Training Newsletters

  • 2014
    • APRIL 2014 (by Bruce Deacon). Set goals that stretch your possible at this year’s GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon. Get some tips to select the right program for you, and learn how to prepare yourself to launch into training.
  • 2013
    • NOVEMBER 2013 (by Bruce Deacon). Now that the race has come and gone, it's time to debrief and plan for your next goal. With the days getting shorter, the risks of running at night become a greater concern. Run smart with these night time tips.
    • OCTOBER 2013 (by Bruce Deacon). With only days to go before your race, the training is all done. But that isn't to say that there aren't things you should do to get the most out of your body on race day. Read the do's and don'ts of race week preparation.
    • SEPTEMBER 2013 (by Bruce Deacon). Getting your body ready for race day is only half the battle. Use September to fine tune the mental strategies needed to carry you across the finish line on race day. Read how you can use a final tune up race to ready yourself for the Marathon or Half Marathon.
    • AUGUST 2013 (by Bruce Deacon). Injuries can be an occupational hazard when training for a big run. This month we have some tips to help deal with those aches and get you back to training fast. As the long runs increase in distance, it is time to explore the delicacies of gels-the ultimate "fast food".
    • JULY 2013 (by Bruce Deacon). Weather is warming up and logging the miles is getting harder. Learn how to handle the heat. Squeeze in those vacation miles and make some of your best running memories.
    • JUNE 2013 (by Bruce Deacon). After five years of online coaching and dozens of marathons (including two Olympics), Bruce Deacon shares his top three running tips for those starting a training program. He frequently gets asked for tips to run a better half or full marathon.
    • MAY 2013 (by Bruce Deacon). Run better without the Monday morning soreness of a weekend warrior. Learn how to improve your running strength through core training, weights and running drills.
    • APRIL 2013 (by Bruce Deacon). Pay your tribute to the Boston Marathon tragedy by setting your sights on qualifying to run in this classic race. Help us choose the program that is right for you. Learn what to do between now and the start date of your program.
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008

Training Tips

TIP #1: What Clothing Will I Wear?

Race day is a time for "old favorites" - clothing that you know you can run in comfortably for an entire long run. Leave the bright new "fashion statements" you picked up at our Victoria Marathon Race Expo for another day.

How much clothing should you wear during the race?

Ideally, you should feel a bit chilly standing around. Remember that when you are running, you will build up a fair bit of body heat. Start the race with a hat, since so much of your heat is lost through your head. If you get too warm, you can always take off your hat as you run. If it is cool at the start, consider wearing a pair of light gloves or arm warmers.

TIP #2: Step Out In Sensible Shoes

When contemplating any type of running, suitable footwear is a must. Today's running shoes are designed to support your feet and cushion your body as you run. I recommend visiting a specialty running store where the staff is skilled in meeting your individual running needs. Look for shoes that are comfortable and are constructed to meet your biomechanical needs.

When you visit the store:

  • Bring in the shoes you are currently running in. This allows the salesperson to examine the wear patterns on the shoes.
  • Ask to try on a selection of shoes that might suit your requirements
  • Give the salesperson the information they need. For example, how much running you wish to do? What surfaces do you run on? Do you wear orthotics?
  • Base your final choice of shoe primarily on comfort - the shoe that feels best to you, but is still made for the way your foot plants when you hit the ground.

TIP #3: Variety Is The Spice Of Life.

In running this is certainly the truth. To maintain your interest and enthusiasm as you prepare for your event at this year's GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon try different running routes and run on different surfaces for a change of pace. Victoria offers lots of trails that are eminently suitable for running including the trails around Elk/Beaver Lake and Thetis Lake, the wonderful wood chip trails circling Mount Douglas and Cedar Hill Golf Course and the packed gravel routes along the Galloping Goose and Lochside Trails. At low tide, Victoria offers some wonderful stretches of beach front. Willows Beach in Oak Bay is superb. You will be amazed at how a new running route can give you a new outlook on your running.

TIP #4: Get Used To Fast Food!

No, not burgers and fries. In the marathon and half marathon events it is important to remain hydrated. In addition, some participants may also need to eat during the event to maintain energy levels. Practice eating and drinking on the run during your long runs and experiment with effective ways for carrying whatever goodies you like to eat along the way. Of course, we will have lots of well-stocked aid stations out on the course too with water, electrolyte beverage and Power Bar products.

TIP #5: Know The Route

Living in the city where the marathon takes place has benefits. First, you get to wake up in your own bed on race morning with all the comforts of home at your disposal. Second, you have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the intricacies of our marathon course during your training. I would suggest regularly running parts of the course during your marathon preparation. This allows you to become comfortable with the route and terrain so you know what to expect on race day. If you are not sure of the route, we have maps available on our website.

TIP #6: Cross Training: An Addition, Not A Substitute, For Running

There is no substitution for running if your goal is to run a marathon or half marathon race. However, cross training can be used to augment your preparation and add a little variety to your training program. Some cross training is less weight bearing so will alleviate some of the pounding of running while continuing to develop your aerobic capacity. Including a day of cycling, swimming, aerobics or water running can be a welcome addition to your weekly running program.

TIP #7: Recovery

Preparing for the marathon is a balancing act between completing the preparation required to successfully achieve your goal without depleting your energy to the point that your training and, in some cases, your health suffers. Some tips to help alleviate over-training and allow for recovery are to:

  • Balance demanding workouts with easier runs and rest days;
  • Eat and drink after each run to replenish depleted reserves;
  • Get adequate sleep;
  • Include an easy week every 2nd or 3rd week of your training program; and,
  • Increase the intensity and quantity of training in manageable increments.

Above all, listen to your body. Your body will tell you when to back off for a day or two.

TIP #8: Tapering

What do you suggest for training in the last two weeks before the marathon?

By the final two weeks, all the hard work is done. Once you have completed your last long run, two weeks before the event, make all your runs an hour or less. Focus on running comfortably as you approach the race day. The key is to rest up while still staying a bit sharp by running some workouts at race pace. The main objective in the final two weeks is to combine gentle running with lots of relaxation.

TIP #9: Have FUN!

The actual excitement and rush of running in a big event can easily get lost in the stress of getting to the start line. Plan out the details a few days in advance so that you know when you are getting your number, how you are getting to the race, who is going to be your race crew/fans base, and where you will meet them after the run. Take some time to enjoy the Expo and remember to enjoy the carbo loading! This is the event that you have spent hundreds of hours preparing for, so have some fun with it. Enjoy the crowds, the sounds, the sights and the thrill of competing. This is the moment you've waited for so seize the day.

TIP #10: Thanking Your Friends

We don't get to the start line of the marathon alone. Preparing for a marathon takes lots of time, dedication and sacrifices. This usually means that family, friends running partners and coaches end up helping you out along the way as you pursue your quest to complete the marathon. Remember to take some time to thank the people in your life that made your participation in the marathon possible. Also, out on the course you will be supported by numerous volunteers directing traffic and helping at aid stations these people make your marathon happen - spare a word or two of thanks as you pass them by.

If you have questions regarding these training tips or any of our training programs feel free to contact Bruce by email at CoachBruce@runvictoriamarathon.com.

Boston Certified