Tag Archives: tempo run

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?

Week 6 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

My goal for week 6 was primarily to increase my mileage. Coming off a recovery week I wanted to hit at least 70 km for the week before I start aiming for 80-90 km weeks for a while. I managed that with a total of 75 km done.

Overall I went for 6 runs in week 6, including a tempo run, 800’s at the track and my first 32 km (20 mile) run of this training cycle. It was a productive week and I was pleased with my progress over the previous week.

My interval session on Thursday was an opportunity to break in a new pair of shoes which is always fun. This is my third pair of Fresh Foam Zantes and they are still my favourite shoe to run in. I broke them in with a workout consisting of a 1 mile warm up followed by 5 x 800m.

I ended the week on a positive note as well with my first 32 km run of this training cycle. It was my first run over 30 km since the Philadelphia Marathon back in November. Despite the fact that it was cool when I started it turned out to be a great morning for a long run.

32 km done this morning #run613 #runottawa #marathontraining #instarunners #seenonmyrun #ottawa

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

As mentioned at the start of this post my focus now will be to continue milage to my training as I look to get back up 80-90 km/week. With my long runs now in the 26-32 km range for the next little while that should not be too difficult.

If the weather forecast for week 7 is any indication spring could be on the way here soon. That will make it easier to get in consistent workouts outside although it will mean running in wet and sloppy conditions as the snow melts.

Back to the Dome

As has become my routine at this time of year for 3 or 4 years now I returned to the indoor track under the dome last night. The discovery of the dome, thanks to a neighbour I run with, is one of the best things that happened to me since I started training for marathons.

With the snow and ice we tend to have covering our sidewalks when winter starts it is tough to fit in speed work and even tempo runs outside. Running at the dome has allowed me to continue these workouts without interruption during the winter months. I think there is no question that it has benefitted my training.

Last night was  my first outing of the year. I opted for a workout consisting of 5 x 800m. I end up with splits splits of 3:04, 3:03, 2:58, 3:03, 3:04. Having not done much in the way of faster pace runs, other than last Sunday’s race, since the Philadelphia Marathon I was pleased to see that I was still able to run at the same pace I did my workouts in my previous training cycles.

Since I am a member of Team Nuun this year I also made sure to have some Nuun on hand to fuel my workout..


Race Report Richmond Road Races 2016

imageThis year I got my race season off to an earlier start than usual. I ran a 10 km race about 20 minutes from home. The Richmond Road Races have been going on for 34 years now but it was my first time registering for one of the races (5 and 10 km).

Since I have not done much in the way of speed work and tempo runs since the Philadelphia Marathon back in November I did not have a time goal for this one. My plan was just to run based on how I felt.

It was cold at the start, -11 C (12F) and closer to -20 with the windchill. Fortunately the races start and finish at a high school and the gym was open to runners. The race course was a loop through town and along country roads.

Like I said at the start I went into this race without a time goal. I was surprised at how good I felt running a hard pace. By time time I reached the halfway point I figured I would be able to finish in around 40:00-41:00.

View Photo: http://www.zoomphoto.ca/viewphoto/19838-110-26010773/1/

I managed to maintain my pace over the second half of the race. When the clock at the finish line came into view I still had a chance to slip in under 41:00. I didn’t quite have enough left in the tank for that and crossed the finish line in 41:06.

My result was about 30 seconds off my current pb for the 10 km. I’m quite pleased with the result. It was a good way to start off the year. This week I will be starting my training plan for May’s Ottawa Marathon so this was a great way to get started.


Week 17 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon

Race day is only one week away now and my last full week of training is complete. I ended up cutting a couple of my runs short this week but I am feeling pretty good about next week. I’ve had a good training cycle and managed to avoid getting sick or injured. Now I am looking forward to putting my training to the test. 

The key workout this week was a threshold effort on Tuesday. My schedule called for a 3.2 km warm up followed by 4 x 2 km @ 4:12/km with an easy 1:30 in between each set. A 3 km cool down left me with a 15 km workout. 

This is the second training cycle I’ve stretched my tempo and speed workouts to 15-20 km efforts during my biggest weeks of training. I think it helped me in the lead up to the Ottawa Marathon in May by having me run at a harder pace over longer distances. We’ll see in a week if it was in fact a benefit but for now at least it helped make me feel more confident about my training.

I ended the week with a marathon pace effort. I opted for a 16 km run today. I felt it was a good distance because it took me over an hour to complete but it wasn’t enough mileage to have a negative impact on my goal. 

Now the focus for the upcoming week will be to pay more attention to nutrition and rest. I’ll do one more tempo run on Tuesday but my key workouts are out of the way now. I just need to focus on being ready for next Sunday morning.

How did your week go?

Week 16 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


Race day is only 2 weeks away now. This week was another full week of training although I did cut back on my mileage due to time constraints on a couple of days. That said, I think it was still another solid week of training. The result was a 77 km week.

The biggest impact on my training this week was not being able to fit in my scheduled 16 km tempo run and 20 km worth of speed work. To make up for that I opted for 11 and 10 km efforts both at marathon pace.

This morning the weather was what I hope it will be on race day. There weren’t many clouds in the sky and it was cool with little wind. The previous two occasions I’ve run in Philadelphia it ended up being a little on the warm side for this time of year. Weather like we had here this morning would be great for running a marathon.

Once again this morning I brought my soon to be 3 year old along for the ride in the Chariot…

The plan for week 17 is for another solid week of training before I really ramp things back the following week. My plan has me coming in around 92 km for the week  which I think is a little more than I’ve done 2 weeks out from a marathon in previous cycles but I think it will be fine this time since I had a bit of a recovery week this week in terms of overall mileage.

How was your week?


Week 13 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon

Coming off my biggest week of training my plan for week 13 was a similar one in that I was aiming to surpass 100 km for the week once again. My schedule of runs for the week was very similar to what I did in week 12. I ended up with 106 km done in week 13.

Once again longer tempo and speed workouts on Tuesday and Thursday were key in helping me fit in my scheduled mileage for the week. On Tuesday evening I ended up running for 1 hour at my tempo pace following an easy warm up. My total mileage was 19 km.

Thursday night’s speed workout was a tougher one, in part because it rained most of the time I was running. This time my workout involved 200m repeats. After an easy warm up I completed 6 x 200m/200m easy, 3.2 km @ 4:51/km, another 6 sets of 200m repeats and ended with an easy cool down for a total of 21 km done.

Yesterday I took my 2 year old out with me in the Chariot for my long run. We ended up doing 31 km…

Week 14 will follow a similar pattern before I start to drop my mileage with race day only just over a month away now. That means I will do one more 30 km run this weekend. 

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 12 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon

This week ended up being the big week of training I was looking for. After my long run this morning I ended up with 118 km for the week. I’ve made it over 100 km in a week on several occasions in the past but I think this is the most mileage that I’ve fit into a week of training. 

Hitting this total for mileage meant added mileage to each of my runs. For my easy runs that was not too difficult since I was just adding 1-2 km to each. It was my tempo run on Tuesday and my speed work on Thursday where I had to add the most mileage. 

My schedule for Tuesday called for a tempo run consisting of a 3.2 km warm up, followed by 3 x 3.2 km @ tempo pace and an easy 2:00. I ended the run with a 3 km cool down for a total of just over 17 km done. In order to fit in the run I was up early and out the door at 5:00.

Thursday called for even mileage with 22-23 km on the schedule. Fortunately I as able to fit this one in after work instead of getting up at the crack of dawn. My workout consisted of a 3.2 km warm up followed by 3 x 1200m @ 4:13/km and 1:30 easy. 40:00 @ 5:00/km, 3 x 1200m @ 4:13/km and 1:30 easy. I ended the workout with a 3 km cool down to give me a 22 km run.

I ended the week with a 32 km run. While my oldest was at swimming lessons with her mother I took my 2 year old in the Chariot…

With 6 more weeks to go until race day it means I still have 3 big weeks of mileage coming up. My schedule has me doing 2 more 30 km runs and I will be aiming for two more 100 km weeks before I start my taper.

How was your week?

Week 11 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


This week was a mixed bag in terms of training for me. On the positive side I had a solid tempo run and a solid speed session where I pushed the pace. On the negative side I had to drop my long run.

I’ll start my post by talking about the positives. Tuesday was my birthday and even though it was raining out I decided it was a good night to push the pace a bit. My schedule called for an 11-12 km run so I opted for a tempo run at that pace. I finished with a 12 km run in 51 minutes, a 4:17/km pace. It was a nice way to celebrate my birthday.

Since I was not able to fit it in Thursday night I ended up doing my speed session at the track yesterday. This time my schedule called for a 3.2 km warm up followed by 3 x 300m, 1:30 easy, 3:00 easy then another 3 x 300m, 1:30 easy. Despite the fact that it was windy out I felt like I pushed hard on the 300m and that made for a good workout.

The down side of this week was that I had to skip my long run planned for today. This is kind of a silly issue I have. If someone else were to ask me for advice I would tell them that missing one run wasn’t going to hurt their training.

However, when it comes to my training schedule I don’t like missing a scheduled run. I’ll be over it by tomorrow when I start a new week on my schedule but this was not the way I was looking to end the week.

Next week will see me aiming for even more mileage with my schedule calling for a 100 km week. If I manage to hit that target it will be the second time in this cycle that I have reached it.

How was your week?