Weeks 3+4 for Ottawa Marathon

A few more weeks of training in the books. Winter is finally here and the temperature has plummeted to -15°C (-25°C with windchill) so no more running in shorts. The only thing that keeps me going out there are layers and as little exposed skin as possible. Thankfully, I haven’t had to break out the ski goggles yet…

The only trail near me is covered in ice which is in turn covered in snow, so it is no longer an option for low-impact running. As a result, I’m now running roads as they’re my best chance at reasonable footing. Despite this, my legs are feeling good – no shin issues so far!

Here’s what I was up to over the last two weeks:

2015-01-05

Week 3/22

M: 45′ recovery following Sunday’s workout.
Tu: Rest [10′ core, 20′ strength]
W: 60′ easy with 6x 30-second strides. [20′ mobility]
Th: Workout 1: 2E, 3x2T(2’E), 2E
F: 45′ recovery.
Sa: 75′ easy.
Su: Workout 2: 120′ easy long run.

Total: 7 hours, 61 miles.

First workout was three threshold intervals that I ran on a ~2 mile loop in Sarnia where the roads were mostly clear. The first interval I ran in 11 minutes (5:30/mile) and I slowed a bit over the next two intervals (11:13, 11:18). I was hoping I could run a little faster but when I looked back over some of my workouts from last summer, this turned out to be one of my better threshold workouts… so I’ll take it.

The second ‘workout’ was just a time-on-feet long run which was a nice change. I got to explore the Baden and Wellesley countryside a bit. As I was just finishing up (literally 2 minutes from my destination), I slipped on a patch of ice and went down hard on my side. Fortunately, the road was completely ice so I slid instead of scraped. My elbow took most of the impact and is still sore over a week later. Fortunately though, I didn’t hurt my knees or hips – I can still run with a sore elbow!

Week 4/22

M: Rest.
Tu: 60′ easy with 5x 30-second strides.
W: Workout 1: 2E, 6M, 1E, 4M, 2E.
Th: 45′ recovery.
F: 60′ easy with 6x 30-second strides.
Sa: 60′ easy with 5 30-second strides. [10′ core]
Su: Workout 2: 2E, 6x1T(1’E), 8x30sR(1’E), 1E, 2T, 1E [20′ strength, 20′ mobility]

Total: 7 hours, 65 miles.

The first workout included 10 miles at marathon pace. A couple weeks back I did another marathon pace run (30′ easy, 10 miles at marathon pace) where I ran at 5:51/mile. This time, I ran 5:50/mile for the first six miles and then picked it up to 5;46/mile for the final 4 miles. This run felt like it came easily despite the sometimes slippery footing.

The second workout of this week was a mix of threshold miles, some fast strides, and a final two mile threshold interval. The weather really warmed up for Sunday so I was able to wear shorts and take a pair of New Balance 980s for a spin (they have no traction so they don’t work well in the winter…). After a warmup, I found a stretch of perfectly clear road so I just went back and forth to get my intervals in. I was expecting paces around 5:30/mile but had somewhat of a breakthrough workout and ran the 6x1T miles between 5:20-5:24/mile. Instead of 200m repetitions, I just did 30 second strides with 1 minute jog recoveries. As I was gearing up for the final 2T interval, I was already feeling spent but told myself I should be able to hang for 5:30/mile pace but somehow managed 5:25/mile. All in all, one of my best workouts and I didn’t feel like I had to put in an unusual effort or ‘go to the well.’

I really slacked off on my cross training these last two weeks. Life was really busy with work, family, and so on. I’ve got to get back in the habit next week! Speaking of next week… I’ve just finished the first 4-week phase and I’m heading into a week of just easy mileage. After that, three more weeks of workouts. Rinse. Repeat.

Six weeks to my first race of 2015 – the Chilly Half in Hamilton! I’ve heard there are going to be a bunch of fast guys from Speed River so this should be a fun race!

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