Welcome to my first Fitness Friday blog on this website. I am Bri Wilson and I am really excited to be sharing my marathon training trials and tribulations with you. This will be my eighth straight year running the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon — two half marathons and six full marathons — so I’m excited to help promote the race somewhat more “officially”, because it’s still my most favourite race to run (yes, even more than the Maui Oceanfront Half Marathon… mainly because it was way too hot during that race that day and there wasn’t enough water on the course). Thanksgiving weekend just wouldn’t be the same without running 42.2 km before enjoying a big turkey dinner with family and friends, so even though I was on the fence about running another marathon this year, I’m glad I signed up.
The reason why I started a blog in the first place was to document and share how my training was going ahead of my first race ever (which was the 2009 Royal Victoria Half Marathon), so naturally I’ve been posting race recaps of this race ever since. Apparently I raced a lot without “training” over the years, which is not something I recommend most people should attempt, but it’s fun to go back and read them nonetheless. I’ve definitely come a long way in terms of speed and knowledge about running and racing! You can check out my previous blog posts on my website – runliftyoga.com
Speaking of past races, I keep getting those Facebook “On This Day” memories popping up in my feed and have been feeling a little perturbed by my long run times I was posting during training in October 2014. I was doing my long runs at a 5:39 – 5:45 pace and feeling “good”, apparently, so now I’m wondering if I need to kick it up a notch. Was my old Garmin 110 not reading speed and pace accurately? Was it because I live in a very hilly area now? I don’t know, but it’s stressing me out. I’m going to push a little harder on this Saturday’s 28 km run to see if I’m just being lazy right now or if I’m actually slowing down. My legs and cardio feel really good so maybe I do need to push a bit harder.
I am in week eight of my marathon training (my previous week’s blogs are on my website). Here’s how my week of workouts shaped up:
I did my long run early on Saturday morning last week since I didn’t want to get caught up in the Tour de Victoria ride happening in my hood on the Sunday. I did 25 km, which included two loops of Elk/Beaver Lake to take advantage of the water fountains and the shade. It was really hot that morning and I didn’t bring water or fuel (mainly because I couldn’t find my hydration belt), and I think that may have slowed me down somewhat. I ran a bit of a faster pace around the lakes, but definitely slowed down near the end of my run fro heat and thirst. I finished the run in 2 hours and 29 minutes, with an average pace of 5:59.
Rest day! Well, sort of. I did three hours of chores then took a rest day 🙂 My legs were feeling surprisingly good after the previous day’s long run. As my old tri coach would say, that means I didn’t try hard enough!
MONDAY (this week)
I felt good and ready to do a full body workout since I ran on Saturday, so I did an upper and lower body strength workout for 40 minutes then hit the treadmill for a 20 minute incline walk.
Tempo run day! Not my favourite day, but I had a surprisingly good run despite reallllly not wanting to get up and out the door. I ran 8 km in 42:11 minutes, and completed 4 of those kms at a sub-5:00 pace. My average pace was 5:16. I only started to get tired legs at the end when I started running on an incline back home.
I decided to do a workout with heavier weights this morning, so I did a combo of upper and lower body exercises (goblet squats, rows, push-ups, single leg split squats, lunges, v-sits, etc.) plus some Barre-esque arm burners with light weights before hitting the treadmill for a 15-minute walk.
Intervals and hill sprints! Even though I was feeling sore after Wednesday’s workout, I did my usual 12-minute easy warm up before 8 x 100 m sprints, followed by 5 x 30 m hill sprints. I finished the run with some track drills, for a total distance of 6.75 km in 42:25.
This Friday I did a Barre/Pilates workout with light weights for 20 minutes before heading out for an easy 5 km run in 27 minutes. I decided I need to get in a few more miles each week and run on four days, not just three, if I really want to make this BQ happen. I usually do a longer run on a flex day, but since I’ve been kind of slow and sloggy lately I feel like I want to push it more — I’m supposed to be attempting another BQ, so I need to get comfortable with being more uncomfortable!
Have a great week and we will see you at this spot next Friday.
Bri Wilson is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and freelance fitness and health writer based in Victoria, BC. Bri writes about training for marathons, triathlons and ultra marathons on her blog, runliftyoga.com.