Running Plan: May 2017

Running Planning

It feels good to go back and reflect on where your training started, where you started to slip, how you picked yourself back up again and where you are going.

January and February started pretty solid. I was finding my way back into a regular training program and building my cardio back up. Then March happened, I slipped and headed out to Mexico for #springbreak. In April, the weather was not as beautiful as Mexico and I didn’t want to head out for runs in the cool weather and lived in slack city. May is here. The weather is picking up and I have a spring in my step. The goal was to pick my running back up and pace a friend through the Sporting Life 10K. I ended up falling back in love with the sport – recap to come!

Sporting Life 10K Finishers

So now, with my running spark back, I’m looking to the next 20 weeks of training and I’m excited about it. The most humbling part is that I am not as fast as I use to be. Interval  runs are going to be my new best friend, long runs, easy runs, weight training and stretching are all coming back. In any training plan, it’s important to have short term and long term goals. My short term is running the Toronto Waterfront 10K and my long term goal is to run a sub 1:50 half-marathon. It gives me something to work towards and I will continue to push myself to be a #goalgetter.

It’s also important to be honest with yourself and look at how much you have run in 2017 – even if it hurts a little to see the real numbers. The only way to get better is to beat who you were yesterday. I like to keep a monthly calendar so I can see my daily progress. It feels good to check off when you’ve crushed a workout and remind yourself that you are killing it.

Bring on the next 20 weeks – I’m ready for it!

Run Less, Run Faster

Run less, run faster. Those words have been what I have been going by lately in my training. Injuries happen and they usually do when you are overtraining. Overtraining happens when you do too many hard runs, strength workouts and you leave little time for your body to rest in between. The other factor is life stress. You could be running yourself down outside of training and when you get to your run, you are too exhausted to even complete your run. Last week, that was my life. 

I’ve been extremely cautious during my training journey to not overtrain but at the same time, not undertrain. I work long days, have a long(ish) commute to work and I try to fit in seeing all of my friends and family on my spare time. Oh right, and half marathon training. 

I headed out for my long run of 11 miles last week and stopped at 2 miles to walk. I realised, I was burnt out. I was too exhausted to go on. I started moving at a slow pace and still just couldn’t do it. I ended that run at 3.70 miles. I felt defeated. It’s not in me to quit but I wasn’t quitting. – I was training smart and listening to my body. There is a huge difference. When you push yourself too hard, you risk injury, sickness and can set your training back a lot farther than one run. And, sit was 3.7 more miles than I did before I left. Sometimes you need to scale back. 

Scaling back. I started scaling back my runs per week. I run 3 times a week. A long run, a hard run and an easy run. Easy runs is where I have been known to struggle with. I love to push myself past my limits but I know that even the elites run a casual slow run. My favourite way to do this is by running with my friends who are new to running. The great thing about it is that, I have so much energy during these runs and can talk my running partner through the run. I keep the motivation up by making the time pass by and I get that easy pace in which is necessary for recovery, technique and it’s fun to help someone learn to love running. My long runs have also taken a huge benefit to running less and I run my long runs faster. They feel easy  easier. 

A few years ago, I thought running everyday, clocking a lot of hours and running around the same pace during every run was important. It’s not for me. Every body is different and requires a different training regime. I’ve learned that my muscles need more time to recover. I also need to eat every 2 hours throughout my day to keep myself fuelled. 

Run less, run faster. It works for me. It doesn’t make me less of a runner for not clocking a million miles a week. I will take my quality runs over the quantity runs and maybe one day I will be able to run a marathon a day for an entire year. 

Marathon Monday

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: OFF

Wednesday:  3 miles @ 8:22/mile

Thursday: OFF

Friday: OFF

Saturday: 3.2 miles @ 8:17/mile

Sunday: 9.33 miles @8:56/mile

Total miles: 15.53 miles

Last week was a hot one. Running in spicy heat is extremely hard and so important for fall race season. On humid hot days, depending how I’m feeling and if I’m very hydrated, I push myself to run as hard as my training plans tells me. If I can still maintain around an 8 minute/mile pace in the scorching heat, running a race in October  will feel like a breeze! But it’s also important to know when you are pushing yourself too hard.


Some important reminders that I live by when running in the summer:

  1. Stay hydrated before you run. Drinking water is important to hydration but you can also get your water intake through fruits and vegetables. I like to drink NUUN throughout the day to keep my electrolytes balanced.
  2. Plan routes that run past water stations. If you don’t have water stations, you can plant your own water bottles on your route or stop at restaurants along the way that offer free water.
  3. Know when to stop. I’m all about pushing yourself past your comfort zone but in the hot heat, it’s important to check in with yourself. If you are experiencing hot and cold flashes, stop sweating or feel dizzy, it’s time to stop and seek medical help.
  4. Slow down and take frequent walk breaks. When you run on hot days, you risk heat illness. Everyone’s body reacts differently to heat so you really have to listen to your body and know when to slow down. Nothing is worse than being sick after a run.
  5. Wear sunscreen. Sunscreen is so important, especially for runners. When you are exposing yourself to the sun for a long period of time, you will can sun damage. Just because you have tanned skin doesn’t mean that you won’t get burnt or worse develop skin cancer. Throw on some SPF before heading out the door.

This week, instead of focusing on craming in runs, I focused on quality heat runs. On Wednesday’s run, I was ready to stop a few times but instead, I slowed down and kept a steady pace to catch my breath. For the first time in a long time, I hoped for lights to turn red so that I could stop and get a break. Water was my best friend after that run.

Saturday’s run started out cool and progressively got hotter. I did have to take two water breaks during my run. At 3.2 miles, I stopped at Starbucks for some free water and then at 6 miles, I stopped at home. After 9.33 miles and feeling great I decided it was time to officially register for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon.

scotibank toronto waterfront marathon

My goal is to break 2 hours to get a new PR.

My ultimate goal: cross the finish line in 1:50:00.

Finding My Paces 

With a new personal best of my 6:43 mile, it’s time in reevaluate what my tempo and recovery paces. First of all, I thought my best 5K time would be 25 minutes but I’m starting to build speed and I’m coming in around 23-24 minutes. I’m crushing it.

Sporting Life 10K

To find my paces, I’m putting myself at a best mile of 7 minutes. This would put my 5K time at 23:45 with an average of 7:40 per mile. That’s accurate. I’m running between 7:40-8:00/mile when I go out for my 5K runs. Which means, I should really run a 5K race again so that I can beat my PR. I’ve only ever ran one 5K race at the Starbucks a Run for Women, so it would probably be the perfect time to do it.

That would make my 10K time 49:00 with an average of 7:55/mile. My current 10K PR is 48:36. A good downhill race should break that.

The next pace makes me really happy. Half marathon pace = 8:20/mile and finishing in 1:50:00. This is my ultimate goal. My current half PR is 2:02:09. I could demolish my PR this fall. If I broke 2 hours, I would be over the moon.

My marathon time (which in all honesty I would just be happy to finish because it would be my first marathon and an automatic PR) would be a time of 3:45:00 and a pace of 8:35/mile.

Which brings me to my tempo pace of 8:15 and my recovery pace of 9:35.

These numbers aren’t scary to me and don’t feel out of reach. It just comes down to the ultimate question, what race do I want to run this fall? For 2 years, I have tried to run the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon and something gets in the way every time I register. One year, I sprained A LOT of tendons and ligaments in the bottom of both my feet. But, I got to be a spectator for the first time and cheer my sister on! Last year, I ended up travelling for work and couldn’t run. If I don’t run STWM, I’m thinking of running the Niagara Falls Half Marathon. Or running the STWM half and then the Niagara 5K.

I’m so excited for the fall race training season and I need to commit to these races before it’s too late.

What races are you running this fall?

Do you recommend any races?