Chicago Marathon Training: Week 5


Good Morning and Happy Monday! Five weeks in the books! Last week was a recovery week so a bit less running. Let’s see how it went.

[ week 5 / 11 weeks until the Chicago Marathon ]

Monday – W05D01 – Recovery Day! My brother and my nephews left town today. We had a great time this past weekend and I really need this day to rest my legs!

Tuesday – W05D02 – Steady Run – 7.7 kilometers/36:54/4:46 pace (Strava Results). I recently found out my friend Dave was a Run Leader for the Lululemon Briar Hill Store on Yonge Street. I didn’t even know the store hosted group runs! My son had soccer at 7:30pm and the run started at 6:30pm; thankfully I only had to run 8km today, so the timing was perfect. I ran over to the store, which is just 3 streets from my home and met Dave, my friend Carolina, and the rest of the runners in front of the store.

The route actually passed my home and through Eglinton Park towards the Beltline. I run this route all the time, so it was cool to run it with a group of runners. I needed to run steady (slightly quicker than an easy or recovery run), so I went out ahead a bit with Dave and Carolina while the rest of the group stayed back. It was fairly warm out, so we stopped at a few water fountains on the trail. We stopped at the end of the trail at Mount Pleasant Cemetery and headed back. At the store, we hydrated, chatted a bit, then I needed to bail to take my son to soccer.

In a few weeks my son’s soccer games switch to Monday night, so I’ll be joining this group for my Tuesday runs going forward. It’s a lot of fun, so if you’re in the Yonge and Eglinton Area, I highly recommend you come out one night! There are a wide range of paces and no one is left behind!


Wednesday – W05D03 – Workout: warm-up |4x short hills (300 meters) | 2x200m, 1:00 rest | 2x short hills | 4x200m, 200m jog | cool-down | Strava Results).  today’s plan called for hill repeats and while there are a few great hills in my neighborhood, the best ones are about 3 kilometers away. This is too much of a warm-up for me and I tend to get a little tired as a result. I knew there was a decent hill at the entrance of Sherwood Park and it was just shy of 2 kilometers from my home.

After running up the hill a few times, I started to get pretty gassed. It didn’t help that it was also fairly hot and humid! You can see from the analysis below my speed starting to take a hit on the 3rd and 4th time up the hill. I was relieved to be doing the 200m intervals between hill repeats as it meant short bursts of speed on a flat surface.

I ended up getting it done and was gassed by the end of it!


Thursday – W05D04 – Recovery Run (8 kilometers/43:46/5:28 pace | Strava Results).

My legs felt like jello on today’s run and I don’t know if it was the hill repeats or squats I did after my workout, but my glutes were really sore! I usually have a difficult time slowing down the pace on recovery runs, but not today. It felt like I was running through water and that’s a good thing! If your legs aren’t tired after a hard workout, you’re not working hard enough!

Friday –W05D05 – Workout: 8km Progression Run + 2km cool-down | Strava Results). Progression runs are one of my favorite workouts. The purpose is to simulate a race; start slow and finish strong. The plan called for an 8 kilometre progression run and 2 kilometers cool-down. The difficult part of progression runs is trying to run by feel especially when it comes to elevation changes. There are a few small hills on the route I run for my progression runs, so I often find I’m either going too slow or too fast. There’s also a fine line between a 5:20/km pace and 5:00/km pace and the same for 5:00/km pace and 4:40/km pace, so I tend to look at my watch quite a bit to ensure I’m respecting the gradual increase in speed.

Based on the analysis below, I think I did fairly well!

progression run.pngFullSizeRender1

Saturday –W05D06 – Easy Run (5 kilometers/27:55/5:35 pace | Strava Results).

My son didn’t run with me last Saturday because his cousins were in town, so I was really happy to have him run with me today. Like a true runner, he didn’t want to run more than 2 kilometers and made me promise he we wouldn’t run more when we got out there. I told him I needed 4 kilometers and if he was going to run with me, he had to do all four. Of course we get out there and he doesn’t want to do the 4 kilometers; now he wants to do 5!

We started off at a fairly good pace for him, but as we neared the halfway point, he started to pick it up a bit. At one point, I looked down and noticed he was running at 4:40/km! I had to reel him in because it was supposed to be an easy run for me, but it sure was fun watching him run!

I asked if he realized how fast he was running and he said his new Saucony shoes were to blame.


Sunday –– W05D07 – Long Run (19 kilometers/1:37:29/5:08 pace (incorrect pace due to GPS signal issues downtown) | Strava Results). As I mentioned above, this week is a recovery week, so my long run was limited to 19 kilometers. My buddy Dom needed 30+ kilometers, so he started his run from his home and met me down by the lake. We headed out on our usual route and ran into a few friends along the way. As we headed East on the Martin Goodman Trail, we came across a number of runners who were participating in the Toronto Triatholon. The run is the third discipline (after the swim and bike), so the athletes we came across were already 2/3 of the way in to their race. It was really inspiring watching them work and I saw a few friends competing which was really cool!

Congrats to all of the triathletes who participated yesterday!


Total kilometers this week – 60

Hope you have a great week and thanks for reading!


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