Week 2: Erie Marathon Training

Good Morning and Happy Monday! With week 1 of my Erie training plan clearly being a lot of fun, it was time to get serious! After some deliberation, instead of adding a speed workout starting in week 4 (essentially at the starting point of a 12 week program), I decided I would start in week 2. I can’t just wish for Boston to happen, I need to work for it!

[ week 2 / 13 weeks until the Erie Marathon ]

Monday – 10 kilometres/52:26/5:15 pace. It’s recovery run day. There’s no shortage of articles on the internet discussing the importance of recovery runs after a workout (in my case, a Sunday long run). I’ve read a number of articles citing the importance of recovery runs to flush-out lactic acid and an equal number of articles debunking this as a “myth.” I personally like recovery runs because it forces you to run on tired legs and at the end of a marathon, having the experience of running on tired legs is exactly what I need!

Strava Run

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Tuesday – 12.5 kilometres/3 kilometres warm-up, 5x800s @ 3:03 (with 2:00 rest between), 4 kilometres cool-down. Looks confusing, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s not! This is one of my favorite workouts. I used to run on the North Toronto Collegiate Institute track on Broadway Avenue for interval training; it’s just shy of 400m and really nice. The only issue is this midtown Toronto track is very popular which means there are is no shortage of obstacles to maneuver around when you run. Nowadays, I do my interval training at Mt. Pleasant cemetery. The road in the cemetery is maintained 365 days a year and while it’s also a popular place for runners, I’ve never had an issue that impacted my speed workouts!

Towards the end of last year, I noticed a number of my Strava followers were incorporating Yasso 800’s in their interval training. After researching this workout, I decided to give it a try. When you run Yasso 800’s, the rest period between intervals is equal to the time it takes you to run the interval (e.g. – if it takes you 3:03 to run 800 metres, your active recovery is also 3:03). I did notice the rest period between each 800 seemed long and, surely enough, there are quite a few blog posts recommending runners reduce the rest period to maximize the benefits of this workout or extend the length of the interval.

How I approach this workout: It’s 3 kilometres to the starting point in the cemetery (this is my warm-up). I then run 800 metres in 3:03 (the equivalent of a 3:53/km pace which is my VO2 Max pace based on various websites used to calculate this pace). Holding this pace is difficult to do as I tend to start too quickly from a standing start, then need to back off to 3:53/km. Because I’m still very much an amateur runner, I rely on my GPS watch to tell me whether I am hitting the right pace. Often enough I’m within a few seconds, so I’m happy. Once I hit the 800 metre mark, I jog/walk for 2:00 (I keep the pace within my Active Recovery zone which is 5:24/km or slower). I then repeat this for as many times as my workout requires. This week I completed 5 sets. By the end of this training plan, I will hit 10 sets!

I highly recommend this workout. If you do it, let me how you like it!

Strava Run 

Week 2 Workout

Wednesday – Today is supposed to be a strength training day for me; however, we had a BBQ at work and then I proceeded to eat three slices of Little Ceasar’s pizza and a couple of cheese-filled bread sticks for dinner. By the time I got around to doing any strength training, I really was not motivated at all. Some days you feel like you can take on the world, other days, you engorge yourself of BBQ, pizza, and cheese-filled bread sticks.

Thursday – 12 kilometres/1:00:46/5:04 pace. Thankfully I survived the food coma from the day before and cranked out a really nice 12 kilometre run today. In today’s Instagram post, I mention how lucky Torontonians are to have so many amazing places to run (e.g. – the Kay Gardner Beltline). In the future, I plan on writing a blog post about my 5 favourite places to run in Toronto.!

Strava Run

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Friday – 10 kilometres/51:07/5:07 pace. Got a nice, easy 10 kilometre run in today. Running Friday afternoons is new to me as  I’m typically bringing my son to skating lessons at this time throughout the Winter and early Spring. I like the idea of an easy run to close out the work week.

Recently I’ve been having issues with my Garmin FR620 shutting off after every activity. When I power it back on to sync wirelessly, it shuts off before it can sync. I’ve been working with Garmin on this for a couple of weeks and thought it was resolved, but now my heart rate seems to be stuck in the 70 bpm range. I wish my heart rate was that low when I ran; although that can’t be good!

Strava Run

Saturday – 24.2 kilometres/1:00:55. The weather forecast called for possible thunderstorms around 9-10am, but I expected to be back well before they started. Around 5am or so, I was woken up by the sound of a wicked and figured I wouldn’t be riding today. When I finally did get up to walk my dogs, the roads were wet, but the skies were clearing up! I hoped on my bike and cranked out a 24 kilometre ride! I really paid attention to my shifting today and am really starting to understand the gears and I was struggling a lot less on the hills today! Each week I’ll try to tack on a few more kilometres.

Strava Ride


Sunday – 24.6 kilometres/2:06:11/5:07 pace. Long, Slow Distances (LSD) day. I ran 10 kilometres, met up with my buddy Dom for a short 7 kilometre run, then 7 back home. My buddies are doing their long runs on Saturdays and I’m hoping to join them when my son’s Spring soccer league finishes in two weeks.

I’ve had some soreness issues with my inner right thigh, so I’ll be taking it easy during tomorrow’s recovery run. Hopefully it passes quickly!

Strava Run

Total Kilometres This Week – 69.2

Hope you have a great week and thanks for reading!

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