The Plan for the Last Four Weeks

I’m decided that I’m going to ramp it back up to five runs a week until the BMO Vancouver Marathon on May 4.

Back in January when I kicked off training for my seventh marathon, I decided to try to run the full Running Room marathon training schedule. That’s something I’ve never done before. I’ve always opted for a modified version with four days of running per week.

Of the 13 weeks of training since the second week of January, I’ve done five-run weeks eight times. I started the program late, so the first week was short a run or two. Our recent trip down to Hilton Head Island for March Break meant having to drive down to South Carolina and back and that killed two weeks. Once I got back from that trip, I settled back into a four-run week habit for a couple of weeks leading up to The Around the Bay Road Race.

Those last two weeks were by design as I wanted to get a bit of rest in leading up to race day since my legs were tired and I was fighting mild shin splints and some nagging ankle tendonitis.

The final countdown

That stuff is all behind me now and the final push to the finish in Vancouver is on (or is that the start?).

work-to-home-300x231As a bonus, things are much nicer in the weather department in Toronto these days and so running outside in the evenings is much more tolerable. I’ve been running exclusively on the treadmill at Variety Village this year during the week which adds about 30 minutes of extra time commitment thanks to having to drive there and back. That was taking a bit of a toll on the family, along with Ginny’s training for her Around the Bay goal race.

The plan for this week

My plan for this first week is to run 6km Tuesday, 10km Wednesday, another 10km on Thursday, 6km Saturday and then the last 32km super long run on Sunday.

Looking at the weather, both Wednesday and Thursday are looking lovely. With that in mind, I’m thinking about running home from work on Wednesday might be a good idea. And who knows, maybe I could also drop in a run to work on Thursday as well.

It’s about 13km between work and home if I take the most direct route, so that is a reasonable run distance and not much over the 10km on the schedule. The other option is to run 10km and hop on the streetcar for the remaining 3km each way. We’ll see.

Sunday marathon simulation

Sunday will feature the last long run over 30km with a 32km run planned. I’ve thinking about turning this into something of a race simulation. I’ll try to map out a route that has a similar elevation profile to the first 32km of the Vancouver Marathon course and run it solo. The idea is to pick a pace (probably about 5:20/km) and then try to run as consistently as possible for the full distance.

It would also include a dry run at the nutrition plan to make sure that I’m taking gels at the right intervals, and staying hydrated.

I’ve never been all that serious about race day strategy before, but I did some of these things for Around the Bay and the result was a strong race and a big personal best. I’d like to repeat that performance in Vancouver and maybe take a run at my marathon PB of 3:53:59.