Good Morning and Happy Monday! The late stages of a marathon training cycle will often give you the best sense of your fitness heading into a race. Two weeks ago that answer came in the form of a race where I improved my half marathon PR by nearly 2 minutes! This week, the answer came in the form of a long run, but before I explain, let’s see what happened the rest of the week!
[ Training week 12 / 4 weeks until the Boston Marathon ]
Monday – W12D01 – Steady Run (12 kilometers/52:58/4:25 pace) | (Strava Results). Today’s run was supposed to be steady, but I dropped a few fast paces in there; especially on the way back along the Beltline Trail. Sometimes the effort feels really easy and my legs are turning over really well; as a result, I end up moving a little quicker than I probably should.
Tuesday – W12D02 – Workout (Warm-up | 4xLong Hills | 2x400m, 100m jog | 2xLong Hills | 4x200m, 100m jog | 2xShort Hills | Cool-down) | (Strava Results). Today’s hill workout was tough! I often start thinking about my workouts two days before I have to do them. I guess it’s a way to start mentally preparing for the hard work I’ll need to put in to execute a solid workout. When it was time to head over towards the spot where I start y warm-up, I was really worried I would do well!
Today’s workout would be different because I’d be practicing my downhill running as well. I usually jog downhill somewhat easy, but today, the plan was to run down practicing the form I learned from the Runner’s Academy. By the end of the workout, I was tired but so happy with the results!
Wednesday – W12D03– Recovery Run (12 kilometers/1:10:22/5:51 pace) | (Strava Results). Had a busy day at work today so I hopped on the treadmill to get my recovery run in early! Legs felt really good after yesterday’s tough workout; a very encouraging sign!
Thursday – W12D04 – Workout (Warm-up | 3×8:00, 2:00 jog | 4x100m | Cool-down) | (Strava Results). Sometimes you hop on the treadmill because you’re pressed for time and other times it’s because you just aren’t feeling the weather. It started snowing a bit when it was time to start my workout and there was a nice gusty winds to add to the fun!
I was listening to the Rambling Runner Podcast (one of my favorite podcasts to listen to while I run!) and Matt was discussing treadmill workouts with the runner he was interviewing. They were discussing how the effort on the treadmill doesn’t feel much different if you performed the same workout outdoors; however, the GPS watch gives the impression you’re running slower! I noticed this while I was doing my workout and had to laugh!
Friday –W12D05 – Easy Run (10 kilometres/49:44/4:58 pace | Strava Results). Today’s run was supposed to be easy and for the most part it was. I blame the slight downhill of the Beltline Trail for some of my quicker paces on the back half of my run! Even if you hold back a bit, it’s easy to pick up the pace a bit!
Saturday –W12D06 – Long Run (32 kilometers/2:32:31/4:46 pace | Strava Results). Now for the running highlight of my week! When I told my coach my goal was to run a marathon without stopping (something I have not been able to accomplish in my eight prior marathons), he suggested I try to finish my long runs without stopping. This is relatively easy to do when the long run is less than 20 kilometers, or in some cases up to 25, but any long run in the 30 kilometers range is bound to cause me to stop for various reasons. Most of the time it’s a washroom break (ironically I only stopped to use the washroom in one time and that was the Chicago Marathon), but I do stop to wait for friends, chat with other running friends I bump into, or just to catch my breath.
Today would be the first time in my running careers that I actually attempted to finish my 32 kilometer (20 mile) long run without stopping! To make things interesting, my long run had two 5-kilometer segments where I had to run at marathon pace! This was going to be fun!
My buddy Dom and I drove down to High Park and started to run together. The great thing about my running friends is we encourage each other and if we have different distances or workouts, we don’t hold each other back. Dom and I ran easy for 8 kilometers and when it was time for me to start the first 5 kilometer segment at marathon pace, I took off. I had the wind at my back, so my marathon pace was slightly quicker than expected in one direction and slower than expected on the way back. I did see a bunch of people I knew on the MGT and Queens Quay, but I was able to say hello without stopping!
I caught up with Dom again on the way back and we ran together for a bit before my second 5 kilometer segment at marathon pace. I felt great the entire time and when I pulled into the parking lot having completed the entire run without stopping, I felt absolutely amazing!
This run was a huge confidence booster and I can’t wait to do it again this Sunday when I have to run 35 kilometers (18 at marathon pace or faster!)!
Sunday –– W12D07 – I felt surprisingly good following yesterday’s monster run! My son and I headed downtown and watched the Achilles 5K race this morning! We hung out with a few friends from BlackToe Running and I paid a visit to the Saucony Canada tent to say hello to Ben. After the race, we headed over to the aquarium! When we got home, we spent a few hours at the park enjoying the mild weather. Not much resting was done today, but it was worth it!
I believe this was the second longest weekly mileage I ever ran and by far the best week of training I ever had! So excited about the rest of the cycle and my confidence is sky-high right now!
Total kilometers this week – 89
Hope you have a great week and thanks for reading!