Tag Archives: marathon training

Week 18 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon



Since race day is Sunday I decided to move this post up a few days in order to give a final overview of my training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon. My training is now complete and I am ready to tackle marathon number 13, my 7th consecutive year here in Ottawa.

This week was not so much about training. It was more about staying healthy and staying disciplined with my diet. I think I was succesful on both fronts. At this point I am really starting to get anxious for Sunday morning.

In terms of running this week the only run really worth mentioning was Tuesday night’s tempo effort. It was my last run at a faster pace scheduled before the marathon. I ended up with a 13 km run that consisted of a 2.8 km warm up, 7 strides, 30:00 at 4:17/km and ending with a cool down.

I’ll go for a very easy 15-20 minute run Saturday morning to shake out my legs but for all intents and purposes my final training run was tonight’s easy effort. It was a perfect evening for a run…

Last training run before @ottawamarathon an easy 8.9 km run across the experimental farm #torw2015 #running

A photo posted by Patrick Girard (@pat42.2) on

Tomorrow I will head to the race expo to pick up my kit and take a look for deals although there isn’t really any gear I need. Other than that my plan for the weekend is to try and stay off my feet as much as possible in order to be prepared for Sunday morning.

How was your week?

Week 17 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon


Since race day is one week away this will be the last of my weekly training updates for this training cycle. In a few ways this training cycle has gone better than i expected it would. I feel like I am ready to take on another marathon. I just have to try and get through the final week without driving myself crazy thinking about my preparation and race day itself. 

Following a last week of heavy mileage I started dropping my mileage this week. For the first time in a while I was doing easy runs of less than 10 km. In a way it felt strange to be doing so but at the same time it was also a nice reminder that race day was near. 

Despie the fact that I was tapering my Tuesday and Thursday runs were still solid efforts. Tuesday night’s run was a threshold effort consisting of a 3.2 km warm up,10:00@Maintenance pace, 10:00 @ 4:26/Km, 10:00 @ 4:46/Km, 10:00 @ 4:26/Km and a cool down.

Thursday night’s speed workout was even more intense with a 3.2 km warm up followed by 6 sets of 200m hard followed by  and easy 200m, 3.2K in @ 4.26/km, an easy 1:30, another 6 sets of 200m hard followed by 200m easy and a cool down.

This morning while out for a run with my 2 year old in the Chariot I ran past this in case i needed another reminder that race day was near…

Now I just have a few more runs to go before I get to tackle marathon number 13 next Sunday. Ideally it will be a little cooler out than the hot day we had today. I’ll worry about that more later in the week when we get closer to race day.
How did your week go?

Back to Running with the Chariot

Witht the nice weather here again I am back to running with the Chariot on weekends. Last Saturday my two year old and I went for a 22 km adventure. Here is what we saw along the way…

A duck in a fountain

The War Memorial


The Parliament Buildings


A statue of Rocket Richard, my dad’s favourite hockey player 

And finally, the horses of the RCMP Musical Ride 

As you can see it was a pretty eventful run. Now the tough part will be to come up with other sites to see the next time we go out.

A Lesson in How Not to Start a Race


Yesterday was the Sporting Life 10km, my third and final of my tune up races before the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon in two weeks. This is a race that has been run in Toronto for a while now and with a Sporting Life store having opened here recently they decided to organize a second race.

I signed up for this one a while ago and was not sure how I was going to approach it in terms of pacing since it was only two weeks before my goal race. Saturday I finally decided that I would aim for a steady run somewhere between my half-marathon pace and my marathon pace.

Since the start line for this race was just over 2 km from my house I planned to run there for an easy warm up. Unfortunately I was a little late getting out of the house yesterday, partly a result of a late Saturday night taking care of a sick two year old. What was intended to be an easy warm up to the start line ended up being close to a tempo run to the start line.

I was close but did not quite make it in time for the start. I ended up having to run past the runners who were start, jump into a corral once I passed the start line and start running right away. My delay pushed back a couple of corrals from where I normally would have lined up. This meant that I was passing other runners for most of the race.

If you’ve read my posts about my other races this year you’ll know that I experimented racing without a Garmin. Since I was not going for a pb this time and wanted to stay disciplined I wore my Garmin in order to avoid having my competitive streak kick in and me running at a faster pace than I wanted to. I managed to settle into a steady pace between 4:16-4:20/km once I got going although it was tough at times due to congestion. 

Once I reached the half the crowd started to thin out a little and it was easier to maintain a steady pace. I managed to finish in 43:20 which was good enough for 69 out of 1790 runners. Most positive of all is that despite the heat and my less than ideal start I felt like I had more in the tank when I reached the finish line and I could have run a faster time had that been my goal.

I’m pleased with yesterday’s result. It gave me another run in a race setting and I managed to stick with the plan I set for myself. I feel like I have had a good training cycle for the upcoming marathon. My goal now is to stay in shape and avoid any last minute injuries so I can that positive energy intorace day.

Week 16 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

 My final big week of training is complete now and race day is just two weeks away. Coming of my two biggest weeks of training I am now ready to taper. At this point there is not anything else I can do to be ready for the marathon. 

Following last Sunday’s long run of just under 33 km I did not really let up coming into this week. I think one of the things that I like about the current training plan I am following is that it does not leave time for a let down after long runs on Sunday. I have been taking my rest days on Friday meaning my Tuesday and Thursday tempo and speed runs are done on legs already tired from a long run.

This week I did a tempo run on Tuesday and a speed workout on Thursday. Tuesday’s tempo run involved 30:00 @ 4:26/km following an easy warm up. Given that this pace is not far ahead of my goal marathon pace it was a positive sign to feel like i could have kept going when the 30:00 was up.
Thursday’s speed workout was another hard workout. This week my schedule called for  3.2 km warm up, 3 x (800 m @ 3:25/km, 200 m jog), 30:00 @ 4:26/km, 3 x (800 m @ 3:25/km, 200 m jog). I finished the run with an easy cool down of just over 3 km for a total of 20 km done. 

I mentioned in a previous post that one of the things I like about my current plan is that it has me doing my tempo and speed workouts with more mileage. This week was another example of that. I’ll know in a couple weeks if that was beneficial or not.

That’s it for my intense training now. The goal of the next two weeks will be to get in some maintenance mileage while avoiding injury and to be even more disciplined with my nutrition plan. It is probably the part I enjoy least about marathon training because I get restless when I cut back on my mileage.

Coming off a ruptured appendix that left me in the hospital for five days and unable to run for two months I was unsure how things would go when I got back to running. To my surprise this training cycle has gone better than I expected it would. I am really starting to get exciting for race day and an opportunity to test my trainng.

How did your week go?

Saturday Stories

20131123-083252 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…

A list of great food choices for runners.

A reminder that sometimes our best races are not our fastest.

An inspirational post about a runner managing MS with running.


Book Review: Meb For Mortals

 I came across this book when i read a couple of early reviews on other running blogs. It peaked my interest right away and I picked up a copy so I could post my own review of it.  Having just finished reading it last night here is my review.
The first thing i will say about this book is that it is a very quick read since it is organized in short chapters where Meb goes over his thoughts and provides tips on a variety of of subjects – nutrition, stretching, cross training, strength training etc. Each chapters ends with a series of dos and don’ts to serve as a reminder.

I enjoyed the book for a couple of reasons. First it is interesting to read about how an elite runner prepares for a marathon. Personally, I picked up some tips and ideas here I am interested in trying in another training cycle. I say another cycle because I am too far along in this current cycle to make many changes.

Secondly, building on the first point, is that it is interesting to find out that an elite runner faces some of the same issues and preoccupations some of us recreational runners deal with. By this i mean things like the struggle to sleep the night before a marathon, the discipline needed to stick with a proper diet, fitting in time time for running and stretching afterward etc.

There you have it my quick review of Meb For Mortals. If you are interested in learning about how an elite runner prepares for a marathon and for tips you can apply to your own training go ahead and pick this one up. I don’t think you will be disappointed. 

Week 15 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

IMG_0989.JPGRace day is now three weeks away. That means today was the last of my really long runs. I did five runs of 30 km or more during this training cycle. For me completing the last one is always a positive milestone to reach, mainly because it means that race day is quickly approaching.

Overall this week was a solid week of training. I hit another training milestone this week with just over 100 km in mileage. I find this to be another positive milestone in training, one that I can look back on when reviewing things that went well during the training cycle.

As per my usual routine all of my runs this week were at an easy pace with the exception of my Tuesday and Thursday runs which were run at a more intense pace.

Tuesday’s effort involved doing 2 x 3.2 @ 4:02/km with a 2:00 jog between sets after a 3.2 km warm up. That workout pushed me but I did not find it nearly as difficult as Thursday’s workout.

I mentioned before in a previous post that the current training plan I am following has me doing longer speed workouts than I have done in the past. Thursday’s effort came in at 20 km, my longest for a speed workout. The workout involved a 3.2 km warm up, 7 strides, 2 x (1600 m @ 3:51/km, 1:30 jog), 30:00 @ 4:46/km, 2 x (1600 m @ 3:51/km, 1:30 jog) and a 2.4 km cool down.

Following an appreciated day of rest Friday I finished up the week with an easy 10 km yesterday and a 33 km long run this morning. The long run included the first 6 km on my own followed by 18 km with my 2 year old in the Chariot and the remaining 8.5 km on my own.

My plan now calls for one more big week consisting of similar workouts to what I did this week, before I dial back the mileage and get my legs ready for race day.

How did your week go?


Saturday Stories

20131123-083252 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…

Looking for inspiration? Read about Krista DuChene’s journey here.

Tips for the Last 4 weeks of marathon training.

A post about the benefits of Progression runs.

Nutrition for Runners: Quinoa Salad

 With race day coming up in a few weeks I am trying to get back to regularly planning out meals in advance. Tonight I was finally organized again to have a new recipe to post. This one is something my wife came up with at the last minute to go with salmon I was cooking on the bbq. 
To make this salad cook some quinoa as per instructions on the package. That should take you about 12-15 minutes. 

Once the quinoa is ready add in 2tbsp of sweet mustard, 1 tbsp of honey, 2-3 tbsp of olive oil and 2 cloves of garlic finely minced. We then mixed in some cherry tomatoes and chopped cucumber.
As you can see this is a very easy salad to make to go along with your main dish. The mustard and honey serve to give the quinoa a sweet taste so if you have kids they should like it too.