Tag Archives: speed workout

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?


The Runner’s High

When you run regularly some runs feel better than others. Some runs are tough and you get them in because they are on your schedule and you feel like you are getting them in because you have to.

Then there are runs that just feel effortless and remind you why you run. This is what come call the runner’s high. This concept has certainly been relevant recently.

For me I am currently at the peak point of my training for the Philadelphia Marathon. That means all of my runs are being stretched with extra mileage. My tempo and speed workouts last week and this week have involved 17-22 km efforts.

In terms of how they felt, my tempo and speed workouts last week and this week fell into the second category I described above. On each occasion I felt like I could have continued running at a hard pace longer than I did. Each of those workouts made me feel positive about where I am at with just over one month to go before race day.

Of course scenes like this while I was completing those workouts certainly did not hurt…

22 km done after work tonight #marathontraining #running #ottawa #Run613 #runner #runottawa

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

Ran through the arboretum tonight #ottawa #Run613 #runner #running #marathontraining

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

I’ve had other runs over the past two weeks that were not as smooth or effortless. Feeling the runner’s high after what was supposed to be my toughest workouts at this point has been a positive development.

Week 14 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

Race day is less than one month away. That means that I have a couple of weeks of heavy mileage left before I start tapering for the marathon. That also means that I only have a couple of really long runs left now. These final two weeks of heavy training should see me hit just over 100 km per week, making them my heaviest two weeks of training so far.

This week’s plan was similar to last week’s in that my weekday runs consisted of mainly easy pace runs with one speed workout on Thursday. My total mileage for the week was 85 km. It was a good way to set me up for these last two big weeks.

One thing I am feeling postitive about so far is my training cycle is my tempo and speed workouts. The plan I am using has been recommending workouts that I have not done in the past and for longer distances than I have done in the past. I also feel that I have been pushing the pace harder on these runs than I was last year.  

My two weekend runs were both done while away from home. I had to head out at the crack of dawn to fit both in but was pleased to fit both in with our weekend plans, especially this morning’s 36 km long run that I will write about tomorrow.

How did you week go?

Week 13 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon


Week 13 was a week of recovery after last Sunday’s half-marathon. In fact I ended up taking more rest days than I generally do. Startiung off with three in a row from Monday-Wednesday. Coming off several consecutive weeks of 80 km it certainly felt different.

As mentioned that is more time off than I would generally take but since that was what my training plan called for after the half-marathon I decided to try and see if it made a difference. With my biggest weeks in terms of mileage coming up over the next few weeks I’m sure that extra rest this week can’t hurt.

I got going again with a solid speed workout Thursday. This week’s workout involved a series of 200 m sprints. Following a 2 km warm up I fit in 12 x 200m @ 3:21/km and 200 m easy. Coming off a few days off I was surprised I did not feel as sluggish as I thought I would and it felt good to push the pace once again.

This morning was time for my weekly long run. I headed out with a couple of friends aiming for 20-25 km. To give myself even more of a workout I brought my two year along for the in the Chariot. It was my first time so far this year pushing the stroller for a run. In the end we completed 23 km to give me a total of 41 km for the week.

How did your week go?


Week 10 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon


This week my training plan called for my biggest week in terms of mileage so far. After taking a bit of a recovery week last week my goal was to aim for 90 km this week. With this morning’s long run I managed to hit my target for the week. With eight weeks to go until race day it was a nice milestone to hit. I really feel like my training is going well at this point. 

Before I hit my long run this week My two key runs were 15 km threshold and speed workouts done Tuesday and Thursday. My current training plan has me adding more mileage to Tuesday and Thursday runs. I’m used to hitting 10-11 km midweek but 15 km runs at the paces I ran this week were a good confidence boost this week. 

Tuesday morning’s threshold run was an early morning effort with me heading out the door at 5:30 to do 15 km consisting of 6.4 km at 4:17/km, a 5 minute jog, 10 sets of 100 m at 3:34/km and a 30 second jog ending with a cool down. As I wrote in Tuesday’s post the run was a great way to get the day started.

As mentioned, Thursday’s speed workout was another 15 km effort. This time it was a speed workout consisting of an easy 3.2 km warm up, 6 sets of 200m at 3:34/km followed by a 200m jog, 3.2 km at 4:43/km, another 6 sets of 200m at 3:34/km followed by a 200m jog and ending with a cool down.

Even though spring is officially here I had to add layers for both of my weekend runs as the temperature dipped back below freezing. The long term forecast says they will be the last two days below freezing. I am hoping that will be the case so I can get in some runs in warmer temperatures before race weekend. 

This morning my plan called for 24-25 km. Since I was feeling good and I had not yet gone up to 30 km in this cycle I went for a 30 km run. I kept the pace to an easy and steady effort. Even though I did 28 km twice over the past few weeks there is something different about getting to 30 km. it probably makes very little difference physically but mentally I find it gives me an extra boost.

As mentioned it was below freezing when I headed out, cold enough to freeze the tubes on my hydrapak not long after I started. Fortunately it started to warm up after the first hour. This was the scene as I hit the halfway point of my run..


How did your week go?

Week 12 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon

20131004-223147.jpgThere is officially less than one month to go until race day now. In terms of training, this week and next week will be my heaviest weeks of mileage before I start to taper. As a result, I still have my two longest runs left to go – 32 km this Sunday and 36 km next Sunday.

Overall I am still feeling good about my approach. I may have done less mileage overall this time around but the strength, mobility and stability exercises I have been doing throughout this training cycle will hopefully make up the difference.

My key workout this was the hill repeats I did this week. The workout on the schedule was four 1 km repeats (500 m up and 500 m down) at 100% effort. I think I’ve found myself a pretty good hill to use for my repeats the last couple of weeks. It is certainly a good enough challenge that I feel exhausted at the end of each repeat. Overall, four repeats at this 100% effort is one of those workouts that feels tough while you are doing it but leaves you feeling like you accomplished something when you finish.

This week’s speed workout was another new one for me. It involved 8 km total at 4:20/km with 15 second sprints every km. The sprints certainly helped make every km go by quicker.

I plan to wrap up this week with a couple of runs over the weekend. Tomorrow the plan is for an easy 8 km while Sunday the plan is for a 32 km (20 mile) long run. Sunday’s run will be the first of my runs over 30 km, runs that are generally a good gauge of how your training is going.

How did your week go?


Week 10 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


Another week of training is nearly complete and I am another week closer to race day. This week was a recovery week following a few weeks of more intense training once again. What that really means is that now that I have had a recovery week the toughest part of my training starts next week.

The toughest workout this week was the speed workout I did. This week’s speed workout involved 100 m sprints at the track. This is not a regular workout for me but it is now the second I’ve done the workout, the previous time being the last time I had a recovery week. I still prefer running longer distances but the great thing about this workout is that it does not take long to fit in which was particularly useful this week because I had to postpone it from Tuesday to Wednesday.

Speaking of recovery weeks, it is another element I did not make much time for in my previous training cycles. I understand the idea behind how it can be of benefit to me but in my previous training cycles recovery weeks were not regularly scheduled every few weeks. Hopefully this is another new element to my training that will benefit me on race day.

My plan is to end the week with a 12 km run Sunday before picking up the pace in week 11. I will find out what exactly my coach has in store for me when he sends me my schedule for the next four weeks.

How did your week go?

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?

New Workout

Tonight was a another strong speed workout at the dome. It involved a new workout I had not yet tried.

Looking for something longer that might be more beneficial to marathon training we decided to do 2 km (1.2 miles) repeats. Given that the track is 400 m each repeat involved 5 laps of the track.

We ended up doing 4 repeats for a total of 8 km (5 miles). With times of 8:32, 7:52, 8:16 and 8:04 our average time was around 8:10 which is right were we wanted to be when we started.

What do I think of the workout? I think kit is definitely the toughest of the speed workouts I have done at the track but it felt pretty good to get it done. Whether it will benefit my marathon training remains to be seen but I am willing to try it again.

What has been the toughest speed workout for you?  

Week 12 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon

Week 12 of my 16 week training program for the Philadelphia Marathon will be complete after tomorrow’s run. This week’s plan called for 58 miles, 93 kilometers. With one run remaining I currently have completed 75.5 km this week. I mentioned earlier in the week that I was hoping for 100 km this and for next week before I start my taper. That means I need to get in 24.5 km tomorrow.

Week 12 was another strong week of training that started with the third of my four scheduled 20 mile, 32 km, training runs.

Despite the windy, cool and rainy weather we have had this week I also managed to get in a couple more intense workouts with some mile repeats on Wednesday and a tempo run today  with 11 km at my intended marathon pace.

Week 13 kicks off with a 16 mile, 25 km, run on Sunday. It will also bring one of my more important workouts of this training cycle, Wednesday’s speed workout consisting of 10 Yasso 800’s. You may recall that a few weeks ago I completed eight Yasso 800’s with an average pace of 3:04. I am hoping I will be able to maintain a similar pace this time around.

With four weeks of training left I now have approximately 314 km, 194 miles, to go before I hit the streets of Philadelphia in November.