Big Week of STWM Training

We’re at the start of Week Seven of training for the 2016 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM). If you are a first-time marathon hopeful following the training plan from the Running Room, then this is a big week for you!


Get used to this view on Wednesday’s for a couple of months.

On Wednesday, the hill training portion of the schedule starts with four hill repeats. These workouts build strength and teach you how to run on the edge of your cardio limits.

Make sure you work hard on the uphills, but not too hard! You should be huffing and puffing, but your pace should be even throughout each hill repeat, and also over the full duration of the workout.

Don’t overlook the downhill portion of the hills either. Learning how to take what the course gives you and run smoothly downhill is important. The STWM course doesn’t feature a lot of hills, but you’ll want to have the power to run up them and also be able to bank some time on the downhill side.

Longest ever runs

Next Sunday is technically the start of week eight, but it’s also the first time the long slow distance (LSD) run tops 20km with a 23km run on the schedule. If this is your first time training for a marathon, this might also be the first time you go further than the half marathon distance of 21.1km.

That might be intimidating for you, but if you’ve been putting in the training over the last couple of months, you’ll have no problem! Make a note of the place where you run through 21.1km and beyond – you’ll remember it for the rest of your running career.

12 weeks to go!

From here on out things get serious and the challenge of the marathon will start to become evident to you. Stick with the program, get your runs in and you’ll be fine.

In just 12 weeks from today, you’ll be proudly wearing your medal and you’ll be a marathoner.

2016 STWM Digital Champions

I’m super excited to have been selected to be one of 14 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Digital Champions for 2016.

I’ll let the Canada Running Series explain what the Digital Champions program is all about:

For the past three years, the Digital Champions Program has brought together dedicated, connected, and inspiring runners to act as ambassadors of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

This year, we are adding an exciting new component to this program with the STWM Scotiabank Charity Challenge! Our 2016 Digital Champions team represents runners who are making every step count as they run and fundraise for one of our 186 official charities! Get to know our team and connect with them throughout your training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon!

Fundraising takes centre stage

That second part is the most exciting to me. As my friends and family know, our family is touched by a genetic condition called Fragile X Syndrome. Mackenzie, our oldest daughter copes with Fragile X which is a major cause of inherited mental impairment. For her that means a learning disability, and moderate anxiety. Ginny is a carrier of the genetic defect which causes a few different issues for her as well.


After the 2012 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. We raised $80,000 for Fragile X Research and I ran a PB!

A few years back I was part of Team Fragile X which raised over $88,000 for the Fragile X Research Foundation of Canada. Over the years, the Team has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for research through Canada Running Series events in Toronto and Vancouver. I’ll be raising money again this year, and Team Fragile X is back again as well.

Canada Running Series

Running has been a big part of my life since 2008. My very first race was a Canada Running Series event and I’ve run many since then. They do so much for the running community in Toronto and also for the hundreds of local and national charities that benefit from money raised by runners participating in CRS events.

Since 2003, CRS and other events that are part of the Scotiabank Charity Challenge have raised over $50 million for local Canadian charities. Amazing.

I’m super proud to be a Digital Champion and I’m very excited to share my training journey along with my fundraising efforts between now and race day on October 16, 2016.

Summer Training Update

The marathon clinic at the Canary District Running Room is now in full swing and we’re all getting our running legs under us. The start of training always seems like a long time before race day, but in reality it’s already less than 15 weeks until the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon!

It’s been an interesting few weeks for me, between running with a group far more often and also running a fair bit more slowly than I’ve been accustomed to.

Not exactly tempo!

Tuesday runs at the clinic are in the 6:00/km range which is slower than I normally run on Sundays. Tempo this is not! That said, it’s been good to see the clinic runners working hard on their weekday runs and putting in the training miles.

Wednesday’s 10km runs are also a bit slower than I would normally run, but it’s nice to get out with the group to run these longer evening runs.


Sunday runs combined with the DYRR Running Room

That leaves Thursday’s and Saturday’s for me to get back to the usual faster pace either around 5:00/km or under (on Saturday). Getting some hard runs in leading into Sunday’s long run should be a benefit in the long run as it will mean running on some tired legs.

Fortunately, we’ve worked out an arrangement with the Downtown Yonge Running Room to meet up on Sundays and bolster our numbers and pace groups. That allows me to run a bit faster with some of their speedsters, while my clinic runners get some company for their long runs.

Extra long Sunday runs

I’ve also been running back to meet the other groups and then run them in so that gives me a chance to put in a couple of kilometres at a faster pace, and also the opportunity to tack on a little extra mileage at the same time.

The clinic instructing has been enjoyable so far. It’s great to be able to see the progress of the runners in the clinic and it’ll be neat to see them gradually build up to the marathon distance over the summer.