Tag Archives: bart yasso

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.

16 Weeks Until My Next Marathon

As of today I know have 16 weeks before my next marathon, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. On October 14th I will run my seventh marathon in four years. My goal for this one will be the same as it has been for every marathon I have run since completing my first one, set a new pb and get myself closer to my goal of running my Boston qualifying time.

I chose this race for a couple of reasons. First, it is a reasonable distance from home. The second reason is that course is known for being relatively flat and quick. That said, while I used to be familiar with downtown Toronto it has been several years since I have been there so if any runners from the GTA have any tips about the course or the best places for family to watch the race and meet up with runners after they finish please do let me know.

What does this mean for my training? The biggest change is that it means that I am now back to a focused training routine after a few weeks of running without a plan. As of tomorrow it means I will be kicking off my 16 week training plan to get ready for the marathon. In terms of this blog, it means that I will go back to using my Friday posts as an update of how each week of training has gone.

In terms of my training, I plan to stick to the routine I have used for my past two marathons as it has worked well. My 16 week training plan will be based on Bart Yasso’s training plan with a few edits here and there to add in a couple of races and to fit in with my schedule.

I do plan to try and make another change that if I can stick with it will hopefully benefit my training. I’ll have more on that tomorrow.

Week 4 of Training for the Ottawa Marathon

With five of my six runs this week complete week four of my training for the 2012 Ottawa Marathon is nearly complete. My final run will be a 10-12 km run tomorrow morning.

This week’s schedule called for a total of 67 km (41 miles). With this morning’s easy 6 km run my weekly mileage sits at 51 km meaning a 10-12 km run will leave with a total of 61-63 km for the week.

Week four was another strong week of training for the marathon. It started off with my first 21 km (13 mile) run in a while Sunday morning. The best part of the week came last night with a series of 10 Yasso 800’s at the dome with an average time of 3:07. Of course I don’t think this means I can go out and run a 3:07 marathon tomorrow but it is a nice confidence booster for now.

Week five kicks off with a planned 16 km (10 mile) run Sunday morning. With week four out of the way only 13 more of these recaps to go until race day!

How did your training go this week?


Ottawa Marathon 2012

As I have mentioned on here before, I have already registered for the 2012 Ottawa Marathon. It will be my sixth marathon over the last three years and my fourth Ottawa Marathon in a row.

My 16 week training program for the marathon will start tomorrow and as I mentioned the other day I will now be taking the next 16 Fridays to post a recap of the week that went by and to count down to race day. Since the first of those posts will be this upcoming Friday I thought I would use tonight to give a bit of a preview of how I plan to get ready.

As I have done with my past two marathons I’ll be using Bart Yasso’s training plan, although with some modifications along the way. The primary modifications I am planning to make to my training are speed work earlier in my training and more hill repeats. I am also hoping to get in more cross training this time around.

While I have not yet started on hill repeats, I have already started on my plan to get in some speed work earlier in my training. I have already been to the indoor track twice now, once for mile repeats and once for 800’s, and now have a pass to make sure I will be going regularly.

The rest of my training will stay the same with my runs coming either in the morning before I go to work or in the evening on the way home from work. I find that those times fit best into my schedule and I had success with that in my previous marathons.

As for the Ottawa Marathon itself, while the course has not yet been finalized it sounds like there will be some changes to the first half. I’ll be keeping a close eye on that so I can get in a few long runs around the course to get myself used to the new parts of the course.

There’s my first of many posts about the 2012 Ottawa Marathon. I hope you’ll enjoy the rest over the next 16 weeks.

February Running Plans

I know my last attempt at writing out a plan for the month did not turn out well but here are my running plans for February and here’s hoping February turns out to be a better month than January was.

I don’t have any races scheduled for this month but as mentioned last night, I will be starting my 16 week training program for the Ottawa Marathon next week. That alone will help me increase my mileage this month.

Once again I be using Bart Yasso’s training program although I will modify it somewhat by adding in some speed work and hill repeats earlier in my training. I am not sure yet how often I will be doing hill repeats but I plan on getting in some speed work once a week at the indoor track I tried out a couple of weeks ago.

My plan calls for 129 miles, or 207 km this month. Since I will also be running regularly this week and my 16 training plan starts next Monday I should be able to get in about 250 km this month.

Also for this month, as I have done for my past two marathons, my Friday posts will be a weekly wrap-up of my training as I count down the 16 weeks to go until the Ottawa Marathon in May.

What are your plans for February?

Yasso 800’s

Tonight I completed my first set of Yasso 800’s as I continue to train for the Philadelphia Marathon.

For those of you who are not familiar with this concept, it involves running hard for 800 m followed by a 400 m jog before you start your next 800. The average of your times in the 800’s is said to be an indication of how fast you could be able to run a marathon.

Tonight’s workout involved 8 Yasso 800’s. The average time for my 800’s was 3:04. Given that I need 3:10 plus a bit of a buffer to qualify for Boston I would be thrilled if I could run a 3:04 in Philadelphia.

Here’s a look at my workout with the split times…

Have you tried Yasso 800’s in your training?

Tonight’s Speedwork

Tonight was my first round of speedwork as part of my training for the Philadelphia Marathon. The start of speedwork means that I have passed the halfway point in my training. It also means that there is still a lot of work ahead as i get myself prepared for the Philadelphia Marathon.

I’ve mentioned before that I am using one of Bart Yasso’s marathon training programs. His programs recommend a variety of speedworkouts as opposed to the standard workout of just doing a set number of laps at a track.

Tonight’s workout was mile repeats at my 10 km pace x 3. After a 1.5 km warm-up I started my mile repeats with an 800 m recovery jog in between. I felt strong through each repeat and was able to maintain a pace between 4:00-4:15/km through each repeat.

Overall, I ended up with an 11.5 km run in 56 minutes tonight.

Do you regularly do speed workouts?

Running Without a Plan, For Now…

As previously mentioned, my next marathon will be the Philadelphia Marathon on November 20. Most of my upcoming training over the summer months will be geared toward getting ready for that race.

Since I had some success with Bart Yasso’s 16 week training plan for hard-core runners, and since I enjoyed the variety of speedwork sessions his plan calls for, I am planning on using this plan again to prepare for Philly.

I just entered my scheduled runs into Google Calendar tonight and 16 weeks before Philly and I will be starting my marathon training program the last week of July. This leaves me with approximately a month and a half of running without a plan. 

The next race I am actually scheduled to run is the Perth Kilt Run on July 2.  Since this one is just an 8 km race I won’t run a specific training plan for it. I plan on continuing my regular schedule of running 6 days per week with at least one tempo run mixed in and a long run on Sundays with the distance depending on how I feel and how much time I have to devote to a longer run that day.

My plan is to continue that routine to keep myself going until I start my training plan to get myself ready for Philly.

Do you ever find yourself running without a plan? How do you keep yourself motivated to keep going?

Back on Track

I went for my first post-marathon run tonight. I opted for an easy run home from work and ended up doing 8.75 km in 45 minutes. It felt good to get back to running after a few days. My legs felt good, any stiffness or aches from the marathon are now gone.

I think I will now plan to head for a run after work tomorrow and probably a couple over the weekend as well. For now I’ll probably end up keeping those at an easy pace. Next week when I am feeling up to it I might try something at a tempo pace.

In terms of upcoming adventures, I do have a few races planned over the upcoming months. The first will be the Perth Kilt Run. This one is an 8 km race and as the name implies, runners must wear a kilt. Not sure how this one will go since I have never run in a kilt before, I haven’t actually ever worn one before either, but it should be fun.

In August I am planning on doing the 5 Peaks Camp Fortune trail race again. Last year I completed the 12 km course and quite enjoyed it as a change of pace from my usual routes around the city.

In September I will participate in the Army Run. Last year I participated in the 5 km event as a pace bunny for the first time and will be looking to do so again this year as it was a fun experience.

Finally, as I alluded to in my race report Sunday, I was looking for a fall marathon. Tuesday I ended up registering for the Philadelphia Marathon. Why Philly? I asked Bart Yasso on Twitter if it was a good choice and his response was that it is fast course with cool temperatures. That was enough to sell me on this one. An added bonus is that unlike some of the other large late season marathons this one is not currently soldout. I have not yet been to Philadelphia so if you have any insight on the marathon course or on what there is to see and do in the city please feel free to comment below.

One Week until the Ottawa Marathon

In one week from today I will be recovering from the Ottawa Marathon. If you have read this blog before you’ll know my goal, and possibly obsession, is to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

In order to qualify for the 2012 Boston Marathon I need to run a 3:15 and with the new registration rules that went into effect this year my hope for next week is that I can run a 3;10 or just under that in order to give myself at least a five minute buffer from my qualifying time.

Right now I am both optimistic because I feel that I am in the best shape I have ever been and I am confident in my training but also nervous because this is a big goal for me to aim for and let’s face it a marathon is a long distance leaving plenty of time for something to go wrong.

If I go by the average time of my Yasso 800’s then I am right where I should be in terms of my progress. For those who are not familiar with the term, Yasso 800’s are a workout developed by Bart Yasso where you run hard for 800 m followed by a 400 m recovery jog. The idea is that the average time of your 800’s can predict your marathon finish time.

I completed two workouts involving Yasso 800’s during this training cycle. The first one involved 8 Yasso 800’s with an average time of 3:11 and the second workout involved 10 Yasso 800’s with an average time of 3:09. Hopefully the theory proves true for me as I will be quite pleased with a 3:09 or 3:11 next Sunday!

This morning I took my daughter for a 20 km run in her Chariot. The rest of the week will be pretty low key for me in terms of running. Tuesday I will go for an easy 8 km run, Wednesday I will go for an easy 6 km run, Thursday I will go for an 8 km run with 5 km at marathon pace and to end my training I will go for a very easy 3 km run Saturday.

You may also recall that I set a fundraising goal for myself again this year as part of Race Weekend. So far I have managed to achieve over 70% of my goal and should be able to reach that goal by the time I go pickup my race kit at the end of the week.