Tag Archives: marathon training

Week 5 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon

Another week of training is complete. This week was a regular week following a recovery week last week. Following today’s long run I finished the week with a total of 71 km. my goal for the upcoming week will be to add to that mileage once again. 

Once again I stuck to relatively easy runs from Monday to Wednesday. Each of those runs was a 9 km run home from work. 

Thursday I had to postpone my run due to the weather. I ended up making for that with two runs on Friday including my planned speed workout. The day started with an easy run across the experimental farm at lunch. Running twice in a day has often been my way of increasing my mileage up to 80-100 km in a week.

I followed that up with my speed workout on the way home from work. This week’s workout involved 1600m repeats. Following a 3.2 km warm up I ended up doing 1600m @ 4:03/km, 1600m @ 4:38/km, 1600 @ 4:03/km and a final 1600m @ 4:38/km. With a cool down of 2.4 km the workout ended up being a 12 km run. 

This week my long run was another 25 km run done this afternoon. While it was still a bit on the warm side it was an otherwise great afternoon for a long run…

That was my week in running. I also manage to fit in my strength training workout twice this week as per my plan. The upcoming week will involve more of the same with the addition of extra mileage to get me up to 80 km for the week.

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 study on whether you should run more or run faster.

Advice on when to replace your shoes. 

Interesting into how one of Canada’s best marathoners approaches training.

Stretching and Mobility

Since I posted about my strength training routine the other night I thought I would write a post about the other non-running routine that is a regular part of my training. As with my strength training routine I also have a stretching and mobility routine that I follow twice per week. 

Part of my routine involves yoga stretches that do not require any extra gear. The rest of the routine involves gear that I have accumulated over the past few years…

There you can see my foam roller, roller massager stick, ProStretch and foot massage ball. The foam roller is great for massaging and stretching most leg muscles. I make use of all of these tools throughout the week when I am in a training cycle. 

The  roller massager stick is great for hitting my calf muscles and is more portable than the foam roller. The ProStretch is great for stretching my calf and hamstring muscles and also stretches the muscles in my feet. Finally, the foot massage ball is something I received in a Stridebox last year has seen so much use it is no longer round and has warped itself into more of an oval shape. 

I find this routine to be as important to my training as my strength training routine. I think it has helped my recover and prevent injury.

Do you include stretching as a regular element of your trading routine?

Strength Training

Since I have mentioned strength training a couple of times recently I have had a couple people ask me what exactly I do for strength training. I thought I would put together a blog post on the strength training I have been doing the past couple of years.

I first incorporated strength training into my routine a couple of years ago when Instarted training with a coach. Unfortunately continuing to train with a coach does not fit into my budget right now so I had to go back to training on my own. However, the two years I did train with a coach introduced me to the benefits of strength training and exercises I could incorporate into my training. 

For me strength training has included exercises with weights, resistance bands and a stability ball. It has helped me build strength in my legs, core and upper body. From planks, to dead lifts to back lunges I have gone from someone who did not include strength training to having it be a regular part of my training. 

In my basement where I head twice per week to go through my routine you’ll now find dumbbells, a medicine ball, a stability ball and a series of resistance bands needed to complete the various exercises in my program. It is something I have come to consider an important element of my training.

If you are interested in more information about strength training for runners here is a blog post by more former coach Mathieu. If you are interested in adding strength training to your routine here is a list of exercises you can try. 

Do you include regular strength training as part of your routine?

Week 4 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon

After hovering around 70 km for a couple of weeks this was a bit of a drop back week for me with a total of 59 km this time. I only ran four days this week which is not common for me but I still managed to get in my scheduled mileage by adding a second run on Wednesday.

Two runs in a day is something that helps me get my mileage in once I start getting up over 70 km in a week. I am fortunate in that my job often allows me to get out for a run at lunch and I can easily fit in a 6-7 km run before I head back. When I do that I still do my usual run home from work allowing me to get in 16-17 km for the day. On Wednesday I did just that with an easy 7 km at lunch followed by an easy 9 km run home from work. I will be doing more of this as my weekly mileage starts to increase going forward. 

My speed workout this week was another good one. This time it involved a 2.8 km warm up followed by 12x (200m hard, 200m easy) and ending with an easy cool down of just over 2 km. I was feeling it by the time I reached the 8th or 9th 200m sprint. These runs are always a highlight of my week because when they go well they are a big morale booster.

I ended the week with a 24 km run this afternoon. It wasn’t easy one with the temperature sitting at 32C (90F) and a humidex value at 41C when I headed out around 4:00. To make matters worse I ended up with a hole in the bottom of the bladder of my hydrapak just before the halfway point of my run.

I am not sure how much water was left in the 1.5L bag but what was left dripped down my back and my legs. Although uncomfortable for a while after that, mainly due to wet feet, I managed to finish the run at my intended pace.

Next week will see me going back up to a 70 km week. I also plan to get back to adding strength training to my routine twice a week.

How did your week go?

Week 3 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon 

This week was very similar to last week in terms of total mileage and the workouts I did. After doing my long run tonight I ended up with 67 km for the week. Once again I managed to fit in six runs this week. Once again I only did one speed work session. However, the workout was a good one and for the first time in a while I really felt like I was pushing myself to get it done. 

Other than my long run and my speed session my runs this week averaged between 6.5 and 9 km. I’ll start adding mileage to those soon as I look to increase my weekly mileage. Once I really get going with this training cycle I will be averaging 9-12 km for those runs as well.

I mentioned that this week’s speed sessions was the first one in a while where I really felt like I was pushing myself. The scheduled workout for this week consisted of a 3.2 km warm up, 1x (1600m hard and an easy 1:30), 2 x (800m hard followed by a easy 2:00), another 1x 1600m and ending with an easy cool down of just over 2 km. that gave me a total of 13 km done Thursday.

Once again this week I ended up doing my long run on Sunday evening. My schedule called for 21-22 km this time. The weather was perfect when I headed out along the Ottawa River…

That was it for this week. The next couple of weeks will probably bring a bit more of the same before I really start to build my mileage and add a tempo session on top of the speed session I am already doing every week.

How was your week?

Week 2 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon

Week two of training is in the books. This week especially made me feel like I was getting back into my routine with 70 km done and a long run of more than 20 km. After a bit of down time following the Ottawa Marathon in May I am starting to feel like I am ready to push the pace a bit on my runs and add mileage to my daily runs.

This week saw me do one speed session on Thursday. Although I only did one tougher workout this week I made up for it by adding mileage to my other runs. With the exception of my speed session my runs this week were all 11-12 km. with a busier than usual week at work this past week a bigger week of running wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Speaking of my speed session, this week’s workout involved 300 m sprints. The full workout called for a 3.2 km warm up followed by 2 x 300m hard followed by an easy 100 m with an easy 300 m between both sets for recovery. 

Other than that my week involved easy runs with the distance as already mentioned being 11-12 km. on average that added an extra 1-2 km to each of my easy runs. Now the trick will be to keep doing that on a regular basis in order to keep my mileage at 70-80 km/ week for now before I build up to even more weekly mileage.

I ended this week with a 24 km long run. Since I was on duty with the kids most of the day today it meant getting waiting until after the kids went to bed to fit in my run. Fortunately it was a great night for a run…

How was your week?

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.