Tag Archives: indoor track

Indoor Intervals During the Winter

For the last 5 years I have been going to an indoor track to do my speedwork during the winter months. It is a great option that has allowed me to do speedwork as I train for a spring marathon when the conditions outside are not ideal.

Last night I went for my first session of indoor intervals of the year. Once again it was a welcome change because weather here recenntly has been alternating between cold and warm days leaving the sidewalks either covered in ice or large puddles of water and slush.

Having access to an indoor track allows me to do a variety of workouts that are beneficial to my marathon training. The most common workouts I do are 400m and 800m repeats but I do also fit in repeats at other distances when I want a change of pace.

Last night due to construction my workout was a series of 600m repeats because the last 100m of the track was closed. Since the last corner was off limits I did a series of 6 out and back repeats of a u shaped track.

Not surprisingly that workout was a first for me. It will also likely be the last time since it is easier to not do out and backs along a track that is being used by others. That said, it was good to get in some speedwork without the weather conditions having an impact. Like usual the toughest part was getting a feel for the pace I could/should run when I went out for my first repeat.

How do you fit in speedwork over the winter?

Week 4 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon


Last week when I wrote a recap of my week in training I mentioned that I my goal for this week was to hit 80 km.  That did not quite happen but I can’t say that I am disappointed with how this week went.

Overall I ended up with 60 km this week. Part of the reason for my drop in mileage this week was due to the fact that I took an extra rest day. Feeling really tired and run down I decided to skip my regular Thursday night interval sessions at the track. In the end I think it was the right decision because I was at a point where I felt like pushing myself at the track would just lead to me getting sick particularly considering the rest of my family was sick all week.

In terms of my training this week I was still able to fit in some good workouts. I started off the week with a tempo run Tuesday night. I did 10 km overall with the first 8 km of the run being at a tempo pace.

Friday night I ran in what was likely the coldest weather I’ve run in so far this year. When I left the office to head home it was -23C and -27 with the windchill (-9 F, -16F with the windchill). Fortunately I brought enough layers with me to sty warm and I managed to get in just over 11 km.

Today it was even colder (-24C, -34 with the windchill) and for the second week in a row I opted for a long run at the indoor track…

That 21 km run today bumped me up to 60 km for the week. Overall I ended up taking a bit of a recovery week compared to last week. Now my goal for the upcoming week is to hit 80 km.

In terms of monthly mileage I set a goal for myself to hit 300 km after 241 km last month. So far I have managed 150 km this month. I’ll have to pick up the pace over the next two weeks but I am still on track to meet this mileage goal.

How did your week go?

Back to Marathon Training

I have settled back into my usual routine after my recovery layoff that kept me away from running for all of November and most of December. That of course being building back up to a regular running routine with some easy and unstructured runs before I start my structured training for a spring marathon.


I am not normally concerned about running streaks and trying to run every day but since I was coming off a long layoff once I started running again I felt like seeing how long i could keep one going. Starting on Christmas day O managed a 15 day streak that only ended because I forgot to bring a running jacket with me last Friday.

With that out of the way I have settled back into my usual early January routine that I have found to work for me. I am planning to start. For the first two weeks of the month I just ran the mileage I could fit in at the time I went, although i am pleased I managed two straight weeks of over 50 km, and was not overly concerned about pace.

Now that I am planning to start my training plan for the Ottawa Marathon this week that is about to change. Now I will be aiming for mileage targets and I will start keeping a close eye on my pace, especially now that I will be going back to the indoor track for weekly interval sessions. The indoor track has become an integral part of my training over the winter since I discovered it a few years ago. Without it I would have to wait a while before being able to do intervals because of the snow on the ground.

While I feel like I still have a lot of work to do to get back to where I was at last year it feels good to be back to my usual running routine and training for a marathon.

Last Run at the Dome?


Given that today was the first day of spring tonight’s run at the dome was hopefully my last indoor run for a while. Hopefully now that we are into spring I will be able to do all of my runs outdoor. Now that the days are getting longer it is hard to beat a run home from work when the sun is shining.

I certainly appreciate having access to the track at the dome so I can do speed work over the winter months. Due to the fact that We had a colder winter this year I ended up running at the dome more often than in previous years, including a 21 km long run on a cold Sunday.

Even if it does continue to warm up the conditions outside still will not be ideal for intervals for a few weeks because of the snow and ice that still have to melt and the big puddles that will come with the melting.

If it does get cold again over the next week then I will end up going back to the dome for speed work although since my pass expired tonight I definitely will not get another pass for the year. If I do go back I’ll just have to pay the drop in fee each time I go.

Next week I won’t go back to the dome because I have another 3 km test scheduled and that is easy to fit in outside. Hopefully the weather will be good enough to keep my speed work outside in the weeks to follow and I won’t need to go back to the dome until next winter.

Do you run indoor over the winter?

Back to the Dome


The past two years I have had a pass to run at an indoor track during the winter. It has been a great addition to my training as it has allowed me to get in regular speed intervals when it is cold outside and I have to bundle up inseveral layers to run outside. For obvious reasons doing speed work indoor at this time is more comfortable.

Over the past two years I think it has given me the advantage of being able to fit in regular speed work earlier my training cycle for a spring marathon than I had in previous years. Last year when I started speed work at the dome I noticed an improvement over the previous year because my times were quicker regardless of which workout we chose on a given night. I am hoping that trend will continue this year. If it does I will certainly be in good shape for the Ottawa Marathon in May.

As mentioned, last night was my first workout at the dome for this winter. The workout of choice last night was 800m sprints. We only completed four of them but each one was completed in less than 3:10. I hope I can continue that trend. Now that winter has hit here I will be making a weekly visit to the dome to fit in speed intervals.

Do you continue to do speed work over the winter?

First Intervals of the Year

You may recall that last year I added intervals at an indoor track to my training over the winter months. The benefit was that this allowed me to add regular speed intervals to my training earlier in my training cycle than I previously had done.

After seeing the benefits last year my plan was always to start running at the dome again this year once the winter weather started. I managed to make it to the dome last night for my first series of speed intervals of the year.

Last year we kept it interesting by doing a different workout every week – 400’s, 800’s, mile repeats and ladder workouts. We even tried 2 km repeats once. The variety served to keep it more interesting. Last night’s workout was an easier since it was the first of the year. We went with a 6 x 800 workout with the average pace being 3:05.

I have still been trying to include tempo runs in my runs home from work but with the snow and ice it isn’t always easy to maintain a fast and steady pace. Last night at the dome being able to maintain a quick and steady pace made it feel like training for spring races was really getting under way.

Do you include indoor running over the winter months?

Tonight’s Mile Repeats

Thursday nights have now become my night for speed intervals at the indoor track. Tonight’s workout ended up being the same as last Thursday’s workout with 5 x 1 mile repeats the intended workout.

I am pleased with my times from tonight. I ended up going a little faster than last week. Tonight my times were 6:31, 6:37, 6:43, 6:32, 6:29 whereas my average was closer to 6:40 last week.

I think I am starting to notice a pattern with my speed intervals. You’ll notice that my slowest one tonight was the middle one. I am not sure why but that seems to be a regular occurrence for me. For some reason I start quick, slow down in the middle and come back strong for my last couple of intervals.

So far I am enjoying the ability to run at the indoor track. It is nice to be able to run in short sleeves and shorts in the middle or winter, especially on nights like tonight when the temperature is barely above freezing and raining.

Do you regularly incorporate speed intervals in your training? Do you run indoor over the winter months?

Mile Repeats at the Dome

Tonight was my third time out for running at the indoor track at the dome. Tonight’s workout was 5 x 1600 m (1 mile).

The plan was to get in our mile repeats in around 6:40. One thing that I have noticed about the track so far is that I can tell when I am picking up the pace and I have a hard time slowing down even if I start going faster than my intended pace.

We ended up doing our mile repeats at about our intended pace with most being right around 6:40 per mile and a couple of them slipping below 6:35 per mile.

I think that was about the right pace for me tonight. It felt like we were pushing ourselves each time out but were not over-exerting ourselves as we were able to maintain a consistent pace over each of the mile repeats.

One other benefit to running at the dome is that having a group run once a week gives me a nice change from my usual solo runs. Tonight I was encouraged to try shortening my stride. With most of my runs being solo runs I have not had anyone comment on my stride before. Now it will give something to work on and monitor during my runs over the next 16 weeks.

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.

Speed Intervals on an Indoor Track

This morning I tried speed intervals at an indoor track for the first time. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am looking to add more speed work to my training as I get ready for this year’s Ottawa Marathon. Having access to an indoor track will now make that easier to get started early in my training and having others to run with as I do them will no dot help with motivation and consistency.

Until a neighbour mentioned it to me I was not aware we had a 400m indoor track close to home. Today was certainly a good day for an indoor run with the weather sitting at -30 C, -22 Fahrenheit, with the windchill when we left home.

Here is a look at the track, apparently it is the 2nd largest dome of its kind in North America…

The plan for today was to do mile repeats with an aim at maintaining a pace of about 1:40 per lap and 5:00 per mile. We started off with our first three miles right on target. Miles 4-5 saw us slow down to about 5:10 per mile. Miles 6-8 ended up being our fastest miles with times of 4:41-4:47.

Overall it felt like a strong workout. It was certainly nice to get in a run in shorts and short sleeves despite the cold weather outside. I can see running at the dome becoming a regular part of my training during the winter months. It is nice to have others to run with to help keep me motivated and on target and since many of my runs are in the evening it was nice to not have to worry about not being able to read my pace on my Garmin.

Have you tried running on an indoor track?