Monday, 5 May 2014

Peak week

Here goes, highest mileage ever in a week for me. Then it's a gradual taper to race day. 
My current marathon PB of 3:20:47 from 2012 was set on training of at most 70k in a week over 4 runs. Since late February, every week featured 6 runs totalling over 70k. Since early April, weekly distance has alternated between 80 and 90+km. In April 2012, I believe I put in just under 300km. April 2014 saw me log 372km. 
So how did peak week go?

Monday 5th: more sleet for my 13k easy run. Tried to concentrate on rolling my left foot for smooth toe-off to ease the load on my slightly sore left calf. Otherwise, a great run, kept on having to slow myself down. That's usually a good sign, right?

Tuesday 6th: 11.5k easy run in still chilly conditions. +1 just enough for shorts but with light jacket and gloves. No big deals for the year-round Canadian runner. There were a few out there who looked like they were not year-rounders, but had committed to racing on June 1, wearing hoodies and grimacing, but getting it done. Welcome aboard, if you're reading.
A small piece of cake in the afternoon, as a co-worker was had announced her retirement. Fuel for my core workout 3 hours later at home. That second workout every Tuesday is getting harder to do: it's when increasing fatigue is most noticeable. 
Still, I got all my side-lying hip abduction, lunges, single-leg deadlifts, leg raises, marching bridges, crunches, squats with kettlebell, the one I have no name for (a squat with dumbbell, then raise it in the air with opposite foot off the ground), calf raises, static balancing, planks and leg & arm raises done.

Wednesday 7th: a little too fast perhaps, not that it felt tough. Another good sign? I concentrated on good posture and making sure my left foot in particular was rolling nicely. 

Thursday 8th: "rest day" of just core/ weights. I felt a little wiped, though that gradually went away. The weird thing was to see people going around the indoor track for 20 minutes plus during +15 sunny weather. Lunacy. Still, this workout cured the headache I'd had all morning. 

Friday 9th: woke up with a tight left achilles, but it passed with a few stretches at the office - I have a standing desk. 
Fridays are marathon pace runs. Back in February, they were 10k. Every 3 weeks, the distance increases by 1.5k. This was the first 16k. The last one in 2 weeks time, will be the last run of substance - just easy runs after that before race day. The plan says to add in warm-up and cool down, so I do 1k extra. 
Today's 17k then was going to be wet. Even the hourly forecast was spot on - maybe a Calgary first. I dressed for warm weather, plus a waterproof jacket - a favourite Puma souvenir from Japan. 
The area where the river bends north-west after downtown is its own micro-climate with its steep hillside and trees. Drizzle, became rain, back to drizzle, then heavier rain and finally light drizzle at the end. At times I'd pull my hood on when the wind and rain picked up, though I had to use my sunglasses to keep it on. 
Time and again when I looked at my watch: too fast. I slowed myself down as often as I could. A good, thoroughly soaked run. Although I didn't feel sore or hurt, I walked quite slowly for the rest of the day.
Saturday 10th: first item of business was weights/ core at the Y. The place seems more crowded these days. I'm usually there early, and haven't used the static weight stations since November anyway. No more delays "discussing" the merits of working-in with others. 
13k run home, and as usual the legs felt weird for the first few minutes. When I started months ago (running home from the gym, that is), my legs would feel strange the entire run. Got home to a bowl of tortellini. 
Birds in Fish Creek park seem to be getting close to nesting season. I'll be watching my head until mid July. 
Sunday 11th: the evening before I noticed I was getting a sore throat. The start of a cold? When this happens I drink plenty of hot water. Things were a little better when I headed out for my 26k. A fair bit of spitting, I held a good pace until the hill at the end. 2 hours 12 minutes later I was back home stuffing my face. 
You talkin' to me?
I am now rather slow around the house, especially up the stairs. Just under 98 km for the week. Technically, the taper starts here. The next 2 weeks amount to the same as this week just gone, but with 16k next Sunday and 13k the Sunday after that. So more hard training ahead without the exhausting Sundays. Looking forward to the emergence of my racing legs.


  1. Whew! I'm tired just reading about your week Peter. Happy taper and good luck on race day. I'm really ready for the taper to begin NOW! ;)

  2. Well done so far Peter. We will be thinking about you on the 1st.

  3. I will be rooting for you Peter! You worked so hard for this! I have no doubt you're going to rock Calgary!