Tag Archives: marathon training

Saturday Stories

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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…

A great post about distance running.

A post about the runner’s high.

A good list of things for runners to do and to avoid.

Tips to relieve tight hamstrings.

Week 11 of Training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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There are now less than two months to go until STWM. This training cycle is going by quickly. Based primarily on one result so far this week was another solid week of training.

After taking Monday off for a rest from Sunday’s long run I was scheduled to run a 10 km race Tuesday evening. Unfortunately I was not able to register for the race and had to do my own run later that night. Having been scheduled to run a race I decided to run my own “race”.

My previous 10 km pb was 40:30 which I set last summer. Although not official I am pleased with my result Tuesday night…

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That was my first sub-40 minute 10 km run. It is unfortunate it was not an official result and I will have to find myself another 10 km race to attempt an official sub-40 minute km result. That said, to be able to run a sub-40 minute 10 km at this point is a big confidence booster.

As for the rest of my week, I took advantage of some time off work this week to get in a couple afternoon runs with my daughter in the Chariot. Tomorrow I plan to fit in the hill workout I did not have time for earlier in the week and I will end the week with a quick 15 km Sunday morning.

How was your week?

Gear Review: Altra The One

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After reading about Altra shoes I was quite interested in trying a pair of their shoes. More than anything I was interested in seeing how their idea of a zero drop shoe would work for me.

For those of you who are not familiar with Altra and their approach to designing running shoes their idea was to develop a running shoe that encouraged proper running form. They felt that elevated heels and narrow toe boxes in other running shoes was hurting runners more than helping them. You can read more about that here.

Recently I was sent a pair of Altra The One2 to test. I was looking for a light neutral shoe to add to my rotation and thought this model would be fun to try. Weighing 5.9 ounces they certainly fit that criteria. 

Picking these shoes up out of the box the first thing I noticed was how light they were. When I ran in them it felt like I was wearing a pair of slippers. They feel like a shoe that is made for a fast run.

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Altra, suggests taking time to transition to a zero drop shoe. Since I am used to running in shoes with an 8-10 mm heal drop I was hoping the transition would not take too long.

The first week I had the shoes I used them for my my easy run over to the set of stairs where I have been doing my calf workouts, approximately a very easy 3.5 km run. Week two saw me use them for an easy 9 km run and a more intense workout as I used them for my hill workout, approximately 9 km.

My last run in them so far, was last Sunday’s long run of 28 km. I was certainly pleased to have them on my feet when I ran the first and last 6 km at my goal marathon pace.

My calf muscles were a little stiff on Monday but otherwise I felt no effects from that long run. So I would suggest waiting another week or two before doing such a long run if you are new to zero drop shoes as I was.

I am planning to give them another shot on a long run in order to see if this shoe would be a good race day shoe for me in the marathon distance. As it stands I think they have good potential for that.

Overall I really like these shoes. For a shoe with minimal amount of cushioning they have a very soft feel to them when you run in them. The other aspect I like about them is the wide toe box. I don’t generally wear wide shoes but I have had pairs of running shoes that felt tight in the toe box depending on what socks I was wearing. Obviously that is not an issue with Altra shoes.

If you are looking for a fast shoe I recommend giving  The One2 a try. Just make sure to take your time transitioning to the zero drop if you are not already used to running in a more minimalist shoe. I am certainly looking forward to getting in some more quick runs in my pair. 

Note: the opinions expressed here are mine. Although a pair of shoes to test I was not paid to write this post.

Unofficial 10 km PB

Last night I had planned to run my latest 10 km race. It would have been the same race where I ran my current pb last summer. In that race I finished in 40:30 which is still my current pb.

Although I planned to run the race I did not register for it ahead of time because my wife was busy with work.As it turns out it was a good thing I did not register ahead of time because I would not have been able to make it to the race.

When I realized the race would not longer be an option an I had a 10 km race scheduled I did what I thought was the next best option. I decided to map out a route close to home and run my own 10 km “race”.

Once the kids were in bed I set out to do my run. I felt like it was going to be a good run as soon as I started. I easily kept my pace to 3:50-4:00/km for the first four km. I expected it to get tougher once I hit the halfway point.

I started to feel the pace around 7.5-8 km into my run. However, by that point I knew I was right on pace for a sub-40 minute run so I stuck with the quick pace.

I managed to finish in 39:17 a new 10 km pb, although unofficial, for me. Although I did not get to run the race I planned it was certainly a positive experience. It was a good indication of where I am at with my training for STWM. Now I just need to find myself another 10km race so I can officially run a sub-40 10 km!

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Saturday Stories

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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…

Here is a great running related way to spend a birthday.

Tips to balance life and running.

Another good post by one of my fellow STWM digital champions.

Week 10 of Training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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This week was a return to regular training after a recovery week last week. So far I am on pace for just over 80 km this week with a couple of weekend runs remaining.

As mentioned last week, the recovery week was necessary and will benefit me in the long run. However, I was looking forward getting in some tougher runs this week. By that I mean a tempo run on Tuesday, a hill workout I did at lunch today and a longer run coming up Sunday morning.

The downside to this week, as I wrote last night, was the weather. While the week started off on a promising note Monday..

The weather went downhill from there. The rest of my runs so far this week came in cool, rainy weather like summer had come to an abrupt end.

That said, it did not really impact my running. I had a strong interval session at the track Tuesday night and then a solid hill workout today at lunch..

To end off the week I will be doing an easy 12 km run tomorrow followed by a 28 km run Sunday. That will leave me with an 80 km week.

I will be changing up my long run a bit this time. As previously mentioned, I have been ending my long runs at marathon pace. This week in addition to doing that I will be starting my long run at marathon pace. The plan calls for 6 km at marathon pace followed by an easy 16 km then ending with another 6 km at marathon pace.

How was your week?

Saturday Stories

20131123-083252.jpg

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…

4 attibutes of succesful goal setting.

A great ad involving beer and running.

A post about selecting a training plan for you.

One of my fellow STWM digital champions writes about the joy of running.

Another one of my fellow STWM digital champions writing about why he ha put his training goal aside and plans to http://noelpaine.wordpress.com/2014/08/03/staring-down-the-barrel-of-a-marathon/ help another runner.

Week 9 of Training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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Another week of training is nearly complete. Week 9 was a recovery week after a few weeks of hard training. As a result my training was pretty light this week. That said, the recovery from taking it easy this week will be important to my training because my busiest weeks in terms of mileage are just ahead.

So far this week I have been for three runs, all using the same route and ending with the same distance. I know that is not very exciting and usually what I try to avoid but once again this week it was just more convenient for my mid-week runs. I do plan to switch that up starting with this evening’s run!

Tuesday’s run was the only run of the week so far where I pushed the pace with the following workout…

So far I have to say I am feeling pretty good with my training during this cycle. I feel like I have been able to push harder during my tempo runs and ending my last 3 long runs at marathon pace, especially the last 10 km of last Sunday’s 30 km run, has been an extra confidence booster.

Next week will kick off another 4 week block of training. I plan to continue to take it easy this weekend and enjoy the end of this recovery week but I am already looking forward to getting back to some tougher workouts next week.

How did your week go?

Saturday Stories

20131123-083252.jpg

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…

Do the craft beer and running booms mirror each other?

5 tips to avoid running fatigue.

Now here are two posts from fellow STWM digital champions,

First a post about “bad training runs”

And a post about the adventure and foolishness of running.

Week 8 of Training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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Week 8 of training has been another solid week of training.This being the third week of my current 4 week block of training this was the last week of intense training before a recovery week to end the block.

In terms of running this week was similar to last week in that my two key runs were tempo runs on Tuesday and Thursday night..

This weekend I have an easy 10 km planned for tomorrow and 30 km planned for Sunday with the last 10 km of that run coming at marathon pace. It will be my first 30 km run up to 30 km since the Ottawa Marathon back in May.  Running the last 10 km at my goal marathon pace will be a good test of where my fitness is at right now.

On another note, after reading about and considering a pair of Altra shoes I finally got myself a pair and they came in the mail this week.

Since I am used to running in shoes with an 8-10mm heel drop I will be I  slowly working them in the rotation with my regular shoes as continue my training for STWM. Once I am comfortable with them I do plan to try a long run in them to see if they would be an option for race day. For now I am going stick to short and relatively easy runs with them.

How was your week?