Tag Archives: matt fitzgerald

Book Review: How Bad Do You Want It

While I was off work recently due to the birth of my youngest daughter I managed to finish a running related book. This book actually applies to all endurance sports but I was interested in how it could apply to marathon training.

I managed to read a good chunk of this book while I was rocking my daughter…

What drew me to this book was its focus on the mental aspect of training for an endurance sport. The mental aspect is an important part of training for and participating in endurance sports but this is the first book I read that focused on the mental aspect.

Each chapter tells a story about a different athlete and how there surmounted challenges they were faced with. I liked this approach because it made for a quick read and because I was not familiar with many of the athletes profiled in the book.

The other aspect I liked about the book is that it made me think about my own training. More than one of the stories made me think about ways I could improve my training and race preparation.

If you are into endurance sports I think this is a book worth reading.

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 post about sharing the gift of running.

Advice for new running dads.

Good winter running tips here.

I picked up Matt Fitzgerald’s book How Bad Do You Want It? after reading this post.

Week 15 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


Today marked three weeks until race day. Based on how the last month of training has gone I am feeling pretty good about this training cycle. I had another solid week of training this week before I start to taper.

My plan for this week was for another solid week in terms of mileage and I managed to accomplish that despite the fact I ended up having to drop my Tuesday night threshold run.

On Monday night I started off the week with an encounter that was a first for me…

On Wednesday my run ended up being cut short due to something we do not deal with often here. The remnants of Hurricane Patricia passed through brining strong winds and a lot of rain.

After non-stop rain for most of the day the was a brief pause late in the day and I thought it would give me the opportunity to run home. However, the heavy rain started not long after I left work and I found myself running into strong winds and being pelted with rain. It was not a pleasant experience and I ended up taking the shortest route home.

Thursday night was a much better experience as the weather was much better and I was able to fit in my speed work. The schedule for this week called for a 3.2 km warm up, 6 x 200m hard/200m easy, 7 km @ 4:30/km, 3:00 easy, 6 x 200m hard/200m easy, 3 km cool down.

Today I ended the week with a different workout. When I reviewed The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition by Matt Fitzgerald back in July I said that one of the ideas in the book that caught my attention was running a 26.2 km race simulator. I tried that workout today with 26.2 km done in 1:53. I’ll know if a few weeks if it was useful but it felt good to doing the run today.

Next week will be my last week of full training before I cut back on my mileage and taper for race day. So far my training cycle has gone really well so my primary focus now is to stay healthy.

How did your week go?

Book Review: The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition

I picked up a copy of this book a while ago and finally got around to read it. As I read it I was looking for tips for changes that I could make to my training that could potentially help me avoid hitting the wall in the last 10 km of a marathon. Having read it I know have a list of a few things to try out.

Obviously from the title the focus of the book is on nutrition and fuelling for marathons and half-marathons. Matt Fitzgerald offers some new ideas both in terms of overall nutrition but also race day fuelling. The goal is to help readers avoid hitting the wall late into a race.

The first tip offerred by Fitzgerald is to get lean. By that he means getting down to your ideal race weight. He offers some tips on how to determine what your ideal race weight is. The big takeaway for me here was not so much the idea of getting lean because it stands to reason that being lighter will help you go faster. For me what caught my attention was his suggestion that it is normal to gain weight, within reason, after a big race. The idea is that if you keep that gain within reason it won’t be difficult to get back down to your ideal race weight when you start another training cycle. 

The next aspect I thought was important was within regards to overall nutrition. Fitzgerald does not a our avoiding any foods. What he does do is ranking food in the following order: vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, fish/lean meat, whole grains, dairy, refined grains fat meat, sweets, fried food. What you want to do here is eat more of the first 6 groups while limiting the last 4.

A new idea I plan to try during my next cycle is that of doing a marathon simulator, 26.2 km at marathon pace, 3 or 4 weeks before my next marathon. I’ve added mileage at race pace during my longs runs in the past but never as much as this idea recommends. The idea here is to get in a long run at race pace that is enough mileage for a long run but not too much mileage that it will take you a few days to recover from. 

The final idea that caught my interest in the book was the idea of increasing your intake of fat, healthy fats, before you start your carb load. The recommendation is to Increase your fat intake during last 2 weeks of training (10 days then 3 day carb load). The goal is to get 65% of your intake from fat (avocados, cheese, Greek yogurt, nuts, whole milk, salmon, Caesar salad). I plan to try this on a shorter scale before a half-marathon this fall to see how I react to it. 

If you are looking for a new approach to your training and nutrition I recommend reading this book. It also has some training plans at the end to help guide you through your training.