Tag Archives: marathon training

Race Report: Rock ‘n’ Roll Montreal Marathon

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While the focus of my posts about marathon training have been geared toward the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, I actually had another marathon scheduled three weeks before STWM. Today I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Montreal.

It was by design that I did not mention Montreal on here in a long time. First, my focus has been on STWM because I am a digital champion for the race. Secondly, I did not want to focus too much attention on Montreal in case I was not running it as a goal race or in case things did not go well.

My approach to Montreal was discussed with my coach a couple of weeks ago. We thought I was ready, based on how my training was going, to take a shot at a pb. However, once I started looking at the weather forecast last week and it looked likely that it would be hot today I realized there was also a good chance I would have to back off and save my pb effort for Toronto.

Since the start and finish lines are in different locations I had to take the subway to the start line this morning. Fortunately there was one right around the block from our hotel. Since the race started at 8:30 I left the hotel at 7:00.

After a quick ride I dropped off my bag to be transported to the finish line and headed for my corral. That involved walking halfway across the Jacques Cartier bridge. It felt warm already and once the pa announcer started making his announcements by warning that it was already 17 degrees C (62 F) and was expected to be at least 23 C (73 F) by 11:00 I knew a pb would likely have to wait for another day.

I decided to start out at my goal pace and at least give myself a good tempo run. The race starts off by going down off the bridge to Jean Drapeau Park, a couple of small islands where you will find La Ronde amusement park and the track for the Canadian Grand Prix formula 1 race. Once you get down on to the islands from the bridge the course goes around each island. Having attended the grand prix on a couple of occasions getting a chance to run down the straights, past the start line and through the chicane turns was a definite highlight for me.

The next section of the course heads back into the city starting off with old Montreal before heading up to the Plateau section. One thing I will say about Montreal is that it reminded me how flat Ottawa can be.

Once we were up on to the Plateau the half-marathoners headed off to finish in Lafontaine Park while the marathoners kept going for another loop before coming back to the park. I experienced this in Philadelphia as well and when you are running the marathon it can be a lonely feeling at first when you see the crowd of runners thinning out substantially. Despite that I found myself settling back into my routine quickly.

Despite the hills and the heat I was able to maintain my goal pace past the half. However, between 27 and 28 km in I was starting to feel the heat get to me. At that point I decided to slow my pace and take it easy for the final 15 km so I could recover and take another shot in Toronto.

One thing that pleasantly surprised me about this race was the crowd support. Once we were back in the city there were crowds cheering everywhere. I don’t recall there being many quiet sections. At times the encouragement made it hard for me to maintain a slower pace.

In the end I crossed the line in 3:36. It was not the pb I was hoping for but I think I did the right thing. Had I continued to push my pace i could have finished in the 3:15-3:20 but that would have made a pb in Toronto unlikely. The number of runners I saw receiving medical assistance because of the heat also tells me I did the right thing.

Instead I will, hopefully, recover quickly this week and get back to training for STWM so I can take a good shot at a pb. With an earlier start to the race and 3 weeks to go until race day hopefully the weather conditions will be more suited to a pb effort.

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Week 16 of Training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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Another week of training for STWM is nearly complete. This week was somewhat of a recovery week as I gear up for a final long run this Sunday before I start tapering for STWM. The heaviest part of my training is nearly complete. Now it is almost time to start looking forward to race day.

After being a pace bunny during Last Sunday’s Army Run Intook Monday off to recover and set up for one last buildup of mileage before STWM. So far I have managed to fit in three workouts this week. I decided to take it easier this week because Sunday I am planning to fit in what will be my longest training run for STWM.

The interval workout I did at the track Tuesday night was the only of my runs this week that was done at a more intense pace. This week’s workout involved 5 x 50m @ 100% followed by and easy 100m. After the recent issues I was having with shin splints this was the first interval workout I was able to do in a couple weeks without discomfort which is a good sign ahead of STWM.

As mentioned I have one last long run left before STWM before I start to taper. I always that to be a tough period of marathon training. Even though it is necessary for recovery I still find the reduction in mileage to be difficult. I often find myself getting restless because I am not running as much as usual. At least I have a few more runs to go before I have to start worrying about that.

How did your week go?

Week 15 of Training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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Race day is another week closer and another week of training is nearly behind me. STWM is exactly one month away now. It is hard to believe that race day is so close now but at the same time I am starting to get excited at the thought of another marathon.

In terms of training this week, it’s been a rather light week so far after a hard 30 km last Sunday with the first and last 6 km coming at marathon pace. So far I’ve managed to fit in 3 runs for a total of 26 km.

While 2 of my runs were easy runs home from work I fit in a good tempo workout Tuesday. This week’s workout involved 2 km @ 4:20/km, 2km @ 4:00/km and 2 km @ 3:40/km. With a warm up and and cool down the run was good for 9 km.

I have 2 more runs scheduled this weekend. Tomorrow will be a short and relatively easy effort. Sunday I will be doing the Army Run half-marathon. As I have done the past few years I will be a pace bunny in the half-marathon.

This year my pace will be 1:45 which works out to 5:00/km which will give me an easy paced long run. I am not sure if running a half-marathon at this point in my training is beneficial or not but this is an event that has been growing every year that I do not want to miss out on. I also find it fun focusing on helping someone hit their goal pace for once instead of being obsessed with my own goals.

As for the rest of my training, I have one more long run scheduled for next weekend before I start to taper for STWM which for me is always an uneasy oeriod of training. I know the taper is important but I get restless when I have to cut back on my mileage.

How did your week go?

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 reminder about the importance of sleep with regards to training and performance.

A review about one of my current favourite shoes, the New Balance RC 1400.

A post about the beauty of training.

A post about the benefits of foam follers for recovery.

Week 14 of Training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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Another week of training is almost complete and race day is now less than 40 days away. After a week of recovery and nursing an injury this week I was back to a full week of training. So far I am on track for a solid week in terms of mileage.

Most important for me this week was that I felt comfortable enough to fit in a tempo run this week. This time the scheduled workout featured 6 km @ 4:15/km with a 100m sprint included in each km.

Other than that the rest of my workouts this week have involved running at an easy pace. Since I am not still fully over the issue I was having with my left leg I did not want to push too hard and risk re-aggravating the issue.

Speaking of my leg issue, I think a combination of tight calf muscles and shin splints, I picked up one of these massage rolling sticks yesterday and am already wishing I had made the investment a while ago. Despite some discomfort to start it already seems to be having a positive effect.

As for the rest of the week, I have a couple more runs to go this weekend. Tomorrow will be an easy 10 km run. Sunday will be a good test for me with 30 km on the schedule, once again with the first and last 6 km at marathon pace.

With just over a month left to go until race day I am almost over the heaviest point of my training. So far other than the recent issue with my left leg my training has gone according to plan. I am started to get excited about race day and the chance to put my training to the test once again.

How did your week go?

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 blog post about balancing family and running.

Helpful tips on mental preparation for a marathon.

Rules of injury prevention.

15 secrets runners won’t tell you.

Week 13 of Training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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Another week of training STWM is nearly complete. Unfortunately this one has not been a highlight. So far the interval workout did Tuesday night is my only run of the week.

In my recap last week i mentioned dealing with some pain in my left calf when running. I made it through my 38 km run Sunday morning but Tuesday’s intervals seem to have re-aggravated the issue. As a result, I decided to shut down and rest my leg so that the issue does not linger and I don’t make it worse.

The worst part about this is that despite the discomfort in my left leg I actually had a good workout Tuesday consisting of 10 x (50 m @ 100%, 100m easy). On another week it would have definitely been the highlight of my week as I was still able to push hard for the 50m sprints.

On a positive note, the pain seems to have cleared up a bit after a few days of rest. The fact that I was able to do an interval workout and that there was not any swelling in my leg would seem to indicate that it is not too serious.

I am hoping to be able to get back to training at some point over the weekend but I won’t be taking any chances. I won’t run until my leg has recovered.

How did your week go?

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 by one of my fellow STWM digital champions about balancing work on the road and running.

Tips for running on a beach.

A post about the benefots of changing your routine.

Week 12 of Training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

IMG_0804.PNGAnother week of training is nearly complete. So far this week is turning out to be my heaviest week in terms of mileage in this training cycle. With two runs left to go this weekend I am on pace for my first 100 km week in a while.

The week started off good with my scheduled intervals on Tuesday. This week my scheduled workout was a 10 minute warm up followed by 3 x ( 400m, 800m, 1200 m @ 100%).

I did my intervals in a bit of an odd way this time but it worked out in the end. I had planned to run home from work so I started my run from the office and got in the majority of my intervals on the way home. By the time I hit 8 km I ended up at the high school track close to my house so I could finish my last two intervals where I would normally go for intervals..

The other story of the week has been injury prevention. Late last week I started to feel some pain on the inside of my left leg above the ankle. Initially I thought it was just the usual aches that can follow heavy mileage and intense runs but by Wednesday it was becoming more noticeable with every step when I ran.

As a result, yesterday and today’s runs were very easy efforts. I also taped my leg with some Rocktape and took some Advil. That seems to have helped as it was less noticeable during today’s run.

I still have not done my scheduled hill workout this week because of this pain. My plan is to see how I feel tomorrow. If I feel better I will do my hills tomorrow but if the pain is still noticeable then I will just drop hills for this week.

I am hoping that the issue is going away now and that I will be able to at least get in my scheduled 23 km run Sunday. Once again for that one I am planning to start and finish at my goal marathon pace. I will have to reconsider that plan as well if I am still experiencing pain in my leg when I get up Sunday morning.

How did your week go?

 

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.