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Milton, Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Back in the saddle again – Marathon training, week 1

Last week saw the start of an eighteen week journey towards finishing my very first marathon on May 6th, 2012.

The week went very well.

We got an introduction email from our clinic leader, Chris early in the week and I was pleased to see that I had already completed the first run correctly without even knowing it: 6k tempo. 6.44k, 37:40.

This run was done at the gym while my kids were taken care of by the in-gym daycare. I decided to run tempo only because I had forgotten my ear buds and was so bored by running with nothing but visuals to distract me. It turns out that the quicker run was good because my youngest cried the entire time at the daycare.

On Wednesday, some of us from the clinic decided to meet at the store for the free run and we ran almost 10k. It was a slower run for me, but that was fine. The weather was beautiful and I was over dressed for this run. Somehow I ended the run with Chris and he pushed the pace from about 7 min/km that I had been running to 6:15 min/km. He doesn’t wear a GPS watch and just runs by feel. I’ll have to ensure that I don’t get sucked into running with him in the future or I could hurt myself.
9.73k, 1:06:18.

Thursday was the official start of the clinic and we got to hear a little more about Chris and his background (he’s run 21 marathons and is aiming for 19 more in the next three years to hit 40 by the time he’s 40) and the goals of each member in our clinic. As there are only 11 of us, it was nice to start off with hearing about what everyone wants to get out of the next four and a half months.

I was interested to hear that some of the faster people from the half marathon clinic I had been in were targeting a full marathon time much slower then me. It was great to hear one lady who’s goal is to run a Boston Qualifier time 3:40:00 (even though she’s never run a sub-2hr half marathon – however she’s also never following a training program and she’s FAST) and it was cool to hear about a tri-athlete dude who is looking to improve his running so that he can run in the Tremblant IronMan in 2013 looking toward Kona.

I was disappointed to learn that the Running Room no longer gives out the little digest sized books with the training programs in them – you have to go online to get the schedules now. I was also upset to hear that Chris wouldn’t be offering any speed training (only tempo and hill runs). I quickly decided that I’d have to build in some speed workouts on my own.

We ended up running a nice 6k and I quickly discovered that the people in our clinic are TALL. SUPER TALL. I was at least four inches shorter then the next shortest person. Oh well, I guess I’ll be building speed no matter what. 6.34k, 38:05.

Friday brought a rest day (and my last day of vacation!). I took the kids swimming for an hour in the morning, meaning I bounced around the water holding on to Fergus and kept an eye on Alasdair so that he didn’t hurt himself. I was tempted to put this “workout” on DailyMile, but resisted the urge to do so.

Saturday was a beautiful day (seriously, January has been so nice!) and my parents where over at my house to help with the kids as my husband had to work. So while my dad took my oldest to hockey practice, my mum watched my youngest and I went out for my scheduled run. It was really lovely in the sunshine and I was dressed perfectly. I daydreamed about the weather being so nice for the Around the Bay race at the end of March. 6.25k, 38:09.

For Sunday’s LSD, the clinic was meeting at 8:30 and running 10k. I quickly decided not to join in with the group as I wanted to get the run done by that time and I wanted to run further. I connected with Alison from the clinic and my friend Kerry to plan to run together. Kerry and I met Alison around 3k and ran a bit of a fast run with her for the next 8k or so. Kerry ended up having trouble with her IT band and I looped back to get her after Alison left and we held a slower pace for about 2.5km, walking when needed. I left her with about 2.5k to go as I knew she was close to home and I was actually getting a bit cold at that time (after stripping off my wind coat early in the run). I finished strong, struggling to keep my pace at the easy 6:22 min/km instead of hitting 5:55s. 15.5k, 1:44:28.

In total, it was a wonderful first week and I’m really excited about how my body responded to the return of so much running. My legs were a bit sore on Friday, but I had no problems otherwise. To put it in perspective, I ran 46% of my total December distance in one week last week! I’m so happy that training season has begun!

Total KM: 44.26
Total Time: 4h44m40s
Pace per KM: 0:06:26


  1. Sounds to me like the clinic may be an issue going forward. Stay with your plan and make the adjustments as you need to.

    You will do great.

  2. Looking good for week 1! Our clinic starts up on Thursday... looking forward to being on the 'other' side. Looks like we're going to have another huge group of 40-50.

  3. Thanks, Bill. I think the clinic will be fine. It'll help me stick to the plan, but I have no problem doing my own thing within the group. Plus, I've met some great people!

    Good luck tomorrow, Marlene!


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