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Portland Marathon Training Reflections: Week 5

Portland Marathon Training Reflections: Week 5
Portland Marathon Training Reflections: Week 5

On October 9, 2016, I will be running Marathon No. 2: the Portland Marathon! Follow along as I post my weekly training recaps. All training recaps can be found here.

Here is week 5 of 17 of my marathon training:

July 11: group personal training in AM + 10 minutes rolling with lacrosse ball in PM

After covering close to 60 km on Friday to Sunday between hiking and running, my legs were tired this morning. It was a good full-body strength workout at group training nonetheless! I spent the afternoon “recovering”: I volunteered at a charity golf tournament for work and spent 6 hours sitting out on the golf course watching for hole-in-ones. If a golfer got a hole-in-one they could receive $10,000, so as an insurance requirement they must have hole spotters. Despite a few flying golf balls, it was relaxing to say the least!


July 12: rest in AM + 7 miles (11.25 km) hill repeats and yoga in PM

After a very active weekend, and a late Monday night, I did something I don’t usually do. I skipped my 6 am group personal training on Tuesday morning, and slept in instead. In the evening, my marathon clinic kicked off with a talk and relaxing 30-40 minute outdoor yoga class with Katherine Moore. Katherine is a 2:47 marathoner and yoga teacher who has designed a series of yoga postures that are beneficial to runners.

After Katherine’s class, we ran 2 miles (mostly uphill) to start our 6 hill repeats. We ran the hill along Heather Street, from 28th Avenue to 33rd Avenue, conveniently located beside the hospital? While not overly steep, the hill was long and I was beat by the end (4 miles later!). We finished with 1 easy mile to cool down. I have said it before, but having other runners doing the repeats with me makes a huge difference. I would not want to do this workout on my own. And, while I am really only competitive with myself, it is fun to try and “race” other runners up to the top.

July 13: group personal training in AM and long seawall walk in PM


July 14: group personal training in AM and long seawall walk in PM

Group personal training was tough this morning! We kicked off with 3 rounds of a circuit where we count our own reps. Some of the exercises included: barbell squats, jump squats, squat to shoulder press with a slam ball, and the dreaded 1-leg burpee with a push-up.

A couple of evenings this week, we lucked out with some spectacular sunsets! If I’m not totally exhausted, I love going for walks at night and staying out late enough to see the sunset. Yes, I usually go to bed at a very early bedtime!


July 15: 6.75 miles (11 km) easy run in AM + 20 mins lacrosse ball and stretch in PM

I knew I would be racing on Saturday, so I kept the run nice and easy in the morning. In the evening, I hit the floor to roll it out. I’ve tried a variety of recovery tools, but found the lacrosse ball to be the most effective in rolling out my tight muscles – especially the calves, piriformis, hips, and glutes. It is painful at the time, but can really get into those places that the foam roller can’t.

July 16: 7 miles (11.25 km) trail race at Cypress Mountain in AM + 90 minutes power yoga in PM

Friends and I headed up to Cypress Mountain at 7 am on a Saturday morning (sometimes I question my life choices) to run the 5 Peaks Trail Race. Stay tuned for my race recap on Friday! Spoiler alert: it was fun, but a lot more challenging and technical than I expected. I don’t think 6-7 miles is a short run anymore! We got back around lunch time, so I was able to make it to one of my favourite power yoga classes in the afternoon. It was perfect for opening up my tight hips, hamstrings, and calves, but so, so hot! I sweat buckets.


July 17: 16.75 miles (27 km) long run

I was fully prepared for this long run to be a little painful, having run the trail race the day before! But surprisingly, it was pretty enjoyable and my legs weren’t hurting too badly. The route, aptly titled Waffle Break by our clinic leader Dave, combined road, trails, and an optional stop at Denman Running room for waffles. I really enjoyed the time we spent running in Pacific Spirit Park covering a few miles on the trails. There were also plenty of washrooms to stop at!

I tried out Vega Gels for the first time during the run (usually I take GU salted caramel or raspberry gels with caffeine). I don’t think I will be using them again! Sure they may have some more “real food” ingredients, like dates and coconut oil, but gels are bad enough and these were kind of gross. I found them very gritty with a bitter after-taste. They are also much bigger in size than GU gels, yet the same number of calories, making them a bit harder to carry and physically get down. But hey, that’s what these long runs are partly for, experimenting with fuel options!

By the end of the run, I felt strong. I still marvel at the difference I feel training for a marathon the second time around. From what I can remember, I was much more physically exhausted after running 16 miles the first time. It is incredible how your body adapts.

Curious about my marathon training essentials? Last week I shared part 1: favourite running clothing and shoes

What was your favourite workout from the week? 

  • Jessica says:

    My favourite workout from the week was my duathlon race because it marked a shift in my race schedule. I have loved the multisport but it is time for a new adventure! 🙂

    • says:

      And an epic workout at that! I love reading about your latest athletic endeavors and adventures! I don’t know how you deal with the sleep deprivation on those 24-48 hour adventure races.

  • Solid week of workouts, lady. I have NO IDEA how you manage marathon training, yoga classes AND personal training sessions. Teach me your ways, haha

    I LOVED yesterday’s Bodypump class. Felt so good to get that strength training burn on! 🙂

    • says:

      Thank you! I have no idea either! Hahaha. But to be honest, I think a lot of it was gradual – like I started with group personal training sessions, and did that for 6-8 months, 4-5 times a week. Then I trained for a half marathon, and then I trained for the full marathon. It’s incredible how your body adapts! So far, the second round of marathon training hasn’t been as hard on my body as the first time around (knock on wood!) I really want to try Bodypump one of these days, it sounds like such a great workout.

  • What a great week of workouts! I love how you’re keeping such a great balance between running, strength training and flexibility/yoga. My fave workout from last week was the class I did at Tight Club, which I will 100% be doing again this week – it was awesome! Foam rolling and stretching out my hips are definitely on my agenda tonight though. This morning involved a lot of burpees, mountain climbers and push ups, and my hip flexors are tiiiiiiiiiight!

    • says:

      So far so good! Flexibility and yoga is the first to go – but sometimes the most needed – so let’s hope I keep this up! That’s so awesome you got into the Tight Club class, you’ll have to tell me more about it next time I see you. That’s always a tight spot for me too – it must be all those burpees we do!

  • […] love listening to podcasts in the morning when I get ready for work; when I am out for long walks on the seawall; walking to work; and while I am cleaning and meal prepping. Whether it is listening to a casual […]

  • […] good, my technical trail skills not so much! I also was far from rested, continuing on with my marathon training plan as usual the week leading up to the […]

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