Tag Archives: marathon training

Week 14 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

Race day is less than one month away. That means that I have a couple of weeks of heavy mileage left before I start tapering for the marathon. That also means that I only have a couple of really long runs left now. These final two weeks of heavy training should see me hit just over 100 km per week, making them my heaviest two weeks of training so far.

This week’s plan was similar to last week’s in that my weekday runs consisted of mainly easy pace runs with one speed workout on Thursday. My total mileage for the week was 85 km. It was a good way to set me up for these last two big weeks.

One thing I am feeling postitive about so far is my training cycle is my tempo and speed workouts. The plan I am using has been recommending workouts that I have not done in the past and for longer distances than I have done in the past. I also feel that I have been pushing the pace harder on these runs than I was last year.  

My two weekend runs were both done while away from home. I had to head out at the crack of dawn to fit both in but was pleased to fit both in with our weekend plans, especially this morning’s 36 km long run that I will write about tomorrow.

How did you 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… 

A post about running with a stroller for which I was interviewed. 

Tips on Marathon pacing.

Finally, a couple of stories about last Monday’s Boston Marathon – an inspirational story regarding the last person to finish and The story of e random dad who led the first mile.

Week 13 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon


Week 13 was a week of recovery after last Sunday’s half-marathon. In fact I ended up taking more rest days than I generally do. Startiung off with three in a row from Monday-Wednesday. Coming off several consecutive weeks of 80 km it certainly felt different.

As mentioned that is more time off than I would generally take but since that was what my training plan called for after the half-marathon I decided to try and see if it made a difference. With my biggest weeks in terms of mileage coming up over the next few weeks I’m sure that extra rest this week can’t hurt.

I got going again with a solid speed workout Thursday. This week’s workout involved a series of 200 m sprints. Following a 2 km warm up I fit in 12 x 200m @ 3:21/km and 200 m easy. Coming off a few days off I was surprised I did not feel as sluggish as I thought I would and it felt good to push the pace once again.

This morning was time for my weekly long run. I headed out with a couple of friends aiming for 20-25 km. To give myself even more of a workout I brought my two year along for the in the Chariot. It was my first time so far this year pushing the stroller for a run. In the end we completed 23 km to give me a total of 41 km for the week.

How did your week go?


Boston Marathon

Monday is one of the biggest days on the calendar for marathon runners. Of course I am talking about the 188th running of the Boston Marathon. Thousands of runners are currently on their way to Boston to take part in Monday’s race.

For some runners the Boston Marathon is just a dream because of the tough qualifying standards in place. For others qualifying for Boston is the sole focus of their training.

For me it has become the latter of the two. When I ran my first marathon I never thought I would stick with the distance and even if I did I certainly did not think I was fast enough to contemplate it. The very idea of qualifying for Boston seemed like a crazy thought.

As I began training more and improving my finish times because of it I suddenly began to think it might actually not be such a crazy idea. It has now become the focus of my training, maybe too of an obsession at times, but it is what I have be aiming for.

Since it became my training goal my qualifying time has been 3:10. I’ve come frustratingly close to reaching the goal on a couple of occasions. Unfortunately I have not yet been able to put it all together over the last 10 km of a marathon and by marathon pb is still 2:25 over that qualifying time.

Once again this year I will take two shots at it. Next month I can qualify if I get that elusive sub-3:10 result. Coming off a new half-marathon pb last weekend I am certainly motivated to take a shot at it again.

If not I will have my next opportunity in Philadelphia in November. On that occasion I will get an extra 5:00 added to my qualifying time because I would be in the next age group for the 2017 Boston Marathon.

Since I won’t be there Monday I plan to tune in to some of the coverage. I will do so in order to see who wins and to see how my running friends who are there fare.

If you are running the Boston Marathon Monday good luck!

Week 12 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon


Another week of training for next month’s marathon is complete. This week the goal was to be ready to keep up my mileage while not pushing the pace too hard in order to be ready for a half-marathon this morning.

In order to keep my legs ready for a hard run in this morning’s race I kept my other runs to an easy pace. From Monday-Thursday I ran 10-12 km before taking a day of rest Friday. Last night I went out for an easy 4 km run with a few strides mixed in to shake out my legs.

This morning I ran the Run for Reach half-marathon for the fifth consecutive year. Since the start line is close to my house I started the day off with an easy 2 km warm up jog over to the start. As I did at the St Patrick’s Day race last month I decided to leave my Garmin at home and run by feel.

Although a little cool at the start the weather was ideal for this time of year. I felt good once we started and had a friend beside me who let me know what our average pace was as we were going which helped me judge how hard I was pushing and I felt like I was able to slide in to a quick and consistent pace early on.

The course consists of running from downtown out to Dow’s Lake and back twice. I still felt strong as we turned around for the second lap although I was surprised to see that we completed the first 10 km in less than 42 minutes.

I started to feel the pace by the time we reached 15-16 km but by that point I was determined to keep pushing. Getting from km 17-19 was probably the toughest part of the race but once I got past that point I felt another rush of adrenaline to push on for the last two km.

Last year I set a pb at this race with a time of 1:27:58. I felt that I had a chance of beating that time with my final push over the last 2 km but I was surprised when the clock at the finish line came into view and I saw 1:25 and counting.

I managed to cross the line in 1:26:27 and set a new pb. In my previous post I mentioned not being sure what to expect from this race and that I would be pleased with another sub-1:30 finish. Needless to say I am very pleased with today’s time. It is a big morale booster as I get closer to next month’s marathon.

2015-04-12 | 2015 Run for Reach

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… 

This is a good read if you’ve ever wondered about the diet of an elite marathoner.

A post about the importance of race volunteers.

A post about the importance of race simulation.

Second Race of the Year: Run for Reach Half-Marathon

My next race is in a few days with the Run for Reach half-marathon coming up Sunday morning. This will be my fifth consecutive year doing this race. While not my goal race I find it is still an important part of my marathon training.

With it coming about a month and a half before Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend I find it to be well timed to judge where my fitness is at ahead of the marathon. It helps me judge what pace to aim for in the marathon based on my finish time.

It has been the only half-marathon I have raced in the time that I have been doing it Run for Reach is the site of my half-marathon pb. In the four years I have done it so far I have managed to bring my time down from 1:36 in 2011 to 1:27 last year.

This is me on my way to my first sub 1:30 half-marathon in 2012 when I finished in 1:29…

cropped-Run-for-Reach.jpgSince I have managed to finish this race in under 1:30 on two occasions my goal for Sunday is to do that for a third time. Ideally I would like to beat last year’s time but even if that does not happen I will be pleased with another sub 1:30 result.


Week 11 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon


After my biggest week of training in terms of mileage last week my training plan had me set up for another big week this week. After a long run of 31.4 km today I ended up with 83 km for this week, the 5th time in the last 6 weeks that I managed at least 80 km in a week. 

Since I do have another race coming up, a half-marathon a week from today, my week consisted primarily of easy paced runs. Thursday’s speed workout was the only one where I pushed the pace. This is new for me considering I generally run a tempo run on Tuesday and do a speed workout on Thursday. 

This week’s speed session ended up being a solid one with me doing 5 x 5:00 minutes @ 3:57/km with a 3:00 jog in between sets. I really felt like I pushed the pace on those sets as I was feeling it by the time I got down to the last 2. 

Yesterday I faced what was hopefully the last of winter like conditions when I went for an early morning run…


Yesterday’s run went well except for the fact I almost went down hard going around one of the last corners before getting back to my house. I am not sure how I managed to keep my balance and keep going but I do feel fortunate to have avoided an injury there.

This evening I did my long run for the week. I ended up doing 31.4 km. i find with these long runs either they feel effortless on a good day, like last week for me, or they are tough and you are really only doing them to get in the mileage, like tonight for me. 

I probably made tonight’s run tougher with my preparation that consisted of hot dogs and smoked meat when I went to Montreal for spring training baseball and Easter brunch that probably involved more desserts than necessary. Although I know I could have done better it felt good to get the mileage in tonight.

Week 12 for me will consist of more easy runs as I prepare for next Sunday’s half-marathon.

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 things that make Canadian runners angry.

Good advice here for those of you training for a spring marathon.

5 common running mistakes.

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?