Tag Archives: bmo marathon

T-10 Days Until the Marathon

Dundarave Run
10 days. That is all that stands between me and my first marathon. What a terrifying thought.

I’m almost ready. Or rather, I’m as ready as I’m going to be. I’ve started tapering now, so the focus is on staying healthy. In some ways it is liberating knowing that it’s too late to improve my fitness levels.

Right now the biggest weakness in my training is my low weekly mileage. The most I ran in any week was 67 km back in January, and that was the week I injured myself. Since then I’ve averaged 40-60 km a week. I wish I had run more, but there was never enough time and I was worried about reinjuring my calf.
Marathon Training Graph

I’m happy with how my workouts have gone. This week I recorded my fastest training times in the 1 km (3:17), 5 km (20:38), and 10 km (42:49) during my tempo and track workouts. So my speed is definitely where it needs to be to run a fast marathon. My worry is with my endurance.

My primary goal for the race is to run in 3:30. My secondary goal is to just finish. I’m going to spend the next 10 days doing some light running, eating good vegan food, and prepping for race day.

Marathon Training – Week 5

Cambie Running Room Run Club
Back of left lower extremityAfter a few days of rest I went running again on Sunday. My achilles felt good for the first half of the run, but after 10 km I noticed it was getting sore (especially on the hills) so I stopped running and took the bus home.

It was sore for two days after and I haven’t been running since. On Thursday I went to see a physiotherapist. The good news I don’t have achilles tendinitis and should be able to run the marathon. The bad news is I’m still injured. I have a strained calf muscle where it meets the achilles.

The recovery path includes lots of stretching, strengthening, and slowly adding back running. I have three exercises to stretch and strengthen my calves, hamstrings, and hips – calf raises on the stairs with bent and straight knees, a dynamic stretch against the wall for my hamstring, and side stepping with a resistance band around my ankles to strengthen my hip muscles. Next week I’m going to add running back in, starting at 5 km, mixing 5 minutes of running with 1 minute of walking, and working up from there until I catch up to the Running Room run clinic (they’re up to 20 km on Sundays now). I’m also going to add strength training at the gym and runners yoga into my schedule.

Day Distance (km) Workout Time Pace /km
Sunday 11.8 Long 1:07:12 5:42 map
Monday Off
Tuesday Injured
Wednesday Strength
Thursday Injured
Friday Injured
Saturday Injured
Running Total 11.8 1:07:12 5:42

5 week downs, 12 more until race day. Last weeks results are here.

Marathon Training – Week 4

Cambie Running Room Run Club
Finger InjuryThis week we had a chiropractor talk to our marathon clinic about injury prevention. And then I went and injured myself. We were doing speed work around Charleston Park and I wiped out in a corner and ripped up my hand. Not a bid deal. What is a big deal is how my ankle felt the next morning. At first I thought it was just stiff so I went running anyway on Wednesdday night, but after 3 km I knew something was wrong.

I’m pretty sure I have achilles tendonitis. It seems pretty mild, but I need it to heal fully if I plan on running a marathon. So I stopped running, focusing instead on hip stability exercises. By the end of the week my achilles felt good. I tried doing the Sunday long run (Week 5 spoiler alert), and it felt good at first but after 12 km I could feel my achilles starting to ache again. I stopped immediately and took the bus home. Obviously I need to give it more than 4 days to heal, spend some time strengthening it, and figure out the root cause of the problem.

Running Into the TunnelI’ve never had achilles problems before, but I’ve never run 50+ km a week. From what I’ve read, the cause is probably a combination of a sudden increase in running, too much speed work, my new running shoes, and the 5 km I ran in my Vibram’s. I might buy a new pair of shoes if I can find something that puts less strain on my achilles.

Day Distance (km) Workout Time Pace /km
Sunday 16.9 Long 1:28:45 5:15 map
Monday Off
Tuesday 9.5 Speed 0:50:49 5:19 (avg)
3:44 (peak)
map
Wednesday 3.1 Steady 0:17:28 5:34 map
Thursday 0 Injured
Friday 0 Injured
Saturday 0 Injured
Running Total 29.5 2:37:02 5:19

4 week downs, 13 more to heal and get marathon ready. Last weeks results are here.

Marathon Training – Week 3

Coopers Park and the Seawall
All this running is tiring me out. I think I overdid it this week with 6 workouts, including 5 km in my Vibrams on Friday – my calves have been really sore and tight since. This week I’ve been focusing on posture and form, so I thought a barefoot run would help my technique, but I should have kept it shorter.

Day Distance (km) Workout Time Pace /km
Sunday 14.9 Long 1:17:45 5:14 map
Monday Off
Tuesday 5.3
(1.5)
Speed
(warmup)
0:22:58
(0:08:03)
4:20
(5:52)
map
(map)
Wednesday 10.4 Steady 0:56:28 4:57 map
Thursday 5.3 Tempo 0:24:26 4:35 map
Friday 5.4 Barefoot 0:23:42 4:20 map
Saturday 9.3 Steady 0:46:03 4:55 map
Running Total 56.1 4:37:52 4:57

Strava RunI’ve been uploading my runs to Strava, a cool running/cycling app for tracking workouts. I like the basic analysis it does – pace calculation, splits, elevation and speed charts. There’s also gamification to keep you motivated, like achievements for personal bests and leaderboards for common running routes.

3 week downs, 14 more to go. Last weeks results are here.

Marathon Training – Week 2

Running in the Mist
I ran 41 km this week, a few less than last week but that’s because I went snowshoeing on Sunday. The focus of this week’s Running Room clinic was pacing and apparel.

Day Distance (km) Workout Time Pace (per km)
Sunday 8.5 snowshoe 2:30:00 map
Monday Off
Tuesday 5.0 Time Trial 0:19:59 3:59
Wednesday 11.5 Steady Run 0:59:58 5:14 map
Thursday 9.3 Steady Run 0:42:53 4:35 map
Friday Off
Saturday 15.0 Steady Run 1:09:59 4:40 map
Running Total 40.8 3:12:49 4:43

We did a 5km time trial on Tuesday to help figure out our marathon pace. I ran it in 19:59, which means my long run pace should be between 4:41 and 5:29, my tempo pace is 4:15, and my 1600 meter time should be 6:30. If I want to run a 3 1/2 hour marathon, I need to run an average pace of 4:59 for 42.2 km.

My First Triathlon
So far I’m having no problem maintaining a good pace over my long runs. On Saturday I was only planning on running 10 km, but I felt good so I ran a for 15 km and then added 30 minutes of biking to the farmer’s market. I bathed afterwards, so that’s probably the closest I’ll get to a triathlon.

Ghetto Running AttireOn Tuesday, our clinic instructor spent a few minutes talking about good running attire. He didn’t have to say much because everyone was decked out in fancy Running Room gear. Everyone except for me. I’ve been running in ghetto gear – old sneakers from my first half marathon in 2007, IRS pub crawl shorts from 2006, baggy hoodies, and my cellphone clutched in my hand to measure my speed. When it’s cold out, I’ve been running in red sweat pants or just wearing long underwear under my shorts. I don’t want to buy a lot of fancy running clothing, but I might have to break down and buy a pair of tights so I have something warmer to wear when it rains.

Shiny new shoesI did buy a new pair of sneakers after my run on Saturday. I knew the old runners were garbage. I know have a pair of Mizuno Wave Precision 13’s. They’re shiny and fast and make my knees feel a lot better.

Two week downs, 15 more to go.

Marathon Training – Week 1

Seawall along Burrard Inlet
I ran 45 km this week. Not bad for my first week of marathon training. Although, that number is a bit inflated because I did my normal Sunday long run today (Saturday) so I can go snowshoeing tomorrow.

Sunday: 10 km long run
Monday: Off
Tuesday: 6 km steady run
Wednesday: 10 km steady run
Thursday: 5 km fartlek
Friday: Off
Saturday: 14 km long run

In addition to running, I logged a few hours on my bike commuting and I curled Tuesday night (weird sport for cross-training, but it will do).

Running the Seawall in Stanley ParkAt the start of the week, I was having serious doubts about training for a marathon and my fitness level. My first run was brutal. After about 7 km, my knees and hip flexors started seizing up. I finished the 10 km route, but I was hurting and my feet were blistered. The workouts since have felt a lot better. My feet are toughening up and my muscles are getting stronger. I’m still worried about my knees, but I’m sure the ligaments will strengthen up with time. I need to buy new running shoes, so that might help.

Beet and Sunflower PizzaAt the start of the week I went grocery shopping and prepped a bunch of recipes from Brendan Brazier’s Thrive Diet. I’ve been using vegan, raw food to give my body a boost during training, which means eating a lot of nuts, hemp seeds, dates, and vegan protein powder. My body has been recovering quickly from workouts, so I think it’s working.

Running Through the Olympic Village Other than a torrential downpour on Tuesday, the weather has been pretty good for running – cold, but clear. I haven’t been brave enough to bust out the vibrams. I might for some of the shorter training runs. So far, it’s been enough of a challenge running in conventional shoes and I don’t want to push my body too hard.

One week down, 16 more to go.

Marathon Ready?

Wet T-Shirt FinishExcited, but nervous. That’s probably the best way to explain how I feel after deciding to run my first full marathon in May – the BMO Vancouver Marathon.

When Erica asked me a few weeks ago if I wanted to run the marathon, it didn’t take much persuading to convince me to sign up. Running a full marathon has been on my list of life goals since I started running x-country in Grade 9, and what better way to celebrate turning 30 than pushing my body to its limits.

I’ve run two half marathons before, finishing with ridiculously consistent chip times of 1:33:06 (2007) and 1:33:04 (2010). Assuming I can get myself back into the same shape I was in, my full marathon target time should be 3 hours and 20 minutes. That sounds awfully fast, but within reach of my body.

I haven’t run more than 10km since the last half marathon in 2010, but I shouldn’t have too much trouble getting back into running shape. Erica will be a motivated training partner and we’ve both signed up for a 16-week marathon training course at the Running Room.

BMO Vancouver Marathon 2012 MapI’m really excited about the newish, scenic course. Hopefully the kinks were all worked out last year. The race starts at Queen Elizabeth Park, heads through Pacific Spirit Park and UBC, cruises past Spanish Banks and Kits Beach, loops around the Seawall in Stanley Park, and ends at the Convention Centre. I’ve read a few race reports from last year, and consensus seems to be the course is extremely beautiful with lots of ocean views, but the big hill at the beginning is physically brutal and 10km loop around Stanley Park is mentally taxing.

My Vibram FiveFingersI’m planning on doing as much training as possible in my Vibrams, but I don’t want to push my body too hard. The longest I’ve ever run in them is 8 km, and even at that distance I can feel my feet and calves start to ache. I’ll probably end up running the marathon in regular running shoes. Training starts in the new year.

No Meat AthleteAs for food, I’ll be incorporating a lot of the recipes and advice from Brendan Brazier’s Thrive Diet and the No Meat Athlete website. I’ve been a vegetarian my whole life, but this will be my first big race on a vegan diet.