Tag Archives: marathon training

Week 11 of Training for the Boston Marathon

I am late writing this post because I had the intention of writing it after my long run Sunday night but I ended up finishing that later than expected. Overall week 11 ended up being a bit of a recovery week with a total of 60 km. It is not what I originally set out to achieve last week but it is not the end of the world and in the end might actually end up being a good thing for me. 

The weather did not exactly cooperate with my planned schedule this week. It has not been an especially cold winter here but we seem to have experienced more frequent thawing and freezing cycles. That was certainly the story of this week. Early in the week we received more snow, making it hard to run at a consistent pace…


Following the snowfall early in the week it got warmer in time for the weekend caused the snow to melt during the day and puddles in the roads and sidewalks to freeze at night. The state of the sidewalks ended up having an impact on my long run last night.

I left the house with the intention of doing 30-32 km (18-20 miles). My run was going fine until I started to approach 20 km. At that point I found myself slipping more, especially when going around corners, because it was hard to see the thin sheets of ice on the sidewalks left by the snow that melted earlier in the day. In addition to that my hamstrings were starting to feel tight.

I hate cutting a workout short as much as any other runner but this was a case where I truly felt that there was nothing to be gained by staying out and forcing myself to hit my mileage target. By the time it reached 20 km I was not far from home and decided to head home earlier than expected. I finished with a 25 km run. While it was short of my initial target it was still a good run and I think I made the right decision to end it when I did.

With 8 weeks to go until Boston my goal is to aim for 4-5 weeks of heavy mileage before but start to taper. The fact that I have to get in some 30-32 km runs over that period should help me increase my mileage over the next few weeks.

How did your week go?

Saturday Stories


It’s 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…

The top five running related selections on Netflix. Incidentally, I watched two of these on Netflix recently (The Barkley Marathons and Finding Traction).

A post about keeping yourself in check

How one runner used running to defeat depression. 

Week 10 of Training for the Boston Marathon

This week was another decent week of training. Despite not feeling well late in the week, likely due to not enough sleep and the fact that two of my kids have been sick lately, I managed to put in 76 km this week. Along the way I ended up doing three treadmill runs which is not my favourite way to run but it allowed me to get in my mileage.

My first treadmill run was my tempo run on Tuesday. Since it was cold and windy out I opted to stay inside for my run. It might have been the first time I completed a tempo run on a treadmill. In terms of a workout I opted for an easy 15 minutes followed by 25 minutes at a hard pace and ending with an easy 15 minutes.

I once again made it out on to the Rideau Canal for a couple of my runs. I mentioned it here before but the hard packed snow at the edge of the plowed skate way makes for a decent running track. Running what is the world’s largest skateway and a UNESCO world heritage site is something that is unique to Ottawa and I take advantage of it when I can during the winter.


Thursday night was time once again for my intervals at the dome. Once again my workout involved 800m repeats at the dome. I ended up doing an 800 m warm up followed by 8 x 800m in 3:07, 3:04, 3:03, 3:03, 3:01, 3:01, 3:01, 2:59. Once again I finished my workout feeling pleased that my times were pretty consistent. I was also really pleased that I managed to complete my last one in under 3:00.

Yesterday I was fortunate that it was my planned day off because it was when I started to feel rough. Normally I would have planned my long run for this morning but since I did not feel much better I skipped my run thinking I would not complete a long run this week. 

Fortunately I was feeling well enough to attempt a run tonight. Since it snowed all day here I opted for the treadmill once again. I managed to do 22.4 km in 1:52. That may be my longest treadmill run to date. Fortunately I had a couple podcasts to listen to as I ran.

How did your week go?

Week 9 of Training for the Boston Marathon

After a few tough weeks of training I feel like I am now getting to where I want to be with my training. This week I able to build on the positives from last week and add more solid runs and mileage this week. After my long run this morning I finished with just over 80 km done for the week. 

While getting in my mileage this week I made it out on to the Rideau Canal a couple of times during my runs. For those who are not aware, the canal serves as the world’s largest skating rink when it freezes during the winter. The hard packed snow at the edges of the canal after it has been ploughed actually make for decent running terrain…


This week followed my usual pattern of an easy run on Monday, tempo run on Tuesday, easy run on Wednesday , speedwork  on Thursday, an easy run on Friday and a long run on Sunday. I even added an extra run at lunch on Thursday, it ended up being on a treadmill which is something I do not often do but I did not feel like getting bundled up to run outside when the time came.

Thursday I had a great speed session at the dome that I was very pleased with despite the fact that I realized when I got home and downloaded my stats from my Garmin that I had miscounted and done one less interval than I thought I had. Regardless, I still managed 7 x 800m with my splits coming in between 3:03 and 3:09…


Last week you may recall that I had to wait until later in the evening to do my long run. Today I was fortunate to be able to get it done in the morning, my preferred time for a long run. I also had a couple friends to run with for a portion of my run. I ended up doing 26 km with the first 16 km done with company and the final 9 km on my own…

As mentioned at the start of the post, I am much more pleased with where my training is at after the last two weeks than I was before that. I feel like I am ready to take on the extra mileage I will have to add later this month and next month.

How did your week go?

Week 8 of Training for the Boston Marathon

This week I managed to hit the mileage goal I set for myself. Coming off a couple disappointing weeks I was determined to get at least 70 km in this week. I managed 75 km this week.

Tuesday is usually my night for tempo runs. Once again I tried to get one in this week. Unfortunately, despite the fact it has not been a very cold winter here, the constant freezing and thawing cycles we have experienced have left the sidewalks covered either in slush and large puddles or ice. Both make it tougher to maintain a steady pace. I ran as hard as I could but the slippery footing made for a tougher run than it normally would have been.

On the other hand, my interval workout Thursday was a solid workout. This week I opted for an 800 warm up followed by 6 x 800m and an 800m cool down. I was pleased that I was able to keep my intervals consistent with them ranging from 3:01 – 3:06. Next week I am hoping to have time to add a couple intervals to my workout.

Last week I mentioned that I was planning to do extra runs during my lunch hour at work. I managed to accomplish that on Wednesday with and easy 6 km at lunch followed by an easy 9 km run home from work. I plan to continue this routine a couple times per week. It will go a long way toward helping me reach my mileage targets.

Tonight I ended the week with my long run. Later at night is not my preferred time to do a long run but it was the best time to fit it in today…

Now that I managed a 75 km week my goal for next week is to get at least 80 km.

How was your week?

Week 7 of Training for the Boston Marathon

I will try not to sound like too much of a broken record as I write this post but this post will probably sound familiar. This week was very similar to last week. Once again I fell a little short of my mileage target for the week but I am not too disappointed with how the week turned out. 

Tuesday I managed to fit in a good tempo run on my way home from work. Following a 3 km warm up I ran at my tempo pace for 5 km. That left me about 1 km from my house which I finished off at a very easy pace for a cool down. Eventually I will add more mileage to these runs but for the next 2-3 weeks I will probably continue with the same routine. 

Once again Thursday I did intervals at the dome. This week I opted for an 800m warm up followed by 5 x 800m and a 800m cool down. Once again it felt good to be able to push the pace harder than I would have been able to had I been running outside…


This morning I ended off the week with my longest run in a while with a 25 km effort. It was actually a good morning for it with the temperature sitting at 0C when I left the house. I will likely keep my mileage for my long runs in the 25 km range for the next couple of weeks before I start to aim for some runs of more than 30 km.


Going through another week of falling short of my mileage goal for the week has made me realize that I am at the point where I need to start adding another couple of runs per week to my schedule. Saturday is often too busy to get in a run and if I am going to take a day off every week Saturday is my preferred choice. I will fit in the extra mileage with runs during my lunch time at work. 

How was your week?

Indoor Intervals During the Winter

For the last 5 years I have been going to an indoor track to do my speedwork during the winter months. It is a great option that has allowed me to do speedwork as I train for a spring marathon when the conditions outside are not ideal.

Last night I went for my first session of indoor intervals of the year. Once again it was a welcome change because weather here recenntly has been alternating between cold and warm days leaving the sidewalks either covered in ice or large puddles of water and slush.

Having access to an indoor track allows me to do a variety of workouts that are beneficial to my marathon training. The most common workouts I do are 400m and 800m repeats but I do also fit in repeats at other distances when I want a change of pace.

Last night due to construction my workout was a series of 600m repeats because the last 100m of the track was closed. Since the last corner was off limits I did a series of 6 out and back repeats of a u shaped track.

Not surprisingly that workout was a first for me. It will also likely be the last time since it is easier to not do out and backs along a track that is being used by others. That said, it was good to get in some speedwork without the weather conditions having an impact. Like usual the toughest part was getting a feel for the pace I could/should run when I went out for my first repeat.

How do you fit in speedwork over the winter?

Week 5 of Training for the Boston Marathon

I missed posting a couple of these updates while I was taking time off from running to recover from shingles. Today I was able to cap off my first full week of training since I got sick. I am pleased with the week of training I managed coming off 9 days off. I managed to complete nearly 56.5 km.

I kicked off my week and got back to running with an easy 7.5 km run Monday night. Normally I would have been aimed for more mileage to start the week but coming off the layoff I mentioned I was just happy to be out running again. The key is that I felt good and I knew I would be able to get back to my regular training. 

The stoy for Tuesday and Wednesday was freezing rain and dodging large puddles along the sidewalks. Due to the conditions I kept my runs to an easy pace and tried to avoid soaked feet as much as possible. Unfortunately I was not successful in that regard. 

Thursday the conditions were good enough to push the pace again. Unfortunately I forgot my Garmin at home so when I left work I decided to do an easy 3 km warm up, since I run the route regularly I know the 3 km mark. Following that I did a series of 8 strides before I got home. 

This morning after setting up my oldest daughters with breakfast and a movie I headed out for a cold long run. I only managed 13.3 km this morning but compared to a week ago I will take it and build on it with more mileage next Sunday.