9 weeks to #TORW2016

There are less than 9 weeks to the Ottawa Race Weekend which means it’s time to get serious. Last year, I was building mileage in December and started 18 weeks of workouts in January. This time will be different as I will have a shortened training cycle due to my ankle troubles in January/February. Because of the shorter cycle, I’m going to be a little more aggressive than I normally would. The worst that can happen is that my body doesn’t cooperate and I don’t run a spring marathon.

My rough plan is to run 2 workouts per week with the weekend one being a little longer than the mid-week workout. This gives me 2-to-3 days of recovery after each workout. My mileage targets will always be in flux depending on how I am feeling at the time, but my rough plan is to get up to 120 km/week soon and build slowly from there so that by the end of this 10-week cycle I’ll have averaged 130 km/week.

Looking back on my Ottawa training cycle from last year, I am a little intimidated. I ran some big workouts that I’m not sure I could run right now but I have to believe that with time the fitness will come. That’s the exciting part of training, I suppose. You don’t see immediate improvements from running workouts. You have to rest and adapt and then seemingly out of nowhere you become able to run faster. There’s no secret… just patience and consistency.

This past weekend I was glued to the IAAF World Half Marathon Championship race in Cardiff, Wales. If you haven’t heard by now, the 2015 World XC champion, Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor, tripped on the starting line, fell to the ground, and was engulfed by the mass start. Despite that, he was able to catch up to the lead pack over the first mile or two and went on to lead and eventually win the race on near world record pace! If you haven’t seen the race, watch it here:

Speaking of races, there’s lots to look forward to in the coming weeks. I’ll be following these closely:

  • April 3: Around the Bay 30K
  • April 10: Rotterdam Marathon
  • April 17: Vancouver Sun Run 10K
  • April 24: London Marathon, Montreal Half Marathon

Rotterdam should be a good one as London, ON’s Leslie Sexton will be looking to improve on her impressive 2:33 from STWM last October. The London marathon will have a couple Canadian men (Rob Watson and Brandon Lord) vying for an Olympic qualifier. I still haven’t caught wind of what Dylan Wykes has planned but hopefully he’s able to get after a qualifying time before the window closes in May. Kip Kangogo is probably next closest to running a qualifying time but I haven’t heard if he’s going to make an attempt yet either.

I’m kind of looking around for a race on maybe April 24… probably a 10K or half marathon but I haven’t fully committed to the idea yet. Part of me wants to keep the energy bottled up for Ottawa instead of running a shorter distance race and losing some of the ‘hunger’ I’ve got right now. Anyway, here’s what my training has looked like the last two weeks:

Week of 2016-03-14

This week was mostly easy mileage, ensuring I had a bit of a base before I started adding in quality. Nothing exciting to report here beyond a fun, hilly run in Arkona on Saturday where I crossed paths with a bunch of like-minded runners who were enjoying the beautiful spring weather. Good to see you, Wes and Dick!

  • M: 50′ run
  • T: 60′ run with 6 x 20″ strides
  • W: 60′ run
  • Th: 60′ run with 10 x 20″ strides
  • F: 50′ run
  • S: 25 km hilly progression run (15 km of work, bringing 5 km splits down from 3:45/km to 3:31/km)
  • Su: 120′ bike (Camlachie, Churchill, Blackwell)
  • Total: 8.25 hours total. 6.25 hours running (93.5 km) + 2 hours cycling (50 km)

Week of 2016-03-21

I kept switching up my plans for Tuesday’s workout and ended up running something similar to last year. I like this one as it had a bunch of different paces and the pace increased as the workout progressed. I think it helped to bust some rust of the legs. When I ran this last year, my paces also slowed within the workout while the intervals shortened (fading). This time around, I was able to improve the pace as the workout went on.

The Saturday workout was the first time I’ve run over 30 km since I ran the Ottawa marathon last year so it was a challenge. I didn’t quite hit the paces I’ve come to expect for a 2×20’/4′ workout but things will come around in a couple weeks, I’m sure.

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