Tag Archives: taper for a marathon

The Last Week Before a Marathon

For the second time in three weeks I am into the last week of training before a marathon. This is a first for me, I have never done two marathons this close together. It can be a tough week to get through after all the training you put in. This time I am hoping that the fact i just went through this a few weeks earlier will help make it easier.

Since I had to back off from my goal in Montreal three weeks ago my focus since then has been first of all to recover so I could take another shot in Toronto this weekend and second to get in a few more quality runs so I could maintain my fitness level.

After a 15 km run at marathon pace last night my key workouts are done. I will run a few more times this week but they will all be short runs. I will keeping the runs in the 6-8 km range until Sunday when I line up for the marathon. In terms of pace I will likely throw in a few km at marathon pace again Thursday but other than that I will stick to a very easy pace.

The real focus for this week will be loading up on carbs and getting enough sleep, something I don’t always get enough of in the lead up to a marathon. At least I can control the food I eat and won’t have to worry about eating out in restaurants until Saturday when we are in Toronto.

That’s my plan for the week. Hopefully it will be a successful one. I am confident in the training I put in over the summer but the marathon is such a long race that many pieces have to come together for a successful race. I’ll try not to stress too much over that this week although that may be easier said than done.

Week 18 of Training for the Ottawa Marathon

20140502-210717.jpgThis week is my last big week of training before the Ottawa Marathon which is just over two weeks away now.  After two runs this weekend I will start tapering for race day.

The week got started with a tempo run on Tuesday. The scheduled workout this week was the same as last week, 4 x (5 minutes @ 5:00/km followed by 5 minutes @ 4:00/km). As with last week it does not look like a tough workout on paper but I was feeling it by the time I got to the fourth set so it was not an easy workout.

Yes day was once again time for short hill sprints…

I used the hill above for my sprints yesterday. It is not the biggest hill but enough of an incline to make me work harder for the 100 m sprints and when you add in jumping squats after each set it was not an easy workout. My quads are feeling it today.

As mentioned, I have two runs left to do this weekend. Tomorrow will be 8 km with 6 km of that coming at race pace. Finally, Sunday will see me get in my last long run ahead of race day with an easy 32 km effort.

How did your week go?

If you have not already done so there is still plenty of time to get entries in for the giveaway of a copy of 4:09:43 Boston Through the Eyes of the Runners.

Week 16 of Training for the Ottawa Marathon


There is not much to be said about this week. As previously mentioned, last week was my biggest week of training so far in this training cycle. As a result, the focus this week was to recover from last week’s mileage.

This week has been a very quiet week. I only had three runs assigned and I have stuck with the plan.  I figure the recovery this week will be as important overall as the training last week so I was not tempted to try and fit in extra mileage this week.

So far I have only gone for two runs this week for a total of just under 18 km. Tomorrow I will fit in my last run of the week, an easy 10 km effort.  It is my lowest week in terms of mileage in a long while but again coming off last week I think it was well timed.

I will know what my plan is for next week once I receive it from my coach. With one month left before race day I am expecting there will be one more intense week of training left befoe the three week taper sets in. Included in that last big week of training will be my final 30 km training run of this cycle.

How did your week go?

Week 14 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon

20131025-220440.jpgAnother week of training is complete. Race day is now two weeks away. In two weeks from today I will be in Philadelphia getting ready for the marathon, number nine for me overall.

This week was the start of the taper for me. After getting in my longest training run Sunday morning I’ve only run twice. The run run being a set of intervals and the second one being an easy run tonight. Tomorrow is another day off for me then I’ll end off the week with a 12 km run Sunday morning.

Speed intervals this week, as you can expect after a 36 km long run, were short and quick. After an easy 2 km warm-up I did a series of 10 50m sprints. I finished the workout with an easy 2 km cool-down.

So that was it for my week. Not much to say this time around. The key to this week was recovery after harder weeks of work.

How did your week go?


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. As always, if you came across anything you feel is worthy of mention here feel free to post a link below.

Here are this week’s stories…

Another post on the taper before a marathon. This is what I have to look forward to in a couple of weeks.

If you are looking for a new GPS watch here is a good review of the Garmin 610 the watch I received for my birthday a couple of weeks ago.

Tips on making smoothies that fill you up.

Tips for carb loading.

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. As always, if you came across anything you feel is worthy of mention here feel free to post a link below.

Here are this week’s stories…

Here is a good article on running injuries and how to prevent them.

Some nutrition tips, cooking with quinoa.

For those of you with a marathon coming up here are some tips for your final week of training. 

Here is a story about a marathon maniac who is about to run his 100th marathon.

Week 15 of Training for the Ottawa Marathon

Week 15 of my 16 week training program is nearly complete. Since this is my first week of tapering before race day it was a pretty low-key week compared to the my efforts from the previous few weeks.

This week’s training schedule called for 62 km (38 miles). With one run remaining to go tomorrow I have completed 48 km so far this week. A 12 km (8 miles) run tomorrow will get me up to 60 km for the week which I think is not a bad effort given that race day is just over a week away.

The week started off with the final of my planned runs of over 20 km when I completed 23 km while pushing my daughter in her Chariot Sunday morning. With the exception of a 10 km run at marathon pace on Wednesday my other runs this week were easy and relatively short efforts (9 and 6.5 km).

Today was my second planned rest day this week. However, since I was in need of a new pair of shorts I went shopping and picked up a pair of short along with a new singlet to wear with them. Now I am set for race day!

As mentioned already, my plan is to get in a 12 km run tomorrow. Week 16 will kick off with a 19-20 (13 miles) km effort on Sunday.

This Week

This week marks my first week of cutting back on my mileage as I taper before the Ottawa Marathon which is now just 12 days away. Whereas I ended up doing 100 km last week, this week my plan calls for approximately 62 km (39 miles).

Cutting back on my mileage also means scaling back the intensity of my workouts. I won’t be attempting anymore speed intervals and I have just a few marathon pace runs planed for more intense workouts.

Following Sunday’s 23 km (14 mile) run, I managed to get in an easy 9 km (5.5 mile) run tonight. Tomorrow night’s plan is to go for a 12 km (8 mile) marathon pace run followed by easy efforts on Thursday and Saturday.

Fortunately I have been able to avoid injury once again so the key between now and race will be to make sure that remains to be the case. For this reason I don’t intend to tempt fate and add any unnecessary workouts at this point.

Taper Tuesday

Tonight’s plan was for an easy 10-11 km run after work. In the end I completed 10 km in 52 minutes.

I know the drop in mileage this week and next week will be beneficial in my preparation for race day but at the same time it felt different tonight. It felt enjoyable for a different reason. The run felt good because there was no pressure to maintain a specific pace or to get in extra mileage.

The other thing that helped make the run more enjoyable is the realization that I will be headed to Philadelphia in just over a week from now.

One thing I unexpectedly was reminded of tonight was how soon it gets dark out now.  I left work at 5:00 and the sky was already black. Normally I would  have lights on my backpack or my jacket for when I am running in areas that are not well lit. I did not think to grab them this morning. I’ll have to remember to do so for my remaining evening or early morning runs now.

Next up this week are another short easy run tomorrow followed by a tempo run Thursday and another easy run on Saturday.

Did you get in a run today?