Training Begins (Again)

The usual Running Room marathon training program I follow is 18 weeks long which means training for the 2018 BMO Vancouver Marathon will officially start around the first week of January.

Those first few weeks are pretty reasonable with five runs totaling about 43km and a long run of only 13km. That’s not a huge week of running, although the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday runs are 6, 10 and 8km respectively which is a bit more than I’m doing right now.

Those back-to-back-to-back weekday runs can put some stress on the body, especially if you drop right into it without a good foundation in place. With that in mind, I’m taking the next six weeks to get from where I am now to being comfortable with those weeknight runs.

Avoiding Injury

Working up gradually will reduce the chances of injury early on and will also get my legs back to where they need to be to embark on a full 18 weeks and over one thousand kilometres of running.

This week I ran 6km on Tuesday, 8km on Wednesday, and then 6km on Thursday. That’s a bit lighter than the first week of the training schedule, and the plan is to get that Wednesday run up to 10km in a few weeks, and also to get the Thursday run to 8km.

Sunday runs of about 15 or 16km are still comfortable for me, and so while the first couple of weeks of training in January calls for 13km runs, I’ll likely exceed that and roll into 16km LSD’s right from the start in the new year.

Motivation Included

It’s great to have a race on the schedule to work towards. The constant reminder of the number of days until the 2018 BMO Vancouver Marathon keeps me motivated to get out and put in the mileage and so I use the Countdown watchface on my Garmin Forerunner 235 which tells me exactly how many more days I have left until May 6, 2018 and race day.

As of today, it’s 162 days until marathon number 12 in Vancouver. Let the training begin.

Vancouver It Is!

Well it’s officially official. We’re heading to Vancouver in May where I hope to be running my 12th marathon, and fifth BMO Vancouver Marathon.

The hotel is booked and we’re starting the quest to find a reasonably priced flight out to the west coast. This means getting my head around another winter spent running five days a week, and those long Sunday morning runs through the streets of Toronto.

Am I looking forward to it? Yes.

I love running, but without a solid goal in place, I find it hard to keep motivated to get those runs in and to stay fit. But with a marathon on the calendar, and a training schedule in place, it’s far easier to get my ass off the couch and over to Variety Village to hit the treadmill or out on the streets to run.

I’ve got six or seven weeks to really get into pre-marathon training shape. On the bright side, with a solid 15km run today, I feel like I’m well on my way. Next job is to get the usual training plan off the PDF and into my calendar so it’s all right there in front of me.

167 days to go!

What’s Next?

It’s been a quiet summer, with sporadic training and a decent half marathon to finish it out a few weeks ago. But now the weather has turned, the trees have shed their leaves and winter running is nearly upon us.

So what’s the plan?

It’s been a long time since I haven’t been prepping for a spring marathon and getting my schedule together in November. And I suspect that 2017 will be no different. We’re making tentative plans to return to Vancouver in May and I’m again considering running the BMO Vancouver Marathon.

It would be my fifth time running the marathon in Vancouver and this time, Ginny would be joining me for the weekend as well. That makes for some additional complications in planning as we need to find a hone for the kids, or get someone to stay here with them for a few days while we do our west coast thing.

I said after Vancouver in May that I thought maybe that would be my last marathon for a while. The training has been difficult and the payoffs haven’t been there. Not getting the result I wanted for three straight marathons makes all the work I put in feel a bit pointless.

But running is like that. I know two of those marathons were hot and that cost me. Broken ribs midway through the training cycle for the third cost me any chance at a good result in 2017.

Will 2018 be different? Who knows…but I’ll wade into training with a positive attitude and a commitment to putting in the effort once again. If everything comes together on race day, then great. Otherwise, I’ll take another 42.2km run through one of my favourite places on earth.