A well-timed cross-training intervention

There’s a big weekend of road racing coming up February 13/14. The US Olympic Trials for the marathon happens on the 13th in Los Angeles at 1 PM and will likely be streamed. The big news is that Galen Rupp, after running a 1:01:20 qualifying time in December, will be making his debut at the distance running the marathon trials. It will be exciting to see how he does but I expect, barring disaster, he will have one of those top three spots easily. I don’t follow Americans runners as closely as the Canadians, but my picks for the second and third spot are Dathan Ritzenheim and Luke Peskedra, although I’m not sure Meb Keflezighi can be counted out. There is a great discussion about the top contenders over at LetsRun.

The day after the trials is the Vancouver First HM. There’s a good list of elite Canadians running this one, vying for one of the three spots on the 2016 World Half Marathon Championship team. From what I hear, these are the guys running:

  • Dylan Wykes (bib #1),
  • Rob Watson (bib #2),
  • Eric Gillis (bib #3),
  • Kip Kangogo (bib #4), and
  • Kevin Coffey (bib #6).

Makes you wonder who bib #5 is… Anyway, the top three spots are currently held by Reid Coolsaet (63:37), Rob Watson (63:58), and Brandon Lord (64:03). I bet we’ll see some changes in those standings after this race! Doesn’t seem that this one will be televised, so I’ll be following the Twitter chatter.

Here are the last two weeks of my training from January. On February 1st, I’ll be 12 weeks away from the Glass City marathon and 5 weeks away from the Chilly Half Marathon. I hit a bit of a snag with that troublesome tendon of mine, but I think I intervened with cross-training early enough that it is hopefully behind me now. We’ll see how the next few weeks go.

Week of 2016-01-18

Figures after writing my last post about looking forward to all the racing ahead, I find myself battling a little pain in my knee (not sure where this came from) and tib post tendon (same issue as the fall). I started to notice signs of trouble after the 2×20′ workout on Tuesday, which strangely was the same workout I ran before that same injury last fall. I don’t think it’s the workout though as I ran it without trouble in November. I did however run the two troublesome workouts in New Balance 980s so I’m conceding that perhaps they don’t have enough support for me (and I’ve logged enough miles in them to retire them regardless). I think this is a good enough sign that I need to stick with more supportive shoes like my tried and true Asics GT-2000s and maybe the Asics Gel DS-Racers instead of New Balance 1400s until I can get my hands on some 1500s.

I think I noticed the strange feeling in the tendon early, before it became a problem. I shuffled my training plan around, pushing back workouts and taking a few easy days. It seemed like the tendon was just on the brink of healing but would become slightly irritated at the end of the day. I figured it needed a couple days off to get back to 100%, so I hit the bike over the weekend knowing that I had a rest day in my schedule on Monday. I also had routine/maintenance massage and chiro appointments booked in advance for Tuesday so the timing worked out really well there.

This kind of flare up really stresses me out when I know I’ve got a goal race on the horizon. All of a sudden, everything is up in the air. I found a way to put my mind at ease was to have a backup plan ready to go; a second marathon a month after the first. My ‘A’ plan is Chilly HM (March 6) and Glass City Marathon (April 24); and my plan ‘B’ is Montreal HM (April 24) and Ottawa Marathon (May 29) again.

All the fun racing options I looked at last time have been thrown out the window. Instead, I decided I needed to refocus on my main goal of getting better at the marathon and become more disciplined about limiting ‘extra’ racing (distractions). To help guide my racing choices, I’m going to be looking for two marathons a year (spring and fall) with a half marathon tune-up race 6-8 weeks out. If there are some extra weeks between marathon builds, only then will I consider running extra races. Is that boring? Maybe. But I think it will help keep me healthy and successful in my goal races.

  • M: 15 km run
  • T: Workout: 5 km warm-up, 2×20′ @ 3:20/km and 3:18/km (4′ jog recovery between), 5 km cool-down
  • W: 8 km jog + 45′ elliptical
  • Th: 12 km run + 30′ elliptical
  • F: Bike Workout: 80′ with 9×3′ hard (1′ recoveries)
  • S: 40′ bike
  • Su: 90′ bike
  • Total: 58.6 km + 4.75 hours of extras

Week of 2016-01-25

This was a bit of a strange week. I had planned to transition back into running but my wife surprised me with a weekend away for my 30th birthday so Thursday and Sunday were almost write-offs with 9 hours of driving each. I managed to get some time on the hotel treadmill to keep the week somewhat respectable. The real work (last twelve weeks before the marathon) starts next week so it was nice to have this little escape and indulge a little (beer and cheeseburgers!). The treadmill running was actually really good timing for me to test out the ankle and knee on an even and predictable surface. So far, everything is looking good and I’m eager to get back to regular running. Also, can you believe the ‘winter’ we’ve been having so far in southwestern Ontario?


Not bad for late January!


  • M: Rest
  • T: Elliptical Workout: 80′ with 20×2′ hard (1′ recoveries) + Massage + Chiropractor + 4 km jog
  • W: 45′ elliptical + Physio + 8 km jog
  • Th: 45′ elliptical (planned more but spent 9 hours in the car getting to our destination)
  • F: Treadmill Workout: 80′ with 4×5′ hard (4′ recoveries)
  • S: 60′ treadmill run
  • Su: 40′ treadmill run
  • Total: 12 km on the road + almost 6 hours of extras (including ~40 km on the treadmill)

That’s it for now. Thanks for following along!

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