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Weekly Training Update(s): T - 11, 10, 9...

Playing a little catch up over the last few weeks, appologies for those following the weekly updates but I have still been training! Busy weeks between work, which included a trip to Calgary, and marathon training was starting to take its toll on family time so some good time spent with the girls the last few weeks.

Week of November 2-8 (11 weeks to go)

Total Mileage: 72.06

Total Time: 7:54

Average Pace: 6:23/mi

Overview: Pretty good week of hammering coming off the 10 mile race. Have also been using my desk cycle at the office quite a bit, picking up 47 miles of cycling in two days. On Wednesday my boss came to get me for lunch and I when I went to stand up my quads were shot! Starting to really put an emphasis on doing Marathon Pace (MP) whenever I can.

Monday: 7.08mi in :47, day after 10mi race but feeling pretty good. Added in 1.5+ of marathon pace mainly because the song "You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar But I Feel Like A Millionaire" by Queens of the Stone Age came on and I was totally psyched up. Turns out this is the perfect Fartlek song as it builds you up, throws you a mid-song surge and gives you a recovery before playing it all again. Give the "Feel Like a Millionaire Fartlek" a try! More on this below.

Tuesday: 14.97mi / 1:42 double (8.71 and 6.26)

Wednesday: 11.01 in 1:11. 5+ kilometer marathon pace pickup. 33mi+ desk cycle.

Thursday: 8.5mi in :57 easy

Friday: Off

Saturday: 8.5mi in :54 easy

Sunday: 22mi in 2:20. Hilly long run around Bellville with Zach. Didn't push pace too hard on this one, more about mileage but did hammer the final 5k at around 16:10 with some tough hills.

Week of November 9-15 (10 weeks to go)

Total Mileage: 49.97

Total Time: 5:19

Average Pace: 6:33/mi

Overview: Had an unexpected trip up to Calgary to renew my work visa so travel threw my schedule off. Nice to be up at 4,000-ft and around some real hills again. Temperature was around 30F which was a small shock! Was hoping to do the TROT Franklin Mountains (part of the US Sky Running series in 2016) trail race but was home for the weekend instead and went to the Cypress Half which worked out well.

Monday: 9.5mi in 1:02. Super late night hotel treadmill session after getting into Calgary. Felt pretty good, did not feel like I had run 22mi the day before.

Tuesday: 6mi in :40. 3 miles uphill, 3 miles down... yes there are hills that long, I miss this!

Wednesday: 12.19mi in 1:25. Great morning trail run around my old home town of Cochrane, Alberta added in 2mi, 1mi, .5mi at MP with the first half up hill and second half down for a total of about 1000-ft of climbing and descending throughout the run, some of it very steep.

Thursday: Off. Busy with work.

Friday: Off. Busy with work and travel.

Saturday: Off, again?! Time for some much needed family time.

Sunday: 22.26mi in 2:11. Cypress Half Marathon victory in 1:09 with 4 mile warmup and 5 mile cool-down. Great solo effort chasing the lead bike (2nd place was nearly 10' behind), again playing with Marathon Pace or slighyly faster and actually felt pretty good in the 5:10 to 5:15 pace range. Took one gel 15' before the race and one just after halfway along with Gatorade at almost all the stations, not needed but a great way to prepare for the marathon where you do. Quads a little beat up on the concrete which was a good feeling to have as I know how bad Houston Marathon can be, feeling much better prepared. Although official time was not a PR I think with the course reading slightly long it was around a 1:08 flat effort.

Week of November 16-22 (9 weeks to go)

Total Mileage: 52.11

Total Time: 5:19

Average Pace: 6:54

Cycle XT: 3:47

Overview: A bigger week of cross training mainly so I could be around family more and ensuring I have a good recovery session after last couple weeks of 22 mile long runs and racing. The week of Thanksgiving the last two years has been an injury week and I want to avoid it as best as possible by learning from previous mistakes. I think we get to 8 weeks from marathon day and really start to feel the stress of training but also need to hammer, but a week at 50 miles with some good quality work is much better than a week off dealing with an issue so I'm not concerned about the lower mileage. Of course a cold/flu is going around home and office so my Thanksgiving week may be another down one again, aye!

Monday: 1:06 indoor cycle.

Tuesday: 3.45mi in :26, very easy run. :24 cycle at office.

Wednesday: 1:47 double of cycling.

Thursday: 20.17 in 2:18 double. Early morning bagel run and a late night beer run for some good mileage. Added in a mini-fartlek and hill strides to the last run.

Friday: 10.29 in 1:14. Easy trail run with one of the top Speed Golfers in the world, Scott Dawley (recently placed second at the world championships shooting par in like 45 minutes!?!). He is making Speed Golf a sport for everyone here in Texas so be sure to check out his site including his golf course races.

Saturday: :30 indoor cycle.

Sunday: 18.2 in 1:45. Solid long run with about 10 miles total under 5:30 pace. Total average was 5:45/mi in some windy and cool conditions, also starting to come down with a nasty cold which made getting out for this workout a little tougher.

Marathon Pace is still work but I'm beginning to come to terms with it. I have no doubt I could run 2:30 right now so I have 8 weeks from today to gain that final 8+ minutes of improvement and peaking. Polar data: FMP (see what this means below in the training tip).


Hands down, performance of the year if not the biggest break through I have ever seen goes to Trevor Hofbauer aka Nacho Libre: The Legendary Lucador for his 1:04:28 half marathon in Philly this past Sunday. I first raced Trevor in 2012 I believe, it was a trail 20k for me (two laps) and a 10k for Trevor (one lap). I took off from the start and never saw a soul, including Trevor who was running half the distance. Fast forward only three years and he goes from a ~1:09 half marathon guy (caught up to me) to a third place finish at the Canadian Half Marathon Championships in ~1:07, to now running 1:04! Not only that, he set personal records in every distance from 5k up. Seriously switch from this blog to Trevors, I've been told I'm nice and fast, but this guy is even nicer and faster! Spicy Salsa in Philly


Marathon Training really is all about getting used to Marathon Pace. Early in the buildup it is scary and unfathomable. But as the weeks go by and you do some workouts and shorter races at/or faster than your goal MP you slowly come to grips with what you need to do come race day.

I mentioned above the workout to a Queens of the Stone Age song, this was a funny coincidence as one of my favorite blog posts on marathon training also links to this song. The blog is labelled "Fucking Marathon Pace (FMP)" and since it is so short I will copy it below, the actual really good blog post/interview that talks about cranking that song and some sick mileage is called "The Summer of the Caveman", pure marathon training: simple, raw, and tough.

Most runners are geeks and talk about training "zones", "threshold" runs, interval "sets" and so forth. But really, if you want to run a good marathon you mainly should train at Fucking Marathon Pace (FMP). I wish this term was my creation but it isn't. Duncan Larkin, author of "Run Simple" used it a few years ago in his "Magna Carta to break 2:30 - The Summer of the Caveman" (well worth a read). The idea is simple: if you plan to run 42.2k at a certain pace, you better be used to that. For me, FMP workouts start with 2x5k or something like that and I aim to run 25k straight at FMP two weeks before the race. Why "Fucking"? Do the 25k FMP and report back to me.

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