Tag Archives: strength training

Saturday Stories

It’s 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…

5 essential strength exercises for runners.

A post about finding the perfect running shoe.

If you are also running the Boston Marathon in a few weeks here is a great read to get you more excited about race day.

Back to Marathon Training

After a couple of months of running for the sake of running I am back to training for another marathon. This week was the start of my training program for the Boston Marathon in April. My training kicked off with a run home in the snow Monday evening.

It was nice to run without a structured plan for a while but I do enjoy having a goal to focus on as I plan my running. I find it easier to stay motivated and on track when I am working toward a goal. I’ve had a few weeks in the 50-60 km range for mileage recently so I should be able to get back to a weekly average of 70-80 km quickly. The key will be to get back to doing longer runs of over 15 km which is something I have not managed recently. 

One thing I am still debating is hill training during this marathon cycle. I have not decided how many hill specific workouts I want to add to my training to get me ready for the hills in Boston. If you have experience running Boston I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this question. 

In addition to ramping up my mileage I also plan to get back into my regular strength training routine. I think it was something that was beneficial in my preparation to the last few marathons I have completed and my plan is to continue a similar routine this time around. 

As I have done with my past marathons, now that I am back to training I will use my Sunday post to recap my week of training. 

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…

Can embracing discomfort help you make gains?

A study on the benefits of strength training for runners.

Training tips here: Race to Learn.

Finally, here is an interview I did with Canadian Running Magazine about run commuting

Week 6 of Training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

After a recovery week this week it was back to regular training for STWM. In addition to my usual running workouts this week the biggest change this the new strength training program I talked about in yesterday’s post. In terms of running, so far this week I managed to fit in two tempo runs and two easy runs all being the same distance, 8.9 km, because I used the same route home from work this week.

Things did not look good when I started the first of my tempo runs this week. As you can see below I thought I was headed into a nasty storm. Fortunately the quick pace of the run, an easy warm up followed by 5 km @ 4:05/km got me home before it started raining and I did not have to worry about the weather.

My second tempo run of the week was last night’s effort which ended up being 6 x (1 km @ 3:45/km, 1 km @ 4:45/km). I would say the tempo runs were the best part of week 6 so far. Getting in some mileage at paces in the range of 3:45-4:00/km is going to be important in my quest to set a new pb at STWM.

In terms of my strength training workout targeting my calf muscles, I tried it out for the first time last night. For now the plan is to stick to doing it just once per week because it is a new workout. Hopefully that will be enough to see some benefits after my current 4 week block of training that I started this week.

How was your week?

To close out the week I have a couple of runs over the weekend. First I plan a very easy 10 km tomorrow. My last run will be a 24 km run Sunday with the first 18 km at an easy pace followed by the last 6 km

Something New

Yesterday I received my latest four week block of training from my coach. My running program continues with the same workouts I have been doing, although with a bit more mileage. What is changing is my strength program for this next block of training.

The goal for my strength training in this block of training will be to build strength in my calf muscles. This is the first time any of my strength training has targeted my calf muscles specifically. Some of you might recall that I struggled with calf cramps during the last 10 km of my last two marathons. Hopefully this will help address the problem.

Here is a video showing some of the exercises I will be doing over the next four weeks. Specifically, I will be doing the exercises in the video involving stairs…

I will be going through the workout for the first time either tonight or tomorrow morning. Having not done most of the exercises before I am sure I will feel it in my calves afterward but if it prevents the cramping I dealt with in my last two marathons it will certainly be worth it.

Now I just have to find a staircase close to home that I can use for my workout and I will be ready to get started!

No Run Tuesdays

Since I started my training cycle for the Ottawa Marathon Tuesdays have been pencilled as my day for fitting in an 8 km run with accelerations. However, this run is proving to be the most difficult run to fit in as per my schedule. It is a bizarre trend that has developed in my weekly training.

For a variety of reasons, week after week I just cannot seem to fit in this run. What keeps happening is that I end up with an extra day of rest after my scheduled day of rest on Mondays.I’ve had the best of intentions to fit in this run but whether it is because I was busy at work or busy at home after work I am finding myself having to postpone this run.

It is not such a big deal since I have been able to delay the run to later in the week it is funny how this trend has developed. In order to make up for the missed Tuesday run I have either been running twice one day per week or I have been running on Fridays when I also do not have a scheduled run.

In the end maybe it is not such a bad thing that I keep taking Tuesday off from running. Since I am doing my strength exercises on Mondays, the day after my long run, Tuesday is giving my an actual day of rest. Tonight when it became apparent I would not fit the run in I got out my foam roller and also did some yoga stretches. I figure that for this reason the trend cannot be that bad if it keeps up.

Do you find yourself developing trends like this in your training schedule?