Tag Archives: marathon training

Week 1 of Training for the Ottawa Marathon

20140523-213119-77479305.jpgMy training for this year’s Ottawa Marathon is officially underway. As I did during my previous training cycles for marathons I plan to use one post every week to post an update on my training for the marathon. This is my first update for the Ottawa Marathon.

Up until this week I was running without following any plan or training schedule. I have been pleased with how my recovery has been going so far since I started running again in December. While I have lost a step from where I was at before I got sick I feel fortunate to be able to get to training.

Starting with this week I started to think more about my mileage and fitting in faster paced runs. My total this week was 58 km. Included in that were a tempo run, intervals and my first 20 km run since I got sick.

Due to the cold weather and snow covered sidewalks I moved my tempo run and my intervals indoor this week. For a few years now I have taken advantage of having access to an indoor track during the winter. I still prefer prefer to do my longer runs outside but the indoor track is a great option for faster paced runs when the conditions outside are less than ideal.

This week I went to the indoor track for two runs. I did a tempo run on Tuesday night doing just over 6 km, alternating between an easy lap and a fast lap. Thursday night I returned for my weekly interval session, opting for 800m repeats that I was able to complete in 3:07, 3:07, 3:05 and 3:08.

imageI ended off the week today with a long run. The plan for today was to run for 2 hours and I did that. In terms of mileage it was good for nearly 21.5 km. That represents my longest run since October. It felt good to know that I can still run that far as I start another training cycle.

Overall I feel like this week was a good start to my training for the Ottawa Marathon. I’ll continue to add mileage to my long runs and make my weekly trips to the indoor track for faster runs.

How did your week go?

Saturday Stories

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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 habits to break.

A post about adapting training and goals.

A post about fueling for long runs.

Saturday Stories

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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…

Will running more miles make you faster?

Posts about balancing running and life – here and here.

A great post about one runner’s journey.

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.

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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.

Saturday Stories

20131123-083252.jpg

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…

Tips to keep you warm while you run over the winter.

An artcile on which running shoe is best for you.

A post about the importance of hill training.

Some tips to help you start training for a spring marathon.

2014 Year in Review

Before looking ahead to 2015 I am taking time to review 2014. Although the year did not end in the best of ways I did have another big year in terms of mileage and I did put in some solid race results with a new pb in the half-marathon along the way.

In terms of racing, I ran two 10 kms, two half-marathons and three marathons. Once again my approach was to use the shorter races as part of training for my goal marathons. My biggest highlights of the year were my new half-marathon pb of 1:27:52 in April and my victory in the Commonwealth Games Canada Day 10 km in July.

In terms of marathons, as previously mentioned, I ran three this year. The first being the Ottawa Marathon in May followed by Montreal in September and the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October. As with last year my overall goal was to get my elusive sub-3:10 finish.

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Coming off my pb in the half-marathon a few weeks earlier I felt well prepared going into the Ottawa Marathon. For the most part the race went exactly according to plan, you can read my full race report here.. Unfortunately calf cramps in the later stages knocked my off pace and once again left me a few minutes off my goal time.

My second biggest highlight of the year was my win in the Commonwealth Games Canada Day 10 km race. I did not run a pb in this race but it was already very hot and humid by the time we started the race so I was not expecting a pb. I also was not expecting to be at the front of the pack but the small field in this race helped in that regard.

A week before my second marathon of the year I was able to continue my streak of volunteering as a pace bunny for the Army Run half-marathon. This year I paced the 1:45 group, giving me a nice long training run a week before my next big race. I brought my group across the line in 1:45:29.

Marathon number two for me this year was the Rock’n’Roll Marathon in Montreal. I originally signed up for this race because I had relatives running other races that weekend and it was an opportunity to see them. Since the course is pretty hilly and it can still get hot and humid in Montreal in late September I was not expecting a pb but i decided to give it a go at race pace. Since I had another marathon three weeks later I could always ease off the pace and use it as a training run. With the temperature already at 18 C (64F) at the start I knew a fast time was unlikely so after pushing the pace for the first 27 km I eased off the pace and coasted in for the final 15 km. You can read my full race report here.

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Three weeks later I travelled to Toronto for the Waterfront Marathon. Since I backed off the pace in Montreal the plan was to go all out in Toronto and end the race season with a bang. As was the case in Ottawa in May I felt well prepared and focused for this one. Once again I was right on target through the halfway point. Unfortunately this time I made a couple of strategic errors that cost me valuable time and left me with a 3:14:26 finish. You can read my full race report here.

How was your 2014?

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Overall while I still fell just short of my marathon goal I still ran solid races in Ottawa and Toronto and with minor changes to my approach could have hit that goal. I also set a pb in the half and won a race despite the fact that neither were goal races. In a sense I am frustrated that I was so close to my marathon goal once again but at the same time I am pleased with what I was able to accomplish. Both will serve to motivate me in 2015!

As for the rest of the year, having just started running again last Thursday after missing nearly two months of running due to a recovery from a ruptured appendix I have decided to end the year with a little running streak. So far I am 3 for 3 with four more runs left to go in 2014.

Saturday Stories

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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…

Reid Coolsaet’s post about training in Kenya ofer Christmas.

A post about dealing with setbacks or injuries.

Finally, if you are recovering from an injury here is some inspiration.

Saturday Stories

20131123-083252.jpg

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 post about where belief in yourself can take you.

If you are looking for a new source to fuel your runs check out this review of endurance tap

A post on the benefits of rest and recovery. By the time I get back to running I will have been off for two months so I am hoping the rest will benefit me in 2015.

How to make time for running in December.

Ottawa Marathon 2015

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Even though I won’t be back to running for another 4-5 weeks I am pleased to say that I will be running the Ottawa Marathon for the seventh consecutive year. As I have done in previous years I will also be raising money for the Ottawa Hospital in memory of my father who passed away as a result of a stroke in 2012.

With it being at home this race is my favourite one of the year and I did not want to miss out on it even if I do have to run it at a slower pace than I am used to depending on how my return to running goes.

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For something new this year I am pleased to say that this year I was chosen to be a part of Team Awesome. What this means is that in addition to running the marathon I will also be part of an enthusiastic and socially engaged group of runners who share ourr journey and support other runners as we train for Race Weekend.

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The opportunity to join Team Awesome presented itself to me not long after I returned home from the hospital. Needless to say it provided me with a bit of a morale booster and got me back to thinking about running. I am excited to be a part of this group and engaging with other runners who are training for this great race.

If you are running one of the races during Ottawa Race Weekend be sure to follow my teammates and I online for regular updates and don’t forget to use #TORW2015 when tweeting about your training!

On the Road to Recovery

Normally at this time of year, after completing a fall marathon, I start looking ahead and planning out what the next year will look like in terms of running. Since I am still recovering from appendicitis I have not even started to look at what might fit into my schedule and help me achieve my goals for next year.

Since I ended up in the hospital it has been tough thinking about running and things to write about on here for obvious reasons. I have been trying to stay positive by telling myself that this layoff might actually be a good thing since I have not really taken much of a break from running after training hard for a spring and a fall marathon each of the last five years. This year I even added a second fall marathon for a total of three on the year.

I can say that I am planning to run the Ottawa Marathon but that was always going to be the plan anyway, regardless of whether I had to shut down for a month and take time to recover from illness. That said, the tune up races I fit into my schedule and my goal time are not even a consideration at this point because for the time being they are not important. My recovery is is the most important thing for me right now.

The good news is that I am feeling much better now and am starting to feel like things are getting back to normal. The next step in my recovery is a follow up meeting with my surgeon later this week. That might give me a better idea of when I can start to ease myself back into a routine of running regularly.

If all goes well Wednesday I will know when I can start running again and I will be able to get back to my usual November/December habit of planning my racing schedule for the upcoming year. With that I will also know how I will approach the Ottawa Marathon in May.