Tag Archives: garmin

Week 18 of Training for the Boston Marathon

Race day is now only a week away. This will be my last training update before I run the Boston Marathon next Monday. By this time next week I will be recovering from another marathon.

Being two weeks away from race day last week was my first week of tapering for the marathon. Feeling run down and really tired I ended up running less mileage than I have at that point in other training cycles. To make up for it I tried to focus on quality over quantity.

I ended up doing 4 runs for a total of 46.4 km. Of those 4 runs Tuesday’s run was done at my tempo pace, Thursday’s run included strides and last night’s 16 km run was done at my usual goal marathon pace.

Overall I am pleased with how my training has gone. It has not been a text book training cycle but I can look to a few of my long runs for positive signs.

In early march I set out for a 30-32 km on a Sunday night after the kids had gone to bed. Unfortunately my Garmin would not pick up a GPS signal so I ended up leaving with a plan to run based on overall time and a rough idea of my mileage in my head based on my knowledge of running routes around the city. What I ended up with was a 32 km run with 30 km done at close to my goal marathon pace followed by an easy 2 km to finish.

A couple weeks later I planned to complete another 32 km run after my kids were in bed. Unfortunately my Garmin would not turn on at all on this occasion. In a rush I plotted out a 10 km out and back route from my house that I would do 3 times before adding additional mileage in my neighbourhood to the last lap. It might not have been the most exciting run but I got it done.

Finally, last night my plan was to do a 16 km run. Since I had done  less mileage than planned up until that point, I decided to do my run at my goal marathon pace. I also decided to plan my route to include as many hills as possible to simulate the rolling nature of the Boston course as best I could.

What does this all mean for next Monday? The best answer is that I am not sure and I am ok with that. It may come as a surprise to some who know me but I decided long ago not to set a goal time for Boston. I am just planning to run based on how I feel next Monday.

That said, I am still competitive and I have no intention of going there to run a 4.5 hour marathon. I have done some research and have come up with a plan, or more like a series of key messages for myself since I work in communications.

I did not set a time goal for two reasons. The first is that I worked hard to qualify for Boston so I did not want to go through this training cycle stressing myself out about whether I thought I was ready to run a specific time.

The second reason is that I have 3 kids, including a soon to be 10 month old. That has meant adjusting my training at times either because my wife needed a break or I felt like rest was more important than adding more mileage to my training cycles. Don’t get me wrong I am not complaining here. I would not trade my family situation. At the end of the day I am fortunate to still be in shape to run another marathon.

So that is it for my training. I will get in a few more easy runs this week before I head south of the border at the end of the week but those will just be maintenance runs. The only run left that matters now is the one I will do next Monday.

A Long Run Divided Into 3 Runs

Sunday my schedule called for 27 km with the final 8 km coming at my goal marathon pace. My plan was to get started early with my youngest daughter in the Chariot for the first 19 km at an easy pace. Following that i planned to drop her off at home and do the remaining 8 km on my own.

As many of you know already, runs do not always go exactly as planned. Instead of going the way I planned my 27 km run ended up being divided into 3 runs of nearly identical distances.

The first part of my run went partly as planned. I started out with my youngest daughter as planned. However since her sister was awake when I left the house meaning I would have to find a way to include her. The first part of my run ended up being a quiet 9.5 km at an easy pace.

The second part of my run began when I returned home to switch kids with my wife. I headed back out with my other daughter to get in the remaining 9.5 km at an easy pace.

After dropping my oldest daughter at home I headed back out for what was supposed to be a quick 8 km on my own. Taking advantage of a main street closed to traffic on Sunday mornings I decided on an out and back route. The first half of this portion of my run went as planned. However, as I hit the turnaround point I ran into my parent in-law riding their bikes back toward our neighbourhood so for the second half I had pacers beside me on bikes.

To top it all off I also drained the batteries on 2 Garmins yesterday and had to finish my run without a watch. My current Garmin died as I dropped off my second daughter. I grabbed my old Garmin which was still in a drawer when I headed out for the marathon pace portion of my run. Unfortunatley it died before I finished that portion of my run.

Thanks to mapping websites I know I completed the 27 km I intended to but since my old Garmin died before I finished my run I am not sure exactly how long it took me to complete.

In the end my run did not go as I had planned but this run probably turned out better than planned.

Birthday Run

Today was my birthday and since I am writing about it you know there was a running related theme to it this year. To start the day, my wife asked if there was anything Special I wanted to do. Being in the midst of training for a marathon, the only thing I was hoping to get done today was fit in my scheduled 25 km run.

I planned to get in my run this morning so as not to take up too much of the day and to leave time to spend with the kids. I headed out the door with my youngest in the Chariot around 9:30 on what was a perfect morning for a run..


I wasn’t sure how long my daughter would last with me. So far her longest run was 21 km two weeks ago. Today she lasted 16.5 km with me before I took her home and continued for a final 8.5 km on my own. In the end I did what I wanted to do with the day and then had time to spend the rest of the day with both of my kids. I couldn’t have picked a better way to spend the day.

Still on the birthday theme, I noticed lately that my Garmin Forerunner 305 was not holding charges as long and that the charger was starting to get finicky, sometimes the Garmin would turn itself on while it was on e charger and drain what was left of the battery power and at other times it was just easy to knock it loose on the charger and have it not charge at all. After three years and too many kilometres to recall, I started thinking about replacing my Garmin.

This morning, I unexpectedly received the replacement from my wife, a Forerunner 610,  before I headed out for my run. Unfortunately the battery was not fully charged so I could not try it out but I think i retired my old one on a high note and now I have a new toy to test out this week.


Running Without my Garmin

Tonight I had an easy 8 km, 5 mile, run scheduled. Turns out that I realized as I was on my way to work that I had forgotten my Garmin at home.

I know some people like to regularly run without a Garmin or a watch, referred to running naked by some, but I have yet to make this a regular habit. I do understand the appeal of this approach as I do find myself paying too much attention to my Garmin at times.

As mentioned, tonight’s plan was for an easy 8 km, or 5 miles. I measured my distance when I got home using map my run and ended up with a total of 9.8 km.

In total it took me 51 minutes to get home and with the time I spent waiting for lights to change I figure the actual run took me 46-47 minutes. Maybe a touch faster than I needed to be but still an easy effort after yesterday’s unexpected speed intervals.

I would say that I did not end up missing the Garmin at all for this run.

Do you ever find yourself leaving your Garmin or watch at home on purpose?