Tag Archives: hill training

Back to Marathon Training

After a couple of months of running for the sake of running I am back to training for another marathon. This week was the start of my training program for the Boston Marathon in April. My training kicked off with a run home in the snow Monday evening.

It was nice to run without a structured plan for a while but I do enjoy having a goal to focus on as I plan my running. I find it easier to stay motivated and on track when I am working toward a goal. I’ve had a few weeks in the 50-60 km range for mileage recently so I should be able to get back to a weekly average of 70-80 km quickly. The key will be to get back to doing longer runs of over 15 km which is something I have not managed recently. 

One thing I am still debating is hill training during this marathon cycle. I have not decided how many hill specific workouts I want to add to my training to get me ready for the hills in Boston. If you have experience running Boston I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this question. 

In addition to ramping up my mileage I also plan to get back into my regular strength training routine. I think it was something that was beneficial in my preparation to the last few marathons I have completed and my plan is to continue a similar routine this time around. 

As I have done with my past marathons, now that I am back to training I will use my Sunday post to recap my week of training. 

Saturday Stories


It is time once again for another edition of Saturday Stories, a collection of some of my favourite stories and blog posts from the past week. As always, if you came across anything you feel is worthy of mention here feel free to post a link below.

Here are this week’s stories…

Tips to keep you warm while you run over the winter.

An artcile on which running shoe is best for you.

A post about the importance of hill training.

Some tips to help you start training for a spring marathon.

Week 12 of Training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

IMG_0804.PNGAnother week of training is nearly complete. So far this week is turning out to be my heaviest week in terms of mileage in this training cycle. With two runs left to go this weekend I am on pace for my first 100 km week in a while.

The week started off good with my scheduled intervals on Tuesday. This week my scheduled workout was a 10 minute warm up followed by 3 x ( 400m, 800m, 1200 m @ 100%).

I did my intervals in a bit of an odd way this time but it worked out in the end. I had planned to run home from work so I started my run from the office and got in the majority of my intervals on the way home. By the time I hit 8 km I ended up at the high school track close to my house so I could finish my last two intervals where I would normally go for intervals..

The other story of the week has been injury prevention. Late last week I started to feel some pain on the inside of my left leg above the ankle. Initially I thought it was just the usual aches that can follow heavy mileage and intense runs but by Wednesday it was becoming more noticeable with every step when I ran.

As a result, yesterday and today’s runs were very easy efforts. I also taped my leg with some Rocktape and took some Advil. That seems to have helped as it was less noticeable during today’s run.

I still have not done my scheduled hill workout this week because of this pain. My plan is to see how I feel tomorrow. If I feel better I will do my hills tomorrow but if the pain is still noticeable then I will just drop hills for this week.

I am hoping that the issue is going away now and that I will be able to at least get in my scheduled 23 km run Sunday. Once again for that one I am planning to start and finish at my goal marathon pace. I will have to reconsider that plan as well if I am still experiencing pain in my leg when I get up Sunday morning.

How did your week go?


Week 10 of Training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon


This week was a return to regular training after a recovery week last week. So far I am on pace for just over 80 km this week with a couple of weekend runs remaining.

As mentioned last week, the recovery week was necessary and will benefit me in the long run. However, I was looking forward getting in some tougher runs this week. By that I mean a tempo run on Tuesday, a hill workout I did at lunch today and a longer run coming up Sunday morning.

The downside to this week, as I wrote last night, was the weather. While the week started off on a promising note Monday..

The weather went downhill from there. The rest of my runs so far this week came in cool, rainy weather like summer had come to an abrupt end.

That said, it did not really impact my running. I had a strong interval session at the track Tuesday night and then a solid hill workout today at lunch..

To end off the week I will be doing an easy 12 km run tomorrow followed by a 28 km run Sunday. That will leave me with an 80 km week.

I will be changing up my long run a bit this time. As previously mentioned, I have been ending my long runs at marathon pace. This week in addition to doing that I will be starting my long run at marathon pace. The plan calls for 6 km at marathon pace followed by an easy 16 km then ending with another 6 km at marathon pace.

How was your week?

Saturday Stories


It is time once again for another edition of Saturday Stories, a collection of some of my favourite stories and blog posts from the past week. As always, if you came across anything you feel is worthy of mention here feel free to post a link below.

Here are this week’s stories…

Tips for running in the heat.

Benefits of hill workouts.

One of my fellow STWM digital champions posting his thoughts on running and training for a marathon.

Week 11 of Training for the Ottawa Marathon


Another week is nearly complete. This week is the last week of hard training in this block of four weeks before I take a recovery week next week. All that remain for this week are hill repeats tomorrow and a long run on Sunday.

Overall it has been a good week of training but as you can see above a couple of key runs remain. One of those runs is the series of hill repeats I plan to get in tomorrow. I was not able to get in my hill repeats as planned on Tuesday so tomorrow I will be doing five hill repeats when I go for my run.

Last night I did my intervals as per usual. Once again the scheduled workout was 3 sets of a 500 m followed by a 1000 m interval with a two minute break in between intervals. The goal last night was to try and beat my best times from the previous two weeks. Unfortunately that did not happen with my best interval times being 1:52 and 3:49 respectively. Overall over the past three weeks my best times were 1:48 and 3:42.

My final run of the week will also be a key one. It will be my first 30 km run of this training cycle. This week for my long run I plan to try this marathon move I read about. Since the Ottawa Marathon is about 9 weeks away I’ll aim for a 20-25 minute marathon move.

My hill repeats tomorrow and long run Sunday will leave me at just over 70 km for the week. I’ll increase my weekly mileage again in two weeks when I start my next four week training block.

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 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.

Getting Back on Track

Last week was a bit of a setback in terms of overall mileage. For week two of my training for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon I ended off the week with a total of 42.5 km. However, considering how busy the week ended up being in a way it was a good week in that I managed to get in five runs.

In terms of my runs last week, Sunday’s longer effort was limited to 10.5 km while my other runs were around 8 km with one of those shorter runs being at a more intense pace with some hill work involved.

In January after my father passed away I wrote about using running as therapy to deal with what was going on at the time. I experienced this again last week as we held a service for my father in his hometown. Once things had settled down and others were resting I got changed and went for a run.

It turned out to be one of my best runs in a long time. I took off from our motel at marathon pace and worked out my run so I ended up with a big hill, about a 120 foot drop according to my Garmin, at the halfway point. The end result was a 7.5 at an average pace of 4:27/km. To top it all off, I got back to the motel just as a thunderstorm was about to start.

Now my plan for this week is to get back on track in terms of mileage. That means getting back up to a weekly total of 60-70 km. I got myself started on that goal yesterday with a 10.5 km run.