Tag Archives: marathon training

Week 11 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


This week was a mixed bag in terms of training for me. On the positive side I had a solid tempo run and a solid speed session where I pushed the pace. On the negative side I had to drop my long run.

I’ll start my post by talking about the positives. Tuesday was my birthday and even though it was raining out I decided it was a good night to push the pace a bit. My schedule called for an 11-12 km run so I opted for a tempo run at that pace. I finished with a 12 km run in 51 minutes, a 4:17/km pace. It was a nice way to celebrate my birthday.

Since I was not able to fit it in Thursday night I ended up doing my speed session at the track yesterday. This time my schedule called for a 3.2 km warm up followed by 3 x 300m, 1:30 easy, 3:00 easy then another 3 x 300m, 1:30 easy. Despite the fact that it was windy out I felt like I pushed hard on the 300m and that made for a good workout.

The down side of this week was that I had to skip my long run planned for today. This is kind of a silly issue I have. If someone else were to ask me for advice I would tell them that missing one run wasn’t going to hurt their training.

However, when it comes to my training schedule I don’t like missing a scheduled run. I’ll be over it by tomorrow when I start a new week on my schedule but this was not the way I was looking to end the week.

Next week will see me aiming for even more mileage with my schedule calling for a 100 km week. If I manage to hit that target it will be the second time in this cycle that I have reached it.

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.

Here are this week’s stories…

Tapering tips for those of you getting set to run a fall marathon.

Reid Coolsaet’s recap of running a pb in Berlin Sunday morning.

The benefits of running outside of your comfort zone.

Week 10 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


Last week I started building up my mileage again after taking a recovery week the week before. I managed to finish with a total of just 70 km for the week which is about what I was aiming for before I build up to a few weeks of 90-100 km weekly mileage.

Since I was coming off the Army Run when I paced the 1:35 half-marathon group I stuck to easy paced runs last week with the exception of speed work on Thursday.

The best part about the week is that the weather was perfect for each of my runs. This was the scene on Wednesday as I ran home along the Rideau Canal…

Great evening for a run home from work. 10 km done #running #Run613 #ottawa #marathontraining

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

I followed that up with speed work involving 200m repeats the following evening. My workout involved a 3 km warm up followed by 4 x 200m hard / 200m easy, 10:00 @ 4:35/km, 1:30 at a very easy pace followed by another round of 200 m repeats.

I ended the week by taking my two year old for a run in the Chariot yesterday. We ended up completing 20 km and stopped to see the horses of the RCMP Musical Ride…

With week 10 out of the way there are now 8 weeks to go before the Philadelphia Marathon. In terms of my training that means a few more 30-35 km runs to go and 5 more weeks of heavy mileage.

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.
Here are this week’s stories…

A post about training for a fall marathon.

A post about how my friend Kenny balances work and marathon training.

A post about the benefits of compression socks.

A post on the hazards of racing.

Week 9 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


I’m late posting this update because it was a pretty busy weekend for me due to a music festival I had passes to and a race on Sunday morning. That race was the focus of my training last week. After a 100 km week two weeks ago I cut my mileage back to 56 km leading up to Sunday’s race.

Since I was scheduled to run a race week 9 of training involved a series of short easy runs. Leading up to Sunday my longest runs were a couple of 9 km efforts. I also added a couple of 6 km efforts to the total. I also ended up taking two rest days which is not usual for me.

Sunday’s race was the Canada Army Run. This was the 8th for the Army Run and I have participated in 6 so far, missing once because I had a wedding to attend and once because of a sprained ankle. This is an important one for me to take part in because my father was a member of the army for 41 years. It also benefits a great cause by raising money for injured soldiers and their families.

Out of the 6 times I have run the Army Run I have only done it once on my own as an actual race. The last 5 times have been as a pace bunny. Participating in the Army Run as a pace bunny has now become an annual event for me.

This year I was one of the 1:35 pacers for the half-marathon. This worked out well for me because a 1:35 half is the marathon pace I am training for. After quite a bit of rain here Saturday night we had great weather to run in Sunday morning. Since there were 2 other 1:35 pacers we decided once would start fast and fade, I would run an even pace and the third would start slow and pick up the pace.


I knew I was right on pace through 15 km and started to focus on encouraging others to keep up with or pass me. I crossed the finish line in 1:35:21 and was quite pleased with the result. In addition to running a solid training run I was able to help others reach their goal in the process.


The Army Run was my last planned race before the Philadelphia Marathon. Now it is back to regular training. I will be aiming to get my weekly mileage back up in the 90-100 km range. October will be another big month before I start to taper in November.

How was your week?

Breaking in my New Pair of Shoes


Last week I week I wrote a post about it being time to retire a pair of shoes. Tonight’s post is about the replacement. I decided to go with something similar to my previous pair of shoes which was a pair of New Balance 890 v4.

The New Balance 890 had been my go to everyday shoe since I tried the first version of it back in 2011. I owned several pair of them and ran a few marathons in them. The other pair of shoes currently in my rotation is the 890 v5.

This time I decided to try something new because of the positive reviews I read about the Fresh Foam Zante. I wasn’t too concerned about making the change because I still have my other pair of 890’s if I end up preferring them for my longer/ slower runs for whatever reason.

Tonight I had my first run in my new shoes with an easy 9 km run and my first impression is a positive one. I will probably have more to say later on but my first impression is that they felt lighter than my 890’s and have more spring in the toe. There also still seems to be enough cushioning for a soft ride.

Time will tell if I decide to stick with them as my shoes on race day when I run the Philadelphia Marathon but I think I am going to enjoy running in my new shoes.

Week 8 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


Following last week’s 90 km effort my goal for this week was to hit 100 km this week. I was aiming for another solid week before taking a recovery week next week. My longer run this morning pushed me up to just over 100 km for the week. I am pleased to have hit that milestone. It is probably the earliest I have hit the century mark during a training cycle for a marathon.

This week’s training a similar pattern to last week with the exception of the fact that I added two multiple run days this week. After taking a rest day on Monday I kicked off the week with an 11 km run that involved 9 km at my tempo pace.

My second key workout this week was my speed workout on Thursday. I had already completed an easy 7 km at lunch before my speed workout later in the day. This week’s workout involved 8 x 400 m hard, 1:30 easy. With my warm up and cool down added in I ended up with a 12 km run.

Last week you will recall that I completed my long run on one of the hottest days of the year. Today was the opposite with cool and rainy weather…

As mentioned already my plan for next week is to take a bit of a recovery week. Part of the reason for that is that I will be pacing a half-maratho next Sunday. here is where you will find me a week from today…

One week until @canadaarmyrun I will be a 1:35 pacer in the half #Run613 #ottawa #armyrun

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

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.
Here are this week’s stories…

Can embracing discomfort help you make gains?

A study on the benefits of strength training for runners.

Training tips here: Race to Learn.

Finally, here is an interview I did with Canadian Running Magazine about run commuting

Week 7 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon

This week my plan was to build on my mileage from last week and aim for a 90 km week. I fell short of that target by 1 km but I still consider it to have been a successful week of training. The fact that I managed to fit in 36 km over two runs while away from home was another positive.

Once again this week I decided to pick up the pace and push harder for two of my runs. First up was a 9 km run on Tuesday with the first 8 km being at a tempo pace. My schedule still had me down for an easy run on Tuesday but I feel better about my week of training when I have a couple of fast paced runs. This is the second week in a row that I have run a tempo run on Tuesday and speed work on Thursday and I prefer that routine to an extra easy run.

Thursday was time for my weekly speed work session. This week’s workout involved 1200m repeats. My workout ended up being 3 x 1200m @ 4:02/km followed by an easy 1:00. With my warm up and my cool down added in I ended up with a total of 11 km done.

I mentioned that I managed to fit in a couple of runs this week while being away from home and here is how that went. I ended up with two runs along the shores of Lake Ontario yesterday and today. First up was an early morning 12 km in Cobourg while my family was asleep in our hotel room…

Next was my long run this morning in Toronto. Fortunately I had a running friend who offered to run with me this morning. I run most of my mileage on my own and it is always nice to have the opportunity to run with someone else. I am not sure how hot it got this morning but it may have been the hottest day of the year so far and it was already pretty warm when we headed out at 8:30. Here is a shot of the Toronto skyline when we turned around to head back into the city…


Once that was done I got to sit back and relax with a beer while watching the Blue Jays and Orioles game this afternoon…


How was your week?

Week 6 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon

After a 70 km week last week my plan for this week was to add to that total and hit 80 km for the week. I managed to reach that target with my long run this morning. That mileage put me over 300 km this month, my biggest total since April. Now my new goal will be to get up to 90 km for next week. 

My schedule this past week was different than usual since most of my runs were done at night because I had the week off work. Normally I would prefer early morning or late afternoon runs following work but running at night after the kids had gone to bed worked out best this week. Running at night wasn’t that bad though…

In terms of workouts this week I ended  doing a tempo run Tuesday and a speed workout Thursday. My schedule called for an easy run Tuesday but I felt good once I got going so I decided to push the pace and ended up with 12 km done at a tempo pace. 

My speed workout on Thursday involved 200m repeats. I ended up doing a 3.2 km warm up followed by 4 x 200m hard, 200m easy, 10:00 @ slightly slower than my marathon pace followed by another 4 x 200m hard, 200m easy. That was good enough for a total of 13 km.

This morning I headed out early to do my long run. On the schedule for today was a 22 km run. Along the way I ran by TD Place stadium where I would be headed later in the day for some CFL football action..

How was your week?