Boxing Day 10 Miler

This post has been sitting in draft mode for a while so I think it’s finally time to bite the bullet and publish it. I’ve been wanting to write up a reflection on 2015 and what I’m looking forward to in 2016 but I’ll save that for my next post and get this one out of the way first. Here’s my training from the last four weeks including a short recap the Boxing Day 10 Mile race in Hamilton.

Week of 2015-11-30

I was out of town for work this week so although I got to explore some different routes, it was a little tricky to get the running in during daylight as my work hours weren’t as flexible. It was rough putting in a long day of work, running for an hour-and-a-half, and then realizing I had to had to go somewhere to pick up dinner (staying in a hotel). A good reminder for me how my wife’s support makes such a difference – whether she’s making breakfast for the kids if I’m out running in the morning or keeping them occupied while cooking dinner if I’m run in the evening. This would be a lot harder without her on my team!

Anyway, two pretty good workouts and a long run this week. Monday’s 12′-10′-8′ was a good one. The 15×2’/1′ on Thursday was pretty rough as I pushed a little harder than I should have on the early intervals, started overheating a little, and didn’t feel like I got my legs back under me even with a couple short walk breaks. My legs also weren’t used to the hills in Kitchener-Waterloo!

  • M: Workout: 5 km warm-up, 12′ @ 3:25/km, 10′ @ 3:20/km, 8′ @ 3:15/km (2′ jog recoveries between each), 6 km cool-down (20.8 km)
  • T: 8.3 km
  • W: 18 km
  • Th: Workout: 5 km warm-up, 15x 2′ intervals (1′ jog recoveries), 6 km cool-down (23.9 km)
  • F: 17 km with 10×25″ strides + 15′ drills
  • S: 27.7 km
  • Su: 14 km + 30′ core
  • Total: 129.8 km on 9.33 hours of running + 0.75 hours of extras

Week of 2015-12-07

The Thursday fartlek session was a little deceiving because you read 3x and think “I can do three of anything; this should be easy!” but when you think about it, it is running 9 intervals for 27′ or roughly 9 km of work. On my cool-down, I felt a little twinge near my ankle – roughly the same area where I had that tendon flare up in August. That made me nervous but it wasn’t something I felt consistently. I decided to shuffle my plan around and pull a cross-training day forward for Friday (instead of Sunday).

When it came time for my Saturday long run, I figured I would be okay but then felt that twinge again while sitting on the coach watching cartoons with my kids. It only happened once but I’m a little paranoid about these things. I thought about running shorter and putting the long run off another day or scrapping running in favour of cross-training again. I decided to head out for a jog and see how it went. Happy to report no issues during or after the run!

  • M: Workout: 5 km warm-up, 35′ tempo (3:25/km for the first 20′ then picked it up to 3:19/km for the final 15′), 5 km cool-down (20.4 km)
  • T: [AM] 9 km [PM] 14 km with 12×20″ strides
  • W: 17 km
  • Th: Workout: 5 km warm-up, 3x(4’/2′, 3’/90″, 2’/3′), 5 km cool-down + 30′ core
  • F: 75′ bike
  • S: 24 km
  • Su: 18 km + 15′ drills + 30′ core
  • Total: 125.5 km + 2.5 hours of extras

Week of 2015-12-14

I missed my chance to do Monday’s tempo earlier in the day and ended up running it after work during a rain storm. Despite the unfavourable conditions (wind, rain, a bit of mud), it went well. I did a similar 2×20’/4′ workout back in August and ran the intervals at 3:27/km and 3:20/km (into wind for first, with wind for second) so this one was pretty similar.

I had Taylor’s help on Thursday with the 5×5′ workout. I really wasn’t looking forward to that one as I haven’t had much success with mile intervals in the past but, again, it went well.

  • M: Workout: 5 km warm-up, 2×20′ @ 3:22/km (4′ jog recovery between), 5 km cool-down (22.5 km)
  • T: [AM] 8 km run [PM] 14 km run with 10×20″ strides
  • W: 16 km run + 30′ core
  • Th: Workout: 5 km warm-up, 5×5′ @ 3:06/km (5′ jog recoveries), 5 km cool-down (22.1 km)
  • F: 60′ bike ride + 17 km run + 15′ drills
  • S: 23 km run
  • Su: 14 km run + 70′ bike + 30′ core
  • Total: 137.9 km + 2.5 hours of extras (two missed core sessions…)

Glad to have this weather at Christmastime! #seemyride #lakehuron #crosstraining

A post shared by Aaron Cooper (@cooperaa) on

Week of 2015-12-21

I was going to run the Boxing Day 10 Miler in Hamilton on Saturday so we dropped the mileage a little mid-week.

For Monday’s 2×10′ intervals, I figured based on recent workouts that I’d be good for ~3:17/km or maybe 3:15/km if it was a good day. I came through the first 10′ at 3:12/km and then managed to pick it up to 3:09/km for the second interval. It was a nice surprise to exceed my expectations with that one and it gave me a bit of a confidence boost. The short interval session on Wednesday was another good one as I managed to keep the pace under 3:00/km except for the second 3′ interval.

The Boxing Day race went very well. I knew there were a few fast guys registered so I was expecting there to be a few guys to chase. In addition to Sami Jibril and Rob Watson, I saw Adam Hortian (who beat me by 30+ seconds at the Yonge St 10K earlier this year) and handful of other guys eager for a spot right on the starting line. The race went out slow for the first 500m until Rob Watson put in a surge and a pack of ~7 guys went with him. I decided to stick with my planned pace of 3:18/km and hung back and was in roughly 10th place. It was tough to let people go but I kept telling myself they’d come back to me later in the race.

1412354_10208465902712170_3164626145002220294_o.jpg
The weather can’t get much nicer in late December!

Two guys (Kennedy Ronoh and Teresa Fekensa) fell off the lead pack before half and were picked up by the group of three I was loosely hanging onto the rear of (Lucas McAneney and Rob Brouillette). I caught up to Rob on the uphill along Longwood Rd (~7 km mark) and then got Kennedy on the downhill on Jacklin St (~9 km mark). At this point, I started pushing the pace a bit down to 3:12/km and caught up to Lucas McAnaney after the hill climb around the 11 km mark. This put me in 6th place with Adam Hortian well ahead of me in 5th.

The final 5 km were tough with random headwinds coming off the lake. I’d see Adam for a while then he’d disappear as the trail curved. I was getting closer as we finally got back onto the roads. At some point with ~2 km left, some guy in a car pulled out in front of me as I was trying to reel Adam in and that pissed me off so I told myself there’s no way I’m letting that car ruin things for me so I put in a surge and was running close to 3:00/km for a bit there. I caught Adam with about 1.5 km to go and put 9 seconds on him over the final stretch of the race. Adam is a seriously fast runner and I’m pretty psyched to finish anywhere near him in a race!Adam and a bunch of the other guys in this race will be running the Houston half marathon on January 15 so I’m eager to see how they do there. If you haven’t already, check out the elite starting list for that race, along with the marathon!

I crossed the line in 51:35 which was a big PB from the 56:52 I ran in May 2014. I’m not sure if it was me or my watch cutting corners, but my watch only recorded 15.8 km so I ran until it said 16 km and my time for that was 52:12. The race is measured/certified so I’m not sure why there’s the discrepancy. Either way, I’m happy with the race.

What’s next?

I’ve got one more week of workouts ahead of me, then I’ll take a really easy recovery week with a bunch of rest days to freshen up and absorb some of this training. After that, I’ve got three weeks to get back into the swing of things (hopefully getting into a good routine of getting my core work done!) before training for a spring marathon starts in February.

There are a whole bunch of crazy fast Canadians running the Houston half or full marathon on January 15. If you haven’t already, check out the elite starting list:

Anyway, thanks for following along!

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One thought on “Boxing Day 10 Miler

  1. Awesome 10 mile pal. Didn’t surprise me at all, your super fit and ready to roll 1:07 for sure! Keep up the great work man. We will chat soon.

    PS: You are going to take like 5-9 minutes off you marathon PB this spring easy!

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