Unlike Last Year, University Ave. Was Empty As I Lined up for the 2020 Toronto Waterfront Marathon

2020 5k PB Attempt Week 7 – October 12 – 18

Week seven is officially in the books.

If you’re interested in learning about the journey so far, I encourage you to click through to Diary of My Attempt to 5km PB In 2020, for a full day by day breakdown starting at week 1.

Coming into the week I planned to run a 4×1 set on Tuesday, a 5k test on Thursday, then either ride Burks Falls or do another long run on Saturday.  

By Thursday morning I had my heart set on Burk’s Falls. Then a few hours later, life got in the way, and by Friday morning I was preparing to run the 2020 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Virtual Marathon on Saturday, a bit more of a long run then I was hoping, but a good one all the same. 

As I transition into week 7, and a much-needed recovery week, I now have one main thought. It’s time to add focus and firm up the plan.  

Looking back I’ve come along way over these seven weeks, from barely being able to run 10k in August, to regaining some speed in September, to some near record 4×1 sets in October.  

The Plan – Weeks 8 to Race Day

Although my speed is up, my endurance is not, I’m running more, but perhaps not enough at the threshold. I love the 4×1 set, it’s hard, but it finishes quick, maybe too quick to adapt to 5k at pace.

This quest all started after watching Lionel Sanders talk about his attempt to 5k PB back in August, and I think it’s time to make one last final change on this quest.

My updated plan. To maintain the 80/20 philosophy, but also fit in the workouts Lionel has been doing as part of his 5k attempt.

After this weeks recovery week, my target breakdown will look like this:

  • October 19 – Recovery week
  • October 26 – Lionel workouts 1 & 2, long run Saturday, bike Sunday
  • November 2 – Lionel workouts 3 & 4, long run Saturday, bike Sunday
  • November 9 – Lionel workouts 5 & 6, long run Saturday, bike Sunday
  • November 16 – Rest week
  • November 23 – Lionel workout 7 & 8, long run Saturday, bike Sunday
  • November 30 – Lionel workout 9 & 10, long run Saturday, bike Sunday
  • December 4 – Taper, followed by 5k attempt Dec 9/10 weather dependent

October 13, 2020 – 4x1km Hard Intervals

New shoe day.  

Photo of My New Saucony Kinvara's
Saucony Kinvara’s, Discount Courtesty of the “Saucony September 60” Strava Challenge

Thank you Saucony and Strava for running the “Saucony September 60” last month.

With the 30% off reward I picked up a new pair of Saucony Kinvara’s, the same shoe I PB’d in back in 2016.

They are fast, light, look nice, feel good, and are perfect for short, hi-intensity runs, and races.

Now that the product promo is out of the way, the one I don’t benefit from in any way whatsoever, let’s get to the run.

Coming into today, I wasn’t sure what to expect. At 53.5km, last week was my highest mileage week in well over a year, probably in my top 10 ever. 

My legs were sore, my day was long, and I just wasn’t in my happy place.  

By 5 pm I threw in the towel. My plan today, go hard, break four minutes on all my splits, while also running 12km, just slightly longer than last week. My justification? If I’m sore and tired, I won’t be able to run hard, and the day will be a waste. Of course, if I rest up, tomorrow will be much better.

Instead of feeling relieved, I was angry. Angry at life, angry at tiredness, and most of all, angry at myself for taking the easy way out.

As I’ve said before, perhaps the reason I haven’t attempted a short PB since 2016 “is it’s the hardest thing I’ve done, and I haven’t wanted to suffer that hard again”.

By 8 pm the run was back on, by 9 pm I was off, and fueled by the need to prove myself, to myself. 

The final result? Although it hurt, and I mean a lot, I ended up with my best splits probably since 2016, all under 4:00 mins/km.

Here’s what that looked like, including recent trends:

  • 9/18 – 4:08/149, 4:13/154, 4:16/154, 4:18/153
  • 10/6 – 3:55/151, 4:01/156, 3:58/156, 4:00/156
  • 10/13 – 3:53/151, 3:58/156, 3:57/157, 3:54/156

A few thoughts on the run:

  • No matter how bad you feel, you probably feel better then you think, running is mental, your mind will play tricks on you, get out there, you never know what might happen
  • Very happy to see improvements week to week with slight increases in speed, despite similar HRs
  • My recovery intervals were much better, running closer to 5:35 as compared to last weeks 5:45, with a similar heart rate
  • Last week the wind was at my back, today there was no wind, which should make up for this weeks shoe advantage

Final thoughts on the day, I still have a long way to go, but if I can keep getting marginally better, my PB will be in reach.

October 14, 2020 – 5km Recovery Run

Not much to say here, other than, I like the recovery run, after the pain of yesterday, it’s nice to get out there and just enjoy the run.

The only interesting note. Last week, my average split/hr was 6:10/120, versus 5:46/120 today. Perhaps another sign of marginal improvements week to week.

October 17, 2020 – 2020 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Virtual Marathon

You can click here, 2020 Toronto Waterfront Marathon Recap, to read about the return from injury, my PB in 2019, signing up two weeks ago, and the experience of running my first virtual marathon through the much quieter streets of Toronto.

In case you’re wondering. I’m happy to say, I ran my third fastest all-time marathon, in just my third ever attempt. 🙂

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