While the week was good in terms of mileage it was also the first week in several weeks when I did not manage to get in a speed workout at the dome. I could not make it to the dome last night but tried to make up for with my tempo runs this week. On Monday and Wednesday I made sure one of my two runs was at a tempo pace and I also fit in an extra tempo run yesterday.

As I look ahead to week six I now find myself with a decision to make. Next Saturday is the annual St Patrick’s Day race I have done the past few years. I have not yet registered for this year’s race because I am running the Around the Bay 30 km race the following Sunday. Now that race day is near and the start line is down the street from my house I am getting the urge to register. What do you think. Is it worth registering and running a 10 km race at my goal marathon pace a week before I plan to run a 30 km race at my goal marathon pace?

How was your week?