Weeks 5-9 of base for STWM

I started off writing a weekly post and now here I am writing one every 4-5 weeks. That’s almost too long for me to remember how things have been going on a weekly basis, so I’ll just give an overview of what I’ve been up to since my last post and what’s ahead.

I’ve now completed nine weeks of base-building to get ready for the marathon-specific training planned for the next eleven weeks in preparation for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. I’m running a few more miles than I managed in my last cycle. I think my body has been holding up well considering the increase and when niggles have popped up, a quick chiro appointment or blast on the foam roller has been all that was needed. Over the last four weeks, my mileage peaked at 155 km which was around the level I managed for a couple weeks last summer before falling apart. The workouts have gone very well and the tune-up races I’ve run have been improvements from last year. This past week was a planned recovery week with two days off and only 89 km. A tendon in my right ankle has been bothering me a little so I decided to take an extra day off to make it three consecutive rest days in an attempt to get it completely fixed up before I head into the next block of training. After one rest day it already feels much better so hopefully three days does the trick.

As far as racing goes, I’ve run two local 10Ks to gauge my fitness and see how I’m doing. In June, I ran 32:33 which was about a minute faster than my time at that race last year and then a couple weeks ago I ran 32:24 on an extremely humid morning to better last year’s time of 32:58. While I haven’t run the times I was hoping I’d be able to by the point, I’m still glad to see progress in these races and in my workouts. I’m expecting as the cooler fall weather rolls in that the race results that I’m wanting will come. As I mentioned before, I’ve got the CRIM 10 mile road race in August and the Springbank half marathon in September as my other tune-up races before Toronto.

Here’s how the last five weeks of training went…

Week of June 29

  • M: Workout: 40′ tempo < 3:30/km. 20′ warm-up, 40′ starting around 3:30/km and bringing the average down to 3:24/km, 25′ cool-down.
  • T: [AM] 16 km recovery/easy. [PM] 10 km easy with 12x 15″ grass strides.
  • W: 18.4 km easy + 60′ core.
  • T: Workout: 8x1000m < 3:05/km.4 km warm-up, 8x1000m in 3:03, 3:02, 3:03, 3:04, 3:04, 3:05, 3:02, and 2:58 (3′ walk recoveries), 5 km cool-down + 20′ drills.
  • F: 16 km recovery/easy.
  • S: 29 km easy long run.
  • S: 16 km easy + 45′ core.
  • Total: 155.9 km (10 hours, 43 minutes)

I ran the tempo on Monday with my buddy Taylor and we were able to bring down the average pace from 3:27/km to 3:34/km by the end. It’s been great having someone to work with on these longer efforts.

I ran the 1000m intervals solo but it went very well; these were some of my fastest yet. I felt in control the entire time, steady through the middle, and able to kick a bit for the last 100m. For the final interval, I wanted to go under 3:00 and was able to hold on for a 2:58! I’ve never run under 3:00 in a workout on the track before so this was a big confidence booster. For comparison, this time last year I was running 1000m intervals at ~3:10-3:12 (but with 1′ less rest).

Week of July 6

  • M: 11 km hills
  • T: Workout: 3×10′ < 3:20/km.25′ warm-up, 3×10′ at 3:17/km, 3:18/km, and 3:17/km (2′ jog recoveries), 20′ cool-down.
  • W: [AM] 16 km recovery. [PM] 10 km easy with 12x 15″ grass strides.
  • T: [AM] 16 km easy. [PM] 10 km easy + 60′ core.
  • F: Workout: 8x800m < 2:28. 5 km warm-up, 8x800m in 2:28, 2:28, 2:27, 2:27, 2:27, 2:26, 2:27, and 2:21 (2’/400m jog recoveries), 4.5 km cool-down.
  • S: 16 km easy.
  • S: 25 km easy + 60′ core.
  • Total: 142.9 km (9 hours, 45 minutes)

Ran both workouts this week with Taylor. The 3×10′ was a good effort along the lake. The target of the 8x800m workout was the same pace as the 8x1000m workout I did previously but with shorter recoveries. I wasn’t too worried and, with someone else to work with, it went by quickly. I had some gas left in the tank and let loose a bit on the final interval.

Week of July 13

  • M: [AM] 16 km recovery/easy. [PM] 10 km easy.
  • T: Workout: 3x 2′-3′-2′ @ ~3:00/km (75″-75″-2′ jogs). 5 km warm-up, a bunch of intervals around 3:00/km (got a little slower on the final set… 3:06/km), 5 km cool-down.
  • W: 17 km easy + 60′ core.
  • T: Shakeout: 6×1′ (1′ jogs). 5 km warm-up, 6×1′ intervals under 3:00/km pace, 6 km cool-down.
  • F: 8 km easy.
  • S: Race: St Clair River Run 10K (32:24). 4 km warm-up, 4 strides, race, 6 km cool-down.
  • S: 25 km easy.
  • Total: 130.8 km (9 hours)

The Tuesday fartlek/interval workout was a rough one. Short recoveries and humidity! Thursday had a couple short bursts of speed to prep the legs for racing.


Saturday was the 6th annual St Clair River Run which starts in Port Lambton and runs along the river to Sombra. I came 2nd last year in a time of 32:58 and felt that this year I had something closer to 31:xx in me. The weather didn’t cooperate as it was 22C with 80-90% humidity at the start. The first three km felt like I was holding back while running 3:12/km and I faded only slightly to 3:16/km as the day warmed up. Came through in 32:24 and practically walked my 6 km cool-down due to the heat. Definitely a hot and sweaty race this year. I don’t like making excuses so I’ll just say I gave it my best effort and am looking forward to the next race!


Week of July 20

  • M: Workout: 3×8′ < 3:20/km. 20′ warm-up, 8′ @ 3:18/km, 8′ of 30″/30″ (half marathon pace / marathon pace), 8′ @ 3:15/km, 20′ cool-down.
  • T: [AM] 15 km easy. [PM] 10 km easy with 10x 20″ strides.
  • W: 16 km easy + 60′ core.
  • T: [AM] Workout: 15x400m < 72″ (1’/200m jog recoveries). 5 km warm-up, 15x400m starting at 71″ and working down to 69″, 5 km cool-down. [PM] 8 km recovery.
  • F: 16 km easy.
  • S: 24.5 km easy.
  • S: 15 km easy + 60′ core.
  • Total: 143 km (9 hours, 38 minutes)

Nothing too exciting this week. Just some good efforts and a bunch of miles. The 400s were again at the same pace as the 1000s and 800s from previous weeks but with shorter recoveries. I can’t remember the last time I ran 400s so this was a nice change-up. I don’t expect to be running many more workouts like that over the next eleven weeks.

Week of July 27

  • M: 10 km easy.
  • T: Workout: 6×4′. 5 km warm-up, 6×4′ at 3:09/km, 3:10/km, 3:11/km, 3:10/km, 3:07/km, and 3:06/km (90″ jog recoveries), 5 km cool-down.
  • W: 16 km easy.
  • T: [AM] 16 km easy with 10x 20″ strides. [PM] 10 km recovery.
  • F: Unplanned rest day (skipping a 25′ tempo run).
  • S: Rest.
  • S: Rest + 60′ core.
  • Total: 71.6 km (4 hours, 51 minutes)

The 6×4′ workout on Tuesday was an improvement over the same workout from about five weeks prior (averaged 3:09/km vs 3:12/km last time). Nice to see that progress week over week! I’ve put in a lot of work over the last nine weeks so I figured it made sense to get some rest before we bump the mileage up a little higher and get into some longer workouts so I skipped Friday’s workout and am looking forward to a whole long weekend off to spend with family.

Anyway, that’s all the time I have to ramble on about running since my kids are now awake!

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