Hamilton Marathon – Week 6

My final week of the plan!  I started off the week with an awesome 15k tempo and happy with how this week went.  I’ll have a couple more runs before Hamilton, but nothing scheduled, I’ll just go by feel.

Oct 21, 2013 – 15k tempo

My goal for this run was to run hard, but really try to make sure I was keeping my hips underneath me in good form.  I ran 7.5k out from my house, which I knew was a net downhill, which would make the 7.5k home much harder.  I was running really well, and though I knew I was working, I didn’t feel too bad running km’s in the 4:05-4:19 range going out.  The route I run has some small hills, so even pacing isn’t really an option.  I was really happy with how I was able to hold my pace under 4:20/km over a long, steady uphill from 12-13.5km.  I finished in a time of 1:02:56, which works out to about 4:12/km.  I ran a different route than the 15k I did in my first week, but this run was almost 3:00 quicker!

Oct 23, 2013 – 15k road/trails

I decided to change things up a bit and run some trails near my house.  I’d never run them, and running the same route down to the water had gotten a little old.  I wasn’t worried about my pace (there were some steep uphills/downhills where I didn’t want to hurt myself), rather just enjoy the run.  It was a lot of fun, thought a little wet and muddy in some sections.  I didn’t break any speed records for the run (averaged 5:03/km) but I got to see some beautiful areas just a stones throw from my front door that I had never visited.

Oct 23, 2013 – BONUS: Squash 5 games, about 1 hour

It had been a while since I played squash so I jumped on the opportunity.  I love sport, and really enjoyed doing something a little more fast paced that just running.

Oct 24, 2013 – Squash 5 games, about 1 hour

After all the fun playing squash yesterday I decided to play squash again instead of speed work.  Squash is a lot like very short speed intervals, and I always get a good workout.  I was a little sore after using some muscles in squash that you don’t use just running, but nothing serious.

Oct 26, 2013 – 21k long-ish run

It was a cold, wet, windy, miserable day!  I was thinking of doing 25k, but I was just too cold and wet to keep going.  I was soaked through, my hands were numb, and my face was frozen.  I do believe these kinds of runs make you a better athlete, but they suck while you’re doing them.  Regardless, my running felt good.

Oct 27, 2013 – BONUS 73k ride

I hadn’t ridden since Muskoka, so I decided if I woke up Sunday morning without any soreness I’d join the group riding 70-75k.  The plan was to ride fairly easy, so I figured I’d be fine, riding isn’t that punishing on your body.  It was cold, but I had my layers on so once we got going I was alright.  It was great to get back in the saddle and I picked up the pace on a couple occasions to see how I felt.  I don’t know if it was a mental thing, or the wind, but I felt like I had to push harded on the bike than I remembered.  Not a big deal, I’ll turn my attention back to bike fitness at the start of 2014.  I made it through the ride in once piece, and ready to tackle the Hamilton Marathon next Sunday!

Hamilton Marathon – Week 5

This week the fatigue of the milage over the past 4 weeks really hit me.  Based on my original plan this would be my final build week before heading into a 2 week taper.  I decided mid-way through my Monday run that I would begin to rein in my workouts this week.  Last thing I need at this point is an injury, and if I’m on tired legs I can’t get the high quality hard workout that I need to get better.

Oct 14, 2013 – 22k medium-hard effort

Sunday was Thanksgiving, so I knew I may feel a little heavy for this workout.  I was less concerned about my pace, or more concerned about feeling like I was putting out a good effort.  From the beginning I felt a little slow, and I struggled coming in over the final 5 or 6km.

Oct 16, 2013 – 5x 2k hard, 1 easy. 3k cool down

None of my intervals were very impressive, and I really struggled with my final one.  My heart rate was high and I just wasn’t turning over my feet like I needed to.

Oct 17, 2013 – 10k with 3 x 1k hard

Usually this would be a track day, but I decided to do another day of road work because I figured a quality track workout just wouldn’t be there for me.  I ran 10k, and at 2, 4 and 6 I ran 1km hard.  My hard km’s were all around 3:50, which I was pleased about.

Oct 19, 2013 – 30k long run

I was doing my long run solo this week.  I woke up early, plugged in an audio book (Born to Run) and ran.  I decided to do 3 10k loops from my house.  At the end of each loop I’d grab a bite and some water.  I did 3 different loops.  It was a nice run, felt pretty good throughout.

Hamilton Marathon – Week 4

Another good week.  I changed up a bit of the training, and added some extra milage.  I totalled 100.8k from last Saturday to Thursday, this is the first time I’ve run over 100k in a week.

Oct 7, 2013 – 3 x 5k hard/1k rest in between, 3k cool down

This is a workout I did a couple weeks ago that I decided to repeat as opposed to pushing myself for a hard 20k.  Last week the hard 18k shattered my legs for the next couple days and compromised my next workout.  My goal was to keep all 3 5k’s under 21mins.  I managed to do this over the first two, but the 3rd came in closer to 22:00.  I was still really happy with this workout.

Oct 9, 2013 – 3k warmup, 5 x 2k hard/1k easy, 5k cool down

This was a great workout for me.  I kept all my hard km’s under 4:10 and really enjoyed the 5k cool down back to my house.  I will do this workout again.  It’s a difficult workout, but I feel like I got a lot out of it.

Oct 10, 2013 – 3 x 800, 1200, 1600 track. Then 11.25k easy group run

I’ve done the 800, 1200, 1600 workout before.  I was more careful to watch my rest between intervals this time.  I’d do approximately 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 after 800, 1200, 1600 respectively.  During the rest I stay on my feet, but do not keep jogging.  I grab some water and pace around.  I managed to hold 3:00/800m through the entire workout and was really happy with this result.

I followed the track workout with a group run to get in some extra milage and stretch out my legs.  Not much to report here, I felt good through this extra run and it allowed me to get my weekly milage up to 100k!

Oct 12, 2013 – 34k long run

Similar route to what I ran 2 weeks ago, except we added 2k on to the front end of the run to get it up to 34k total.  Generally I’m not the best at fuelling my runs.  I never bring anything on my other runs, and usually don’t bring much on my long runs.  I don’t love gels, and have never taken salt, but I decided to give both a chance, as well as bringing along some water.  My aim was to take salt approximately every 20mins, and a gel at 1h00 and 2h00.  I also had water to hydrate throughout.

I knew the route and remembered from about 7k to 17k there were lots of rolling hills.  I upped my effort here, especially going up hills.  For the most part nothing too crazy, but enough for it to be a big relief when I reached the top.  Then from 18 to 21k we had a planned tempo session.  I tried to maintain good form and high foot turnover, and paid less attention to my watch.  I knew I was moving well, but only after noticed this sections was about a 4:03/km average.  From there in it was easy, steady running.  I didn’t hurt as much in the final 7 or 8k as I do on most long runs.  I think this was due to a combination of running more, and improved nutrition on this run.  In the last couple weeks leading up to Hamilton I’m going to try to continue to pay closer attention to fuelling properly during the run.

Hamilton Marathon – Week 3

This was an up and down week training.  The fatigue from the milage began to take it’s toll on me, especially the effort that my Monday tempo takes, but I was able to salvage it with a strong long run Saturday.

Sept 30, 2013 – 18k Tempo

These Monday runs are my toughest runs of the week.  Speed is high right from the start and the legs start burning early on.  I was happy with how my 18k tempo went, but it really hurt.  I managed a 4:19/km average for 1:17:52.  I’m not sure if I’m going to do 20k next week or change it up.

Oct 2, 2013 – 8km easy, 12k hard

Right from the start of this run I could feel my legs were tired.  The run on Monday took a lot out of me and I just didn’t have it.  When I started running the 12k hard I thought about cutting it down to only 10k hard.  Ultimately I only ran about 4k hard because I toned it down, and only ended up getting in 18k total.  This was a disappointing run, but my right knee was tight and I knew shutting it down was the right thing to do.

October 3, 2013 – 3 x 1600m track, then 8k easy group run

After yesterday didn’t go well I wanted to get in a short, but strong track session, followed by a recovery type run.  I did my 1600′s all under 6:00, which was my goal, then used the 8k group run to get some extra distance on my legs and make sure I was running with good form as I got fatigued.

October 5, 2013 – 36k long run (13k followed by 23k)

My long run was split into two runs.  I was first going to do 13k solo first thing in the morning.  Then I was going to hop on the GO and head downtown to do another 23k with Lisa.  I was out the door running for my first 13k at 5:40 and it was really dark outside!  The air was nice, the roads were quite, and it really was a good time.  I kept to roads because it was so dark I wanted the street lights to guide me.  I kept my pace around 5:00/km, which was a good long, slow pace for me.  Before I headed downtown I got on the foam roller for a couple minutes to massage my IT bands.  During longer runs my knees usually start bothering me when I start running after I’ve stopped.  I was going to have over an hour between my two runs, so I wanted to stretch them out as best as I could.  Between the runs I took in some food and water so I wouldn’t have to carry much for my second run.  Lisa and I ran along the waterfront trail to High Park.  We did a couple laps of High Park, then back along the trail.  It had been a while since I’d been to High Park so it was great to run there and see it.  It was supposed to rain, but the day turn out great.  I had some knee discomfort when we were running through High Park, but nothing that I had to stop.  When we were running back along the waterfront trail Lisa decided to push the pace and we had a 3km stretch where we averaged under 4:35/km.  The pace for the entire run was 4:56/km.  I was happy with how it went, but my legs felt shattered afterwards.