Sunday, August 2

Royal Victoria Marathon (11-weeks out)

When I compare the preparation of my recent marathons, to that of Ottawa and Sacramento in 2006, one difference I noted was that in the latter my Sunday runs were much longer than those of late. I’ve made a couple alterations to the way I’m approaching RVM this fall, and one has been push out the distance/duration of my long runs.


So it was, that bright and early on Sunday morning I headed out the door and onto the Galloping Goose Trail turning south toward town. It was 7:30 a.m. and I had just enough time to squeeze in my planned 2h30 scuttle before packing up and driving up island to watch some friends get married.


I hadn’t been out the door more than 20’ when I heard footsteps quickly coming up behind me. Granted I wasn’t going that fast, but I can’t tell you the last time I’ve been passed while out on a run. Thinking it was a weekend warrior desperate to push passed for the unseen victory line, I didn’t bother to turnaround. It was a few seconds later when I felt the cold hardened stare of Mr. Finlayson, that a smile began to creep over my face. Jim nodded, and then smiled with a looked that quickly left me feeling out of the loop.


It appears that I missed the email calling out the troops, but as luck would have it I’d started my run on a route that also served as a gathering point for the boys. Ten minutes later, there were five of us traipsing around the waterfront on what would be Todd’s last run as a single man.


I peeled off after an 1h40, turning back onto more familiar trails which lead me through Cedar Hill and the Blenkinsop Valley before reaching home. I was pleased with how the run unfolded; particularly given my longest run in this build has been just over two hours. I also used the jaunt to experiment with some fuelling. In the past my in-race nutrition has consisted of water (very little), Gatorade (a lot), and 2-4xGu. On Sunday, I went with 3xGu, opting to eat ½ a packet every twenty minutes, washing it down with water. The result was very good, great actually, but this plan leaves no room for an electrolyte drink… something I’ll need to remedy. Ideas?


After the run, the girls and I hopped in the car and drove up Island. Two close friends of ours were due to get married that afternoon, and after leaving Isla with grandma, we were treated to a very unique and special ceremony involving two beautiful individuals. Congratulations Brea and Todd.



Thursday: steady 1:08:37

Friday: 40:04 with 6xstrides

Saturday: steady 1:09:22

Sunday: easy 2:32:26


Weekly mileage: 7h26’55”, +/- 104k or 65 miles


Thomas said...

Why do you still need an electrolyte drink? For a race that lasts less than 3 hours, I don't think they are essential. But if you want to try them, give S-Caps a go. I know they are normally used by ultra runners, but I know of several marathoners who swear by them as well.

Chris said...


Nice write-up.

Now listen, I am sure you and some Blog-friends are going to fry me for this, but I want to say it anyway - and this comes from Greg McMillan and Keith Livingstone too.

You should never take Gus or gels or anything on a long run.

The reason why is because of the glycogen sparing effect. You are relying on the fuel, where as your body will begin to rely on stored fuel if practised. For example, I used to have gels as well, but for a couple years now I can run 3 hours steady on an empty stomach - no problem.

[let the slagging begin].

Michael said...

Thomas, I've never heard of S-Caps but I'll have a look for them. Either that, or I'll find a gel that has some electrolyte qualities (if there is such a thing).

Chris, this is no slag. That said, I think there is a BIG difference between a weekend long run (steady, slow or otherwise) and running a marathon. I can run 2h30+ without gels but I wanted to practice race nutrition, something I think that has been a problem for me. The next step is to try Gu's at pace. Do you race with gels? Thoughts?

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