Beyond The Workouts: How Training Impacts My Life

Every Monday I post a recap of what I did for training the previous week. It tells you how much time I spent running, what my workouts were and what cross-training I did. What it doesn't tell you is the implications training has on my life and how I spent my time when I'm not training. My life is not typical of your average 27-year-old, at least as far as I am aware. I honestly don't know anyone else my age who spends their time the way I do. Training involves a lot of sacrifice (to me it's normal, but to an outsider it may look like tremendous sacrifice and a strict way of living). I choose to make the choices I do because I prefer it (1000x more) to other ways I have lived in the past, and ultimately because it makes me happy.

Here is how training affects my life:

  1. I watch an insane amount of Netflix, seriously, I can go through 2 seasons of something over a weekend, even more, if I'm tapering.
  2. You won't find me at the bar/club on the weekend (or ever really). Even if I did enjoy spending time at bars and clubs it would not be conducive to running a big workout or long-run the following day. I do enjoy drinking beer, but it's mostly a 1 and done situation, and at home, not out.
  3. I go to bed super early, we're talking before 10pm often times. Running is tiring, what can I say. In the summer, I often wake up early to run  before it gets too hot.
  4. I spend my Friday and Saturday nights at home 99% of the time. This ties into numbers 1-3.
  5. It's common for me to take naps or lie down. This is especially true on weekends, when the workouts and runs are the longest of the week. Naps are essential to recovery!
  6. I don't participate in many (or any) other sports. I do not enjoy team sports at all, so that's no problem, however, I do enjoy trail running, hiking, and winter sports. I don't do this other activities often or at all because: a) my energy is already used from running and needs to be saved for more running the next day, and,  b) I am nervous about injuring myself and being unable to run.
  7. I think about food all the time, and am hungry all the time! Obviously, large training volume and increased appetite go hand in hand, but there is also a lot of meal-planning required. What I mean by that is, I always think about how what I consume will impact my running. Will it upset my GI tract? Am I eating enough to support current/upcoming training? Am I getting appropriate amounts of carbs/fat/protein? Am I getting enough iron? It's all important.
  8. I don't own a lot of "regular" clothes. I may have an excess of running and athleisure clothes, but when it comes to regular clothes, especially "going out" clothes, there isn't much.
  9. My feet have seen better days. I have some black toenails, some callouses, and a bunion. It's all part of the fun. Pedicures only go so far.
  10. I wear running shoes/sneakers everyday. I choose comfort over all when it comes to shoes, and that means cushioning. This also ties into #9, I don't need extra blisters or damage to my feet.

Training involves a lot more than running and this is what it involves for me. I enjoy putting my full effort into training and everything that comes with it, but I understand it isn't for everyone. There are definitely many ways of training and this is what I choose to do.

What impact does training have on your life? What sacrifices does it involve?

Training Recap July 31-August 6

This week was lower in volume than the previous few weeks. I got 2 whole rest days, instead of 1, and no double-day runs. In spite of that the running this week did not feel easy.

Here is what I did last week:

Monday: OFF.

Tuesday: 45' easy, I ran  home from work and did the NTC Core Crunch 2.0 workout.

Wednesday: Group workout, 20' easy, 4x1km@5km, 20' easy. I am enjoying 1km repeats, they are just the right length for me. You feel the burn, but you know it will be over very soon. Initially, I had planned to focus on shorter distances this summer. That went out the window, when I registered for another marathon 10 days after my spring marathon. I really do plan to focus on shorter distances after Toronto Waterfront Marathon!

Thursday: OFF. I did the NTC Ab Burner 2.0 workout. I couldn't sleep that night due to all the extra energy from not running.

Friday: 50' easy, I ran home from work, but messed up the route and ended up with a few km walk home, oops! I also did the NTC Core Strength Workout.

Saturday: Group workout, 20' easy, 4km@MP, 2x3km@HMP, 1km@as fast as possible, 20' easy. This was done on trails and it felt pretty challenging. I also did the NTC Ab Burner 2.0 workout.

Sunday: 75' easy, with the last 20' at marathon pace. I was nervous to do this run because of the last 20', but it ended up being great and I held marathon pace. I also did the NTC Abs and Arms Workout.

Total Weekly Mileage: 59.2km

This week I will taper for the Seawheeze Half-Marathon. I have not raced since early May and have not raced a half-marathon since February 2016! I am excited to see what I can do next weekend.

Stay tuned later this week for my post about how training affects my life, what training means beyond the workouts.

Training Recap July 24-30

This was my third larger week in a row, and I am happy to say I feel great! I get a slightly lower week this week (maybe 10km less and an extra rest day!). Then it'll be a slight taper leading up to the Seawheeze Half-Marathon, which is just 2 weeks away (not excited at all 😝).

Here is what I did this week:

Monday: OFF. I did the NTC Core Crunch 2.0 workout.

Tuesday: Double run day, AM: 45' easy, PM: 30' easy. I also did the NTC Core Strength workout.

Wednesday: Track workout at PISE, 20' easy, 2 sets of: 1500m @MP, 600m, 400m, 200m, 20' easy. It was hot AF on the track, but we still gave it out best and I rewarded myself with Tacofino.

Thursday: Double run day, AM: 60' easy, PM: 30' easy. I also did the NTC Abs and Arms workout.

Friday: 45' easy, snuck this one in before work since I had a going away party after work which lasted around 8 hours and again ended with a Tacofino. Any week that includes 2 trips to Tacofino is a solid week.

Saturday: Group workout at Beaver Lake, 20' easy, 2 x 3km @HM, 2 x 1km @10km, 35' easy. This was good and hard. I also did the NTC Ab Burner 2.0 workout.

Sunday: Long run, planned a point-to-point route with my running buddy, which took us to Sidney so we could eat crepes and vegan affogatos at our friends' shop. We put in 20km on Lochside trail. I also did the NTC Best Foot Forward workout.

Total Weekly Mileage: 87.8km

Training Recap July 17-23

This week was considered my second build. I am increasing my weekly mileage in preparation for marathon training. It's just 3 weeks until the Seawheeze half-marathon in Vancouver, and 13 weeks until the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon -time to get serious.

My week went like this:

Monday: OFF. NTC abs and arms workout.

Tuesday: Double run day: AM 60' easy, PM 30' easy. I did NTC ab burner 2.0 when I got home.

Wednesday: Was meant to be a track workout, and then the track was closed, so we ran to a high school where we thought there might be another one. No such luck. Instead we did 60' easy a social/catch-up run. We were happy with that. I also did the NTC core strength workout.

Thursday: 80' easy, ran home from work the long way, saw the ocean and then gave the legs a couple large hills for some strength.

Friday: 40' easy, I ran to work. I like to get short runs done so I can enjoy the afternoon once work is over.

Saturday: Group workout: 20' easy, 2 sets of: 1.73km, 2.18km @HMP, 20' easy. The paces ended until being 10km pace, it was a good hard workout – I know this because I felt like I was going to throw up. I also did the NTC ab burner and abs and arms workouts.

Sunday: 80' easy, back on the old marathon training route with Lisa. Feels good to be back and the runs are feeling good so far! I did the NTC core strength workout.

Total Weekly Mileage: 81km

Bring on the mileage!

Training Recap July 3-16

This is a double training recap, 2 weeks worth of activity. I neglected to post last week as I was away on vacation in Muskoka. Right now I am waiting to board my flight back to BC, so it’s a perfect time to look back on the last 2 weeks of training.

Monday: OFF. I did the NTC ab burner workout. (Victoria)

Tuesday: 45 minutes easy, just a run home from work. I also did an NTC core workout. (Victoria)

Wednesday: WO, 20′ easy, 2 sets of 4 x 3′ @10km, 20′ easy. I did this on the Sea Wall after work, and it was hot, hot. The workout went very well though and I was happy heat did not negatively impact it. I also did an NTC core strength workout. (Vancouver)

Thursday: 70′ easy, got up extra early for this one and headed out on the Sea Wall before work. I did a core for runners workout too. (Vancouver)

Friday: OFF 

Saturday: 60′ easy, snuck in a run on the beach before the drive to cottage country. I also did a core for runners workout. (Toronto)

Sunday: WO, drove into town to use the Huntsville track. It is a beautiful track and I had it to myself for almost the entire workout, 20′ easy, 15′ @5:00, 15′ @4:50, 10′ @4:40-45 (IRL 4:35), 20′ easy. I do enjoy a good track workout, and this was tough by the end but I was still able to pick it up a bit faster than the target pace. I did the NTC core crunch 2.0 workout. (Peninsula Lake)

Total Weekly Mileage: 56.4

Monday: OFF. I did an NTC yoga class and core strength workout on the dock. (Peninsula Lake)

Tuesday: 60′ easy, except it wasn’t that easy because the area surrounding the cottage was a collection of rolling hills. It was slow and challenging! But I know hills are good for me πŸ™‚ (Peninsula Lake)

Wednesday: WO, 20′ easy, 2 sets of 5 x 2′ @5km effort, 20′ easy. This was done on a gravel road with some hills and felt much harder than my Garmin showed. I also did an 80 minute hike in Algonquin Park (and got eaten alive by Mosquitos). (Peninsula Lake)

Thursday: 75′ easy, decided to take on the hills yet again for 2 laps around the cottage neighbourhood. It was rainy which was nice given the effort it took to conquer all those hills. I also did an NTC core strength workout. (Peninsula Lake)

Friday: 60′ easy, met with a previous colleague and ran to the Leslie st spit, we caught up, chatted about races and running and had iced Americanos at my favourite coffee shop, Mercury Espresso. (Toronto)

Saturday: WO, 20′ easy, 2 sets of 5 x 3 mins (1@MP, 1@10km, 1@MP), 20′ easy. This was a good workout, but I definitely started out taking the MP minutes at pace much faster than MP. (Toronto)

Sunday: 90′ easy, last run in Toronto. Started in the beach and then down Leslie to the Leslie St Spit. My dad biked beside me with a bottle of nuun cause he’s nice like that and it was super humid. This is a great place to run and get sneaky city views in th background. I also did an NTC core strength workout. (Toronto)

Total Weekly Mileage: 89.3 km

This week my time will be split between Victoria and Vancouver and I will finally be able to participate in a group workout next weekend, it’s been far too long! 

Training Recap June 26-July 2

Last weekend (the most fun weekend ever!) took a lot out of me, and as such it was an absolute struggle to get up all week for my 6am alarm. This was my first week back in Victoria after then rest of June was spent in Vancouver. I ran all 7 days and was happy to attend both Weekly Island Striders workouts, plus a team meeting! 

It’s getting hot pretty early in the morning now, so I might have to reconsider my mid-afternoon runs and either wait till later or start super early. In other news, my annual Garmin tan is off to a great start and I’m sure after 2 more months of sun, it’ll be even more amazing! 

Here’s what I did this week:

Monday: 90′ easy, owed from Sunday, but we were in no shape to run post-wedding so..

Tuesday: 45′ easy, I ran home from work and then did an NTC abs and arms workout.

Wednesday: Group workout at UVIC track, it was 20′ easy followed by 2×90” tempo, and then 2 sets of 5x200m on the track. Challenging for sure! But wait, that’s not all, we did a series of plyos too, which I am not coordinated enough for, but I tried! Lots of hilarious photos from that. And then because that wasn’t sufficient, a core session, which was also tough, but I enjoyed it.

Thursday: 90′ easy, I took a similar route as Monday, but a bit slower since my legs were “feeling” the previous days’ track workout. This route takes me along the ocean for a while, and then all the way up Cook St for some killer hills.

Friday: 30′ easy and 5×10” strides, I ran to work so I could get my run out of the way. I also did the NTC core strength workout.

Saturday: Group workout: hills, this was another difficult workout, short, but definitely not easy. We had 20′ easy, 2×1′ hill repeats, 3×45” hill repeats, 3×30” hill repeats, 3×15” hill repeats, 90 second break, then 5’@ tempo, 20′ easy. The hill we used had a major incline and I couldn’t have been happier when we got down to the 15 second ones! I also did the NTC Ab burner workout.

Sunday: The plan was 90′ easy, so a few other Island Striders and I headed out to Mt. Doug and promised an “easy loop”. Well one of the girls is a bit of a mountain goat, and it didn’t end up being easy. In fact, it ended up being difficult and so steep some of the climbing was actually hiking. The views were amazing though. Since she was only joining us for the first bit, we continued onto a gravel trail after that and were able to pick up the pace for the rest of the run hitting the 18km we were targeting, but weren’t sure was achievable after the hilly start!

Total Weekly Mileage: 81.8

This week my time will be split in 3 cities and 2 provinces, the first bit of the week will be in Victoria, followed by a couple days in Vancouver and then Friday I fly to Toronto for vacation in Muskoka! 

Training Recap June 19-25

Posting this a day late this week, because I had way too much fun this weekend at Hornby Island. If you live on the west coast and have not been, I highly recommend it for a weekend trip. It is insanely beautiful and there are great options for trail running. The week leading up to that, I was in Vancouver for my runs.

The week went like this:

Monday: 60′ easy with East Van Run Crew, we started and ended at Parallel 49 brewing and headed out to New Brighton Park. I also did the NTC core crunch workout.

Tuesday: OFF, since Monday is typically off, but I couldn’t pass up the EVRC run.

Wednesday: WO was, 20′ easy, 3 x 90” tempo, then 2 sets of 4 x 2 mins at 5km pace, 20′ easy. I ran to Empire Field for my warm-up and then did the intervals on the track. Once I got home I did the NTC core strength workout.

Thursday: 70′ easy, I woke up at 5am to get this in and I was happy I did. The city is magical first thing in the morning. I also did the NTC core strength workout.

Friday: OFF, I did the NTC abs and arms workout.

Saturday: Normally a group WO day, but we ran in the trails at Helliwell Park instead and the views were certainly memorable. I also did the NTC core crunch workout.

Sunday: OFF, I guess coach anticipated the post-wedding hangover 😝.

Total Weekly Mileage: 49.7km

Time to ramp it up this week, and put some more mileage on these legs! Hoping that’ll help get me back on track because right now I feel like I just came back from a 3 week vacation and I’m like what is this!? Though my actual summer vacation starts in just over a week and a half and I couldn’t be more excited.

Training Recap June 12-18

This week’s runs were all in Vancouver! The weather has gone back to thinking it is winter or spring, but nevertheless I am still happy for the week I had. 

Monday: East Van Run Crew @ Luppolo Brewery. This was a good easy run to start the week. Typically I have Monday off, but I switched it for Tuesday so I could join in. I also did an NTC core workout.

Tuesday: OFF. My dad arrived in Vancouver for a visit and we caught up over a beer.

Wednesday: WO, headed out to New Brighton Park and did some speed work there. 20′ warm-up, 2 sets of 4 x 90′ tempo, 20′ cool-down. I also did an NTC core workout.

Thursday: OFF. I did the NTC core crunch workout.

Friday: 30′ easy, headed out along Victoria drive and ended up on the grand view woodland bike path. 

Saturday: WO, normally done bright and early, but since I wasn’t running with the group and my dad was visiting, we went for brunch instead and did then WO in the afternoon. Decided to take advantage of the proximity to Empire Field and run over there for the warm-up and, the WO was 2 sets of 6’@4:50, 2’@4:35. Admittedly, I got a bit excited to be on the track and went a bit faster, but that’s alright. 

Sunday: 90′ easy, Father’s Day run/bike. It was raining and grey, but it had to be done. We headed out early taking the Adanac bike route to False Creek and a bit of the Seawall. We finished it off with brunch at La Mezcalaria. I also did an NTC core workout. 

Total Weekly Mileage: 50.2 km

I am working and running in Vancouver until Thursday night when I head back to the island briefly before leaving to Hornby Island for the weekend! I have never been and I cannot wait. 

Training Recap June 5-11

I swear there are no bad angles in Vancouver, I am always taken aback by the beauty this city has to offer. Most of my runs were in Vancouver this week and I was very happy to have a change of scenery. After 2 nights on the island, I am back in Vancouver for at least 2 more weeks, so I have many more runs ahead of me here and I am super okay with it. 

This is what I did last week:

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 55′ easy, I got to run with Tay, who I met from Sport Chek Running Club last summer, we headed out to the English Bay inukshuk.  I also did the NTC core strength workout.

Wednesday: 45′ easy, I ran out to sunset beach solo. I also did the NTC core strength workout.

Thursday: Solo workout, 20′ easy, 3 x 8′ @tempo (instructed not to look at watch), 20′ easy. It felt good, especially to enjoy a workout without wondering what paces I’m hitting, running based on effort is nice. I also did a 10 minute core for runners workout, it was tough but good.

Friday: OFF.

Saturday: Group workout with the Island Striders: 20′ easy, 3 x 1 mile with a jog back to the mile start between each, 20′ easy.

Sunday: 70′ easy, headed out to good ole lochside trail. I also did the NTC abs and arms workout.

Total Weekly Mileage: 53.9km 

This week will bring more running adventures in Vancouver and hopefully a fun trail run. 

Training Recap May 29-June 4

This week I started to feel like I was getting my groove back. The 2 workouts I had didn’t feel horrible, they actually felt quite good! Quite the contrast to last week when I felt like I was on my deathbed the whole time. I will continue to enjoy this period of lower mileage and only 5 days a week of running because pretty soon, it’ll be back to the strict schedule of marathon training. I think I have another month before training technically starts, but I am also training for a half in August so that will be coming up quick.

Here’s how my week went:

Monday: OFF. I did the NTC basic burner workout.

Tuesday: 45′ minutes easy, I ran home from work and I also did the NTC core strength workout.

Wednesday: Group workout, we switched up the scenery and went to Elk/Beaver lake. The workout was 20′ easy, 5-4-3-2-1, 20′ easy. It felt good to get a bit of speed back into my legs, though I was a teenie bit sore the following day.

Thursday: 50′ easy, this was a commute run, I also did the NTC ab burner 2.0 workout. 

Friday: OFF. 

Saturday: Group workout, we did 20′ easy and then 3 x 1 mile repeats (7:30, 8:00, 7:20), 20′ easy. I was very happy with how this workout went compared to the previous week, where we had breaks part of the way through some of the repeats and still felt horrible. Progress! I also did 2 NTC workouts: abs and arms + core crunch 2.0

Sunday: 80′ easy, I biked over to a friends house and we went out on a trail tour, it was awesome and beautiful. I also did the NTC ab burner 2.0 workout.

Total Weekly Mileage: 51.5km 

I am going to Vancouver for the week on business and excited to be running my old routes! Seawall, here I come!