Tag Archives: Ottawa Marathon

Week 14 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

Race day is exactly 4 weeks away from today. I closed out the week today with what will be my longest run of this training cycle, 35.3 km, and what will be my busiest week, 112 km.  This week was almost my 3rd consecutive 100 km week. That is a first for me. 

In the process of logging my busiest week in terms of mileage I managed to log a couple of solid faster paced runs this week. The first was a threshold workout on Tuesday. Since I was scheduled to do a VO2 max test Wednesday afternoon I got up early and did my run before work. The workout consisted of a 3.2 km warm up followed by 2 x 3.2 km @ 4:10/km with and easy 2:00 between sets followed by a cool down.

Thursday evening was time for my speed workout. Having done the previously mentioned VO2 max test the day before followed by an easy 12 km that night I was not sure how I would feel for this run. Surprisingly I felt fine and had no trouble completing the workout consisting of a 3.2 km warm up, 6 x 200m with an easy 1:30 between sets, 6.4 km @ 4:20/km, 6 x 200m with an easy 1:30 between sets and ending with a 3 km cool down.

When I headed out for my long run this morning it was overcast and cool, the kind of weather it would be nice to have on race day. My plan was to run for 35-36 km and I ended up with 35.3 done. I felt good once again during the run. It was a good way to end what has been a busy week.

The upcoming week will see me drop my mileage, mainly due to the fact that I am running a 10 km race next Sunday. I plan to use that one as a tempo run. Then I will have one more full week of training before race day. Now I am starting to get to the point where I am conscious about not doing anything unnecessary that might impact race day

How was your week? 

Week 13 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

It is starting to set in that Race Weekend is getting close. In 5 weeks from today I will be running the Ottawa Marathon for the 8th consecutive year. It is an event I look forward to every spring and this year is no different.

The big story for this week is that I followed up last week’s 102 km with 107 km this week. It is the first time that I’ve managed to fit in back to back 100 km weeks. That said, I’m not done there. My schedule has me looking at another 100 km week for week 14.

Last night’s blog post was about two run days. If I was not able to do that by adding an extra run at lunch while I am at work I wouldn’t be able to hit these mileage targets. This week I had two multiple run days.

Thursday was time for my weekly speed workout. This week my schedule had me doing 300m repeats in a workout consisting of 2 sets of 3 x (300m/100m easy). Despite the fact that I chose to do the workout with my backpack while I ran home from work I felt like I was able to push the pace for the repeats.

This morning I ended the week on a great note. Although it was cool enough for me to grab a pair of gloves when I left the house it was perfect weather for a long run. This morning’s run was a 32 km run, the 2nd time I’ve been up to 32 km during this training cycle and 3rd time I’ve run at least 30 km.

Next weekend my plan is to do my last long run over 30 km. For me that is always a nice milestone to reach during marathon training. It is another sign that race day is getting close.

How was your week?

Week 12 of Training for the Scotiabank Otawa Marathon

With 6 weeks to go this week was my biggest week of training so far. It was my first week of over 100 km with a total of 102 km done this week.

Coming off last weekend’s half-marathon most of this week’s runs were done at an easy pace. Thursday’s speed work was my only workout that did not come at an easy pace.

My speed workout involved a 3.2 km warm up, 6 x 200m/200m easy, 3.2 km @ 4:30/km, 6 x 200m/200m easy followed by a cool down. It was actually my second run of the day following an easy run at lunch, a necessity in some days in order for me to be able to run 90-100 km weeks.

The bigger news this week was that spring seems to finally be here. Last week ago I was still running in snow..

Meanwhile this week looked like this..

and this..

This week’s weather was much more appealing to run in. If it continues this way it will certainly help keep me motivated through a few more weeks of heavy mileage and tough workouts.

How was your week?


Week 11 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

Today I ran my third race of the year. As a result, this week’s training was primarily focused on being ready for the race. The majority of this post will also focus on the race since that was the highlight of my week. Overall I had a 70 km week.

Other than this morning’s race my week consisted of easy paced runs. This week I upped the mileage of those runs with them ranging from 10-12 km.

This morning’s race was a race that I have done for 6 years in a row now. It is a half-marathon along the Rideau Canal. The best part for me is that it starts and finishes close to home so I can get a decent warm up by taking an easy run over there.

With it being a little over 1 month before Ottawa Race Weekend in the past I have gone in to this race with a time goal in mind. This year I tried not to obsess about it as much as I may have in the past. My only goal was to run a sub 1:30 time. Last year I ran 1:26 but was not convinced that beating that time was a realistic goal this year.

Unfortunately with temperature of -10C (14F) at the start this morning was the colder than the previous years I ran this race. By way of comparison last year I ran this race in shorts and short sleeves. Fortunately the fact that I live close to the start line meant that I did not have to leave too early.

The fact that this tends to be a small race means that you tend to see the same faces this year. I met a few friends before the start again this year. Once again this year I planned to head out with a friend I met through this blog. We did this for at least the last 2 years with good results. What was different this year is that instead of us being on our own once the crowd thins out after the start we had a group of 4 or 5 runners that stayed together for most of the race.

We crossed the half in about 42 minutes so based on that I was confident we would hit our target of a sub 1:30 finish. The pace started to feel tougher after about 16 km but I managed to hang on for the last 5 km. I finished in 1:28 which is my third fastest time in this race.

I’m pleased with the result. I met the goal I set for myself without taking much of a taper this week. With just over 1 month to go until the marathon this result was a good confidence boost. Now my sole focus will be on getting ready for the marathon and taking another shot at a 3:10 finish.

Week 10 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

I’m over the halfway point of my training for the Ottawa Marathon. For week 10 I managed 80 km for the week, down from the 90 I did last week. With the exception of a 6.5 km run Saturday night all my runs were at least 11 km.

After running in spring-like conditions to end week 9 week 10 saw the return of colder conditions. Although we did not get more snowI had to trade my shorts for pants and had to get my gloves and hat out again.

I kept the pace relatively easy last week since I am gearing up for another race this Sunday. That said I did make sure to do an interval session on Thursday. This time my workout consisted of a 3 km warmup followed by 6 x 400m/2:00 easy.

Yesterday since we were busy with other stuff I waited and did my long run in the evening after the kids went to bed. A long run in the evening is never my favourite option since I find it tougher to stay motivated when you wait. That said, when I do end up doing an evening long run it always feels like an accomplishment when I get home.

As mentioned week 11 will see me do another race. I will be running the Run for Reach half-marathon. Like the St Patrick’s day race it has been on my schedule since 2011. I’ve managed sub 1:30 finishes three of the times I have run it. I am not quite sure what to expect this year. My main goal is just to run a solid race at a much faster pace than I have been doing my long runs to date. That would give me a good boost a confidence just over a month before the marathon.

How was your week?

Week 9 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon


This week ended up being my biggest week of training so far in this training cycle. Today’s long run left me with 90 km done this week. Today’s long run also put me on target for over 300 km in March.

This week was a bit of a mixed bag in terms of the weather. I had a tempo run in the snow, a tough easy with ice pellets hitting me in the face and a long run today in spring weather. This was the scene after Friday’s run…

Meanwhile this was the scene today…

I mentioned that today’s long run was a 30 km effort. Since the weather was perfect today and I was running in shorts and short sleeves again it was hard not to push the pace once I got going. I ended up running a chunk of the run at close to my marathon pace.

Other than that I managed to fit in a tempo run on Tuesday and a speed workout on Friday. The tempo run was a 9.5 km effort at 4.28/km. I managed to maintain a decent pace despite the fact it was snowing.

Meanwhile my speed workout which I had initially planned to do Thursday but you can probably tell from the photo above why I moved it to Friday. My workout involved a 3 km warm up followed by 6 x 800m/2:00 easy and a 3.2 km cool down.

This was the halfway point of my training for the Ottawa Marathon. Looking ahead to April I have a half-marathon to look forward to in a couple of weeks. It is another race I have used as part of my training the last several years and one that I find to be a good test of where I am at about a month before race day.

How was your week?


Week 8 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

As mentioned in Friday’s post I ran my second race of the year this week. Other than that this week was more of a recovery week. I ended up with a 53 km week. Other than the race my week consisted of a series of easy paced runs.

In terms of the race, as mentioned Friday, my goal was to finish the 10km in 40-41 minutes. The reason for that is that it would give me a time close to the 10 km race I did in January (41:06) and my time in the St Patrick’s Day race last year (40:56).

Yesterday turned out to be one of the colder days for the St Patrick’s Day race since I started doing the race in 2011. I really appreciated the fact that the start/finish line for this race is only a few blocks away from my house and I could leave at the last minute.

When I did leave the house I took my time getting there to give myself a very easy 2 km warm up. Following that my Garmin died and I ran without a watch. I felt good when the race started and felt like I was pushing hard. I ended up finishing in 41:31. The fact that I did not have my Garmin means that I am not sure where I lost time during the race. That said, the time still falls within the range of what I was aiming for so I can’t be too disappointed with it.

this morning I ended the week with a 16 km run, my shortest long run in several weeks. With more long runs over 30 km and 80-100 km weeks on the way this week was probably a good time for a recovery week.

How was your week?


My Next Race


Tomorrow morning I will be running my second race of the year. It will also be my second 10 km race of the year. Since 2011 the St. Patrick’s Day 10 km race has been a part of my training for the Ottawa Marathon in May.

I know for some of you it may seem odd that I register for a race that I do not really have a goal for. For me it actually makes sense and fits in with my training approach. It is a way to judge where I am at with my training for the marathon at this point.

The best part about this race is that the start and finish line is just a few blocks away from my house. As a result, it does not really take much of a commitment and my family can come out to watch the end of the race.

In terms of a goal, I guess what I would really like to accomplish is a time close to what I did in my first 10 km race this year back in January (41:06) and my result in this race last year (40:56). As long as I am not too far off those results I will be pleased with my run.

The one wildcard with this race is the weather. I’ve run this race in the snow and cold an there also was at least one year where I ran in short sleeves. Judging by the forecast tomorrow is going to be a decent day for running despite the fact than it will be colder than it has been the rest of the week (a high of 0C, 32F in the forecast).

Week 7 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon


Coming off a solid week last week my goal for this week was to build on that for another solid week. I finished off the week with 77 km done. This leaves me on pace to be up to 80-90 km weeks this month which is where I was hoping to be at this point in my training for race day in May.

As per usual my key workouts of the week were on Tuesday and Thursday. On Tuesday I opted for a run at tempo pace on my way home from work. It is not always easy to maintain a quick pace while running with a backpack but the warmer weather meant I had less in my backpack than I normally would at this time of year.

Thursday night was time for my weekly interval session. This week I did my interval session outside because it was too warm for a run at the indoor track. This is likely the earliest in a few years that I have given up on intervals at the indoor track. This week’s workout involved 3 x 1600m at a hard pace. With my warm up and cool down I ended up with a 12 km run.

Although it was cool when I headed out for my long run this morning it was a great day for it…

27.6 km done this morning#running #marathontraining #runottawa #run613 #seenonmyrun #irun

A post shared by Patrick Girard (@pat42.2) on

My plan as I headed out the door was for 26-27 km. As you can see I managed to surpass that with my run this morning. Despite the fact that it was cool at the start of my run it felt like an early spring day by the time I finished.

Next may see a bit of a drop in my weekly mileage because I am planning on running the St Patrick’s Day race on Saturday. After that I will definitely be aiming to hit 80-90 km weeks.

How was your week?

Win a Race Entry

Hey everyone, as you know I am running the Ottawa Marathon and raising money for the neurology unit at the Ottawa Hospital this year.  For more detail on why I run for a reason you can read my full post here. 

This year my goal is to beat  last year’s fundraising total of $900. To help reach that goal I am offering to register one lucky donor for the Race Weekend event of their choice. Here is your chance to support a great cause and win free entry. Click here and  donate between now and next Monday for your chance to win!