Tag Archives: speed intervals

Speed Intervals

imageFor just over a year now Thursday night has become my regular night for speed intervals. Discovering the indoor track last year has allowed me to include speed intervals earlier in my training cycle.

To keep things interesting I like to try a different workout each week. So far this year I have done 800’s and a ladder workout. Tonight I did mile repeats, five of them, since I had not yet done that workout this year.

After a year of weekly speed intervals during my training cycles I am seeing the benefits. Not only am I able to complete them at a faster pace this year, I also feel more comfortable running at that pace so I  am pretty sure that I have improved my running form over that time.

Finally, it remains to be seen how this will impact race day but I feel more confident after good speed interval workouts like tonight’s workout which will help me keep a positive outlook on the rest of my training cycle.

Do you include regular speed intervals in your training?

Week 3 of Training for the Ottawa Marathon

Week three of training is nearly complete. So far thanks to two multiple run days I have managed to get in seven runs good enough furor 60 km. I will end the week with a final tomorrow which will bring me up to a 70 km week for the first time in a while.

The week started off with an early morning long run Sunday morning. Getting up at 5:30 I managed to get in 18 km and make it back home in time to have breakfast and watch cartoons with my three year-old.

I mentioned multiple run days. It was a strategy I used last year and plan to use again when needed this year in order to get in my planned mileage. Yesterday and today I did just that by running at lunch and running in the evening.

In addition to Sunday’s long run last night’s intervals at the dome were my key workouts. Last night’s interval workout was 6 x 800. So far this year I am running faster paces at the track. Hopefully that will prove beneficial on race day.

Week four kicks off with a 22 km run Sunday, likely another early morning run.

How did your training go this week?

First Intervals of the Year

You may recall that last year I added intervals at an indoor track to my training over the winter months. The benefit was that this allowed me to add regular speed intervals to my training earlier in my training cycle than I previously had done.

After seeing the benefits last year my plan was always to start running at the dome again this year once the winter weather started. I managed to make it to the dome last night for my first series of speed intervals of the year.

Last year we kept it interesting by doing a different workout every week – 400’s, 800’s, mile repeats and ladder workouts. We even tried 2 km repeats once. The variety served to keep it more interesting. Last night’s workout was an easier since it was the first of the year. We went with a 6 x 800 workout with the average pace being 3:05.

I have still been trying to include tempo runs in my runs home from work but with the snow and ice it isn’t always easy to maintain a fast and steady pace. Last night at the dome being able to maintain a quick and steady pace made it feel like training for spring races was really getting under way.

Do you include indoor running over the winter months?

What Next?

This post is a common theme for me following a marathon, what to do next. As has often been the case, I don’t have any immediate goals for the upcoming months. I don’t have any races planned for the rest of the year.

I will likely be able to get back to easy running later in the week after I have sufficiently recovered from Sunday’s marathon. With no races planned I can ease my way back into increasing my mileage and the intensity of my runs.

One thing I do know I will be doing is weekly speed intervals at the indoor track over the winter once again this year. I think that was a big boost to my training for this year’s Ottawa Marathon and will provide me with another good base to likely be ready for one of the races here in May of next year.

With that I guess it looks like I do have a couple of upcoming goals for running already, getting back to running regularly and committing to weekly speed intervals over the winter once again this year.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Week 8 of Training for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon

I’ve reached the halfway point of my training for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. With one run left to go tomorrow my mileage for week eight currently sits at 60 km. With my final run tomorrow I will look to push that to just over 70 which should set me up nicely for my heaviest weeks of training are up next.

Week eight was another solid week of training that kicked off on Sunday with an 18 km run following the men’s Olympic marathon. While I didn’t get in as much mileage as originally planned, I did add 10 km worth of biking and a soccer game to my training in addition to the run.

In terms of my key runs this week, Tuesday and Thursday were the most important days of training this week. Tuesday was a tempo run with 10 km done in 42 minutes. It was just one of those days where my run felt good from the start and I was able to push a steady pace of 4:20-4:30/km.

Yesterday was definitely the toughest day of running. I did something I don’t normally do with two tough workouts in a row. Rain earlier in the week meant that yesterday was the only day I could fit in a hill workout with co-workers.

The first workout yesterday was a series of hill repeats at lunch. I did six repeats of the old ski hill by my office. Incidentally, for the last one we decided to change things up and go up the hill backward – a killer workout for the quads for those of you who have not tried it before.

To finish things off yesterday I did my usual track workout in the evening. Last night’s workout of choice was 800’s. I managed to get in 6 x 800. It was tempting to go for another one at the end but considering the hill repeats I did lunch I thought better of it.

As previously mentioned, I am now at the halfway point of my training. That means my heaviest weeks of training are coming up over the next few weeks. Of course with that comes my four planned 30-32 km training runs, the first of which is scheduled for this Sunday.

How did your training go this week?

Changing Plans Because of the Heat

The original plan for tonight was a more intense run with either speed intervals or a tempo run on the schedule. However, as I can sometimes happen due to the weather, I changed my plan just before tonight’s run.

After a short easy run at lunch today I was still ready for a more intense effort tonight. However, with the temperatur still pushing 30C when we went for a run at 7:00 it just was not worth pushing the pace with speed intervals or a tempo run.

In the end I ended up with two relatively easy paced runs today for a total of just under 20 km. I might not have run the quicker run I wanted to tonight but I did get in a good amount of mileage for a weekday.

With the temperatures looking like they could be close to record highs tomorrow and Saturday my next couple of efforts will also likely end up being relatively easy paced runs.   Sunday will also likely end up being a slower effort as I plan to get in my longer run of the week.

With my next planned race being a 10 mile effort next Wednesday night I can only hope it cools off a little between now and then so I can get in a solid result. Provided the weather cooperates the plan is to head out at marathon pace, 4:30/km, and aim to finish in 65-70 minutes.

How has the recent heat wave affected your running plans?

Rain Delay

Tonight’s plan called for an evening of speed work. The plan was to do mile repeats at the high school track close to my house. Unfortunately, an afternoon and evening of rain left the conditions at the track less than ideal.

As a result, tonight’s run ended up being postponed so I stayed home and watched a couple of Game 7 NHL playoff games on tv. To make up for the lack of a run tonight, tomorrow will be a double-header day.

My plan is to start off the day with an easy run first thing in the morning and I’ll go for a second run in the evening. Since I am doing two runs tomorrow I’ll look to get in about 20 km overall with one run likely at an easy pace and the other being at my intended marathon pace.

How do you make up for missed runs?

What’s Next?

With my three tune-up races complete and race day just over a month away I think my training for this year’s Ottawa Marathon has me better prepared than I was last year based on some of the changes I have made to my training.

Although I raced the same three tune-up races this time around I think the strategies I had for them this year made better use of the races this time around. Last year I did not really have a strategy going in to the three races. This year was the opposite where I had a focused strategy for each one.

The first 10 km gave me a feel for running at 1:30 half-marathon pace, running a sub 1:30 half-marathon confirmed that it is reasonable to try for a 3:10 marathon time and the second 10 km race provided me with a an opportunity to run at my intended marathon on tired legs since I ran 21 km (13 miles) before the race.

Another change that seems to have made a big difference was the introduction of speed intervals at an earlier point in my training. Whereas in the lead-up to my other marathons I only did speed intervals over the course of the last 5-6 weeks of my training this time I started doing speed intervals regularly in February. There is no doubt that was a factor in my times I had in my three recent races. The discovery of an indoor track close to home was certainly a great find this year.

Not that the tune-up races are out of the way what’s left before the Ottawa Marathon? Since there are five weeks left before the marathon I’ll probably do another three series of speed intervals.

I also have one more 32 km (20 mile) long run to get in. Since I completed my third 30+ km run this past Sunday I will do my last in two weeks. That will give me one final opportunity to get in a long run at a relatively easy pace before the marathon.


Week 9 of Training for the Ottawa Marathon

Week nine of my 16 week training for the Ottawa Marathon is nearly complete. So far I have completed 58 km (36 miles). Tomorrow I am contemplating getting in my second 30 + km run of my training schedule which would put me at over 80 km for the second week in a row. Normally I would be scheduled to get in that run next weekend but I am running a half-marathon next weekend.

Week nine started off with the first of my 32 km (20 miles) training runs. The run started off on my own for the first 10 km. I was then joined joined by a couple of friends for the rest of the run which seemed to make the distance go by quicker.

This week I did not get any speed work in but I did get in a couple of runs at marathon pace. I also kept up with my now regular Tuesday night hills run. The runs made week nine feel like another solid week of training.

Since I am likely doing my long run tomorrow I’ll likely kick off week ten with a 10-12 km run on Sunday. I am also planning to drop speed work for week ten once again as I will be racing a half-marathon next Sunday. The goal of that race will be to aim for 1:30 in order to give me a better time of the time I should aim for in the Ottawa Marathon which is now only 49 days away!

How did your training go this week?

Changes to my Training

Since I started training for this year’s Ottawa Marathon I made two changes to my training that I had not initially planned on when started training. The two changes have been increased speed work and hill training.

Obviously these are two important elements to marathon training as hills help strengthen your legs while speed work helps you go faster. I have always included hills and speed work in my training but the big change this time has been consistently getting in these workouts starting earlier in my training schedule.

Lately Tuesday nights have become my night for hills and Thursday nights have been my night for speed workouts. The biggest reason for this change has been finding other people to do these workouts with. It certainly makes it easier to be motivated for them and get through them. It also makes for a nice change from the solo runs.

I guess I’ll find out in 52 days how much of a difference for my training but for now at least it is also leaving me more confident as I get closer to race day.

What recent changes have you made to your training?