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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Preview: Toronto Marathon

The Toronto Marathon is October 19, just over a week from today.

The Race

The race starts on Yonge Street (the world's longest street!), winds its way through mid-town, then goes through the Rosedale Valley before curving through downtown Toronto. From there it's an out-and-back run along the shores of Lake Ontario before returning to downtown and finshing up at Queen's Park (the Ontario legislature).

A very cool way to see a lot of this great city!

The Preparation

This summer's focus was triathlon, so running got only 1/3 of my attention. I didn't start ramping up the miles until mid-August, so it's been quite aggressive to get to this point.

I also had a century ride (cycling) in mid-September! So that was a bit of an interruption in the run training as well.

It didn't hold me up much, though, and I managed to build up to a 32k LSD training run.

The Plan

Since I came back from my injury, I've been using a run-walk strategy. The theory is that by walking 1 minute for every 10 minutes run, you save energy and give your muscles much needed rest, which delays the offset of muscle fatigue?

Convinced? I wasn't at first, it's counter-intuitive, but now I'm a believer. It's really worked well for me, I haven't had any injuries in my ramp-up, and when I've tried it in a race (1/4 marathon) my pace was really good. I don't think it cost me any time, and I finished feeling fresh. And ultimately, my goal is Ironman, and the marathon there is certainly going to include some walking... might as well train the way I'll race.

My goal is sub-4:00. To achieve this without run-walk would be a 5:40/km pace.

With run-walk, I'll be targeting 5:24/km on the kilometers without walk breaks, and 5:52/km on the kilometers with breaks. Somehow this works out to a 3:58:00 finish.

Nutrition - I'm going to take gels with me, a 5-shot bottle, plus there are 2 gel stations along the route. I'll also take one right before the start. This gives me one every 1/2 hour, which should be plenty. I'll drink mostly water, and the occasional Gatorade. If it's hot (unlikely), I will back off the gel and have more Gatorade to compensate for lost electrolytes.

Goal Creap

Don't read this post. Please. If you do, you'll find that my goal was just to finish, and that I would be happy with 4:15:00, or worse.

Here I am a couple months later, trying to go sub-4:00:00...

I feel quite confident, though. I had a great century ride in September, and the running has been really clicking for me. I've done some quick 5Ks, and just generally feel like I have the pace.

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