Tag Archive for training plan

Manitoba Marathon training recap – week 1 of 18 complete

Ok – week 1 of 18 for training for the Manitoba Marathon on Father’s Day.

Three runs this week on the treadmill – couple short sessions outside with the pups and some snowshoeing with the wife and kids today. I am still short on my miles but I will talk a bit more about that later.

For now, here is a bit of an update / set of thoughts on where I am and where I need to get to:

I am going back to training as if I am starting from scratch – because even though I did the Dopey Challenge back in January I still feel like I am really not at marathon levels. Or at least not where I want to be.

So I have decided to step back and do a more standard/structured 18 week training program – I will get it up on the blog before too long but essentially I am going to be following a modified version of the Hal Higdon Intermediate plan. 5 days a week – 2 short, 2 medium and a long run each week with a max of around 50 miles in a week.

I have used this plan before and it has always treated me well.

The best part of the plan for me at this point is the drive to run 5 times a week – that has been a tough thing to do lately and I am hoping using a dedicated plan will help get that push back.

I am healthy, legs and ankles wise and I had no issues with old injuries (like my Achilles) coming back to haunt me – I have slain that bogeyman and I need to rebuild now.

So I will run 5 days a week, I will get in my long runs, and I will get better. It is going to be a long road to get back to where I was in 2014 and early 2015, but I will start by getting better than I am now. Need to get on the road somewhere and it is usually better to start at the start…

Next big thing is to get my weight down. I was down a bit for Dopey in January and was down even more when we got back to Winnipeg from our family vacation right after Dopey (how do you lose weight at Disney World? Walk…a lot)

But now my weight has come back up this week – from stress mostly I think. Our furnace crapped out (again – this time a control board ) and we were without our main source of heat for about 38 hours…in Winnipeg…in February…pretty stressful. We used a bunch of space heaters and I kept getting up to make sure the kids were warm enough and that we weren’t getting cold enough that the pipes might freeze. Luckily we had a warmer day in there so it wasn’t as scary as it could have been but it was stressful. Also we had a garage door spring break during the same period…so that was more money tossed.

So the stress and lack of sleep did a number on my body and my running this week but it will get better.

The plan at this point is to change up my diet again and get my weight down and mileage up. The hope is that I lose 1-2 pounds per week over the next 17 weeks leading up to the Manitoba Marathon. That should give me a good head start to really push through the summer months.

I also want to get my speed up again – I miss being able to do a sub 1:50 half marathon and would love to get back there again! With that in mind I am looking at potentially running the Winnipeg Police Service Half Marathon in May – I won’t be back to that level at that point but it is the race I got my 1:46 PR on and it is a good course to get me motivated to run quickly again.

That race usually sells out and I haven’t signed up for it yet – see furnace and garage door buggering up in one week… but I will train for it and if it works out I will run it but if it doesn’t, as long as the training is happening that is what is important at this point.

As part of my motivation plan I am going to be doing a weekly update (at a minimum) that I will put up on the blog but also up on YouTube – basically I have to keep myself honest and in the past, if I keep the blog up to date it makes me do that. I have been doing some video editing experimenting as a hobby, so I want to try some more YouTube videos as motivation as well.

For other plans – hoping the weather gets warmer soon so I can run outside more, run more with the dogs and practice with the gimbal while running. I love some of the video I got from the Dopey Challenge using the gimbal (which were my first runs with the toy) but it is obvious I need to get more experience using the tool and I have to get used to actually running with it (it messed up my form something fierce and I need to get used to it enough that more form is improved).

So that was a quick update for week 1 of 18 – stay tuned for more coming up this week!

Couple of runs so this week – total of 12 miles – not pushing too hard. WFPS Half Marathon on Sunday.

Monday – 4 miles on the treadmill taken at an easy, steady pace. Had a very slight tweak from my right ankle but not too bad, Looks like it is getting stronger.

Wednesday – 8 miles on the treadmill. Still ran at a steady pace but a bit faster than I went on Monday. Ran at a pace that would hit a 2 hour half marathon and it was more tiring that I would have liked. So obviously I am not fully recovered from the Lemming Loop yet but no issues with my ankle, so more positive than negative there.

I have two more short runs (Friday and Saturday) before my wife and I do the WFPS Half marathon on Sunday. After that race is done, I will be moving into my training schedule for the Goofy Challenge in January. I think I have my training plan sorted but I will have to do the first week or two and see if I have to adjust it. I should be posting it early next week.

7 miles in 56:24 on the treadmill tonight – start of the rebuilding plan begins in ernest

First day of my new plan to get back in shape for the spring and even though I had a pretty rough day and didn’t get started until late, I figured I couldn’t screw up and had to get the miles in.

And if I was going to do it, I was going to try to push a bit to rebuild my cardio level at the same time.

First mile was at 7 mph and then from there I bumped the speed up 0.2 mph every mile until I did the last mile at 8.2 mph. There was one minute of walking in there but other than that I was able to make it work. Final time for the 7 miles was 56:24.

The last mile wasn’t pretty but it got done.

Day 1 done – keep pushing.

Yeesh – been a couple weeks since I posted something on the blog…bit of an update.

Whoops – been slacking on the blog! And on running too for that matter but I have been trying to be smart about repairing my left ankle so I have a minor excuse at least.

So since my last post, I have have run about 6 times with the longest being at around the 9 mile mark and the shortest 3 miles. I have done a combination of indoor and outdoor runs as I have tried to figure out what the issue with my ankle is.

My best guess right now on my ankle is not actually anything to do with running. the issue actually appears to be sitting on my living room couch. If I sit too long on that couch specifically the ankle wants to lock up and starts to hurt. No other couches or chairs seem to have the same impact, so it looks like it must be doing something weird to my circulation or pressing funny on a ligament or something weird. The worst part was as I tried to figure things out I would spend more time on the couch “resting” the ankle…pretty much caused a downward spiral.

But now that I have that sorted out I seem to be able to run and walk without pain.

The trick now is to start rebuilding the speed and endurance that I lost over the last 11 months or so. With that in mind I have set some goal races and developed a recovery training plan for the winter of 2015/2016 going into some 2016 local spring / summer races. It might be fairly aggressive but I now that I am pretty sure I am not actually injured I can try to get some focus back.

The plan also better takes into account my family schedule so it should be easier to follow without feeling like I am neglecting too much family time. (naturally lazy mixed with a touch of guilt is a pretty good mix for killing runs…)

With any luck that should mean my posts on the blog start to come more frequently again as well.

Ok – on with the adventure!

Ok – I think I finally have a plan to start training properly for the 12 Hour Lemming Loop in October. Now to make it happen!

I had planned on trying for an 18-20 mile run yesterday that didn’t happen in the end – lack of sleep kicked me in the teeth again and the heat/humidity would have been pretty brutal anyway. My backup plan was to run this morning instead – I was certainly up early enough (4am? Why?!!) but had a vicious headache that didn’t clear up until almost 7 – and it required Advil (which is not a wise thing to take prior, during or right after really long runs). (also discovered a worm issue that the pups have unfortunately – going to have to take them into the vet this afternoon to get that sorted – should be a straightforward fix but it takes time)

So after getting some productive stuff done earlier this morning, I have been sitting here beating myself up and getting frustrated that I am not getting in the mileage I want to. I figure I need to come up with a plan – otherwise I am going to keep struggling and remain unfocussed. I need to fix this.

Time to get creative – coffee and the laptop on the balcony and enjoying some cooler weather and brainstorming ideas on how to ramp up the training and motivation so that I can do well at the 12 hour Lemming Loop the first weekend of October. I just missed 50 miles last October and want to beat that this year. So I am starting with determining my goals, figuring out what is in my way and finding a path forward.

Goals – I want to break 50 miles and preferably break 52.4 (double marathon) – and 60 would of course be awesome.

So how do I get there without throwing all my time at running. I want to enjoy the running and not grow to resent the time it means I will be spending away from the family.

I am currently finding it hard to train 5 days a week while thinking about spending 5-7 hours a weekend running. It wouldn’t be too bad if I could feel energized enough to run when I let the dogs out in the morning – but unfortunately I am getting less than 5 hours sleep a night at this point and that is impacting all areas of my life – running, diet, work, everything.

So there are the obstacles – lack of sleep, I’m not enjoying running as much right now and I am resenting the time I am running as something that is taking me away from my family (and hobbies I have let slide too for that matter – look at this way – I have essentially been trying to maintain and train for almost 3 years straight now – time to shake things up!).

So first off I need to get sleep. I have to find a plan to get that done. I’m not sure the path forward on this yet but I may have to start going to bed an hour or 2 earlier than I do now – probably a good start. Plus I have 2 weeks of vacation coming up at the end of July…there will be napping…there will be much napping.

I also want to find a way to back off to 4 days of running a week while still training the long distance endurance. This would give me more time with the family and for doing other hobby stuff. Both of which should give me more energy all around. There is always talk about work / life balance but if you are constantly training for long distance running events you need to find a run / life balance as well.

But how to make 4 days of running a week work? From what I have seen that would most likely mean dropping speed work – or at least dedicated speed work days. The best I can tell is that many ultra runners don’t spend a lot of time on speed work. The long runs are key.

With that in mind my general game plan is going to be to stop doing dedicated speed work for now but add some speed intervals into other runs.

Roughly I am figuring for July:

Monday – rest day – swimming

Tuesday – medium distance on the treadmill – 10 miles done at a strong pace and with speed intervals

Wednesday – rest day – swimming

Thursday – medium distance on the treadmill – 10 miles done at a strong pace and with speed intervals

Friday – rest day – swimming

Saturday – medium long distance outside – 13.1 miles with some speed push

Sunday – 3-5 hours running outside at a slow pace with practice for run/walk intervals – 18 – 30 miles.

This gives a total of approx. 51-63 miles a week over 4 days – I am hoping this is sustainable even if I don’t get the sleep sorted out.


If I do manage to get some sleep (and consequently some energy) then I will be looking at adding more mileage in August. This would most likely consist of adding morning runs before heading to work on Wednesdays and Fridays for sure and potentially Mondays. There is the potential there to drive me up to 7 days a week which might be overtraining so I will have to watch that and adjust accordingly.

For August I would like to try to get in one training run of about 6 hours in length – I’m not sure if I will do that outside or break it up into a few chunks with some time outside and some time on the treadmill.

The rest of the August runs should follow the basic cycle laid out for July but with an attempt to complete them a bit faster and recover a bit quicker.

September is a bit up on the air so far.

If all goes well in July and August I will be looking at whether or not I should do the Treherne marathon at the beginning of September. I would like a little bit of revalidation after the Manitoba Marathon and this could be the race to do it. I will need a long run that weekend anyway as part of training and I can maybe use this race as that training run. I kind of swore that I wasn’t going to do this race though as the majority of it is run on country back roads and if it rains it could suck pretty heavily. I will be looking closer at that race in August.

Two weeks after the Treherne marathon there is a half marathon here in Winnipeg that I have done the last 2 years running (Fort Garry Rotary Half) and I will be tempted to do this race as well to get a better half time than I did on the WPS Half Marathon back in early May. But it is also only 2 weeks out from the 12 Hour Lemming Loop at that point and I’m not sure I want to do a race that close and risk injury or burning out. Also, if I’m not doing speed work then it it is a bit of an unknown on if I could beat my WPS Half time or not anyway. Plus I might want that day as my last long training run before the Lemming Loop.

Lots of decisions to make – if everything goes really well I might do both of those races but if I find I am struggling with the distances I need to run I will concentrate on training for the Lemming Loop instead. Those decisions will come in August. Until then I need to ramp up the longer runs while staying healthy and motivated…and getting sleep.

To help energize myself more for running I need to get back in touch with other hobbies so that it doesn’t seem that all I am doing is running and working. So I am going to start playing with writing and photography more. Also, more playing with the kids, more time with my wife, more training the dogs, more time doing other stuff besides obsessing about running.

Ok – I think I found the path forward – now to make it happen!