Tag Archives: marathon training

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. 

2016 in Review

With a new addition to our family due in late June 2016 was always going to be a quieter year for me in terms of races. That said I think I managed to have a decent year although it ended on a disappointing note with me being unable to run the last week of the year, more on that later.

You may recall that I finally qualified for Boston at the 2015 Philadelphia Marathon. However, since I only beat my cutoff time by 2:31 I would have to wait until this September to find out if I would actually get to go. As a result, I planned my usual preparation for May’s Ottawa Marathon with three 10 km races and a half-marathon as part of my marathon preparation. 

My shorter races went as expected with all of the 10 km times being under 42 minutes (41:06, 41:31 and 41:09). A 1:28 finish gave me my third straight sub 1:30 result in April’s Run for Reach half-marathon. Those times had me satisfied with my preparation for the marathon in May.

Since I was not guaranteed a spot in Boston with my Philadelphia time my plan for Ottawa was to try and improve my qualifying time (3:15). Unfortunately, a heat wave hit Ottawa in the week leading up to Race Weekend. While the conditions for the marathon were better than the conditions for the other races that weekend it was still hot and humid. I went out at a 3:15 pace but ended up backing off the pace during the second half and finished in 3:26. The best part of the race was getting to see my two oldest daughters cheering for me right before the finish line.

My final scheduled race of the year was the Army Run half-marathon. Once again I volunteered to be the 1:35 pace bunny for the event. It was a lot of fun helping other runners as they tried to meet their goals. I crossed the finish line in just over 1:36 this year…


The day after the Army Run was my opportunity to finally apply for entry to Boston. Just over a week later, on the day before my birthday,  finally received an email I had been waiting a long time t receive…


As for not being able to run this past week the short version of the story is that I was on pace for just over 3000 km in 2016 then came down with shingles and had to make an unexpected trip to get a prescription on Christmas Day. I am finally feeling better now and may go for a short run tomorrow to end the year. 

Despite the past week I have to be pleased with 2016 as far as running goes. I was healthy enough to run another marathon,  successfully paced a half-marathon and had my entry for Boston accepted.

I hope your 2016 was also a good one. All the best in 2017!

Week 2 of Training for the Boston Marathon

Week 2 of Training is complete. I managed a slight improvement on my mileage from last week but once again  the week did not go quite as planned. Fortunately there were some positives I can build on as I look ahead to week 3 starting tomorrow. 

Overall I ended with 45 km for the week, a 3 km improvement over last week. I was on pace for more mileage but unfortunately was unable to run Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Normally I would have gone for a run at least 2 of those days.

On a positive note I was able to get in a solid tempo run Tuesday morning and got in my first runs in really cold weather. Tuesday I took advantage of having a day off work to get in a late morning 11.4 km run at my goal marathon pace. Tuesday and Wednesday when I ran home from work the temperature felt like -29C (-20F) with the windchill. Those runs actually were not as bad as they sound because I was well dressed for them.

This morning I managed to fit in a 15.5 km long run. Once again the conditions were not ideal, snow covered sidewalks meant I had to run at a much slower pace than usual. However, it was one of those runs that felt good to get done regardless of the pace because it would have been much easier to stay home.


Looking ahead to week 3 my plan is simple. I am aiming for 6 runs and hopefully 70 km in mileage. My plan is also to get in another 10-11 km tempo run on Tuesday and some speedwork on Thursday. If I can get in a couple more runs next week it should not be a problem to hit my mileage goal. 

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…

A post about the importance of strength and mobility work for runners.

A holiday book list for endurance athletes.

Is running a thinking person’s sport?

A post about the benefits of taking a break from marathon training.

Week 1 of Training for the Boston Marathon

My first week of training for the Boston Marathon is in the books. It still feels weird to say it but my running schedule is now officially focused on getting ready for Boston. The week did not go exactly as I had planned but my training cycle is only just getting started. 

I started off the week with a run in the snow…


As per my previous training cycle my plan this time around is to work in tempo runs on Tuesdays and speed work on Thursdays. This week on Tuesday I fit in some tempo work with a run home from work consisting of a 3 km warm up, 5 km at marathon pace and 1 km cool down. 

Unfortunately I had to skip my speed work on Thursday because I was not feeling well. Fortunately I was felling well enough to get back to running on Friday so I only had to skip one day. I probably could have gone for a run Thursday too but it would have been counterproductive.

Yesterday I went for what ended up being my long run of the week. I got in just under 14 km of running and I snapped a few pictures for the latest #Runchat #RunChatHunt along the way including this one… 


For week one I ended up with 42 km (26 miles). Not exactly what I was aiming for as mentioned I am just getting started. I am aiming for a bigger week 2 starting with a run home from work tomorrow. 

Back to Marathon Training

After a couple of months of running for the sake of running I am back to training for another marathon. This week was the start of my training program for the Boston Marathon in April. My training kicked off with a run home in the snow Monday evening.

It was nice to run without a structured plan for a while but I do enjoy having a goal to focus on as I plan my running. I find it easier to stay motivated and on track when I am working toward a goal. I’ve had a few weeks in the 50-60 km range for mileage recently so I should be able to get back to a weekly average of 70-80 km quickly. The key will be to get back to doing longer runs of over 15 km which is something I have not managed recently. 

One thing I am still debating is hill training during this marathon cycle. I have not decided how many hill specific workouts I want to add to my training to get me ready for the hills in Boston. If you have experience running Boston I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this question. 

In addition to ramping up my mileage I also plan to get back into my regular strength training routine. I think it was something that was beneficial in my preparation to the last few marathons I have completed and my plan is to continue a similar routine this time around. 

As I have done with my past marathons, now that I am back to training I will use my Sunday post to recap my week of training.