Tag Archives: hill repeats

Week 10 of Training for the Ottawa Marathon


Week 10 of training is nearly complete. Before the week ends I will be completing my first race of the year, a 10 km race tomorrow morning. Overall it has been another strong week of training with good hill and interval workouts leading the way.

This week’s hill workout involved an additional repeat, four compared to three last week. I used the same hill as last again this week. Fortunately the sidewalks were clear this week so I was able to push the pace.

Last night was my weekly interval workout at the indoor track. Once again this week my scheduled workout involved three 500 m and three 1000 m intervals. Unfortunately I was not able to beat the times I set last week. On the positive side I was able to match my best times from last week so it was still a good workout.

I did have to postpone an easy run Wednesday because of a day of skiing and a late day snowstorm. I made up for that tonight with an easy run to pick up my race kit for tomorrow after work.

This weekend as mentioned I will be running a 10 km race tomorrow. I also have a long scheduled, 25 km that I will get in on Sunday.

How did your week go?

Week 9 of Training for the Ottawa Marathon


Another week of training is nearly complete. This week it was back to full training after a week of recovery last week. That meant it was back to intervals and this week hills took the place of my Tuesday runs with accelerations.

As mentioned, hills were back on my schedule this week. It was the first time they were included in this training cycle. On the schedule was three repeats. Since we started getting snow late in the afternoon I had to go to a plan b for a hill as I looked for one that had been plowed. The conditions were still not ideal, it was difficult to get a good pace going up the hill because of the fresh snow. However, I completed the workout and it felt good to re-introduce hill repeats.

Last night it was back to speed intervals at the track. This week my assigned workout involved 500 and 1000 m intervals. This was another new workout for me. I think the workout went well. The real key is that I now have goals for the next two weeks, beating the times I set last night.

This week being the start of a new four week block of training I also started a new strength workout. Once again the exercises are aimed at building strength in my legs, upper body and core.

Tomorrow my plan is to get in my long run. This week I am going for 20 km. tomorrow I plan to change things up a bit in terms of my pace. I am planning to start out with an easy 5 km before picking up the pace over the remaining 15 km.

How did your week go?

Hill Repeats

Hill repeats are an important workout to build strength in your legs during training. They were a big part of my training cycle for Philadelphia in the fall. I had hill repeats scheduled by my coach once a week, adding an extra one each week. In the fall I topped out at six or eight repeats.

So far in this training cycle I have not had hill repeats scheduled. As of tonight hill repeats are back on the schedule. I started off with three repeats tonight.

Usually my routine involves going up and down the hill at 100% with a break between repeats. I tried that tonight but with fresh snow on the ground the conditions were not ideal for that…


I managed to get in my three repeats. I might not have been able to push as hard as I normally would have but I was able to complete my workout and hill repeats are now back on my weekly schedule.

Do you include hill repeats in your training schedule?

Time for the Taper

The heaviest mileage in my training cycle and my toughest runs are out of the way. There are now just over two weeks to go until race day in Philadelphia. Now I starting to taper with the main goal over the next two and a half weeks being to stay healthy and avoid injury at all cost.

As mentioned in a previous post, my plan for Sunday was to fit in my longest ever training run with a 36 km (22 mile) run. I tried to prepare for the run like I will for race day. That meant waking up early enough to have my usual pre-marathon breakfast a few hours before I started. The plan seemed to work well as I feel like I had a strong run, finishing the 36 km in 2:59. My legs felt strong and I had the energy to continue had I been scheduled to run more mileage that day.

In addition to my last really long run, I have also completed my final set of hill repeats. I completed those last Thursday. I feel that the hill repeats that I did over the last three weeks were a good addition to my training. My coach had me do 1 km repeats (500 m up and 500 m down) at 100% effort. It was a tough workout but I found myself pushing as hard as I could every repeat.

In terms of speed work I a, not sure what comes next. Tonight I completed a series of 10 50M sprints. I have not yet seen my schedule for the final two weeks of training but I am pretty sure that is it for speed work as well. Again, as with the hill repeats, have had some good speed workouts through this training cycle. Again, the workouts I did over the previous three weeks were challenging in that the 15 second sprints I did every km forced me to push as hard as I could.

Now that the hard work is done I am going to try and enjoy the more relaxed pace of my remaining runs and of course make sure I am eating the right foods so that I am ready when I get to the start line in Philadelphia.

Week 13 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


Another week is nearly complete. In a way it is hard to believe that race day is just three weeks away from this Sunday. At the same time, I feel ready and am anxious to put my training to the test. While my overall mileage came down this week it certainly was another good week of training.

Unfortunately this week also brought the first bit of cool weather to run in. Last week I was still running in shorts and short sleeves. This week I think I had a long sleeve shirt on for every run. Last night I wore long pants and a jacket for the first time in a while. Fortunately it was not quite cold enough to require gloves or a hat but it was a reminder that winter is on the way.

My speed workout this week was the same one I did last week. It involved doing 8 km at 4:20/km with 15 second sprints every km. Including the sprints every km makes it a tough workout but at the same time those sprints help make it feel like each km is going by faster.

My hill workout was my best one yet and my last one before race day. Last night the workout involved 5 hill repeats at 100% effort. For those of you who are familiar with Ottawa the hill I used was the one by the locks beside the Chateau Laurier. For those of you who are not from Ottawa I guess you will have to take my word that it is a good hill for repeats. Last night even though I felt exhausted every time I finished a repeat I managed to keep my pace around 4:00-4:05 for each one.

This week my final run of the week may turn out to be my most important run. As mentioned earlier in the week, my plan is to run 36 km this Sunday. This will be the longest run of this training cycle. It will be an important one not only in terms of giving me the confidence I can complete the marathon distance on race day but also in that it will allow me to test race day nutrition. It will be one last opportunity to test and make sure I have the right nutrition strategy for race day.

How did your week go?

Week 12 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon

20131004-223147.jpgThere is officially less than one month to go until race day now. In terms of training, this week and next week will be my heaviest weeks of mileage before I start to taper. As a result, I still have my two longest runs left to go – 32 km this Sunday and 36 km next Sunday.

Overall I am still feeling good about my approach. I may have done less mileage overall this time around but the strength, mobility and stability exercises I have been doing throughout this training cycle will hopefully make up the difference.

My key workout this was the hill repeats I did this week. The workout on the schedule was four 1 km repeats (500 m up and 500 m down) at 100% effort. I think I’ve found myself a pretty good hill to use for my repeats the last couple of weeks. It is certainly a good enough challenge that I feel exhausted at the end of each repeat. Overall, four repeats at this 100% effort is one of those workouts that feels tough while you are doing it but leaves you feeling like you accomplished something when you finish.

This week’s speed workout was another new one for me. It involved 8 km total at 4:20/km with 15 second sprints every km. The sprints certainly helped make every km go by quicker.

I plan to wrap up this week with a couple of runs over the weekend. Tomorrow the plan is for an easy 8 km while Sunday the plan is for a 32 km (20 mile) long run. Sunday’s run will be the first of my runs over 30 km, runs that are generally a good gauge of how your training is going.

How did your week go?


Week 11 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


Another week is nearly complete and I am another week closer to race day in Philadelphia. Race day is now just over a month away. That means I have a couple more weeks after this one of intense training before I start to taper.

After a recovery week last week this week got me back to intense training. The highlight of this week was without a doubt my speed workout which also was my latest race. I wrote a post on that last night so I won’t go into too much detail on that here. Suffice to say that I am quite pleased with my new pb in the 5km.

My other key workout this week was my hill repeats. This week’s effort involved 3 repeats of a 500 m hill @100%. It was a tough workout but it certainly felt good once I was finished. The location I chose for my repeats certainly helped a bit as well..

IMG-20131008-00354 (1)As for what’s left this week, I plan to get in 10 km tomorrow followed by 28 km on Sunday.

How did your week go?

Week 5 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


Week five of training has been another strong week of training. I managed to get in all of my runs as per the schedule set out by my coach. The biggest benefit to that is now I get to take a break from running today.

In terms of runs, the highlights were once again Tuesday and Thursday’s runs. Those runs being my speed work and hill repeats of course. This week’s speed workout involved a 2 km warm-up followed by 3 x 1 km at 4:00/km followed by 1 km at 5:00/km. It was an easy workout to fit in on the way home from work since the overall distance got me almost back to my house.

I left Thursday for my hill repeats again this week. This week’s workout involved a 1.5 km warm-up, 3 hill repeats then a 5 km tempo run. Doing a tempo run after hill repeats is new to me but something my coach encouraged because it will teach my legs they can still run at that pace when tired.

Speaking of hill repeats, the past two weeks since I did my workout at lunch time I took advantage of the fact that we have an old ski hill about 1.5 km from my office to do my repeats. Now it isn’t a very big hill and wouldn’t have been much of a ski hill but here is a picture. I think it is good for my hill repeats.


To finish off week five I have a 12 km easy run planned for tomorrow followed by my long run on Sunday which will be 21 km.

How did your week go?

Week 11 of Training for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Week 11 of my training for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. With one run left to go tomorrow my mileage for week 11 currently sits at 61.5 km. Since last week was my biggest week so far with just over 100 km the plan for this week was to cut back on my mileage a bit. Tomorrow’s run will  leave me with just over 70 km for the week.

The week got off to a good start with the third of my 32 km (20 mile) training runs. Since I am the 1:35 pace bunny for the Army Run half-marathon, 4:30/km is also my goal pace for the marathon, in a few weeks I decided to do the first 21.1 km at marathon pace. The result, the first 21 km in just over 1:35. Not only did I confirm I was ready to pace the Army Run I also managed to get in a good tempo run to get me ready for the marathon in Toronto.

While it was a good week of training I did miss out on two aspects of my training this week, hill repeats and intervals. Although I missed those workouts I think I made up for it with the marathon pace effort as part of my long run and another 10 km tempo run last night.

With just over one month left before the marathon I still have a couple of key workouts left, my final 32 km run which I will do either Sunday or Monday and the aforementioned pace bunny gig in a few weeks. If I can manage to get in a few more hill repeats and intervals along the way I should be in a position to run a good race in Toronto.

As mentioned above, week 12 will kick off with my final 32 km run. Since I have the day off Monday I have the luxury of deciding whether to do it Sunday or Monday depending on other activities.

How did your training go this week?

Week 10 of Training for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Week nine of my training for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. With one run left to go tomorrow my mileage for week nine currently sits at 86 km. Tomorrow’s plan is to get in 14 km to give me my first 100 km week in this training cycle.

Once again this week was a solid week of training. The week kicked off with the second of my 32 km (20 mile) training runs. Dividing it by getting in 18 km on my own at a quicker pace followed by the remaining 14 km with the Chariot at a slower pace seemed to make the run go by quicker.

In terms of more intense workouts, I did manage to get in a tempo run on Tuesday. However, it was a shorter effort in terms of mileage since I ran at lunch and only had time for 7 km. I think one of my goals next week will be to try and get in a marathon pace effort over 12-15 km.

Last week I managed to fit in hill repeats but did not make it out to the track for intervals. This week was the opposite. I made it out to the track for intervals last night, 8 x 800 being the workout of choice. However, I was not able to fit in hill repeats. Maybe next week I will be able to fit in both once again.

Week 11 kicks off Sunday morning with the third of my scheduled 32 km runs.

How did your training go this week?