Tag Archives: marathon recovery

Ottawa Race Weekend

Now that I have recovered from Boston it is time to get ready for my next race. In one month from today I am scheduled to run the Ottawa Race Weekend half-marathon.

Ottawa Race Weekend is, in my opinion, the best race weekend in Canada with races spread out over 2 days and a variety of distances to appeal to as many runners as possible. It offers the only IAAF Gold Label 10 km race in Canada to go along with a Gold Label marathon.

Runners can also expect great crowd support along the courses. In particular, the final stretch down Queen Elizabeth drive draws large crowds for all of the races.

In my case it has become an event for the whole family to enjoy. My oldest daughters will be running the 2 km with their grandparents on Saturday afternoon again this year and I will be running Sunday morning.

I have participated in it 11 times and will be participating again this year. This year will mark a bit of a change of pace for me as I will be running the half-marathon instead of the marathon as I have done for the past 8 years.

I initially planned to do the marathon but since I was not sure how my long it would take for my legs to recover after Boston I decided to downgrade the the half to be on the safe side. Currently I am slowly ramping my mileage up again to get ready for the half.

In terms of my goals for race weekend while I don’t think I can expect to be in pb (1:26:27) shape for a half 6 weeks after Boston I would still like to come in under 1:30. Barring any setbacks as I ramp up my training over the next few weeks I think that is a realistic goal.

If you are running the marathon this year and are not familiar with the course have a look at this overview and strategy guide I posted a few years ago. There have been a few minor changes to the course since I posted this guide but it could be of interest to you.

Alternatively, you can also follow the Ottawa Marathon social media accounts on Thursday May 4th as Jayme from The Pacing Life runs the course to give runners a full preview. You can watch for that starting at 8:00.

Saturday Stories

It’s time once again for another edition of Saturday Stories, a collection of some of my favourite stories and blog posts from the past week.

Here are this week’s stories…

More on the recent study regarding the impact of marathons on your kidneys.

A documentary about the benefits of running for those struggling with mental health. 

A study about post-marathon muscle soreness. 

Saturday Stories


It’s time once again for another edition of Saturday Stories, a collection of some of my favourite stories and blog posts from the past week.

Here are this week’s stories…

Ever wonder why you have muscle soreness after a marathon?

A post about the ebbs and flows in marathon training.

A study about whether rinsing a sports drink in your mouth can enhance your performance under certain conditions.

Race Report: Rock ‘n’ Roll Montreal Marathon

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While the focus of my posts about marathon training have been geared toward the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, I actually had another marathon scheduled three weeks before STWM. Today I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Montreal.

It was by design that I did not mention Montreal on here in a long time. First, my focus has been on STWM because I am a digital champion for the race. Secondly, I did not want to focus too much attention on Montreal in case I was not running it as a goal race or in case things did not go well.

My approach to Montreal was discussed with my coach a couple of weeks ago. We thought I was ready, based on how my training was going, to take a shot at a pb. However, once I started looking at the weather forecast last week and it looked likely that it would be hot today I realized there was also a good chance I would have to back off and save my pb effort for Toronto.

Since the start and finish lines are in different locations I had to take the subway to the start line this morning. Fortunately there was one right around the block from our hotel. Since the race started at 8:30 I left the hotel at 7:00.

After a quick ride I dropped off my bag to be transported to the finish line and headed for my corral. That involved walking halfway across the Jacques Cartier bridge. It felt warm already and once the pa announcer started making his announcements by warning that it was already 17 degrees C (62 F) and was expected to be at least 23 C (73 F) by 11:00 I knew a pb would likely have to wait for another day.

I decided to start out at my goal pace and at least give myself a good tempo run. The race starts off by going down off the bridge to Jean Drapeau Park, a couple of small islands where you will find La Ronde amusement park and the track for the Canadian Grand Prix formula 1 race. Once you get down on to the islands from the bridge the course goes around each island. Having attended the grand prix on a couple of occasions getting a chance to run down the straights, past the start line and through the chicane turns was a definite highlight for me.

The next section of the course heads back into the city starting off with old Montreal before heading up to the Plateau section. One thing I will say about Montreal is that it reminded me how flat Ottawa can be.

Once we were up on to the Plateau the half-marathoners headed off to finish in Lafontaine Park while the marathoners kept going for another loop before coming back to the park. I experienced this in Philadelphia as well and when you are running the marathon it can be a lonely feeling at first when you see the crowd of runners thinning out substantially. Despite that I found myself settling back into my routine quickly.

Despite the hills and the heat I was able to maintain my goal pace past the half. However, between 27 and 28 km in I was starting to feel the heat get to me. At that point I decided to slow my pace and take it easy for the final 15 km so I could recover and take another shot in Toronto.

One thing that pleasantly surprised me about this race was the crowd support. Once we were back in the city there were crowds cheering everywhere. I don’t recall there being many quiet sections. At times the encouragement made it hard for me to maintain a slower pace.

In the end I crossed the line in 3:36. It was not the pb I was hoping for but I think I did the right thing. Had I continued to push my pace i could have finished in the 3:15-3:20 but that would have made a pb in Toronto unlikely. The number of runners I saw receiving medical assistance because of the heat also tells me I did the right thing.

Instead I will, hopefully, recover quickly this week and get back to training for STWM so I can take a good shot at a pb. With an earlier start to the race and 3 weeks to go until race day hopefully the weather conditions will be more suited to a pb effort.

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Headed Back to Philly

Last week I mentioned that I was considering a few different options for a fall marathon. Friday night I made my decision official by registering for the Philadelphia Marathon. It will be my second time in three years doing this race.

Why Philadelphia? I began my search by looking for a fall marathon within a reasonable distance from home. I was also looking for a course that would give me a good chance of improving on my time in last month’s Ottawa Marathon.

I came up with a short-list of four options. Philadelphia was at the top of my list from the start. Turns out it was at the top of my wife’s list as well so it was an easy choice to make in the end.

Why was it at the top of my list? The course is similar to the course here in Ottawa in that it is mainly flat and that you spend much of the race running along waterways – the Ottawa River and Rideau Canal here and the Delaware and Schuykill rivers in Philadelphia.

In addition, to the course itself my wife and I enjoyed our weekend there more than we expected because there was no shortage of things to see and do. On top of that, a cheesesteak was a pretty good recovery meal after the marathon.

Here is a picture of me enjoying one of the sites..

IMG-20111119-00271For now I will continue running without a set plan but later in the summer I will start to get ready for marathon number nine.

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…

Starting this year the Boston Marathon will host a running related movie festival.

Here is some good advice on recovering from a marathon.

Some advice to keep in mind if you can’t get into to one of the big marathons because it sells out.

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…

This study suggests exercise is not the cause of sudden cardiac death.

With all of the debate surrounding whether the New York Marathon should have been cancelled here is a good post on crisis communications and how the NYRR handled the situation. 

10 Commandments of marathon recovery.

If you are in New York City or know runners who travelled there for the marathon here’s how runners can help this weekend.

Marathon Recovery

My legs seem to have recovered from Sunday’s marathon. In fact they recovered enough for me to go for an easy run after work tonight. Following my last 3-4 marathons I have actually been fortunate to recover quickly and get back to running less than a week after the race.

What are the keys to recovery? In my case I think three things have helped. The first being  consuming protein following the race. This time it was a Gatorade recovery drink and a protein bar soon after the race.

The second key to recovery for me was soaking my legs in a cold bath as soon as I got back to my hotel. I previously posted on the benefits of ice baths for recovery here.  I am still a believer in the benefits for recovery. I have used this approach after every marathon with the exception of my first which also happened to be my worst in terms of recovery.

The final key for my is to keep hydrated and not allow myself to get dehydrated following the race.

What do you do to help recover from a marathon?

Saturday Stories

It is time once again for 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…

Here is a blog post about “running fashion”.

The world’s oldest marathoner will run another marathon this year, Fauja Singh to run London for 101st birthday.

How long does it take you to recover from a marathon? 

Not sure how to fuel a long run? Here is a good post with helpful tips. 

Finally, the next #runchat takes place on Twitter tomorrow night.

The Day After

As you can imagine, running a marathon does take a toll on your body. However, there are steps you can take to help speed the recovery process. I posted this six-step plan after running the Prince Edward County Marathon in October and I continue to follow these steps.

Some people may think the idea of taking an ice bath after a run is crazy but I am a firm believer in doing so. I have done this after my last three marathons now and each time I recovered much quicker than I did after my first marathon. Once again yesterday it was the first thing I did when I got home. You can read more about taking an ice bath for recovery here.

As far as today goes as you can well imagine my legs are a little stiff but I am not in agony when I walk and I don’t have to avoid going up or down stairs like the people in this video…

I will probably be ready for an easy run again by Friday or Saturday.