Falling in love with the process

Hi Everyone!

 

No races were run this weekend from our crew. However, for those of you who haven’t seen the running news, the Australian marathon record was just broken by Sinead Driver (2:21:34) who happens to be a 45 year-old runner who took up running at the age of 33! If you needed a lil’ dose of inspiration there it is.

 

For most of us right now I believe there’s a little fallow period of competition which is a good thing. Time to recharge the batteries and do what energizes you vs. what you “should” do. Sometimes those two things align and sometimes they take some effort. For now, just do what makes you feel good and start gathering up your mojo for the new year.

 

This is also the time of year we should be thinking of falling in love with the process. The goals and structure will come, but it is so much easier when you layer them on top of a routine that already comes easily. Whether I’m “training” or not, I will always meet friends for social runs. I will always show up to workouts – whether to jog and cheer or join in at varying levels – depending on where I’m at. I will pretty much always say yes to a running invitation to catch up with a friend. I love all of that and doing those things is a natural riverbed of routine. I can scale up and intensify when I’m training, but it’s a matter of degrees vs. all or nothing. I’ll be honest – I’m also enjoying sleep a little more these days, so much of my routine has shifted to a little later in the morning. I’m liking this new process as it leaves me feeling a little more peppy and energized in my runs. As I start to lean in in the months ahead, I’ll probably hold onto this routine.

 

I may have written earlier about my struggle to enjoy the process of swimming. I signed up for a race in the summer in the hopes that if I forced the routine and had a goal I had to train for, it would become natural and I would grow to love it. I love the idea of swimming and I love having swum. But after my race I dropped swimming like a hot potato. I had the time, I had the energy, I knew the routine and the procedures – I just did not love the process. But now. My 13 year old daughter is into swimming and wants to go with me. I haven’t missed a session with her yet and I find I really look forward to these times together. (Those of us with teenagers know how rare and cherished chosen time spent together is!) Who knows where this will lead, but for the first time in my life I am looking forward to swimming and am doing it regularly (ish – we’re no Olympians). But my point is that I’ve finally found a process that I love enough that it gets me in the pool without a struggle.

 

I don’t know what the process will look like for many of you. But if you constantly have to fight yourself and push yourself to get something done, you probably aren’t loving the process, and just forcing it might not make you fall in love with it. And if you don’t love it when it’s easy, you really won’t love it when it’s hard. So now’s a good time to experiment with different routines, maybe throw out invitations to new running buddies, show up to hard things but make them easy (ie. Wednesday workouts – show up and jog and finish with a Starbucks – you might find you get hooked). Figure out what you love and what is the easiest path of resistance. Don’t make it hard! That’s your only goal for December. Then in January all you have to do is to start scaling up gradually on something you already love.

 

On to tomorrow’s workout: Back to Lakeshore and Leslie – 6:05 Drills, 6:15 GO!

 

This one is still working on steady volume.

8-12 x 600 w 1 min rest.  Here’s the key: keep them tempo. This is a VERY different workout than 6-8 x 600 w 1:30 rest which we might do in the summer or closer to a competition. These 600’s should be closer to your tempo pace. If you’re like me, probably ~10 seconds slower per 600 than your Vo2max pace. The first few should feel pretty comfortable and you can talk. It’s short rest so the intensity will build. The idea is to get the pacing right so you can get the volume in. Again – this is NOT intense. It’s a pace you could hold all at once, but we’re breaking it up with short rests so you can accumulate the work without too much strain. If there is time at the end we can finish with 4 x strides.

 

If doing this by time: 10 x 2 min ON, 1 min OFF.

 

That is all – see you in the am!

 

Xo

 

Seanna

 

 

Running by feel

Hi Everyone!

 

Hope y’all had a fantastic weekend. I was remiss last week in not mentioning some amazing trail run results: Seema and Val ran 17.5K, Madalyn ran the 25K and Meighan ran the full 50K in deep snowy conditions! Way to go toughies. And speaking of toughies, Zoë raced in the Nationals XCountry race this past weekend coming 4th in her age category!

 

These races segue well into what I’ve been thinking about this week. That is learning to run by feel and to trust what your body is telling you, and practicing the mental strength aspect of running.  I like the idea of trail races and xcountry races because they force you to do that. When we’re aiming to run a road race (or track race for that matter), we get very caught up on time goals and therefore specific paces in training. Our training becomes focused on running a certain distance at a certain pace. And we have tons of gadgets and devices to tell us whether we’re on track. This can be useful as we ramp things up and get closer to the training specificity for our event. But what’s even more useful and powerful is learning to understand how you’re feeling and what you’re capable of without being told by your watch or the clock.

 

At this particular xcountry course for Nationals, we figured that the women’s times were about 1:30-2 minutes slower than they would run on the roads. This is usually how xcountry plays out because there are hills, mud, grass, lots of turns, … So how do these athletes know how to pace themselves? Every course and conditions are different. They have to rely on their ability to trust their bodies’ cues and just race. I’m quite certain none of them look at their watches for pace feedback. That would only create a negative mind-body reaction. Can you imagine working your hardest and your watch telling you you’re running 1-2 minutes slower than usual?

 

I can guarantee you one thing: your body is smarter than your watch. Many people who have breakout races are not at all aware of the time while they’re running them. They are listening to their bodies’ cues and are in the moment. That’s the only way to achieve something you might not believe is possible. Alex Hutchinson’s famous example from his book Endure recounts how he had a breakthrough performance on the track because the person giving split times was calling out the wrong times (he thinks it was some sort of translation glitch), so Alex believed he was running faster than he was, and his internal feedback told him he was therefore having a great race – and this then became what happened. He was unintentionally freed from the pace/internal feedback constraint and his body did what it was capable of doing.

 

Many of the top runners and triathletes are now training using lactate testing. They test their lactate levels multiple times throughout a workout to ensure they are training in the correct zone. I’m very interested in this and have read and listened a lot about it. What I’ve mostly come away with is this: the science behind it is supremely individualized and very finicky and specific. One person’s levels are not someone else’s levels and things such as taking in carbs, sweat on the skin, altitude and heat can all affect it. BUT, athletes are actually very capable of hitting the right zones/paces when they learn to go by feel. Your body is giving you all the cues you need. In labs the lactate curve is very closely related to the breathing rate and perceived exertion curves. Learn that first. THEN when you’re comfortable trusting yourself, you can add more and more external feedback as your backup. And when you find yourself at your goal race and it’s hillier than expected, or hot or cold or windy – OR you’re capable of a race no one predicted – you’ll be able to perform at your best level on that day regardless because you’ll be a pro at trusting your body.

 

How to do this: set the intention of each run (easy, tempo, long, progression, …) and don’t look at your watch until after. Tell your watch what you did – don’t let it tell you what to do.

 

On to tomorrow’s workout! Lakeshore and Leslie – 6:05 drills, 6:15 GO time!

 

The purpose of this workout: accumulate time spent at threshold. To that end, the pace of everything will be the same – tempo/threshold pace. What this feels like: to begin with, not hard. You can talk, probably for the first 5 minutes. The intensity builds as the volume accumulates. This is why we take breaks. We want to give as much stimulus at this level as possible. We are never going “Hard” or feeling that alarm or panic feeling (we will work on that feeling later in the season 😉 ) So this is a feeling at this point, not a pace. The idea at this point is to try to keep it consistent.

 

The workout:

2 x 1 mile with 2 min rest, 4-5 x 800 w 1:30 rest ALL AT THE SAME PACE. Yes, this is higher volume than usual but it is NOT a V02max workout. If you’re panicking at the 2nd 800 you’ve gone too fast.

Beginners, do 1 x 1 mile and 2-4 x 800.

Finish with 4 x strides

 

That is all – see you in the am!

 

xo

 

Seanna

 

Weather moods

Hey Everyone!

 

This weekend was the Holy Jolly 5K where Jeff Smith ran 18:20 for first in his age group! And Amanda Bugatto’s b-day hills where she ran (can confirm – zero walking) 50 laps of Pottery Road hills! (25 up, 25 down). Back to my previous post – there’s no better way to celebrate our strength and vitality than by physically rejoicing in what we are capable of doing!

 

This week I’ve been thinking about the weather and how it really does have a direct impact on our moods. Or at least it can. Rain, snow, dark and gloomy days can really make some of us feel like retreating to the indoors. The only way I’ve found to combat this is to get out and run in it. Doing an activity like running is almost an act of defiance against what the weather and our minds are trying to tell us. Regardless of how I feel beforehand, after running in cold or gloomy weather, I start to view it as beautiful. I feel more connected to nature and the environment, and I appreciate the light, the temperature, the elements. It’s the classic case of, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. If you don’t like the weather, go for a run in it – you will suddenly appreciate it! I concede, there is the odd time where this isn’t the case, like if the wind is driving ice directly into your face and you’re in pain, or you find yourself on an icy path where you suddenly can’t go forwards or backwards and have to slip and slide your way to the nearest tree branch for support. But in general, you really can dress for anything. So let’s arm ourselves to be prepared. Get lots of wearable lights. Have multiple layers, including hand warmers, balaclavas and goggles. Overdress if you have to in order to get yourself out and going. I know it’s not as inviting to step out the door right now, but overcome the first 10-15 minutes and I promise you will bring your own sunshine to the day. And sometimes just that contrast between the weather’s mood and the mood you end up with, makes it all even more joyful.

 

On to tomorrow’s workout! Riverdale Clubhouse meet at 6:05 for drills, 6:15 Go.

I know some of us just did a bunch of Pottery Road hills on Saturday. But, we’re back to hills. For this one though, I want to keep them short and snappy. We’re on the power part of the season, less on the grind. So let’s do Riverdale cement hills and keep them quick and powerful. (if in the beach, it’s about a 200m hill). If you have a light to run with, I suggest you bring it – it will be pretty dark to start.

 

Let’s aim for 8-10 of them – or until we feel like we’re absolutely losing power if that’s earlier. Then we’ll take a 2-3 min break and add a little 8 min tempo. We can go up to Broadview and back. Just to touch base with that stuff – we can handle 8 mins!

 

That is all – see you in the am!

 

xo

 

Seanna

 

 

 

 

Shoulder seasons

Hey Everyone! 

 

No races last weekend – we’re right in the middle of the shoulder season for most training and racing. For most of us there’s nothing on the books for at least a few months, and we might still be coming down from big training blocks and races in the Fall. This time is important for recovery, but it’s also important for building. Shoulder seasons are when we can build our big aerobic bases that we’ll pile our spring work on top of later. They’re also the perfect time to work on strength as well as pure speed and power. Both of these ends of the spectrum are good to develop now, so that when it comes down to building mile upon mile of race pace work and the long intense efforts, it is on a platform of bigger aerobic and muscular strength. Once you get into it with “race fitness” building, it is mostly too late to tinker with your pure speed and power and you are better off layering it all on an aerobic capacity which is already in place. What does this look like for now? Lots of long easy miles, mixed in with some short hill sprints and strides as well as more focused gym work with heavy weights and dynamic plyometrics. It looks like less intense tempo runs and Vo2max workouts – you can keep them in, but the intensity and volume of these should be lower. I’d recommend really taking the next 6 weeks to focus on these elements, and come January when you start a “training plan” (if you are) for a spring race, you will have a higher ceiling to reach towards. 

 

What I’ve been thinking about this week is the idea of running – especially when you’re not running. My family experienced the flu, directly after a bout with covid. I spent many days not even moving, let alone running. I kept thinking: I know I’ll be better when I feel like going for a run. It was a very disorienting feeling –  not even wanting to run. And then I’d see my friends getting together to run, and see people running down the street, and I’d think: what an ultimate declaration of health. Going for a run is such a statement. It’s saying “I’m alive and healthy, and I’m celebrating what my body and mind can do together through effort and movement”. It’s reinforcing your own vitality to yourself. Boy is that easy to forget and take for granted until you don’t have it. I fantasized about having the physical and mental energy to just run – with no pace or distance in mind, but just the feeling of freely moving my body rhythmically through space. I’m happy to say I’m back there. I’m not running hard or fast yet, but boy am I enjoying the ability to just go out and do it. I guess it’s a good thing to get these kick-in-the-pants reminders not to take for granted the things we love every now and then. So this is my reminder to all of you: if you want to celebrate your health and vitality and gratitude for being alive: go for a run. It’s the best way to celebrate I know. 

 

On to tomorrow’s workout! Back to Lakeshore and Leslie – 6:05 drills, 6:15 GO time! 

 

On the theme of both stretching it out and keeping it snappy, we’ll do a workout that addresses those ends. 

  1. 1.5 mile tempo. This is three 800m laps. If you like you can start easy-ish and pick it up slightly every 800m. 3 min rest. Then sets of 400m @ 5K-ish pace, 1:15 min rest, 200m a little quicker. Very slow easy 200m jog recovery back to the start of the 400. Repeat 4-5 times.  
  2. If going by time: 10 min progressive tempo, 3 min easy, 4-5 x 90 seconds @ 5K pace, 1:15 easy, 30 seconds as a long stride – 2 min easy recovery bw sets.  

 

That is all – see you in the am! 

 

Xo 

 

Seanna 

 

Bad Races

Hey Gang!

 

Huge congrats to everyone who raced this weekend! Lori who ran the NYC marathon in record breaking hot temps, Sean and Adam who ran their first ever marathons in Hamilton, Zoë who showed you can crush a marathon with a smile the whole way, and Andrew H, Steph, Elese and Shauna who rocked the Half Marathon! Way to go everyone.

 

What I’ve been thinking about lately is tough races. As many “great” or “good” races we’ve celebrated lately, I’ve seen almost as many athletes and friends struggle with tough races. It is a law of averages. There is not an athlete around who has not had a tough race. If you’ve never experienced a bad race, you haven’t raced much. Every single Olympian and world class athlete has suffered their share of tears and disappointment in races. Sometimes, sadly, it happens on the world stage and we all witness it. A bad race is never the end though. It is just that. One tough race. And we can learn more about ourselves from those than we do when it all comes easily.

 

There can be many reasons behind ‘bad’ races. Battling illness, even something small, can be enough to throw you off your game. Life stress is another one. The mind-body connection is something we’re still learning about, but we do know that our emotional, mental and hormonal states are all deeply intertwined with our physical experiences. How our bodies respond to environmental factors like heat or cold can affect us much more than we might think. A slight injury or just dipping into over-training can be enough to throw a race performance into the struggle zone. And all of these factors combine and influence each other in ways that makes it impossible to control or predict.

 

The kicker is, when we’re in the middle of a “bad” race, it makes the fight even harder. It hurts more, the negative mental chatter is overpowering, and the will to push dwindles away. There is nothing fun about these experiences. As a coach and fan however, I can say that witnessing athletes power through these races and not give up, is tremendously inspiring and emotional. We know this result is not what you worked for. We know you are terribly disappointed and crying inside. We know every rational thought is telling you to just stop. But you still forge ahead and try with all that you have left. I think it is these “bad” races which really show what toughness is.  We all KNOW how hard it is, because we’ve all been there. It fucking sucks. But unfortunately it’s a rite of passage. If you put yourself on the line enough times, you will have great races, you will have good races, you will have ok races and you will have bad races. It’s normal and to be expected. The trick is not to read too much into them, be able to put them behind you, and move on to the next one, knowing you’re a stronger, wiser athlete for the experience.

 

On to tomorrow’s workout! Back to Lakeshore and Leslie – 6:05 drills, 6:15 GO time!

 

I’m thinking we could use a little change of pace (literally) as a re-set between seasons. Many are thinking of ramping up for Spring events and coming off some big work from the Fall. I’m thinking some basics with more focus on drills and some speed will work well for us right now.

 

  1. 1 mile tempo (to warm-up the body) 2 min rest
  2. 800m as 100m stride/100m v easy recovery jog (I’ll put cones out every 100m) 2 min rest
  3. 1 mile tempo – 2 min rest
  4. 800 m as 100m stride/100m v easy

 

The idea behind this one is not to leave us clutching our knees in exhaustion but to leave us feeling a bit peppy and energized. We’re reminding our legs how to run fast and feel springy. Hard work will come but it’s best to add it onto legs that remember how to turnover quickly.

 

That is all – see you in the am!

 

xo

 

Seanna

Caring

Hey Everyone!

 

Happy day-after Halloween! Hope everyone had a fun, spooky and candy filled day. No races were run this past weekend, but coming up we have New York (Lori) and Hamilton (Sean and Zoë in the Full and Shauna, Steph, Elese, Andrew H in the Half). Good luck all and please set up a time w me to chat race plan if we haven’t already!

 

I’ve been thinking this week about how much we care about our running. It is a great thing, but also a double-edged sword. One of those tricky things in life which we constantly have to work on and self-monitor to get it right. Caring is great as it provides meaning and leads to learning and growth. Caring too much, and attaching so much meaning and self-worth to results that it becomes scary or paralyzing to try hard or race, can be a problem. Sometimes it’s good to remember: it’s just running.

 

In high school I cared a lot. I trained with a club and ran “for serious” while many kids entered our regional inter-scholastic races “for fun”. I can remember feeling envious of them. I wanted to be able to run “for fun”. Of course, I loved to run and train and race, but I also wanted to not care as much as I did.  I wanted to be able to laugh and goof around and enjoy the day instead of being a stressed-out ball of nerves where only the outcome would determine whether I would be happy or not. My goal became to learn how to keep what I loved about training and racing, but learn how to become one of the more laid-back kids who didn’t seem to torture themselves the same way I did.

 

I care. Of course I care. We all care. We’ve all heard those people who say to us “I wish I could do what you do”. And you think, “well, if you cared, you would”, and you think how lucky you are that you’ve found something you care about.

 

I’m sure we’ve all also experienced those races where we’re standing on the start line full of nerves and adrenaline, and we look back at the fun-runners laughing and chatting or still wandering around, not worried to miss the start, and we think “that must be nice”. But we can’t go back. We care, damnit. And there are so many good things that come with caring. So, we just have to continually work on that balance. There is no easy answer – it’s just self-discovery. Keep it in that zone of caring enough, but not too much. I’ve been working on it for over 30 years and the pendulum still swings too far sometimes one way or the other. I feel for the most part I’ve found the balance, but I guess I’m also ok with the roller-coaster.

 

“If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;” – Rudyard Kipling

 

On to tomorrow’s workout – we’re back to hills!!!  (racers – scroll down for your workout)

 

I’ll keep the tempo bits out for now. Those are great to add in when we’re in race-mode, but I think most of us are back to base-mode.

 

Pottery Road: Steady. 5-8 x full hill. Steady up, easy down (fast down sometimes has a purpose but really risks injury, so for now, easy). Get there any time and launch into it. I usually arrive around 6:05-6:10-ish.

 

Beach Hill: 5-8 x 400m steady up, easy down. (coordinate timing w Tanis if doing this one).

 

Half Marathon racers: 2 x 800 @ race pace w 2 min rest. 2-4 x 400 a tad quicker, but NOT 5K pace with 1:30 rest.

 

Marathon racers: Can do the same thing (will be slower obviously) – or opt for sleep in and 3-4 x 60 second pick-ups in a run. Sleep might serve you better at this point.

 

That is all – see some of you in the am!

 

xo

 

Seanna

Recovery

Hi Everyone!

 

I believe there were no races last weekend. Some people are starting back to base training, some people are in the thick of it for November races, and some people are still recovering. Whatever phase you’re in, be in it! Every phase has a purpose and you can’t fast-track it.

 

That’s what I’ve been thinking about in terms of recovery. I get a lot of questions from people along the lines of “can I do this” or “can I add that” and I say … “as long as you can recover from it”. It’s not the stimulus that hurts you – it’s the inability to recover from it. If you look at the difference between what elite athletes are doing and what we are doing, it’s basically just a lot more work. And they also eat twice as much and sleep twice as much as us. A typical daily schedule would be: wake up, eat something, train, eat something, sleep, eat something, train, eat something, sleep. They can train more only because they are eating and sleeping more – not the other way around. So it stands to reason that if your eating or sleeping get cut down for some reason, your training has to follow suit or else you’re risking injury or breakdown, or at the very least not getting stronger from your training. Your training HAS to be dictated by your ability to recover from it.

 

I’ve been fascinated (as many people have) by the Norwegians and how they train. Currently the fastest runner, cross country skiers and triathletes in the world are all Norwegian. I’ve listened and read a lot about their systems, and there seems to be a few similarities across all these disciplines. One, is that they all train with a long-term athlete development approach. No one is an overnight success. They have all been doing smart, not crazy, very sustainable training that builds gradually from what they’ve done before, year after year.

 

The second thing builds on the first: they are all very focused on athlete health and recovery. No one can train hard and perform well over 10-20 years if they aren’t really healthy. The Norwegian national cross country ski team does body mass checks for its athletes at the start of every training year, and has been known to tell top level world class athletes that they can’t train with the team because they are too light. They have to go back and put on weight so they can absorb the training. The coach of the Norwegian triathlon team (which boasts the two fastest short course and long course athletes in the world), repeated the same philosophy. If their athletes are getting injured or tired, they don’t cut down their training – they grill them on whether they are eating enough and sleeping properly. That is their responsibility as athletes and they have to focus on it as much as their training sessions. The top two triathletes in the world, Gustav Iden and Kristian Blummenfelt, are not your classic skinny, cut looking endurance athletes. Blummenfelt has addressed this: he doesn’t care what people say. He knows his body has to carry the mass he does in order to be strong. He is not getting injured and he can go back to the well again and again and again. Because he has the energy to sustain it. The old paradigm of what a strong and fast elite athlete looks like is breaking down. If you’re losing weight while training, that means your energy out is greater than your energy in. This is not a formula for sustained performance.

 

This is just something to think about for people who are transitioning from a mindset of “exercising” to “training”. Training is about performance. If you want to perform and grow and improve, you have to recover. In order to recover, you have to eat. A lot. To paraphrase the amazing Jen Sygo (nutritionist to the stars who came to speak to us a year or so ago): You have to eat more than you think. And you can’t get it all in with nuts and fruit. You have to eat the chips!

 

So much more to say on this topic, but I’ll leave it there for now. (also if anyone is interested in booking an appointment with Jen, she is at http://jennifersygo.com/default.asp?pID=4 – she knows so much and we honestly don’t know what we don’t know)

 

Onto tomorrow’s workout! Back to Lakeshore and Leslie – 6:05 drills, 6:15 GO TIME!

  1. 2 x 800 w 1:30 rest. 2 min rest. 4 x 400 w 1:15 rest. 3 min rest. REPEAT
  2. If going by time: 2 x 3 min w 1:30 easy, 2 min easy, 4 x 1 min Hard, 1 min Easy – 3 min easy – Repeat!
  3. If just coming back from an injury or illness, or just getting into it, do 1 set OR skip the 2nd set of 800’s.

 

That is all – see you in the am!

 

xo

 

Seanna

Feeling Good

Hey Gang!

 

What a heart warming, soul filling day we had in Toronto on Sunday! Congratulations to Carolyn who ran her first marathon (not in an Ironman) and crushed it, and to Amanda, Colette, Sonia, Zoe, Kenzie, Gillian who all ran the half. These are all big distances which require a fair bit of digging and inner strength. And huge congrats to Miguel and Andrew H who tag-team guided Jared (a visually impaired runner) to a PB of 3:02!

 

The heart warming and soul-filling part of the day wasn’t the results, but the coming together I witnessed out there. Our cheer station was full for 5+ hours – and some of the runners who ran the half even came back to cheer on the finishing marathoners! You guys brought your families and all your positive vibes and well wishes to share them with total strangers out there fighting their own personal battles. You spent your Sunday mornings making other peoples’ journeys lighter and happier. And Miguel and Andrew spent their mornings running hard in what was not their perfect specific training for their goals, in the efforts to help Jared, also previously a total stranger, towards his goal. Why do we want to give our own time and energy to help other people succeed? Why do we sacrifice things we could be doing to forward our own advancement in order to invest in someone else’s? There is no glory or medal for those of us lifting others up. I can’t say I know why we do these things, but I can say I’m very glad to witness it. I’ve been a recipient of these random acts from others to help to push me along, and it just gives me that feeling of faith in humanity and love for other people. So thank you all for that. The love and energy you put out is received and reciprocated in waves you will never see, but that make the world a better place.

 

On to tomorrow’s workout – back to Lakeshore and Leslie!

(FYI – I will be there, but just cheering you on as I am doing the lead leg for a Run-To-Montreal relay tomorrow evening, and if I’ve learned anything it’s that the double-workout day takes a little too long to recover from for my comfort)

Marathoners from Chicago, still no workouts yet – you can come and jog if feeling ok. Marathoners, half marathoners from the weekend, no workout either. So we might be a smaller crew.

 

  1. 1 mile tempo – keep it tempo – easing into things. 2 min rest. 4-6 x 600m w 1:45 rest. 3 min rest. 1 mile tempo. If newer to workouts, leave out the 1 mile tempo at the end. This is to build strength (the ability to run hard-ish on tired legs), but is tough and takes some working up to. NYC marathoner, you can do this at Marathon Pace or a bit faster.
  2. If going by time: 6 min tempo, 2 min easy, 4-6 x 2 min fast, 1:45 easy, 3 min easy, 6 min tempo.

 

That is all – see you in the am!

 

xo

 

Seanna

Momento Mori

Hi Everyone!

 

Wow – what a weekend of watching races. From the men’s and women’s Ironman World Championships in Kona, to the Victoria and Chicago marathons, I feel emotionally spent! Huge congrats to our LES athletes and friends who put themselves out there this weekend! Samantha Farrell, Amy Hayes, Elizabeth Gladney, Kerry Kuluski, Madalyn Marcus, Lyndsay Hayhurst, Colin Stevenson, Carol McFarlane, Nir Meltzer, Ingrid Ambus, Bob Hayes. Everyone put their hearts and bodies on the line and made us so proud! Also, nod to Emily Sisson who took down the US Women’s Marathon record, running it in a time of 2:18:29. I can distinctly remember a loooong stretch of time when that would have been the world record. Humans are amazing.

 

This weekend I’ve been noticing and really relishing in the fall colours. They’re so vibrant and gorgeous right now! I think part of what makes us really appreciate them is the fact that we know they’re so short lived. In a few weeks, they’ll be brown and then gone altogether. We know and accept this, and it’s part of the reason we make trips and hikes specifically to appreciate and enjoy their beauty. If we had them year round, we’d probably take them for granted and forget to let them awe us. I’ve been thinking about how we could benefit from using this perspective in more areas of life. This is a philosophy that the Stoics called Momento Mori (remember you will die). This sounds depressing at first glance, but actually, it’s the exact opposite. It’s the philosophy of not putting your head in the sand and pretending that you’re immortal, but acknowledging your mortality and therefore truly living life awake – with purpose. Many Buddhist practitioners have this as one of their most important meditations. Understanding and accepting that we will all die allows you to let go of fear, pride, embarrassment, greed. It lets you trade in consumerism for experiences, vanity for purpose, jealousy for compassion. I’m no expert, and just exploring this philosophy myself, but it does make me think that having experiences like running races and testing our limits in physical challenges, really helps to make us feel connected and alive. There’s nothing sharper to bring you immediately into the here and now than the starting gun of a race. And that euphoria we feel afterwards – whether we nailed our goal or not? I think that’s the feeling of truly experiencing being alive. So don’t get down and depressed about it – instead, take the opportunities and chances that come your way – whether you’re “ready” or not, whether you’ll run “fast” or not, whether your training has gone well or not. We have to remember to live now. Appreciate the colours, the races, each other, because we can. That’s the gift of understanding the impermanence of it all.

 

On to tomorrow’s workout!

 

We are back to hills! Ppl running Toronto Full or Half – taper workout – no hills.

Unfortunately there is covid in my house, so I won’t make it out. Ugh.

 

Let’s do Pottery Rd Fulls and Halfs (halfs start at the construction/stairs)

Sets of 2 x Full, 1 x Half

Repeat 2-3 times

 

People in the Beach, please coordinate and do similar. Fulls are around 400m, Halfs 200m.

 

People racing: let’s give you what we gave the Chicago crew last week: 1 mile @ race pace, 2 min rest, up to 4 x 400 a little quicker w 1:30 rest.

 

That is all – major fomo already for all of you!!!

 

Oh, and check the fbook page and please sign up for our Cheer Station for the marathon! I will repost with more details.

 

xo

 

Seanna

 

Character

Hi Everyone!

 

Congrats to our LES team who ran the Michelob Ultra Night 10K on Saturday eve! Tanis, Amanda, Annick, Fran and I participated and I think surprised ourselves with how fun it is to do our usual events with unique challenges and circumstances. Talk about nuance. And huge good luck to everyone running Chicago or Victoria this weekend! We will be with you all in spirit and will be cheering you on virtually!

 

What I’ve been thinking about this week is how interesting it is how peoples’ characters are revealed through sport – specifically running. It’s funny getting to know people just through this lens. There are many people for whom I know remarkably little about their personal or work lives, but I feel I know their true characters. I can see if they’re the type of person who can experience a set-back and disappointment, but still show up for and be happy for others who are succeeding. I can see if they’re the type of person who will show up for a run or race or workout to help someone else out – not just for their own advancement. I can see if they can remain upbeat and positive and keep working even when they aren’t seeing immediate results. Everyone who runs will experience some form of success, disappointment, injury, self-doubt, seeing teammates achieve what we hope to achieve, achieving something others would love to achieve, … How we handle all of this says a lot about us.

 

The other aspect of this I was thinking about is that as much as running can reveal our characters, it is also a very safe place to learn to develop aspects of ourselves that we want to grow. When we race we are practicing vulnerability. There is nothing more vulnerable than openly trying your hardest in front of an audience. Vulnerability is now considered a superpower because it is so hard to do, but leads to so much compassion and growth. And once you learn how to do that through sport, it can become a part of your character. Through running we can practice how to set goals, take risks, sit outside of our comfort zones, lose graciously, be selfless leaders, succeed with humility. And when we get it wrong (I often do), we can try again and again. Running gives us endless opportunities to practice going from “I wish I was the type of person who..” to “I am a person who…” And the beauty is, once this becomes part of your character, it doesn’t just stay in the running realm. It becomes part of who you are. And people who may not know anything else about you or your running, will always be able to see your character.

 

On to tomorrow’s workout – normally we’d do hills, but let’s do one more Lakeshore to send off our Chicago runners! Lakeshore and Leslie – 6:05 drills, 6:15 GO time!

 

  1. 1 mile tempo. 2 min rest. 2 x 1 mile as 200m fast, 200m float (I will set out cones every 200m) w 2 min bw sets. Finish with 1 mile tempo.
  2. If going by time: 6 min tempo, 2 sets of 4 x 30 sec Hard, 30 sec Medium, 6 min tempo (2 min easy between all sets)
  3. If running Chicago (or Victoria!): 1 mile @ marathon race pace, 2 min rest, 4 x 400m a little quicker w 1:15 rest

 

That is all – see you in the am!

 

xo

 

Seanna