3 weeks to #TORW2016

Only three weeks left to get ready for the Ottawa marathon. I knew this shorter than usual build was going to fly by but it still hasn’t quite sunk in that I’ll be racing soon. I’m ready to get out there and put all this work to the test. I’m still undecided on a goal race pace but hopefully I’ll be able to nail that down over the next couple weeks as I’ll be running my final workouts next weekend. I’ll plan to post one more time before the race to recap this training cycle at a higher level, compare to last year, and collect my thoughts as I decide on a goal for the Ottawa marathon. I’ll recap my training from the last three weeks below, but first here’s what I’ve been drawing inspiration from…

A couple weeks ago Rob Watson made his attempt for a Rio Olympics qualifier in the London marathon. Unfortunately, he came up short but it was a lot of fun following his training through his podcast over the last year. If you haven’t already, watch this post-race interview with Rob as he reflects on the journey that brought him to this point:

Speaking of the London marathon, how about Eliud Kipchoge! Just seconds off the world record at 2:03:07 and looking smooth over the last couple miles. They were on track for a 2-hour marathon in the early part of the race. Check out the pacing!

In Canadian road running, we had the Canada Running Series’ Montreal 21K. Krista DuChene ran an awesome race, finally completing her Rio proof of fitness requirement! Now we just have to wait for the qualification window to pass before we know for sure whether she’s on her way to the Olympics.

The Montreal 21K also featured a battle between Kip Kangogo (2:15 at STWM last fall) and Sami Jibril (1:04 at the Houston half in January). Kip pulled off the win, running 66:49 to Sami’s 67:02. I was wondering if we’d see either of those guys in Ottawa for the marathon and Run Ottawa just announced that Kip will be there. He should have a lock for the top Canadian spot but I wonder if he’ll take a shot at 2:12:50 for a ticket to Rio. I think he’s got to be one of the closest after his 2:15 last fall.

On the women’s side, Ottawa is looking like an interesting race with Leslie Sexton, Rachel Hannah, Tarah Korir, and Dayna Pidhoresky all slated to toe the line. One has to wonder whether any of them will pull off an Olympic qualifier (2:29:50); it would require a big PB so hopefully the weather is perfect for their sake (and mine!). While I would love to see Canada send a third woman on our marathon squad, it would be heartbreaking if Krista Duchene’s time was bumped out of the top three spots after all she’s been through. Her journey has been a real roller coaster and I can’t wait to watch her race in Rio! Saucony recently put out a short video about Krista and how she juggles motherhood and being a professional athlete. Check it out here:

May 1st weekend had the BMO Vancouver marathon, Mississauga marathon, and GoodLife Toronto marathon so there was a lot of action to follow. Kevin Coffey and Terence Attema ran the half in Vancouver in 1:07. David Freake ran the half in Toronto in 1:09. In Mississauga, Tyler Chacra ran a 2:33 PB in the full, while Dan Way and Rob Brouillette ran the half. It’s great to see guys getting the results after months of logging miles. Hopefully I can do the same in a month’s time!

Here’s what the last three weeks of training looked like for me:

Week of 2016-04-18

Another solid week back around 130 km. The midweek 3’s workout was pretty good. It was warm (18-20°C) and a little windy along Lake Huron but I am happy to have averaged 3:05/km for the intervals with 45 km accumulated in the two days prior (a little more than in previous weeks). I have only been sprinkling in these quicker-paced workouts sparingly, instead putting the priority on longer intervals and threshold work. That’s not the fastest I’ve run a 10×3’/2′ workout but it’s pretty good considering my focus has been on longer intervals and I haven’t spent a whole lot of time close to 3:00/km.

The weekend long run went very well. This was an extension of the 4×10’/2′ workout I did a few weeks back. I again brought along bottles with Gatorade to practice fueling. I mixed my own this time with double the powder for 120 grams of carbs per litre. I drank one 250 ml bottle during warmup and another between in intervals. The carb concentration seemed fine but my stomach didn’t seem to want more than 500 ml of liquid. My target should be roughly 500 ml per hour and this run was 2 hours long so I should have consumed more. I think the issue was the two cups of coffee I had shortly before the workout so I’ll have to keep that in mind for race day. Anyway, it was a beautiful, cool, and breezy morning, and I’m happy with the effort and paces. Somehow I found a bit of an extra gear on the last two 12′ intervals and it turned out to be one of my better workouts so far.

  • M: [AM] 30′ run [PM] 60′ run
  • T: [AM] 40′ run [PM] 60′ run
  • W: Workout: 100′ run with 10 x 3’/2′ + 2 x 2’/2′ (averaging 3:05/km)
  • Th: [AM] 30′ run [PM] 50′ run
  • F: 60′ run with 10 x 20″ strides
  • S: Workout: 120′ run with 4 x 12’/3′ (averaging 3:18/km)
  • Su: Rest
  • Total: 9 hours of running for 133 km

Week of 2016-04-25

I’m glad that my body seems to be handling the mileage well enough. Last year before Ottawa I averaged somewhere around 100 km per week so to be averaging over 120 km per week this cycle is a step in the right direction.

Both workouts went well this week. The 10’s were a little quicker than last time and it felt good to find an extra gear for the 5’s. On the weekend, instead of the 2×40′ workout I had planned, I decided to bridge the gap between the 2×30′ workout I ran a couple weeks ago and the 26.2km race simulation I’ll run a few weeks from now (roughly 90 minutes of running at goal pace) and run some shorter intervals that added up to 75′ of running. I was able to get down 96 grams of carbs in about 800 ml over the course of two hours. That’s pretty close to target but I’ll probably have to supplement with solid carbs (sour jujubes, most likely).

  • M: [AM] 40′ run [PM] 60′ run
  • T: [AM] 30′ run [PM] 50′ run with 10 x 20″ strides
  • W: Workout: 90′ run with 2 x 10’/2′ + 4 x 5’/1′ (averaging 3:17/km for the 10’s and 3:14/km for the 5’s)
  • Th: 60′ run
  • F: [AM] 30′ run [PM] 60′ run with 10 x 20″ strides
  • S: Workout: 140′ run with (30′ + 25′ + 20′)/5′  (averaging 3:25-3:23/km)
  • Su: 100′ bike
  • Total: 9 hours of running for 135 km.

Week of 2016-05-02

Finally some nice weather for running!

This will likely end up being the biggest week of my training cycle in terms of mileage and featured two solid workouts. The midweek intervals was inspired by the 6×4’/90″ workout that I had done a couple times over the past year. I ran it the quickest I’ve done yet, despite running two extra intervals. The weekend long run was a further progression of previous workouts from this cycle where I’ve built up from 4×10′ to 4×12′ and now 4×15′. The paces for these have usually been between 3:17/km and 3:20/km. I ran a similar 3×15’/3′ workout last cycle and faded hard so I take some confidence from maintaining the pace this time around with an extra interval too.

  • M: [AM] 40′ run [PM] 60′ run
  • T: Workout: 85′ run with 8 x 4’/90″ (averaging 3:06/km for the 4’s)
  • W: 60′ run
  • Th: [AM] 40′ run [PM] 60′ run
  • F: [AM] 40′ run [PM] 60′ run with 10 x 20″ strides
  • S: Workout: 150′ run with 4 x 15’/3′ (averaging 3:20/km for the 15’s)
  • Su: Rest
  • Total: 10 hours of running for 146 km.

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