There’s a real similarity between the 18+ week training cycle for a marathon and the 42.2km race itself. Here I sit the day after the first 32km run on the schedule and it feels very much like I’m at about the 34km point of the race.
This first 32km run in the Running Room training program comes after two weeks of 29km Sunday runs, nine and ten hill repeats over the two Wednesdays between the three Sunday runs, and the most mileage over the course of four weeks of the entire program. Things plateau here for a few weeks and then it’s time to taper and run it in to the finish…and the start of the race on October 16.
I’ve been running more than the schedule calls for this time around. I’ve amped up my Thursday runs to 10km instead of 8km and I’ve been adding a few kilometres to both the Saturday and Sunday runs.
The result was a 274km August which was 22km more than I’ve ever run in a month before. I ran my first run of over 32km way back on August 7th which was supposed to be just 26km. Both of my 29km runs so far ended up being over 30km and the 32km run yesterday was actually 33.9km. I’ve never felt stronger and I’ve never run as much over a summer as I have this year.
Goals will be smashed
I set a goal for the year of 2,016km as I’ve done for the past few years. That “run the year in kilometres” goal is generally attainable for me with a spring marathon program followed by a summer and fall of regular running. Today I’m just over 1,700km for the year which is 334km ahead of pace. At this rate, I’ll break though 2,000km around race day and probably hit 2,300km for the year.
On the weather front, this summer has been hot. I’ve been challenged by warm temperatures on every run. Some days were worse than others, but in general it’s been a terrible summer for training in Toronto.
Heading to the finish
But with all the challenges and extra miles, it feels like I’m in the midst of a great marathon right now. Some years when you hit this point in the program, it’s everything you can do to keep moving forward. That’s similar to the marathons where you hit the wall at 35km (or sooner) and even getting to the finish is a struggle.
But like I felt during my PB run at the 2015 Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, this summer I feel exceptionally strong. I see the finish in less than six weeks now and I know it’s going to be a good last month and a bit of training. I’m starting to get excited for the race and starting to think about setting some lofty goals and really getting after things on the streets of Toronto.