Tag Archives: marathon training

Week 1 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


I realized tonight as I was getting ready to write this post that this week marks 18 weeks until the Philadelphia Marathon in November. With that my training for Philadelphia has officially started. This year will be my third visit to Philadelphia for the marathon.

Since I ran a 30 km trail race last Sunday this week was more about recovery than it was about training and building mileage. With family visiting from out of town for the first half of the week a recovery week was well timed.

Following the tral race I ended up taking Monday-Wednesday as rest days. I probably could have run if I felt the need to one of those days but the rest probably did me some good since the race took a lot out of me in the heat last Sunday.

I got back to running with an easy run home from work Thursday and it was a great day for it…

An easy 9 km run home along the canal tonight #Run613 #running #runottawa

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

Friday I did some speed work on my way home from work. Again this was well timed since I had tickets for a football game Friday night so getting myself home quicker was a good thing. My speed workout this week cinsisted of a 2.4 km warm up followed by 2 x 1200m @ 4:00/km with an easy 1:00 in between.

Today I ended the week with an easy 12 run although with the heat and humidity that one ended up being tougher than it normally would have. Now I will start to gradually build my weekly mileage once again and get ready for marathon number two this year.

How did your week go?

My Week in Training

This week was probably my first week of full regular training since May’s Ottawa Marathon. By that I mean that I mean a full week of training with a tempo run, speed session and long run included. This week I did all three again in a week of training. Overall I ended up with just under 58 km done. 

For my tempo run on Tuesday this week I ended up doing 2 sets of 2 km at 4:14/km followed by a 1:15 jog. My speed workout on Thursday ended up being 12 x a hard 200m followed by an easy 200m. After taking it relatively easy since the marathon it felt good to push the pace once again to see where I am at as I head into another marathon training cycle. 

The summer also means that my long runs on weekends involve adventures with one of my daughters in the Chariot. This morning I headed out with my two year old. I keep promising her we might see swans along the river but I struck out for the third time in a row on that count. However, we did catch the footguards outside of Rideau Hall


13 km run with the Chariot this morning. This was the halfway point #ottawa #Run613 #running #OttawaRunners

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

Next week my schedule calls for more of the same in terms of mileage. I will be fitting in my next race next Sunday with  30 km trail race. I am not sure what to expect from that will be my longest run in a while and I don’t regularly run on trails but it will be a nice change of pace for me.

How did your 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. 

Here are this week’s stories…

Lessons learned from a marathoner who has run 23 marathons.

Tips of using road shoes for trail races. This one was relevant for me since I am planning to run a 30 km trail race next weekend.

A post about the appeal of running a marathon.


My Week in Training

This week was a full week of training. I managed 55 km this week which isn’t much compared to when I hit the peak of a marathon training cycle but my mileage will likely stay around this level for the next few weeks. It will give me a good base to start from when my training for the Philadelphia Marathon kicks off.

With a 10 km race coming up on Wednesday I kept my runs this week at relatively easy paces. In terms of distance everything is was between 7-9 km with the exception of tonight’s 12.5 km effort. It was also my first week of being back to running 6 times in a week since last month’s marathon. 

As mentioned next up for me is a 10 km race on Wednesday. I’ve done a race on Canada Day several times now. It is always a great way to kick off the holiday. This year will be a little different since the downtown race I normally do is not being offered which is unfortunate given that downtown Ottawa just might be the best place in Canada to run a race on Canada Day. Instead I’ll be doing another race in the suburbs. 

I am never really sure what to expect in terms of a result when it comes to Canada Day races. Often it is hot, last year it was already 30C when we started the race at 8:00. The other factor is that coming just over a month after Ottawa Race Weekend I am usually just getting back to a regular routine. I’ve run it in 41 minutes the last two years, about a minute off my pb in the 10 km.

 Based on where I am at right now I think this year will be more of the same and that it will be more realistic to go for a pb and a shot at a sub 40 minute finish later in the summer. Regardless of what happens it will be good to get in a race effort Wednesday as a sign that I am back to a regular training routine.

How was your week?

My Week in Training

This week started off as a normal week with me fitting in three 9 km runs home from work with one of the runs coming at marathon pace. I made sure to fit in a run the first three days of the week because I knew I would not be able to run from Thursday-Saturday.

The reason I was not able to run for three days this week was I had an appointment for laser eye surgery Thursday morning. It is a decision that will have benefits in terms of running, mainly no more having to put in contacts before every run or rushing home to remove dry contacts. For this week it meant a lighter load in terms of mileage than I old normally opt for.

Today I was able to get back to my usual routine. First I started off by picking up a new pair of shoes since the two pair in my current every day rotation are due to be retired soon…

Then tonight I got back to running with something new for me, a beer mile. It is something that was a bit of a running joke with the group I regularly run with for the last couple of summers. Tonight we finally got around to doing one. With a time of 14:03, including one penalty lap, I won’t be setting any records any time soon but it was an interesting way to get back to running.

How did your 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. 

Here are this week’s stories…

A list that will restore your faith in running.

Good advice for those thinking of running a marathon.

An inspiring story in time for father’s day.

Finally, some good nutrition tips.

Getting Back on Track

It has been nearly a month now since I ran the Ottawa Marathon. Following the marathon my usual approach to recovery had me back to running the following Friday. Since then I have been taking it easy, sticking to mainly easy paced runs and not being as disciplined about my diet as I am when I am in a training cycle. 

Tonight felt like a turning point. I planned my usual run home from work and because I felt good I decided to pick up the pace and run a little quicker than I have been. I ended up with a 9 km run around my marathon pace so it was not a particularly fast time. However, it was a change of pace from my routine has been lately. I feel like I am ready to get back into a training cycle. 

In terms of running it means I will start to add mileage again and get back to doing long runs on Sundays. I’ll also throw in a few races over the summer as I work my way back into marathon shape. In additionnto races it will also mean working in weekly speed and tempo sessions to go along with my easy paced runs. 

I will soon be getting back to strength training to build strength in my core and legs. I plan to follow a similar approach to the one I used for my last marathon since that seemed to work well. I also start regular rolling and stretching which I have been neglecting over the past few weeks. 

How soon do you like to return to full training after a big goal race?

Planning the Second Half of the Year

Now that the Ottawa Marathon is out of the way and I have fully recovered I am on to planning out the rest of the year. I have started the process of putting together a schedule that will hopefully have me ready to run a fast time at the Philadelphia Marathon in November. 

So far I have two races already scheduled. As mentioned I have Philly pencilled in as my goal race for the second half of the year. On top of that I will also be reprising my roleas a pace bunny in the Army Run half-marathon in September. That one will likely be at or near my goal marathon pace.

On top of that I am trying to see if I can fit in one race per month between now and November. Although my plans for Canada Day will change because the usual downtown race I generally do has been pushed back to August I still plan to do a 10 km race. Fortunately there is another option available in another area of the city. 

Since the usual Canada Day Race I do has been pushed back to August that gives me another option to put on my calendar. It would also give me two opportunities to run a sub 40 minute 10 km this summer. I managed that once during a training run last year but have not yet managed it in a race. 

If I stick with those plans that just leaves me with an October race to find. I have not really looked at what is available around here at that time because it is still a long way off. At least I should be able to find another 10 km or a half-marathon to fit into my schedule.

It looks like the second half of my year is starting to come together. It is looking like i will not have any difficulty filling my schedule with races to get me ready for another marathon. I am hoping to build on a good first half of the year and possibly take down a couple of PBs along the way. 

What plans do you have for the rest of the year?

Recap of This Week’s Training

It has now been a week since the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon. As you can imagine there is not really much to say about this week in terms of training. My recovery from the marathon went well and I was able to get back to running on Friday. My quads did not appreciate going down stairs for the first couple of days after the marathon but getting back to running on the Friday after a marathon is about my average now.

In terms of training I only went for two runs this week, an easy 8 km effort Friday and a quicker although still at an easy pace 8 km run tonight. On both occasions my legs felt good and I probably could gave picked up the pace  but there was not really a need to do so since I am just easing back into my routine.

This week I spent more time focusing on my training plan for the rest of the year. I know I am running the Philadelphia Marathon in November so now I am trying to figure out a schedule of shorter races to fit in before then to help get me ready. I’ve approached my spring and fall marathons over the past few years by lining up 3-4 races at shorter distances in my marathon training and I plan to do the same for this next marathon training cycle.

I know I will be doing a 10 km race on Canada Day in July and I will also be doing the Army Run half-marathon in September. I would like to line up a couple of other shorter runs over the summer and early in the fall that I can fit into my marathon trainng plan. So far I have not decided on anything else but i do have a few options in mnd. 

In terms of running, for now I get to have a couple of weeks of unstructured running. By that I mean running without a plan and doing what I feel like and what I have time for. Following that a structured training plan for Philadelphia will kick in and i will get back to focused training. 

How did your 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. 

This week’s edition is dedicated to Ottaw Race Weekend recaps from my Team Awesome teammates.

Here are this week’s stories…

David Freake
James Koole
Jason Faber
Lisa Georges
Kristen Bobbitt
Pour les francophones voici quelques billets en français

Roch Courcy
Luc Levesque