Tag Archives: marathon training

Week 6 of Training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

After a recovery week this week it was back to regular training for STWM. In addition to my usual running workouts this week the biggest change this the new strength training program I talked about in yesterday’s post. In terms of running, so far this week I managed to fit in two tempo runs and two easy runs all being the same distance, 8.9 km, because I used the same route home from work this week.

Things did not look good when I started the first of my tempo runs this week. As you can see below I thought I was headed into a nasty storm. Fortunately the quick pace of the run, an easy warm up followed by 5 km @ 4:05/km got me home before it started raining and I did not have to worry about the weather.

My second tempo run of the week was last night’s effort which ended up being 6 x (1 km @ 3:45/km, 1 km @ 4:45/km). I would say the tempo runs were the best part of week 6 so far. Getting in some mileage at paces in the range of 3:45-4:00/km is going to be important in my quest to set a new pb at STWM.

In terms of my strength training workout targeting my calf muscles, I tried it out for the first time last night. For now the plan is to stick to doing it just once per week because it is a new workout. Hopefully that will be enough to see some benefits after my current 4 week block of training that I started this week.

How was your week?

To close out the week I have a couple of runs over the weekend. First I plan a very easy 10 km tomorrow. My last run will be a 24 km run Sunday with the first 18 km at an easy pace followed by the last 6 km

Something New

Yesterday I received my latest four week block of training from my coach. My running program continues with the same workouts I have been doing, although with a bit more mileage. What is changing is my strength program for this next block of training.

The goal for my strength training in this block of training will be to build strength in my calf muscles. This is the first time any of my strength training has targeted my calf muscles specifically. Some of you might recall that I struggled with calf cramps during the last 10 km of my last two marathons. Hopefully this will help address the problem.

Here is a video showing some of the exercises I will be doing over the next four weeks. Specifically, I will be doing the exercises in the video involving stairs…

I will be going through the workout for the first time either tonight or tomorrow morning. Having not done most of the exercises before I am sure I will feel it in my calves afterward but if it prevents the cramping I dealt with in my last two marathons it will certainly be worth it.

Now I just have to find a staircase close to home that I can use for my workout and I will be ready to get started!

Ducks to Demolitons, It’s All In a Sunday Run

Since last week was a recovery week I only had a 15 km run scheduled. The fact that building I used to work in was being imploded made it easy to pick out a route because I was curious to see how it would happen.

I had planned to take one of my daughters with me for the run but everyone was asleep as I got ready to leave the house. Knowing my oldest would be disappointed if she found out I went without her I went to see if Incould wake her and she jumped up as soon as I asked her if she still wanted to go see my old office building blown up.

Unfortunately I did not leave myself enough time to get to the site from my house before the implosion took place and I found myself running at my marathon pace to try and get there on time.  We were about 1 km away from the site when we heard the building come down. However, we continued so we could check out the aftermath.


On the way home a pair of ducks swimming in the Rideau Canal provided us with a little more excitement. As you can see, despite the rain Sunday morning was an entertaining adventure.


Week 5 of Training for The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Week five of training is nearly complete. This week was the first recovery week in the schedule sent to me by my coach. As in my last training cycle I am doing four week cycles with a recovery week to end each cycle.

One thing I changed up this week was that I managed to get in two of my runs at lunch. The weather was perfect for a run both days and when i can manage to fit it in a run at lunch is a great way to break up the day at work.

Although it was a recovery week I did end up doing to speed sessions this week. The first was my Tuesday run at lunch made necessary by the fact I had tickets to a concert Tuesday night. Here was the scene as I did my workout consisting of 10 x (50 m @ 100 % followed by 100 m easy) with a 10 minute warm up and 10 minute cool down…

My second speed session of the week was last night’s run consisting of 2 x (1 km @ 4:40/km, 1 km @ 4:20/km, 1 km @ 4:00/km, 1 km @ 3:40/km). With an extended an extended cool down to stopped and get a bag of coffee beans for my wife on the way home it ended up being my longest run of the week so far although that will change with 15 km coming up Sunday.

As mentioned I will be ending the week woth a 15 km run Sunday morning. That run could end up being a bit of an adventure. My old old office building is being demolished and since my youngest daughter is waking up early these days I plan to put her in the Chariot and head over to watch.

How was your week?

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…

Tips for running in the heat.

Benefits of hill workouts.

One of my fellow STWM digital champions posting his thoughts on running and training for a marathon.

Week 4 of Training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Week four of training has been a bit of a mixed bag for me. I started off the week training as per usual including running a race, had to take a couple of days off due to dental work and now and back to regular training to end the week.

The week started off with a 20 km long run at an easy pace. As is often the case for weekend runs I took one of my daughters with me in the Chariot. This run was probably the first one this year where I can say I felt the heat. This run felt tougher than it otherwise would have been.

Tuesday morning I ran a 10 km race for Canada Day, chronicled in my last post. As mentioned in that post, I came just short of my goal of setting a new pb in the 10 km.

What I did not mention in the post, because I did not know at the time, is that I actually won the race. The reason I did not mention the win is because there was initially some confusion and someone else had been credited with the win. The result was changed today and I am quite pleased with that, mainly because I get a free pair of shoes for the win!

Wednesday and Thursday were off days for me because I had a wisdom tooth removed Wednesday morning. Although the procedure went well my dentist recommended not running for a couple days.

Fortunately for me I did not have a long layoff due to the extraction of my wisdom tooth. Today I was able to get back to training for STWM. It was a perfect evening to get back to running after a couple of days off…

Tomorrow I will end the week with a 15 km run at 4:20/km, just quicker than my goal marathon pace. Overall it has been another solid week of training.

How did your week go?

Week 3 of Training for the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon

Week three of training is nearly complete. Due to a family vacation to Toronto I actually ended up doing most of my runs away from home after starting off the week with my usual Sunday morning long run. I will get back to my usual routine with a run from home but for now I am typing this on the train ride home from Toronto.

The week started off with my usual long and easy paced run. This week’s mileage was 15 km and once again my youngest daughter joined me as I pushed her in the Chariot.

Following that I took Monday off as usual and this week scheduled Tuesday off because I was initially supposed to have a wisdom tooth removed Monday afternoon and we were travelling to Toronto Tuesday.

When you travel on vacation it is hard to know if you will actually be able to fit in the mileage you have scheduled. Fortunately for me things went exactly as planned this week.

It ended up being a busy trip with plenty of sightseeing with family trips to the CN Tower, Toronto Zoo, aquarium and to top it all off my four year-old and I went to a Major League Baseball games last night, her first ever and my first since my Montreal Expos moved to Washington a decade ago.

In terms of running I had three runs scheduled for the time I would be in Toronto and that is what I ended up fitting in to my schedule. The fact that I am a digital champion for this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon helped me find others to run with in Toronto which a nice change.

On Wednesday I went for my first run in Toronto. It was actually the only run I had planned ahead of time. Jenna from Canada Running Series, the organizers if STWM, invited me to join the Tribe Fitness weekly fun run. Conveniently enough the meeting place for the run was close to our hotel. Despite the fact we had to run in heavy rain it was a great opportunity to meet Jenna as well as Heather and Ravi, two of my fellow digital champions…

Yesterday I had speed intervals on the schedule. Since we planned to spend the day at the zoo and my daughter and I were planning to attend the baseball games last night my only option was to run early while the rest of the family slept. I was out the door before 5:30 and headed toward the waterfront to get in the workout my coach scheduled for me, a 10 minute warm up followed by 10 x (100m @ 100% followed by an easy 100m) and 2 km @ 4:20/km. Unlike the night before the weather yesterday morning was perfect for a run and I found a boardwalk along the waterfront that I used for my 100m intervals…

My final run in Toronto this morning was another early one. Fortunately for me Kenny from A whole lot of soles agreed to join me so once again I had company for a run. Kenny’s blog was one of the first ones I came across when I started blogging about running and he is one of the first runners I started interacting with both via blogs and Twitter. In addition, he is a fellow STWM digital champion it was nice to finally get a chance to meet him. We were both planning an easy recovery run this morning and decided to head out along another waterfront route. Once again the weather was ideal for an early morning run along the Toronto waterfront…

That’s been my week so far. As you can tell I had a great few days in Toronto both in terms of spending time with my family and training for STWM. Tomorrow I plan to finish off the week with a 15 km run at tempo pace back in Ottawa.

How has your week gone so far?

Running While on Vacation Again

I wrote a post about running while in vacation last summer while I was on vacation with the family in Maine. Since I am on vacation this week in Toronto I though I would write another post about running on vacation to discuss how I am fitting it in this time around.

Since I am training for a fall marathon, yet again, I planed to fit in a few runs when we planned this trip. We made the trip down here yesterday afternoon so I took yesterday as a day off from running and planned to run today, tomorrow and Friday while in Toronto.

Since my wife had a work related function to attend today I planned to get in today’s run in the evening. The fact that I am digital champion for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon this year gave me contacts in the Toronto running community and I was able to join a group run this evening for a run.

Tomorrow I have speed intervals on the schedule. I plan to get them in at the crack of dawn while the rest of the family us asleep because my four year-old and I will be heading to see the Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago White Sox in action tomorrow night after we get back from a day at the zoo.

Friday will be an early morning as well since we are headed back home late in the afternoon meaning and evening run is out of the question.

In addition to having a great vacation in Toronto this week I am also having a good training week by fitting in my scheduled runs. Once again the key has been being able to be flexible with my schedule in terms of the timing of my runs.

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…

The DOs and DO NOTs of running your first marathon from The Oatmeal.

The top benefits of running solo or running socail.

5 tips for trail running.

A good post about proper nutrition for runners.

A post from one of my fellow STWM digital champions who will be running her first marathon in October.

Week 2 of Training for the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon

This week marks my second official week of training for STWM. It also marks my first full week of training under my new training program from my coach.

In terms of my new training program, my training will once again be broken into four blocks of training. In addition to running I have two set of exercise routines to follow, one for strength and endurance and the other for stability and mobility. I will be doing each routine twice per week.

In terms of running my schedule to did start off exactly as planned when I altered my planned long run Sunday morning. On the schedule was an easy 15 km turned in to a 14 km tempo run because I left the house later than planned and did not have as much time for my run.

The best runs of the week were the two faster runs I did. First up was speed intervals on Tuesday with this week’s workout being 10 x (100 m @ 100% followed by an easy 100 m) and 2 km @ 4:05/km.

The second of those runs was a tempo run last night involving 2 x ( 1 km  @ 4:40/km, 1 km @ 4:20/km, 1 km 4:00/km, 1 km @ 3:40/km). The weather last night certainly helped make it a good run. It is always a good way to end the day with a run home from work when the weather is like this…

That’s been my week so far. I plan to finish it off with a quick 15 km @ 4:20/km tomorrow. There is still a long way to go until race day in October but so far my training is off to a good start.

How did your week go?