Here we go again

Today is day 1 of training for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 16th – Marathon # 9!

There is something exhilarating about a brand new training plan. 19 weeks of scheduled runs lie ahead — subject to ongoing revisions, of course — with tempos and intervals, recovery runs and MRP workouts, a handful of races, group runs and solo runs. There could be new mileage milestones and hopefully some personal records. There will undoubtedly be good runs and not-so-good runs along the way. I am ready to start filling in the blanks and to see what happens. 

I keep my created-by-hubs training plan in a Google Spreadsheet – I like that I can access it from anywhere (and so can coach hubs) and I can plug in my data to keep ongoing tallies of distances/times/paces, etc. I keep my last training cycle in the same file on a separate tab so I can easily look back on it.

I’m following a very similar plan to the last one; I enjoyed it and it clearly worked, so I don’t see the need for any drastic changes this time around.

Staying the same:

  • running 6x per week
  • rest days (from running) on Mondays
  • recovery weeks every 4th or 5th week (scheduled around races where possible)
  • 2x weekday workouts per week (except recovery weeks)
  • mid-week medium-long runs (MWMLR) of 10-15 miles – often in two parts am/pm
  • frequent MRP workouts during long runs
  • 8+ long runs of 20 miles or more
  • several “tune up” races, 5K through 30K distance


  • incorporating light cross-training, strength and core training*
  • slightly higher overall training volume
  • no “training run” marathon – I would love to do this again, but we can’t find one that works with our schedule
  • training with a faster pace group**

*I am really going to make an effort to stick with it this time. Realistically, I am not super confident that the cross-training (cycling) will continue once I get back to high volume, but I would like to maintain the strength and core routine. It’s a simple program that I can easily complete at home 2-3x per week.

**Obviously I am hoping for faster training and race paces, however I know that training in the summer heat will inevitably lead to slowing down – initially. I will focus on the effort level(s) that I learned for various workouts over the winter, and accept that it may not yield the results I would like. I fully expect this to be demoralizing, but I have to remember that it will pay off in the fall when it cools down again. Here is a great (short) article on Competitor regarding the effects of heat and humidity on pace. At least I won’t have to worry about running in snow drifts or slipping on ice for a while!

All that being said, I am looking forward to the weeks ahead. No more slacking off relaxing; my body and mind are ready to train again! Let the fun begin…


31 thoughts on “Here we go again

  1. Ugh. The Waterfront races are such perfect yet terrible timing for me this year.I really want to do the half and temperature wise- it should be perfection. But October promises to be super busy with my first school unit starting and my sister having a baby.Have fun with the training cycle!

  2. You are a warrior! How do you run so much and just not feel so wiped out? you are amazing, rockstar, etc. etc. 9 marathons. That is awesome.I am on marathon #3 in two weeks. -Jen

  3. We runners are a weird bunch. Most people would be daunted by even getting up to run 5 or 6 times a week – we look forward to it. And when we see the distances increase on our programs we don't get scared we get excited.

  4. I'm glad you're incorporating some strength training this round…as you know, Matt F tells in his Racing Weight book that body fat is reduced with strength training best and it just makes you a stronger runner!! 🙂 Yay!

  5. I looked forward to following you every week! I will be training for the Niagara marathon on Oct 23 and starting this week as well 🙂 I would say good luck but you are already a pro at this 🙂

  6. I am so impressed by all the training you put in each marathon cycle. I can't wait to read about all the PRs you're going to break again!Fall races definitely are the best. After all the training in the heat, the cooler temps are a breath of fresh air and help bring about fast race times.I received the package you sent me today. Thank you! I look forward to eating the Canadian candy and wearing the awesome striped socks. I will also use the Gu products on my training runs this summer. Thanks again… you are so thoughtful! 🙂

  7. I wish I could run 6 times a week but my body doesn't like that too much. Sounds like you have some great goals for the race and are really thinking this out. Have a great time training!! Can't wait to follow along!

  8. Wow! 8 20 milers! I hadn't run longer than 15 miles for my first marathon. Than only the previous marathon before my second…ditto my third. Hummm? I wonder if a serious training plan could have better my times? Those races still stand as some of my fastest. I'd rather run through the woods now!I'll live my speed dreams through your training so go tear it up!!

  9. geeeeeeze. another one already? you are a monster. this will be 3 in one year, no?i feel like i am always "training" for a marathon. well, you know, claiming i am. the actual training not so much.

Say what?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s