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Wow, August 19th already. I can’t believe we are already this close to summer being over! It’s definitely been a good summer but a different summer for sure. This is the first time I’ve trained for a big event like a marathon over the summer months and it’s been a pretty big commitment!

And now, here we are just 6 weeks away from that big commitment, the Surrey Marathon! It’s going to be my third full marathon and I’m getting pretty excited about it. I’m just in the process of getting my registration all confirmed but if you haven’t registered yet yourself you might want to consider getting it done before the next price increase on August 30th. You can also register online if you want to volunteer at the event too.

And since I feel like we’re on the home stretch, I thought it might be a good idea to do a little training update and summarize how things have been going.

Weekday Runs

Our weeks have typically consisted of 8km runs on Tuesday, 10km runs on Wednesday and then an additional 6-8km on Thursday when I can fit it in. The official Running Room training schedule includes this Thursday run but I know historically not everybody does it. I try to fit it in as often as I can but will admit, with a busy summer going on it’s probably only been about 50% of the time.

Surprisingly, the 8km and 10km runs have felt a bit long to me for a weeknight. Not that the distance itself was long but maybe just the fact that I’ve been running after already-busy summer days in the sun and a further 8 or 10km in the heat has felt a bit onerous. We had a crazy beautiful June and July and I’m sure the heat contributed to those runs feeling a bit tougher than they actually were. It’s been really interesting training in so much heat and even though I’ve run events that wound up being on super hot days, training in the heat day after day has been pretty tough!

Hill Training

Starting a few weeks ago, our hill training took over our Wednesday nights. We started off with 4 repeats of “marathon hill” and are working our way towards our final night of 10 repeats. I have always found hill training to be the toughest part of the training cycle and admittedly kind of shudder when I wake up and know I’ve got hill training late that day. Ha ha.

The funny thing is, as much as I wimp and complain about running hills, deep down I actually really love the workouts because I think they are one of the most effective things we can do during training. A lot of runners think they don’t need to do hill training because their goal race isn’t hilly but sadly, I think they’re missing out on a huge opportunity to get stronger and faster. Hill training doesn’t just help you run hills it makes your legs stronger, gets your blood pumping and undoubtedly makes you quicker in the long term.

Tired but happy after completing our 7 hills repeats this past Wednesday night!

Hills have been going pretty good this time around. My strategy is to just hunker down and run them at a pace I can keep steady for the whole workout. I’m slow but I always feel great for completing the workout and definitely notice a difference. Last week we did 7 repeats and this week we’re tackling the big 8!

Long Runs

Ahh, the long run. The core of our marathon training and for me, the training that makes me feel like I’ve accomplished the most. The feeling of covering a longer distance than ever before is pretty awesome and I just love that quite a few runners in our clinic get to experience that feeling because this is their first full marathon. Reading their posts on FB and Twitter is pretty cool as they accomplish each new distance.

This past weekend we ran 29km and due to summer vacation, I was away from the clinic for it. We’re staying with my husband’s family on Vancouver Island and sadly the roads around here are pretty hilly (there I go whining about hills again!). My father-in-law helped me map out a fairly flat-ish route and it turned out to be a pretty good mix of long, slow hills and flat ground.

Sproat Lake is located between Port Alberni and Tofino so I ran
most of my 29km along the Pacific Rim Highway

Ever since training for the Goofy Challenge, I’ve become a big believer in taking your longest runs slow and relaxed so I set out to a run a nice, steady pace for this run. I planned to run about a minute slower per km than my usual pace and admittedly I didn’t keep my pace quite even the whole way through. I felt really good for most of the run but by the final 5km I was pretty pooped – right for the hilliest section of the whole run. Awesome. My father-in-law came driving by right at this point and the familiar face was a big pick-me-up.

I managed to actually stay ahead of my pace the whole way so instead of pushing my tired legs too much, I walked up the steeper of the short hills and ended up finishing just 2 minutes longer than my goal time. On my longest runs I don’t like to gamble with pushing too hard and possibly getting injured so I was pleased with how I ended this run.

Recovery

Another big aspect of my marathon training is recovery. I learned during our Goofy training just how important it is to recover properly after each long run or hard workout. Especially now that our distances are peaking, I like to make sure I take every step possible to recover and prevent injury. Lots of stretching, foam rolling, massage, proper refuelling, ice baths and good rest are a must!

The best part of my long run this weekend was my “ice bath” for sure! Have you ever wanted to just strip off your Garmin and running shoes and jump in a lake after finishing a long run? Well I have always wanted to do that and this weekend I did!

My pile of treasures left on the dock…

Floating on my floatie was the perfect way to cool down my legs and prevent swelling in my sore muscles. It felt heavenly.

Don’t worry, I made sure my legs were fully submerged to make sure
my knees got the full effect too!

Sister Update

Shortly after finishing the Run for Water ultra marathon, my sister said she was so inspired by the whole thing that she wanted to train for and run her very first full marathon. We had originally planned to run the Okanagan Marathon in October but for a variety of reasons she’ll be running the Surrey Marathon with me instead! I am so excited that she’ll be joining me at this great event and she is doing so well with her training.

My sister was always the athletic one between us so it’s not a surprise at all that she’s a faster runner than I am. However, I know she was nervous to hit the 30km+ distances but she’s totally rocked every one of them and is doing just fantastic. She is going to run a very strong and speedy marathon on Sept 29 and I can’t wait to be there to cheer for her. However, I won’t get to cheer until about 45 minutes later when I cross the finish line myself! Ha ha.

Me and my speedy seester!

Have you registered for any of the Surrey Marathon events? Maybe a different fall marathon? How is your training going?

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Comments

  1. Elle    

    Happy for you to have your sister along in Surrey. I hate ice baths, but hopping into the lake would be GREAT!

    1. Nikki Scott    

      Yes hopping into the lake was MUCH more enjoyable than the cold bath tub!

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