The ‘Grind’

Hi Everyone!


Hope you’re all finding ways to beat the heat. Way to go everyone who’s getting in their long runs and rides despite it.


What I’ve been thinking about lately is how we all seem to cycle through what we ask of running. Sometimes we just want it to be there for us, so we can work hard and challenge ourselves when we feel like it, and run gently and enjoyably when we feel like it. When we’re running “by feel” like this, we can keep our motivation and effort aligned.


But sometimes we commit to a goal – something that we know will challenge us beyond what is comfortable, in order to get something out of it for ourselves. Maybe we’re looking for validation (internal or external), maybe we think we need this in order to push ourselves as hard as we think we should, maybe we know we learn something about ourselves when we do this, or maybe we just enjoy the big challenge of the unknown. Either way, when we take something like this on, there will be days when our motivation and required effort are not aligned. That is just how it is. It is a beautiful thing when our program calls for a hard effort and we are motivated and ready and show up and execute. It is another thing when we are given that same effort and for whatever reason, just aren’t “into it” that day. But this is when we have to remember our goal. We knew there would be days like this. The best thing we can do at these times is just accept it. There is a lot of hard, unsexy work that goes into achieving big goals. Many people refer to it as “the grind”. I can guarantee that your progression towards your goal will not be a linear set of continually improving workouts. I can also guarantee that you will have some hard or “off” days. It’s what you do with them that matters. If you can accept them, not judge yourself, and use them as an opportunity to work on your mental strength, grit and positive mindset, then you will get through this just fine. 


Most of you who are training for Boston or NYC are in the “grindy” phase about now. Keep grinding. Those of us who are letting our running lead us right now will cheer and support you. We’ve all been there and we know what it’s like. And we want this for you! So use your whole team to help support you. And then the cycles will flip and we’ll all find ourselves in another phase again – training for a goal, or not.


Lakeshore Workout for tomorrow!


  1. People on a recovery week: 1 mile @ marathon race pace, 2 min, 4 x 400 w 1 rec, 2 min 1 mile @ marathon race pace
  2. People not on recovery week: 1 mile @ half marathon, 2 min, 2 sets of 4 x 400 w 1 rec (3 bw sets), 2 min, 1 mile @ half marathon
  3. If doing fartlek style: 7 mins tempo, 2 min easy, 2x (1:30 ON, 1 min OFF) – 3 easy in bw, 7 mins tempo


See you in the am!!





You are not your running

Hi Everyone!


Hope you’re all soaking in August and running in the sun (with sunscreen!) when you can. We are getting some beautiful days so let’s soak them all in so we have them deep inside come February!


One thing I was thinking about and wanted to share was to make sure our running/working out stays in its running/working out box in terms of how we judge ourselves. I think we can sometimes start to let our values seep across areas where they don’t actually belong. If you get up and run 10 miles at 6 am, that does not make you a “good person”. If you sleep in and run later in the day, or (my god!) take a rest day, that does not make you lazier or less moral than the person who is doing more. It is just running. Yes, we love it and place a high importance on working hard and reaching our goals. And often times doing these things brings out the best in us so that we can be our best selves in other areas. When we start our day feeling good about ourselves, it can have a snowball effect and we continue to feel good and act generously. That’s great. But just remember: you are not what you accomplish in your running and training. That is just a thing you do. Your self-worth should definitely not be measured by what you accomplish on the roads. You can allow your running and training to complement your good qualities and bring out the best in you, but it will not change who you are. If you are generous and kind and curious, that will continue whether you nail your workout or not. So don’t confuse the two things in how you think about yourself. Sometimes it’s good to remember: it’s just running.


If you’re in a groove and feeling good, we’re onto hills this week! As always I recommend keeping these in the rotation – for strength, running economy, endurance and especially if you’ll be running a hilly race!


  1. Boston and NYC people: focus on steady pace up and down. So the down is “running” down vs. slow shuffling. You don’t have to crush the uphill – keep them all steady. I recommend 6-8 and then a 10 min tempo after a 3 min recovery.
  2. 5K runners: 4-5 “full” hills and 3-4 “half” hills
  3. People training to train: Any combo you like 


Have fun everyone – I am away tomorrow but will try to do “something” on my own.





Hi All!


Hope you’re all doing well and staying cool, hydrated and replenished. All three of those things take a lot more work in these conditions, so don’t take it for granted. Your body’s usual cues for thirst, nutrition and electrolytes/nutrients may be slightly off as you adapt to the heat, so make sure you pay attention and stay on top of it.


On that note, what I’ve been thinking about is an interesting analogy I heard about workouts as nourishment for our bodies. Before we nourish ourselves however, we need to have an objective. Is today a long, aerobic base building day? Then it is nourishing to push yourself a bit longer than usual through some fatigue so that your body adapts to going longer.  However, it is not nourishing to take the pace too fast and finish a ragged wreck. In that case you’re over-stuffing yourself and won’t be able to adapt correctly. If it takes you more than a day or two to recover from an effort, you’ve over-stuffed yourself.


If your workout is a VO2 max workout then it is nourishing to work hard within your range. However, adding an extra rep or running someone else’s pace is cramming yourself full and will not help – your body won’t benefit from the extra work. Just as your body will pee out too many multi-vitamins taken at once, there is a certain dosage of exercise that your body just won’t be able to do anything with and you won’t adapt. It’s been said many times that these types of workouts are best left with the feeling that you could do one more. That is nourishing. Your body is adapting and getting the exercise nutrients it needs for the purpose.


If your workout is a recovery run, it is nourishing to go by effort and feel. If you’re finishing your “recovery” runs tired or find them hard, they are not nourishing you. If you’re feeling tired after 20 minutes – stop. There is no recovery to be gained by doing more. It’s empty calories to your body.


So as we continue on our summer training plans, let’s remember to understand the intention behind what we’re doing so that we can nourish ourselves appropriately. A training plan will never be written out perfectly in an all-knowing way of how each individual will react and adapt. So be smart about listening to your bodies’ signals and understanding your own needs. Give it what it’s telling you it needs, not necessarily what the training plan says it needs.


Alright – onto tomorrow’s Lakeshore workout! (I will be there but eating my broccoli and doing mobility vs. the workout, but will cheer you on)


  1. 3-4 x 1200 @10K pace w 2 min rec. Here’s the twist: take 45 sec rest at 800. So they look like 800 (45 sec rec), 400. This is because it’s hot and we’re building back up to longer reps at the right pace. I don’t want these to turn into a tempo (you already do those) and we’re also building the strength to hold the pace. In this heat, a little reprieve partway through will give you the physiological benefits you need. We’ll close that gap later on! For some ppl it will be more nourishing to do 3, for others 4. I trust your judgement. (hint – if you’re falling off your paces – stop)
  2. If doing this as fartlek: 3 mins (45 sec) 1:30 – repeat 3-4 times


Have fun and see you in the am!!!






Having Fun

Hey All!


Hope you’re all enjoying watching the Olympics. Wow. So much drama and emotion and so many stories!


I have always loved sports. To me, sports have always represented fun and play. When I was a shy little kid and my parents asked me what camp I wanted to do in the summer, I always said “Sports Camp”. There was such a thing. It was completely generalized –  which worked for me. I didn’t care which sports I played – I just wanted to play. My favourite day of the year at school was Journée Sportif which was basically a mini-Olympics but we all did all of the sports. I think that’s where I began to self-select into the longer running events vs. shot-put and high jump, but I certainly had the opportunity to “play” at everything. All through elementary and even high school, my favourite class was always Phys-ed. Again, I didn’t really care what game we were playing – to me Phys ed meant running around, laughing with others and basically having fun. Phys ed was my absolute relief from math and science and geography – sitting still at a desk was so boring!!! (still is tbh). So of course when I learned that Phys Ed was an actual degree you could take in university, that is what I took!


Aren’t we lucky that as adults we still have this opportunity to play and run and laugh together? That is what I want to remind us all about. When did sport become so serious? I guess I get it for our Olympic athletes, although in some you can definitely still see the elements of play and fun they have managed to hold on to. For the rest of us who are running and biking and swimming for our “goals”, let’s not forget to keep it fun. Fun, play and enjoyment are the reasons I got into all this sports stuff over 40 years ago. And to be honest, they’re the reasons I’m still doing it. And yes, it’s “fun” to work hard, but let’s not lose the ability to keep the lightness in there – to laugh with others and at ourselves, to show up with excitement and enjoyment and to remember that we’re playing here. This is what we do as a relief from work and stress and obligations. So keep it fun. Or if you prefer, I could always give you a sheet of long-division problems to do on Wednesday mornings!


Tomorrow’s workout: (and here’s a sub-goal – smile as you pass ppl every time)


  1. 3 x 800 @ HM pace, 3 x 800 @ 10K pace (all w 1:30); 3 min rec,; 2 x 400 w 1:15 @ 5K pace
  2. If going fartlek style: 6 x 3 min on, 1:30 off (first three @HM, second 3 @ 10K), 3 min easy, 2 x 1:30 w 1:15
  3. If training for 5K: 2 x 800 @ HM pace, 3 min, 4 x 400 w 1 @ 10K, 3 min, 4 x 400 w 2 @ 5K
  4. Tempos are written in your plans


See you at 6:15 and Have Fun!!!!