Tag Archives: marathon training

Week 10 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon


This week my training plan called for my biggest week in terms of mileage so far. After taking a bit of a recovery week last week my goal was to aim for 90 km this week. With this morning’s long run I managed to hit my target for the week. With eight weeks to go until race day it was a nice milestone to hit. I really feel like my training is going well at this point. 

Before I hit my long run this week My two key runs were 15 km threshold and speed workouts done Tuesday and Thursday. My current training plan has me adding more mileage to Tuesday and Thursday runs. I’m used to hitting 10-11 km midweek but 15 km runs at the paces I ran this week were a good confidence boost this week. 

Tuesday morning’s threshold run was an early morning effort with me heading out the door at 5:30 to do 15 km consisting of 6.4 km at 4:17/km, a 5 minute jog, 10 sets of 100 m at 3:34/km and a 30 second jog ending with a cool down. As I wrote in Tuesday’s post the run was a great way to get the day started.

As mentioned, Thursday’s speed workout was another 15 km effort. This time it was a speed workout consisting of an easy 3.2 km warm up, 6 sets of 200m at 3:34/km followed by a 200m jog, 3.2 km at 4:43/km, another 6 sets of 200m at 3:34/km followed by a 200m jog and ending with a cool down.

Even though spring is officially here I had to add layers for both of my weekend runs as the temperature dipped back below freezing. The long term forecast says they will be the last two days below freezing. I am hoping that will be the case so I can get in some runs in warmer temperatures before race weekend. 

This morning my plan called for 24-25 km. Since I was feeling good and I had not yet gone up to 30 km in this cycle I went for a 30 km run. I kept the pace to an easy and steady effort. Even though I did 28 km twice over the past few weeks there is something different about getting to 30 km. it probably makes very little difference physically but mentally I find it gives me an extra boost.

As mentioned it was below freezing when I headed out, cold enough to freeze the tubes on my hydrapak not long after I started. Fortunately it started to warm up after the first hour. This was the scene as I hit the halfway point of my run..


How did your week go?

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…

Some useful tips for those of you goingto Boston in a few weeks.

A post about the connection between Canadian and Kenyan runners.

Some tips for running while on vacation.

Finally, Some tips on how to improve after a bad marathon.

The Early Morning Run

When I first started training for marathons I used to get in a lot of mileage early in the morning while the rest of my family was asleep. Usually I was able to go and get back home before anyone was awake.

That changed when my second daughter was born a couple years ago. Having a new baby made it easier to get in my mileage after work. The reason for this is that I found it tougher to get up at 5:00 or 5:30 to get my run in early.

This past Sunday and this morning I managed to fit in early morning runs again. The benefit of this is that it gives me another time of day to try and fit in a scheduled run.

Although it is tough to get in the habit of going to bed early enough for a run that early in the morning the benefit is that my run is out of the way early in the day. The result is that it has less of an impact on the rest of my day. There is also less traffic on the streets to worry about at that time of day.

Here was the scene this morning as I was nearing the end of my run…

What time of day do you prefer to run?

Week 9 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon


After three consecutive weeks of just over 80 km this week was a bit of a recovery week for me. After today’s long run I ended the week with 67 km. Starting tomorrow my plan for tomorrow is to get back to full training with another big week of training that should be by biggest week of training so far in this training cycle. 

In addition to reducing my mileage this week I also reduced the intensity of most of my runs. Other than my tempo run Wednesday my remaining runs throughout the week were done at an easy pace. Next week I will get back to my usual routine of adding some speed work on Thursday. 

Wednesday’s tempo run was a solid workout. This week’s scheduled workout involved 2.8 km easy followed by 2 x 3.2 km @ 4:10/km and 2:00 easy ending with a 3 km cool down. With my other runs coming at an easier pace it felt good to have an opportunity to push the pace this week.

The weather was also more of a mixed bag this week. After some recent spring like weather the last two days were a reminder that winter is not quite over. Yesterday I ran in wet snow that made for slippery sidewalks while this morning it was -15C and felt like -25 with the windchill when I headed out for 28 km. Hopefully spring weather will be on the way soon!

As mentioned to start this upcoming week should be my biggest week of training so far with a target of 90 km planned. With race weekend about two months away now my biggest weeks of mileage overall are all still ahead of me. My next race, the Run for Reach half-marathon, is just a few weeks away now as well.

How did your week go?

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…

An inspirational story here .

A post about returning to the Boston Marathon.

A post about the importance of recovery weeks.

Week 8 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

This week was another solid week of training. It was my third straight week of more than 80 km. it was also the week of my first race of the year meaning that most of my runs were done at a relatively easy pace in order to be ready for the race yesterday morning. Overall I am very pleased with how things went this week. I feel like I am getting right back to where I was before I got sick late last year.

I mentioned that most of this week’s runs were done at a relatively easy pace. In fact, other than Tuesday and Thursday all of my runs this week were done at what I would consider an. Easy pace. Tuesday and Thursday O ended up throwing some strides into my runs home to get in some running at a harder pace but the main goal for the week was staying fresh for yesterday’s race.

Yesterday’s race was the St Patrick’s Day 10 km race, a race that I have done for four consecutive years now. This year i decided to change my approach and run without a watch. The goal was to run based on how I felt. That approach seems to have worked for me. I managed to finish the race a little faster than I expected with a time of 40:56, good enough for 18th overall. I am quite pleased with that start to the my racing season for the year.

Today’s long run may have been the toughest run of the week. This was the scene as I headed out this morning…

With snow falling overnight and the temperature starting to warm up it the sidewalks were wet and slippery, making it more difficult to maintain a steady pace. Building on last Sunday’s 28 km run my plan was for 25-30 km today. Despite the conditions and wet feet an hour into my run I ended up with a. 27 km run.

Now my next scheduled race in almost exactly one month when I will do a half-marathon. Until then my plan is to continue to build up my weekly mileage and push the pace on my more intense runs. 

How did your week go?

Week 7 of Training for the Ottawa Marathon


Building on last week I had another strong week of training this week. with a total of 81 km for the week this was my second straight week above 80 km. I was able to fit in all of my intended runs this week and finished of with my longest run since the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October.

Tuesday night I completed my usual tempo run. This week my workout of choice consisted of an easy 3.2 km to start with 3 strides followed by 3.2 km @4:42/km, 1.6 km@4.2/km and an easy 3 km for 11 km.

Thursday night I was unable to go to the track for my weekly interval session so I opted to run home from work. My workout ended up being a 3.2 km warm up with 3 strides followed by 5 x 5 minutes @ 4:00/km and 3:00 minutes easy then a 3.5 km cool down for 15 km total.

Other than that my other runs this week were fairly easy efforts to help me recover from those two intense runs. After pushing hard on Tuesday and Thursday I made sure to take it easy with my other runs during the week.

Today I ended off with what might have been my best run of the week. As previously mentioned, it was also my longest run since the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October. This was the scene as I went for 28 km in spring-like weather this afternoon…


How did your week go?

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?

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?