Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Running the Boston Special .. Last Weeks Training

Here is a run down of last weeks training which overall went well as I added some faster running and a new long run into the mix.

Rest - I love Mondays! I have a feeling I am going to enjoy Mondays even more as I move into the meat of my training schedule.

12.5km easy run - I ran my normal 7-8 mile route. Conditions were not very good. It was slippery with fresh snow making it impossible to get good traction. The easiness of this run is debatable. At least I didn't fall down.

16 km intervals - The first intervals of this training cycle and just what I needed. My program called for easy runs only up to this point and with the Robbie Burns 8k on the horizon I really needed to get some faster running in (but not too fast). Incorporated 4 x 6 minute intervals into the run. I ran with the club and was suppose to stay relatively slowish at around 4:55km pace but ended up picking it up a bit more then that with each one getting a bit faster than the last until the final one was at a 4:30 pace. Opps.

13km easy run - Nothing to see move along. Run was pretty uneventful.

12km intervals - The first night of the new longboat speed (or hills) training sessions in High Park. Its always nice to be able to run with a small group going the same pace as you until you feel like slowing down. We ran 4 x mile repeats in balmy -18 weather. I still cant believe I was the one complaining that I wanted to start running hard and fast again. After the run Coach Roger supplied us with hot cider and rum. I felt much better after that.

13k easy run - Saturday morning run with the club. This was suppose to be a progressive run but kept within my easy pace, it didnt work out that way. Started out slow for about 5 minutes then the progressiveness became a high end of the easy range for the rest of the run. I am not happy with myself on this one and really have to make more of an effort to reign it in. I think probably the -25 degree weather didnt help much.

30 km long run - This was the first week of the new group long runs with other longboaters. We met at the westend YMCA and then started out to run the (in)famous Boston Special.

Boston Special = Boston Painful
The Boston Special is a long run route that was devised a number of years ago by Longboat member Tony Fletcher when he was training for Boston. Clearly Tony went out to the west-end of Toronto and found every single large hill then figured out a way to include all of them within a single run and when I say hills I mean big nasty heart pounding hills. I am not sure if Tony is a madman or a genius (evil genius of course). You can check it out here.

I hadn't run this course before but had heard lots about it. It really never dawned on me to make my long run as hilly as humanly possible.

It all started out well but only 4km in I was running too fast as I wanted to try and keep the fast kids in view for as long as possible. The others running my pace were going shorter distances so I knew I would end up on my own soon enough. I slowed it down some as we headed into the hills but still too fast for the course. I keep other club members in sight for the first 10km but as the group separated into those going 20km and those going 30km I was soon running on my own. The only other guys going the full route were Roger M. and Rob C. both sub 3hr marathoners so there was no way I was keeping up with them. Instead I settled into my normal pace and worked my way through the hills. Unfortunately I got lost once on part of the route I didn't know but still got my full distance in. Kim ran the 20km route.

I was honestly really wrecked after this run. I haven't felt this tired after a long run since the first time I trained for a marathon and ran 20 miles. I am told this will make me super strong for the spring season and Around the Bay. I have no doubt about that.

Totals for the week
# of runs 6
longest run 30km (18.5 miles)
total distance 95.6km (59.4 miles)


  1. Excellent job Chris. I miss doing speed work ... I think. You are sure piling on the miles.

  2. OOOh those hills look fuN!!!! Great job!

  3. GREAT running! I know I've said that before, but I love your photos - they are so alive - real running photos. When I'm back running, I'm going to incorporate hills as much as possible - hill training makes running, especially on falts, super easy.

  4. Nice week! Working my way back from surgery and can't wait for that first long run.

  5. Ohhh, so many hills! You will be burning the asphalt at the Bay!!!! Love that first pic, btw, kudos to the shutterbug.

  6. Keep saying, "hills are my friends"......because if you seriously train on them, you will realize during your next race that they are the key to doing well in a tough race...

  7. Love the Boston special. Make sure you do some downhill running. Those 2 miles in Hopkinton are quad killer!

  8. Hope you've recovered Chris. There's more to come!

  9. Great week Chris!

    Take care and best of luck in '10.

  10. nasty hill training! Some folks down here by Boston run in YakTraks when the snow gets nasty. Just saying.

  11. Hmm... hills in the long run. That sounds very difficult. That will be great training for Boston and I'm sure it will really pay off. Great job!


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