Sunday, 24 August 2014

Week of training Sunday August 17th - Saturday August 23rd + JJ's weekly training wrap up

Hey friends, this is going to be a quick training update. I have that post that I mentioned about the fall major marathons almost ready to go. I'm just waiting for the Elite fields for Berlin to be announced before I can fully break things down and look at what records may fall and who the favourites are. It was announced early last week that Bekele and Kipchoge will be running Chicago and that a world record attempt will be made. This is huge news as for me I think Kipchoge is the most underrated marathoner out there right now and in my mind is only second to Wilson Kipsang as the worlds number 2.

I wish Bekele was running Berlin and facing Kipsang but Chicago with Kipchoge will certainly be epic. New York announced the return of Geoffrey Mutai to defend his tittle for the 3rd time in a row so that should be stellar as well, when Mutai is 100% and he makes that big move and 30km, things get real in a hurry, last year he dropped a couple sub 4:30 miles and splintered the pack of 10 to the point it was strung out like a cross country race. Let's hope his training goes well.

In other news the Diamon League returned with 2 meets this week and another 2 coming in the next 10 days. Mo Farah stepped onto the track today in Birmingham and looked like he jogged an 8:07 two mile and beat his nearest competitor by 15 seconds which is just unheard of.

One more take away from the returning Diamond League was watching Zane Robertson try an run a fast time in Stockholm and sit on Rupp and the east Africans for about 2500m before blowing up and running 13:47. Remember how I talked about the Commonwealth games and how the big dogs weren't there.....this is what I was trying to say, he won a bronze medal there and was last in this diamond league over the same distance and 50+ seconds off the winner Eris from Ethiopia who ran 12:54......not to discredit Robertson but this really is an off year in the world of Track and Field...

JJ's Weekly Training Wrap Up

JJ had a heck of a week, his session of 3X2miles was just ridiculous, I'd say he could run 29:45-30:00 for 10km on the track....crazy fast!

Monday - 17km easy in 66 minutes.

Tuesday - 17.1km in 65 minutes. Felt pretty good just getting ready for tomorrow.

Wednesday - 4 km warm up with drills and strides. 7.7km tempo at 4:48 mile pace or 2:58.9km pace. I contemplated going the full 8km but its August…. This was way more than I planned to do in the first place. 3 mile warm down. PM 6 km easy with work. 22km total.

Thursday - 17km easy in 66 minutes

Friday - 17km in 66 minutes.

Saturday - 4.5km warm up with drills and strides. Workout was 3x2miles with 2 minutes recovery. This got absolutely ridiculous and was by far the best workout of my life. 9:46, 9:41, 9:35. I was completely spent on the last interval. I was going out blazing fast and that second mile with the hill would hurt. I was going out in 4:46’s for the last 2 intervals. 4km warm down

Sunday - 20km in 74:40. I ran with David for a little while so my miles went from 5:45 pace to 6:30’s. Pretty blown out from yesterday but got it done.

Total 128.5km or 80 miles for the week. I will be taking off on vacation next week so I will run Monday and Tempo Tuesday but will take Wednesday to Sunday off

My week that was in training


Long Run - 20 mile progression just over 6 minute pace working it down as the run went on. Felt great and had good temperatures.

20 miles - AM


6 miles with strides - AM
11 miles - PM


Workout - 2X20minutes on the treadmill at 12.2mph or 4:55 pace with 3 minutes easy running at 8mph or 7:30 pace between 20 minute segments.

13 miles with workout - AM(lunch time workout)
5 miles slow - PM


4 miles at a shuffle - AM
12 miles - PM


Workout - 35 minute tempo run at 5:14/mile average on the Mundy Pond 5km course, passed 10km in 32:27 and hung on until I hit 35 minutes. Spoke with Jeremiah afterwards and I'll have to be able to tempo 10km at sub 32 minutes by Early October to be ready for a fast half. When he ran 68 mid he was doing them in 31:30 on I have a ways to go yet!

5 miles - AM
13.6 miles with workout - PM


6 miles with strides - AM
11.4 miles - PM


Workout/Progressive medium long run - 15 miles broken down into three 5 mile segments, the first 5 miles were nice and controlled then the middle 5 were at my marathon pace of 5:45 and the last 5 I was to empty the tank on tired legs and ran 26:16 for my last 5 miles or 5:19 pace. I was spent after this. Later on then I hooked up with my friend James Greene and figured we would just do an easy 5 miles but he was ready to roll after a couple off days and put me through the ringer on a 9 mile trail run in the mid 6 minute pace range......I was so tired that I had to take Sunday off. This day had 24 miles at an average of under 6 minute pace....

15 mile progression - AM
9 miles getting worked by James followed by some hill sprints....-PM

Well that's one more week in the books, pretty jazzed about that one, lots of good miles and I enjoyed a rest day today!

I'll be back with that post about the Majors this fall as soon as Berlin lets us know who's going to be on the start list!

Keep grinding,

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Week of training Sunday August 10th - Saturday August 16th + JJ's Weekly Training Wrap Up + Thoughts on Solinsky vs Rupp + Saucony Zealot sneak peak,

Hey running friends,

I hope everyone is starting to gear things up for the fall and you have your race plans in the works! I put in a hell of a week and am really enjoying being back at the grind. I'm also looking forward to the diamond league races resuming now soon so I'll be able to watch some top level mid/distance running that will serve to bridge the gap to the NCAA cross country season and fall marathons.

Let's talk Rupp vs. Solinsky.

First off let me attach the link that got me thinking about this. It's from Now for some reason which escapes me, it seems like everyone on the forums over there loves to hate on Galen and always try to put him and his performances down. 

When we look at the careers that we have thus far to go on of both Chris Solinsky and Galen Rupp things get dicey if we are trying to be fair to Chris and his injury that he sustained in 2011. I will admit that in the races in which they raced each other Solinsky certainly has things locked down but that's not the whole story here. Everyone likes to point out that in 2010 Solinsky ran 12:55 and 12:56 in two 5000's while Rupp's personal best is still from 2011 when he finished second to Farah at the Pre Classic running 12:58. Such people will also look back at the Payton Jordan invite where Solisnky ran away from Rupp and Chelanga to set the American 10000m record and become the first non African to dip under the 27 minute barrier. (Nobody likes to mention the race was set up for Galen and Solinsky just sat the entire time then took off with 800m to go, which is perfectly fine, lets just make it a point to remember that Rupp ran under the old record that night as well!) I'll attach the video of this race below as to not disappoint any Solinky fans that are reading! ;)

Now besides the point that Rupp most certainly has the fitness to AT LEAST run 12:55 for 5km, (I'd venture to say he could run between 12:50-12:53 in an even paced fast race like the Paris Diamond League from 2012 where Gebremeskel ran 12:46 and 12 men broke 13 minutes!) Lets look at their other performances shall we? Rupp has run over 1 second faster at 1500m and is still improving his high end speed, he ran 3:34 for 1500m at Oxy in 2012 and a 3:50 indoor mile in 2013...I'm sure he could run 3:33 maybe a hair under. For 3km he has run 7:30 to Chris's 7:34 (both great times, Galen's was indoors). An 8:07 two mile to an 8:15, Chris has the better 5000m time a blistering fast 12:55 to Rupp's 12:58 and Galen has the 10000m record of 26:44 to Chris's 26:59.

Don't get me wrong, I actually really like Solinsky and I hope he gets himself running well again and takes a crack at the Marathon. But when we think about athletics what is the pinical of the sport? The Olympic Games, Rupp has already made 2 teams at age 28 and has a Silver Medal from 2012 in the 10000m. To me this is what defines ones legacy and is how we should compare athletes. When it counts, did you make it to the big show, and when there did you perform?

I don't know, I just wanted to speak about things from a point of view of someone who likes both athletes but basses the comparison on tangible evidence and personal bests. Anyway, both are awesome athletes and have done wonders to move Americans into the conversations of truly elite distance running.

JJ's Weekly Training Wrap Up

JJ is back at it again as I mentioned last week and he is killing it in a big way! I can't wait to see him jump into a race this fall, look out for a redokulous 10km from him! Thanks as always man!

Monday - 17.7km at 5:55 mile pace in the trails. Felt pretty good despite the hard work out from the day before.

Tuesday - 18km easy in 70 minutes. Just getting ready for tomorrow tempo session

Wednesday - 4km warm up. Drills and strides. 7.5km tempo run @ 4:48 mile pace or 2:58.5 km pace on the treadmill. Passed through 5km in 14:53 and kept it going. Felt really strong on this one and was very pleased with the effort. 3 mile warm down. PM 6km easy with a group for work. Total 22km

Thursday - 10 miles easy in the morning PM workout with a group for work which totaled 11km. 27km for the day.

Friday - 10 miles easy in 61:58.

Saturday. 4km warm up. Workout was 6x1 mile off one minute rest at 4:50 pace. I did this workout on my 2 mile loop which is nice and undulating. Every second mile is slower as you have to climb a 300m hill. Times were 4:56, 4:52, 4:48, 4:51, 4:45, 4:47. Average turned out to be 4:49.8 which is not bad for right now. Fairly happy with this workout as I worked 25 hours over the past two days and traveled all over Vancouver island. Just shy of a 5km cool down. 17.7km total

Sunday - 90 minutes easy with David Jackson. He took me into some really hilly trails which I was not a fan of and we ended up running a bit slower due to some nasty hills and I died out. 21.5km total
Summary 140km for the week or 87 miles. Big week for me with two very solid workouts and miles. Next week I will be back in the 75-80 range and have a 7km tempo again at 4:48 pace on the tready and 3x2 miles on my hill loop at 85% effort in 9:45-9:50 pace.

My week in training.


10 miles easy with strides - AM
11 miles - PM


6.8 miles - AM
8 miles - PM (got after this a bit, averaged 5:41/mile)


Workout - 3X3miles @ goal half marathon pace with 2 minutes recovery/400m jog. This is one of the workouts I need to be nailing and making sure it's no faster or slower then goal pace for Toronto Waterfront Half on October 19th. This went really well and I averaged right on 5:15 pace for the workout. I did this with Joe and Jason as the boys are going to be running the full while I run the half. Our training should line up a decent about over the next 2 months.

14 miles with workout - AM
4 miles super slow - PM


5 miles easy - AM
12 miles with strides - PM


Workout - 8X400m with 60 seconds recovery followed by 8X1minute hills on the chicken hill coming up from Quidi Vidi Lake. I was doing the 400's around 65-67 and the hills I was covering about 300m/rep and for rest I would jog back down which was taking me about 85 seconds. Good workout but I was beat up in the glute region after ha.

5 miles easy - AM
11.7 miles with workout - PM


8 miles - AM
13 miles with strides - PM


Workout - 15X1km off 60 seconds rest.............yeah this was about as fun as it sounds. I did this workout at right around half marathon pace, running every one of the 1km's between 3:09 (I got jumpy on the first one, this was too fast) and 3:16. I wanted to feel super smooth running my goal half marathon pace of 3:15/km so getting over 9 miles of volume in at race pace here and earlier this week on Tuesday makes me feel really good about where things are moving right now.

7 miles - AM
12 miles with workout - PM

Well that's my week, I felt really good about it. Things are rolling well here now and I've got my nutrition/core and mobility/drills nailed down too. I'm trying to do all the little things right and have a breakthrough this fall. Let's hope for smooth sailing all the way through! 

Thanks as always for reading. I'll be back mid week with a post I'm working on that breaks down the 3 Major Marathons for this fall, Berlin, Chicago and NYC.

Also I'll leave you with a clip of a new shoe coming in 2015 called the Saucony Zealot, it's seriously epic!

See you next time and stay after it,

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Week of training Sunday August 3rd - Saturday August 9th + JJ's Weekly Training Wrap Up Returns + Effects of too much racing.

Hey everyone,

We are back in the proverbial saddle and officially starting the fall build up! I'm super refreshed and motivated to get things underway. Those 9 days off with just pool running and some cross training did me a world of good physically and mentally. I was really just hanging onto things since about June. I needed the down time. But now I'm super hungry for two PR's this fall. I want one in the 10km on the Turkey Tea of sub 31 and 1:08:45-1:09:15 at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon. I think I'll have a really good chance at the 10km as for some reason I feel like right now the best part of my running game is right around 5km-10km pace. I seem to be able to rip out repeats and tempos in that zone really well but for the longer races/race paces I've been struggling. My legs can't find the right rhythm, the pace feels really easy for about a half hour then I get tired, my mind wonders and I start to hurt......15 minutes later I'm suffering haha. So we need to remedy this if I'm going to run 5:15 pace for the half marathon. I'll call upon Jeremiah to dispense some of his wisdom upon me and get me ready for that type of pace for almost 70 minutes of running. The key will be lots of longer workouts at that pace. I've been doing long workouts but I go to the well and run them at closer to 10km pace which in tern isn't leaving me with the physiological adaptations in my lactate threshold system that I need to buffer the lactate in the second half of the race. I'll really focus on good tempo runs, hard long runs and experimenting with bringing my easy pace down. I'm a slacker sometimes on easy days and can be found creeping around the trails at over 7:00/mile pace a fair amount. I need to be running more aerobically even on easy days. If that means running 100 miles a week or even 90 rather then 130 then so be it. This build up is all about quality. I don't want to waste a single mile.

I've been talking to the great group at the Canadian Running Series and I'm confirmed to be toeing the line at the Oasis Zoo Run on September 20th which serves as our Canadian National 10km Champs and the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (the half). Thanks Alan and your team for taking care of me I can't wait to mix it up with the best in the country at these amazing races. My Saucony Canada Teammate Kate will be joining me as will my training partner Joe so it will be good fun. In between these races I'll do a fast 5km and 10km here locally and then see how things go from there.

Over-racing and knowing when to pull back or take a break.

I have been thinking about this in relation to my own running for a while now. I don't really think it was over-racing that I was suffering from but more of trying to hold that peak form that runners like to go into a race with for too long without taking a break. I had 3 fantastic races in April and May and tried to hold on all the way through late July which just wore me down too much. I managed to run a really solid 15:15 5km in July but even that took a lot more out of my body then it should have.

I wont go any more into me personally because I know exactly what I did wrong and I could feel it happening. I just felt that it was more important to me to peak in April and chop that minute or so off my 10km rather then start my build then for the tely and not bring my 5 and 10km PR's down until the fall.

But recently I've seen a few runners who I know well racing way too much and I can see that they are becoming stale/stagnant by doing so. Don't get me wrong, I love to race as well and if any of you have looked over the local running results from the last 2-3 years since I started running I was notorious for running almost every race. But with time you realize you need to pick and chose your races. I see all the good runners doing this. Look at Colin Fewer for example. When he's rolling and in top form you'll generally see him run a couple 10km's in the spring, normally the Sun Run and Ottawa Race Weekend, then the Mews 8km, the Tely 10 followed by a break and then maybe one 10km and Cross Country Nationals in the fall. This might not seem like much racing but look at the performances Colin puts forward. Hes running personal bests or very near it every race and is competitive all the time. He knows that you don't get fitter by racing, you get fitter by training. 

I bring this up as I like to think of my blog as a place where hopefully some new runners can learn from some of the mistakes I've made as well as some of the things I've done right. I had to touch on this while it was on my mind as I see people locally who have run like 10-12 races already this year, and some of these runners are much older then myself. I'd hate to see anyone suffer an injury or burn out and be sidelined from this wonderful sport. So pick your races, enjoy the process of training as much as racing and stay consistent!

JJ's Weekly Training Wrap Up.

JJ is back after taking some scheduled down time and is back training like an animal. I can't wait to see how his build up goes for the fall and into the winter indoor season. I don't know about any of you but seeing the times he can jump into running after some down time is pretty impressive. Super stoked to have him back and taking the time to give us a look into the training of an athlete on his level. Thanks man!

  • Monday - 18km easy in 70inutes.
    Tuesday - 17km in 1:02 at an average of 5:52 pace
    Wednesday - Easy 17km in 66 minutes then added another 6km with work after.
    Thursday - 2.5 mile warm up. 8km tempo in 24:11 on the treadmill and then 2.6 mile warm down. Got just over 16 km for the day. workout went really well and felt very good.
    Friday - 11km trail loop on my own first and its really hilly in 37:09 then hooked up with another guy and ran 47 minutes after for a total of 22km.
    Saturday - 18km with David Jackson in 71 minutes.
  • Sunday - 5km warm up with drills and strides. workout was suppose to be 8x1km in 2:58 with 60 seconds rest. I believed this would be pretty easy for me but I was very wrong as I felt flat before the workout and it turned into a death march. splits were 302 257 257 258 259 257 258 256. just shy of 5km for a warm down.
  • Summary for the week is I had one great tempo session and don't really know what happened with these k's probably just a bad day but I was really working to get them going. It should be noted folks I don't run any of these repeats on a flat track with spikes. I have a KM stretch on a windy pathway so I'm sure I would be a second faster on the track for all of these workouts. I was able to get in 131km or 82 miles for our American readers. Next week will be a 4 mile tempo on the treadmill at 12.5mph or 4:48 pace and 6x1 mile on my nice hilly 2 mile loop averaging 4:50-4:52.

My Week in training





Wednesday (back at it after my break)

6 miles with strides - AM
14.2 miles - PM


Workout - 4X2miles with 2 minutes jogging recovery on my road loop. I needed the 2 minutes break where it was my first workout back. I didn't know what to expect but I felt fresh so I tried to run exactly 5 minute pace. The splits were 10:04, 10:00, 10:01, 9:57. This felt really good. It's amazing what fresh legs feel like haha. It's been a while. I could have rolled these a little harder but I wanted to just get a workout under my belt and feel good about it.

4.5 miles - AM
13.3 miles with workout - PM


8 miles easy - AM
12 miles - PM


Long Run - 20 miles progressive. I started really easy like 7:30 pace for the first mile or so to get my aerobic system warmed up then I started to work the pace down as the run went. I dropped a couple fast miles downtown around 5:15 or so before settling into a good rhythm of between 5:50-6:10 pace.

20 miles - AM

That was my week, I was happy to be able to jump back into 18-20 mile days without any problem. I'm super motivated right now so it's time to get to work and make some fitness gains. The countdown is on I've got 5 weeks until 10km nationals in Toronto and 69 days until #STWM. Lets do this.

Thanks for reading friends. I'll be updating fast and furiously as I train for my fall race season. I hope your all enjoying your training and have goals of your own for the fall.

Stay after it,

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Swiftwick Compression Socks Review

Hey friends,

I wanted to write a quick post talking about a great product that I was sent by a company called Swiftwick. They are a company that specializes in all different types of socks for multiple sports. The PR team over at Swiftwick got in touch with me and asked if I'd be interested in trying them out. I of course said yes and had some of the knee high full compression run socks sent my way.

The model that I found to be fantastic during runs to save the legs from the beating of hard workouts or long runs as well as recovery are called the Aspire. They fit true to size and have a very snug fit. It reminded me of the same type of really tight medical grade compression that I find in CEP. 

The socks didn't fall down and they breath very well even in this hot summer we have been having. What I really enjoyed was the quality of the fabric that is used. You can tell it's top notch. It's advertised as "The ASPIRE™ Line is thin and light for serious runners and cyclists, yet still perfect for athletes of any sport. Our Managed Compression™ prevents bunching and hot spots by supporting all 3 arches in the foot. Our Linked-Toe technology prevents blisters by eliminating bunching in the toe-box. The result is a sock designed to fit your feet perfectly while helping you do what moves you."  

I feel that's a fair break down of the sock and the "Managed Compression" does feel really comfy. It's not only a really good sock for your runs but also for use in recovery. Personally that's where I use compression the most. After my run is over to get the blood flow going quickly and help rid my legs of the buildup of toxins/acid that come with fatigue after intense long runs and workouts.

Swiftwick also makes some other great products in the compression game like their compression arm sleeve and other garments. Head on over to their site and check out their socks. One cool thing is the sock of the month club! Check it out here - 

Alright friends that's it for me until Sunday. I'm back at the hard workouts and just finished a nice hard one at lunch with my boy Jason White!

Stay after it,

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Week of down time from training and thoughts on the Commonwealth Games and how adding the US and Ethiopia make a world of difference to competition.

Hey running friends,

As I mentioned I was taking some scheduled down time from running last week and this week with the thoughts of recharging my mind and body after a long training grind that started in January. The plan is to get the body fresh and the mind fired up for a big fall buildup and hit some races hard in late September through October. If I can hit one out of the park at STWM (the half marathon) and run a 1:08 high to 1:09 low I might look at extending things and running some cross country as well. But I don't want to get ahead of myself. I have a TON of work to do on the lactate threshold system to be ready to run a good half. The speed is there and I hope to hold it but I really need improvement on the speed endurance. I was very happy with my Tely but if I"m honest with myself even without the heat I think the best I was going to run was 52 minutes. There needs to be more work done on the strength side of my running. The strange part about this is that when doing long workouts like 3-4X2miles I feel strong but maybe I should be doing those same workouts at a little slower pace but doing the more frequently along with implementing a heart rate monitor during sustained tempo runs to make sure I'm in the target zones to get the proper training effect.

Glasgow's Commonwealth Games

Let me first just say I'm super proud of Canada in the athletics department at these games, I shouldn't say just athletics obviously, but for the purpose of my blog that's what we will talk about. In total Canada earned 17 medals of various colors (5 Gold, 2 Silver and 10 Bronze). This includes the track, the infield and multi events. But what I want to focus on is the middle and distance events.

Now I'm not trying to talk about this in terms of which nations are the most dominant or if this was a world championship/Olympic games what would have happened but I just want to asses what we saw here with some perspective. For example, in the men's 5000m is Zane Roberson really going to beat the top 3 Kenyan 5000m runners? I'd venture to say you could track down 15 or more that would beat him. Granted at a world championship every country only gets to send 3 athletes/event but what I'm getting at is we need to look at these performances with a grain on salt and realize that if you toss in even 1 country then everything changes. 

What's more is most of the top of the food chain athletes look at this as an off year, even for countries that are part of the Commonwealth. Kenya primarily. Why weren't 3:27 (1500m) men Asbel Kiprop and Silas Kiplagat at the games? They are focusing on chasing times and winning diamond league races.

Another thing that I started to think about was how good the US is in the middle to long distances....I could have seen them grabbing a medal or two in every event from the 800-Marathon except for the women's 10000m as those Kenyan girls would blow the doors off everyone in the world without the name Defar or Debaba. 

I don't really know what I'm trying to say the more I write in this blog post but I guess the gist of it is, I'm thrilled that Cam threw down in the 10000m and to be honest he is the type of guy along with Mo Amed who in a couple years may be world beaters at true world major championships. And getting medals at events like the Commonwealth games is great for their confidence and getting that big time event vibe. I just don't want to see fans of the sport start comparing these games to other major events or even big meets with money on the line.

The games were/are great for all the nations that participate, great for the sport and great for the fans. But lets watch with educated eyes on who toes the line at these events and have our expectations in the right place for Tokyo next summer!

Hope you enjoyed reading my ramblings and strange observations haha. I'm back at the training grind hard tomorrow so expect the weekly updates to come fast and furious. We will get JJ's training recap back up and running too. He's back at it hitting the workouts hard this week so I shall do the same,

Run hard my friends,