Tag Archives: intervals

Week 6 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

My goal for week 6 was primarily to increase my mileage. Coming off a recovery week I wanted to hit at least 70 km for the week before I start aiming for 80-90 km weeks for a while. I managed that with a total of 75 km done.

Overall I went for 6 runs in week 6, including a tempo run, 800’s at the track and my first 32 km (20 mile) run of this training cycle. It was a productive week and I was pleased with my progress over the previous week.

My interval session on Thursday was an opportunity to break in a new pair of shoes which is always fun. This is my third pair of Fresh Foam Zantes and they are still my favourite shoe to run in. I broke them in with a workout consisting of a 1 mile warm up followed by 5 x 800m.

I ended the week on a positive note as well with my first 32 km run of this training cycle. It was my first run over 30 km since the Philadelphia Marathon back in November. Despite the fact that it was cool when I started it turned out to be a great morning for a long run.

32 km done this morning #run613 #runottawa #marathontraining #instarunners #seenonmyrun #ottawa

A post shared by Patrick Girard (@pat42.2) on

As mentioned at the start of this post my focus now will be to continue milage to my training as I look to get back up 80-90 km/week. With my long runs now in the 26-32 km range for the next little while that should not be too difficult.

If the weather forecast for week 7 is any indication spring could be on the way here soon. That will make it easier to get in consistent workouts outside although it will mean running in wet and sloppy conditions as the snow melts.

Week 5 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

Week 5 did not quite turn out as planned. In fact I ended up with my lowest mileage total in a few weeks with only 47 km done. I’ll take it as a bit of a recovery week which probably isn’t a bad thing.

With family in town visiting last week running was not a main priority. I managed to fit in easy 9 km runs on Tuesday and Friday but did not have time to go for my usual runs the other nights of the week. I am not concerned because my training has been going well to this point and a recovery week is not going to hurt my training.

On a positive note, I managed to end the week with a solid long run. With my schedule calling for 28-29 km I headed out last night after the kids were in bed. As previously mentioned this is not my favourite time to run a long run but sometimes if just happens to be what works best. It certainly felt good to run 28 km on a night would I could have easily quit.

Week 6 will see me back to regular training with more mileage and my usual Thursday night interval session. As a result, I will have much more to say in my next training update.

How did your week go?

Week 3 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

My third week of training or the Ottawa Marathon is already complete. This week was intended to be a recovery week and I stuck to the plan. I did miss a scheduled run yesterday but with it being -28C (-18F), or -40 with the windchill, it was probably a good thing I was too busy to get in the run.

Once again this week I had a good interval session at the track Thursday night. This week we opted for a bit of a ladder workout consisting of 400m, 800m, 1200m, 1600m and another 800m to finish. So far I am pleased with my splits at the track. So far I am able to match the paces I was running during my fall training cycle.

Since it was still pretty cold out today I made my second trip to the dome this week this afternoon…

My schedule called for 23-24 km today. I managed 54 laps of the track good enough for 21.6 km. I was pleased with that. I find the first half of long runs at the track to be tough but it is a great to have a backup plan when the conditions outside are not great.

This week I also did my first strength workout of this training cycle. My plan is to keep up with strength workouts twice per week. It will be an important part of my training once again.

How was your week?

Week 11 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


This week was a mixed bag in terms of training for me. On the positive side I had a solid tempo run and a solid speed session where I pushed the pace. On the negative side I had to drop my long run.

I’ll start my post by talking about the positives. Tuesday was my birthday and even though it was raining out I decided it was a good night to push the pace a bit. My schedule called for an 11-12 km run so I opted for a tempo run at that pace. I finished with a 12 km run in 51 minutes, a 4:17/km pace. It was a nice way to celebrate my birthday.

Since I was not able to fit it in Thursday night I ended up doing my speed session at the track yesterday. This time my schedule called for a 3.2 km warm up followed by 3 x 300m, 1:30 easy, 3:00 easy then another 3 x 300m, 1:30 easy. Despite the fact that it was windy out I felt like I pushed hard on the 300m and that made for a good workout.

The down side of this week was that I had to skip my long run planned for today. This is kind of a silly issue I have. If someone else were to ask me for advice I would tell them that missing one run wasn’t going to hurt their training.

However, when it comes to my training schedule I don’t like missing a scheduled run. I’ll be over it by tomorrow when I start a new week on my schedule but this was not the way I was looking to end the week.

Next week will see me aiming for even more mileage with my schedule calling for a 100 km week. If I manage to hit that target it will be the second time in this cycle that I have reached it.

How was your week?

Week 6 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

Going into this week I had two mileage based goals set for mylself, get over 80 km for the week and finish with 300 km for the month of February. I am pleased to say that I was able to accomplish both of those goals. This week I managed to build on the solid week of training I had last week and have an even better week this week.

I would have surpassed 90 km for the week but unfortunately had to cut my long run short tonight just before the halfway point in terms of intended mileage for the run. I am not too disappointed with that given the way the rest of the week went. I’ll aim to get up to 90 km this week.

In terms of workouts this week I went for a tempo run Tuesday, intervals Thursday andyesterday I added strides to my run to give me few more km at a faster pace. Once again the tempo run was tough due to the condition of the sidewalks and bike paths. However, I did get down on to the Rideau Canal for a portion of that run and found it easier to run at a tempo pace on the packed snow along the edges of the skateway. My interval workout was a series of 800 m repeats (3:10, 3:03, 3:02, 3:01, 3:00).

Overall I am pleased with the way my training is going. I seem to have recovered from my two month layoff and I am pleased with the mileage I put in the last two weeks. Of course now that I am up to 80 km in a week it is going to get tougher to add mileage. I’ll have to start doing more two run days by adding a second run at lunch during the week. The other aspect that will help in that regard will be continuing to add more mileage to my long runs.

How did your week go?

Week 5 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon


After a bit of a recovery week last week it was back to full training this week. In fact, since I felt good Monday I skipped my planned rest day and went for a run every day this week. This allowed me to add 16 km to last week’s total and finish the week with 76 km.

Overall I am pleased with the week I had. All of my runs with the exception of my intervals were done outside despite the fact that it was quite cold again for most of the week.

That said, it wasn’t the cold that had the biggest impact on my running this week. Fresh snow made for slushy and slippery conditions for most of my runs. I tried for my usual tempo run home from work Tuesday night but the slippery conditions forced me to slow down after 8 km and finish the last 2 km of my run at an easy pace. Here is an example of the conditions I ran in this week…


Once again my intervals Thursday night ended up being my best workout of the week. Having completed 5 x 800m last week I added an extra set this week. I managed to complete them in 3:14, 3:07, 3:04, 3:07, 3:02, 3:02. I am not sure why the first one was as slow as it was compared to the others but i am pleased the rest all came in under 3:10.

Unlike last week I did not go to the dome for my long run. Today was actually the warmest day of the week. Unfortunately due to a busy schedule today I had to leave my run for after the kids went to bed. In the end that was not so bad because I had pne of those runs that feels smooth and effortless from the start and I completed 23 km tonight at a quicker than expected pace.

I mentioned last week that I was aiming to hit 300 km for the month. After tonight’s run I have to get in another 74.5 km this week to hit that goal. It will take some work but I think it is definitely still within my range.

How did your week go?

Doing Long Runs at the Track


For the last few years i have benefitted from being able to do weekly interval sessions at an indoor track during the winter. This has allowed me to start intervals earlier in my training cycle for a spring marathon.

I enjoy doing intervals at the track because the winter conditions make it next to impossible to do intervals outside. Going around the track for intervals does not get monotonous because you are only generally doing 2-4 laps at a time.

The last two weeks now I have taken my long runs to the track as well because of the weather. I don’t mind running outside when it is cold and still prefer that to indoor running. However, this month has been particularly cold, primarily due to the wind and windchill effect. The last two Sundays I took my long runs, 20 and 21 km, to the track.

I have a bit of a love hate relationship with this option. On the one hand it is nice to have the option to go to the track for a long run when it is really miserable outside. On the other hand, 50-53 laps of the track can be pretty monotonous. This is particularly true now that the track I go to recently started enforcing their rule that runners had to run counter clockwise at all times.

Fortunately there is a field in the middle of the track that generally has 2-3 soccer games on the go that provide brief distractions as I am going around. For some reason I also find that the second half of my run always goes faster. i am not sure if this is because I am actually gradually picking up the pace or if it is just because mentally I know that I am closer to being finished.

Even though it is not my preferred environment for longer runs I will continue to make use of the track if the weather makes it a more appealing run.

Do you always do your long runs outdoor during the winter or do you also take them indoor at times?

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?

Week 3 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon


My third week of training for this year’s Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon is already complete. Building on last week I managed to add more mileage this week. Overall I am pleased with the week I had and feel like it sets me up for another good week next week.

While I had a good week of training this week the weather certainly did not make it easy on me. We are still get really cold weather here when the windchill is factored in and new snow this week made traction an issue when I ran outdoor.

The weather had an impact for the first time on my schedule at the start of the week. I had planned for a tempo run home from work Tuesday night but fresh snow meant that the sidewalks were still snow covered when I ran and although I was able to maintain a steady pace there were patches where it almost felt like I was on a treadmill and not really going anywhere.

Thursday night I went for my usual weekly trip to the dome for intervals. Once again this week the chosen workout was 5 x 800m. I was very pleased with my workout this week. I managed to finish my intervals in 3:09, 3:05, 3:03, 3:03 and 2:58. Although running at that pace still feels tougher than it did last year I am pleased that I am able to run intervals at that pace so soon after getting back to running following my ruptured appendix.

Following a couple of easy runs it was time for my long run this morning. With this being the scene this morning I opted for my second run under the dome of the week.

I managed to get in 20 km at the track this morning. Doing 50 laps of a 400m track is not my favourite workpout but when the alternative is a foot of fresh snow on the sidewalks and a windchill of -30C it is not a bad alternative.

Overvall I hit 70 km for the week. I am pleased with that because I added mileage to last week’s total. At the same time I know I have more work to do to get back to the 90-100 km week range I want to be in at the peak of my training.

How did your week go?