Training your brain

Hi Everyone!


I’m pretty sure there were no races last weekend. Remember – please let me know if you raced!

Our white singlets – men’s and women’s are in, so I just need to pick them up. I’m away this week so will have them for you for next week. Wohoo!


What I’ve been thinking about recently is the mental side of training and racing. I know we know it’s 90% mental, but wow – is it ever! I’m thinking specifically of longer sessions, as many in this group are ramping up for fall marathons and wrapping our heads around bigger workouts and future workouts. Of course there is a real and necessary physical component to training your body, but so much of what we’re training is our brain’s resistance. Remember: our brains are there to protect us – not make us champions. So they are wired to be overly cautious and sensitive to pressing the “you’re tired, you can’t do this” button. Your brain communicates to you via thoughts and emotions – feelings of overwhelm, lack of motivation, anxiety, even false fatigue. In fact I’ve come to believe – and many of the athletes who I coach know as a fact – that if you feel exhausted and dead-legged in a warm-up, you’re likely to have a great race. Happens to me every time. Your brain knows what’s coming and is doing its last-ditch effort to stop you. Don’t listen.


There are a few tricks that I’m learning which are helping me overcome some of this, so I’ll share them. The first is to really break your task into small chunks and only focus on one at a time. I had a 35K run recently where my brain was fighting me from the first kilometer. So I just allowed myself to focus on 5K at a time. Every new 5K segment was the start of a 5K run. Had I tried to count down to 35 from the first kilometer I would have crumbled. But I could do 5K.


The next thing that helps is radical acceptance. I heard that term recently and it resonated. Just accept the space you’re in, don’t fight it. When I’m in any sort of race or training effort, as soon as I think about the finish or what is to come, it becomes overwhelming because I’m thinking about where I want to get to instead of being present. If I’m at 18K of a 20K run, it starts to feel hard and I want to be done. But at the same pace and effort, that 18K mark of a 30K run is fine because I’ve accepted where I am and am not thinking about the finish – yet. You’ll get there when you get there. Don’t let you mind get ahead of your body – it’s projecting and doesn’t really know how you’ll feel. (this also holds true for runs off the bike if you’re a triathlete)


Finally, under the same principle of acceptance, another approach is to just accept the amount of time you’ll be out there, and stop making crossing off kilometers part of your task. I find this helps my brain tremendously. Instead of saying you’re going out for a certain kilometer effort, which is task oriented, tell yourself you’ll just be out there for an hour or two or three  – whatever it is. And then just settle in for the journey. Tell yourself, “I’m going to move forward in a way that is continually acceptable for this amount of time.”  And accept it. Radically. Your poor brain with the brake-control button will not stand a chance.


Onto tomorrow’s workout! We’re back to Lakeshore – 6:05 for drills (on your own) and 6:15 GO time! I won’t be there, and Tanis either. Hoping someone can get the crew started and possibly mark out 400m. If not, do your best approximation – a few meters here or there will not be noticed by your body.





600-400-200 w 1 min rest – 3 min bw sets


4-5 x (600-400-200)


Treat them as broken 1200’s. Aim for 5K pace for 600’s and 400’s – you can pick it up slightly for 200’s. If you manage 5 of them that would be 6K at 5K pace, so a big wrkt. That’s if you have a solid base and have a number of workouts under your belt. If just starting out or coming back from an illness or something else, aim for 3-4 sets.


If doing them fartlek style:


4-5 x (2:00, 1:30, 30) w 1 min easy jog bw reps and 3 bw sets.


That’s all – I’ll miss you – have fun!!!





Making stops along the way

Hi All!

First up, congrats to Steph who ran the Pride 5K yesterday in a PB time of 20:15!!! Way to show resilience and bounce back from a disappointing covid canceled marathon. To everyone always remember: no training is ever wasted.

And Chris and Cassidy Robinson who did the Welland triathlon – I believe Cassidy finished first in her age group and 5th woman overall!!

Also congrats to all of us who ran the Ekiden relays last Tuesday! LOVED seeing all of us and other runners out there celebrating the running communities in Toronto. Big thank-you to all who ran and all who came to cheer.

Speaking of celebrating, I hope everyone had a great weekend and celebrated Pride and/or anything else you had to celebrate. Goodness knows, we all need to celebrate when we can because there is enough news out there to get down about!  


That’s what I was thinking about this weekend as I took the weekend off of training during a peak phase in order to celebrate my daughter’s birthday with a group of her friends. I was thinking that although training is “serious” business and we need to be focused and disciplined, I don’t think that we need to approach it with the sense that we’re putting all the fun on hold until after. If you can’t blend fun and relaxation with serious, focused training, you’re setting yourself up for an all-or-nothing scenario. You risk becoming resentful of your training and looking forward to it being done or possibly getting burned out. Instead, we should be enjoying the process and living our lives in the moment. I know that certain patterns do shift when we’re training seriously – we may have fewer late nights out and might not spend quite as much “quality time” with family. But I think it’s important to keep these things in the picture, even when you’re in “beast mode”. We don’t have to be binary – fun person or training athlete. As much as possible we should blend those two into one authentic self.  I’ve had the odd ride or run where I haven’t been my best because I’d gone out with friends the night before. And I’ve cut some training short and definitely not maximized recovery because I’ve wanted to spend time with my kids doing activities they want to do. I’m not waiting until the end to do all my relaxing and celebrating in one big gigantic party. I’m pausing and celebrating in little stops along the way. So I’m not actually looking forward to when this is done. Hopefully my life won’t change too drastically one way or the other. Sure, the pendulum will shift a little more in another direction, but it won’t be like walking through a door and closing it shut behind me.


For those of you setting out on a training program now, see if you can approach it the same way. Celebrate as you go. Take pauses when you need or want them. Keep the non-training you beside you the whole time, and listen to that person’s needs as well. That way, once you’re done, you might just find that instead, you keep going.


Tomorrow, we’re back to hills! I have a new twist on them:


Pottery Rd. After every 2 hills, take 1-1.5 mins and do 3 mins tempo. Repeat that sequence 2-4 times (4 sounds insane – I just put that there but I think 3 will prob be most of our numbers)


Just teaching our bodies to keep going after the hills. As happens in most hilly races. And since some of us have a hilly one coming up, the rest of you get to join us in this 😉


I’ll aim to be there around 6:05/6:10.


See ya in the am!!






Getting Groovy

Hi Everyone!


We had one racer this past weekend – Andrew Higgs who nailed his sub-3 marathon in Duluth with a 2:58! Huge congrats. And Ingrid who raced the Toronto Waterfront 10K in very tough conditions and nailed a solid pace in that wind. Way to go! As always I hope I don’t miss anyone and please message me if you’ve raced anywhere. We all want to celebrate it!


Speaking of celebration, we are celebrating the Summer Solstice this eve with the Ekiden Relays! I believe we have three LES teams. Huge thank-you to Madalyn for picking up all the race kits. I believe the races start at 7 pm at the entrance to the spit, so I’ll plan to be down there around 6:30 pm. If you’re not on a team but want to come to cheer, please do! It’s the best way to kick off summer. Or at least it’s a tradition… 😉


What I’ve been thinking about lately is grooves. As in finding your groove. Many people are just getting into fall marathon training, and the biggest advice I can give is just start by creating the space and patterns that you will build on. You don’t need to be killing it now, but you need to create the space that you’ll be able to lean into later. Set up your routine so that getting out the door is never a negotiation. What you do once out there will change, but you just flow and show up where you need to be. For example, if you have a workout day, a tempo day and a long run day, make sure you start now with even little bits of those. You might not be in your best tempo shape, and your long runs aren’t super long yet, but get in the groove of showing up. You don’t have to worry about what you’re doing when you show up yet. Just get something done. And you’ll be amazed how much easier it is to do things when you don’t have to negotiate whether you’re doing it or not. There will likely be a time where the effort and enormity of the task will present a barrier. But you’ll go and do it because you’ve created that riverbed which makes it all flow more easily. So start with a trickle. This is where you need to be.


Some of us who are training for a summer Ironman are in a groove. It’s kind of cool. I never would have thought I could do as much as I’m doing, but that’s the thing – I’m not thinking about it. I’m following the patterns I set up months ago and just adding a bit more and leaning a bit more in each time. I’m not starting from scratch with each big effort. My goal used to be “just get in the water” or “join the bike ride and see what happens”. And now it really isn’t that hard! I get up, and do what I’ve been doing for a few months. I’m in a groove.


So start slow, get your body there and see what happens, and make the routine the goal for now. Don’t think about what’s to come. You’re just getting groovy!!!


I’ll see many of you tonight at the spit. For those doing the Ekiden, just a social on Weds am. For those not doing the Ekiden, we can start out together and you can do a fartlek (I think we can run into the beach and back).


Workout: 6 min tempo, 2 min easy, 2 x 3 min Fast with 1:30 easy, 2 min easy, 2 x 2 min Fast with 1:30 easy, 2 min easy, 5-6 x 1 min Fast w 1 min easy


Or if it’s easier to read this way: 6-3-3-2-2-1-1-1-1-1-1 w 1:30 bw reps, 2 mins bw sets (except 1 min bw all the 1’s)


See you tonight at 6:30/7 and tomorrow at 6:05!







Perfectly imperfect

Hi Everyone!


Huge congrats to all who raced in the Gravenhurst Tri this past weekend! Of the people I coach I had a 16 yr old and 60 yr old athlete who competed and crushed it! I love sport for bringing everyone together like that. And I’m still feeling the joy of celebrating sport being back!!!


I’ve been thinking a lot about training lately, and the principles and techniques to apply to get the most out of ourselves. And then I’ve been reminded about the coaching course I took a few months ago. It was led by experts who study and analyze the best training methodologies. The idea was to learn how to take elite athlete training principles and apply them to community running groups. What was interesting to me was that, although there were a few new ideas and theories, in general, it’s not rocket science. It’s “apply a new stimulus and allow for adaptation”. Fine. But what I found so funny was that when they’d go into specific principles like whether we should prescribe weights before or after a running workout, or how many drills to do before a workout, or how much mileage and how much supplementary cross-training is best – we all realized that the theories didn’t matter when it came to applying them to our groups. We just had people doing the best they could. After the instructor covered the “perfect” way to do something I’d look around and say “ya – that’s not gonna work for my crew” and we all agreed. It made me laugh. If you can fit strength into your program at any point, you’re doing great. If you can get a few drills in before your workout, that’s fantastic. If you can make it to the pool or onto the bike for some supplementary training you are killing it. We all just have to accept that we’re doing everything perfectly imperfectly. Basically every thing we covered was “in an ideal world this, but for most folks, whatever works will work”.


I’m embracing the perfectly imperfect philosophy as I train for multi-sport. It feels like everything I do is somewhat compromised by something else. I’m not obsessing over that. I’m just doing what I can. I think we can all do well to accept this. Nobody is training “perfectly”. It’s impossible. We’re all making compromises all the time and fitting in what we can. And anything is better than nothing. I asked my swimming instructor how many days a week I should be swimming to train for my event. He said 5. I laughed. I said there’s no way that’s happening! I’ll aim for 2-3. Most weeks it’s been 2.


The biggest learning from that course was that theory is just theory. Real life is messy and imperfect. And if we don’t embrace that messy imperfection we’ll drive ourselves crazy and lose the enjoyment. So onwards with our messy imperfect training – we’re getting somewhere!


Workout tomorrow – we’re back to Lakeshore! 6:05 drills, 6:15 GO.


  1. 800’s. Let’s aim for 5-7 w 1:30 rest.

If you’re training for a fall marathon this is a good starting point from which to take your average time of 800’s. We will do another benchmark one later in the season. Just keep them nice and consistent.

If you’re training for 5K’s or 10K’s this summer, do every third one HARD (outside your comfort zone) – max 6 total. You can take 2 mins after the HARD ones.


  1. If doing these by time, 5-7 x 3 min On, 1:30 Off.


That is all – see you in the am!





I love my body

Hi All!


Happy June! We have the longest days of the year coming up now – enjoy the light! Speaking of longest days, there are a few LES teams registered for the Longest Day Ekiden relay at the spit on the 21st. It’s a fun community event that brings running clubs together. Check out our fbook page for details or if you’re not on fbook email me and I’ll send you detes.


Recently I’ve been thinking about how grateful I am for my body. Training is so cool because you can actually see in real time the adaptations that your body has made. I’ll admit I am only noticing this in swimming and biking because after 30+ years of running, I might be at the diminishing visible returns end of work/adaptation. But I just think it’s so neat to see yourself be able to do something that a year or even months go you could never fathom doing. Just by introducing the gradual stress to your body! Your good old body says “ok – if this is what you’re up to, I’ll help you out”. And it gets to work in building more mitochondria, more nerve pathways to your muscles, thicker muscle fibres, more capillaries to help you to go further …


I like thinking of my body as my friend. Sure, sometimes I’m disappointed when she doesn’t perform as I’d planned, but she’s trying! There is no little muscle fibre or nerve pathway that isn’t firing and doing their job to keep me alive. Our systems don’t know the difference between running a race for fun and running from a bear – once you have adrenaline and start to run, millions of coordinated cells go into action and give their lives in doing the best job they can. I have so much gratitude for that. Our bodies’ only goal is our survival and success in life.


And yet we abuse them. We sometimes ingest things we shouldn’t. We often don’t feed them what we should. We don’t give them enough rest. We push on when they’re sending signals that they’re faltering. We have high demands and are not always kind in return. Even when we get sick, our bodies go into over-drive, fighting for our lives. And we get frustrated that meanwhile, they aren’t letting us run and workout.


I love my body. I really truly am grateful for all the work she does for me. I know I ask a lot. But I’m going to try to remember to treat her as a close friend and ally – she really is doing the best she can.


On to tomorrow’s workout – back to Pottery Rd Hills!


It’s been a while since we’ve done these ones. Let’s just go steady up, steady down.

If you’re training for a longer event, aim for consistent effort and nudge up the volume.

If you’re training for 5K/10K’s, do a lower quantity and aim for every other one HARD.

If you’ve recently completed a marathon or half marathon, just steady and keep the volume on the low end as you get back into things.


I’ll aim to be there at around 6:15. Just start going once you get there – we’ll meet somewhere on the hill!





Can running make you happy?

Hi Everyone!


Huge congrats to all of our racers on Sunday. Those were some hot and challenging conditions, and you all put your hearts and bodies on the line and went for it. I am so proud of you!


What I’ve been thinking about: More than once I have heard someone say to myself or someone else: “Wow. You run/bike/workout so much. I wish I could do that”. And I think Do you? Why? If you’re happy not doing all of that so much, why wish yourself into a bigger compulsion? Running doesn’t make you a better person. But then I thought … does it – can it make you happier?


I was listening to a podcast where the guest defined happiness as a combination of these three macro-ingredients: Pleasure, Satisfaction and Purpose. The trick is in finding the balance between all of these three. Under this lens, I would say then that running certainly can provide all of these ingredients. 


The pleasure principle in running might not seem obvious at first (because it takes some will and faith to get there), but there are definitely some runs I have with friends or even solo on a beautiful day when my thoughts and legs are flowing, that feel like pure pleasure. It just feels good. There is definitely a large dose of pleasure in the post-run glow of endorphins and dopamine. Again, it takes some work to get there, but it’s definitely part of the equation.


Satisfaction with running is an obvious one. We set a goal, work towards it, learn a lot along the way, and sometimes achieve it. Sometimes we don’t. But there are definitely satisfying milestones along the way. The key here is setting yourself up so that you can be satisfied. Never-ending goals always outside of your reach are not satisfying, and therefore not part of the happiness equation. But neither is never reaching or striving, and always sitting in your comfort zone, so there is an elusive balance there also. We have to learn how to make it satisfying to ourselves.


Purpose is a big one. Can you find purpose in your running? Many people can. I believe the people who have been in it the longest have found purpose. Purpose through running can be things like finding and contributing to community. It can be the relationships. It can be being a mentor or a mentee. It can be finding the growth and learning opportunities whether you succeed or fail. It can be taking what you’ve learned and using it to help others – in running or other areas of life. I see that a lot in our community. There is a big, purposeful generous spirit here.


So, can running make you happy? Maybe it can. Win or lose, it’s being able to find pleasure in the moments, enjoying the striving, and learning and giving back. And maybe those people who wished they ran/biked/worked out more are actually wishing they had the key to happiness.


Onto tomorrow’s workout – back to Lakeshore! 6:05 drills, 6:15 Go time (we’ll be sharp bc people are back in offices now)


  1. Cut-downs! 1600-1200-1000-800-600-400-200 – all w 2 mins. Starting at tempo and working down in pace. I leave it up to you guys how much you want to lean into these. If training for an upcoming race or trying to get your fitness up, you can start hard and finish harder. If you’re talking yourself into it one rep at a time, start easy and see how it goes. Both are fine and fit into different phases of life and training.


  1. If doing this fartlek style, 6-5-4-3-2-1-(30sec) min Hard w 2 mins Easy.


That is all – have fun and see you soon!





Just slow down

Hi Everyone!


Hope you all had a great long weekend and were able to spend time outside and with family. I don’t think anyone from this crew raced anything this past weekend, but correct me if I’m wrong. Coming up we have Ottawa! Kerry in the half and Fran and Gillian in the full. Sending all our collective energy your way!


I’ve been thinking lately about big, long undertakings. Especially as I try to increase my time biking in preparation for this Ironman. One thing my training partners and I have repeated to ourselves is this: if it feels too hard at any point, slow down. It’s amazing how calming and reassuring this statement is to me. You can just slow down! We all know how to push hard and go fast and make it hurt. And it’s good to know we have this gear. But we don’t always have to use it. In fact, in most events until the very end, and in at least 80-85% of training, we shouldn’t be touching it. I find it funny that I need to remind myself that I have permission to slow down, but just telling myself this makes me feel relaxed and like I can complete what I set out to do.


I’ve even started using this in other areas. Sometimes I take a look at my to-do list and feel such a sense of overwhelm that I just start unproductively flitting back and forth between frantic things. Sure, I can try to whip through everything at hyper-speed, but just the thought of that burns me out. So I tell myself to take a deep breath, and give myself permission to move slowly and accomplish one thing. Everything doesn’t have to feel hard. I can slow down and take my time and get it done. It is amazing how just this mentality can give you breathing room and energy. For me anyway. Maybe most of you have caught on to this long ago! I am newly embracing it though. Slow is way better than “all out or nothing”. Just keep moving. It’ll get you there.


On to tomorrow’s workout – back to Leslie and Lakeshore – 6:05 for drills, 6:15 Go time.


  1. 1 mile tempo, 3 min rest, 4 x 400 w 1 min rest, 3 min rest, 4 x 400 w 1:30 rest, 3 min rest 2-4 x 200 w 1 min rest


This is a classic track workout. It’s pointing at 5K fitness, so not particularly slow. The key is the rest. It’s broken up so you can hit your times without over-extending too much. In a track workout like this, the rest interval will tell you a lot. When we give the workout to our competitive track crew, it is the rest that tells them how fast to go. Sometimes we even say 7 minutes rest before something. That doesn’t mean we are being super generous and nice. It means that next thing is supposed to be pretty damn hard and we want you recovered for it. Don’t worry – we’re not doing this at this point! But just letting you know that the longer rest in the second set implies that you pick it up a few seconds per 400.


I get that this workout doesn’t really follow the theme of my email, but in order to slow down you have to have a faster baseline which you touch sometimes. You can’t slow down from standing still.


  1. If racing in Ottawa, sleep in if it will serve you better! If up and want company, 1 mile at race pace, then 4 x 400 just a tad quicker but not over-extending.


That is all – see you in the am!






Hi Everyone!


Hope you all managed to get some runs in in the heat this past weekend. May as well just get it over with and get some of those hotter, ego-challenging runs in now. You will adapt, but only if you do it!


Isn’t the greenery and full summer vibrancy of colours amazing right now? It feels like it happened overnight. I don’t even remember noticing any buds and suddenly we have full foliage straight from what looked like dead winter branches. But obviously there was a lot happening in all the plants and trees preparing to bloom. In fact, the buds we are seeing blossoming on trees now were formed last August! They were then protected and fed and sheltered until the time was right, and it appears as though they’ve just burst forth from nowhere. It looks like it’s just taken a few days for nature to transform itself, when in reality the transformation has been taking place for the past 9-10 months.


Sometimes I think our training feels like it follows a similar pattern. Often someone will produce a great result or we will surprise ourselves with a training session that we could never have fathomed a year or two or three ago. And we might think: “well, I guess that person is really talented” or “I must have had this in me all along”. But that’s not true. Those “out of the blue” results come from months and sometimes even years of patient work that from the outside might look like it’s not progressing. But it always is. It’s the bud that is formed in August and is protected and fed and nurtured until it is ready to bloom. There is a lot of unglamorous work and seeming day-to-day stagnation that happens in training. And this is the most important stuff. It takes faith and patience, but the truth is that months and sometimes years of patient work is the foundation of strength and development that is required for a full bloom. And then when it happens, people will say, “where did that come from?” “What did you do differently?” And they will look for the “magic workouts” and few “key runs” that made it happen. I’ve seen this pattern in athletes who jump from program to program hoping to find the one that will bring success. When in reality it is the ground-laying, non-results based work that makes the real long term difference. Consistency, consistency, consistency. It’s not glamorous, it’s not sexy, but man, it works.


It wasn’t that one warm, sunny week in May that we had that produced the leaves we’re enjoying now. It was the months and months of careful nurturing through the dead of winter when no one could see anything exciting happening. So keep working and keep the faith! You will blossom when you’re ready.



Onto tomorrow’s workout – Back to hills! With a twist and non-hill option for Ottawa people:


Riverdale Hill (by the clubhouse at Broadview across from The Rooster)


  1. Sets of 3 x hill (nice and powerful) then walk across the street and run tempo the block from Riverdale, to Logan, to Withrow to Broadview. The entire loop is about 1.3K. Walk back to the hill and repeat this sequence 3-4 times.


  1. If doing the Ottawa Marathon or Half Marathon: Do 6 x that loop with 1:30 rest. No hills. First three at half marathon pace, next three a little faster. Option of a 7th at race pace.


  1. If in the beach or doing on your own, the Riverdale hills is about 200m, and you can do a 1K loop or out and back.


I’ll be there at 6:05 for some light warm-ups before we start!


See you soon 






Hi Everyone!


We had some fun races this past weekend: a few people ran the Sporting Life 10K as part of their long run, some raced it (including our 75-year-old honourary member Tim Hammil), and we had a few people who ran a 14K trail run in Kelso. I hear there are some hills out that way! Way to go all!


This weekend I attended a coaching course put on by Athletics Canada. It was a neat course, but one of the best things about it was the opportunity to meet with other coaches and discuss different coaching theories, techniques, questions and shared experiences. What I found very interesting was that we had a mix of long-time athletes who had competed at the university level, an Olympian, a multi-sport athlete and a newer community run group based runner. But no one was the expert. We laughed about some of the “old ways” we used to do things. The Olympian struggled with some of the new drills we were introduced. There were some scenarios that we had to agree to disagree on, but we’re still rolling them over in our minds. What this led me to understand is that we never stop learning. Once you become an “expert” in something, if you think you have all the answers, you are in trouble. And sometimes you can learn the most from the new person who asks the right questions.


That’s why I love coaching this group. Each one of you presents a unique compilation of strengths and weaknesses and physical, emotional and intellectual make-ups. It is a puzzle to figure out how to put all of those into a pot and come out with a perfect creation. Sometimes we over or under cook it a bit, and sometimes we realize we left out an ingredient or two, or maybe added something that made the flavours not perfectly balance. All that means is that we are learning. I have experience, but I by no means have all the answers. I love it when you come to me and say “hey, I think I need this”, or “I’d like to try this”. I’ll let you know if I think it’s way off base, but for the most part, I’m totally open to learning with you. So thank-you all for continuing to experiment and teach me as we go. This lifelong learning thing really is fun.


Onto tomorrow’s workout: Back to Lakeshore! 6:05 drills, 6:15 GO time


3 sets of 3 x 600 w 1:15 rest. 3 minutes between sets. The trick: start at a pace that you’ll be able to shave 2-3 seconds off per set. So first 3 probably around 10K pace, next three a bit faster, last three a bit faster. IF you are training for an upcoming 5K or 10K: take 3 minutes and then do one last one fast. Ottawa people, depending on how you feel at the end, you can do one last one at Half or Marathon race pace.


Fartlek style: 3 x 2 min @ 10K pace w 1:15 easy, 3 easy, 3 x 2 min faster w 1:15 easy, 3 min easy, 3 x 2 min faster w 1:15 easy. Option of one last fast 2 min section after 3 min easy.


If you raced Mississauga or Sporting Life and are not training through for something else, keep the paces all at the first set pace. Just a re-entry into “speed” work without too much extending.


If speed work is still relatively new to you, do 3 x (2 x 600). Nail the effort before going for volume.


Sound fun? See you in the am!







Hi Everyone!


Wow – what a weekend of running and racing! We had 14 people running between the Full and Half in Toronto and Mississauga. Everyone who ran the marathon got a BQ, there were many PB’s and strong performances all around. It really made me so proud and happy for all of you.


It’s kind of amazing actually. We look around and might think: ya – this is what I should be able to do. But I read recently that only .1% of the world have run a marathon, and only 1% of Americans (no stats on Canadians). Of those, way less than half qualify for Boston. So remember, when comparing yourself, that you’re comparing yourself against a pretty accomplished group.


And this is not a bad thing, and in fact leads me to what I have been thinking about: the philosophy that you become the average of the 5 people you hang around with most. I feel immensely fortunate that on most days I have a pick of smart, funny, wise, compassionate, fierce, generous people to interact and run with. If I become the average of the people in this group I will feel very grateful. And everyone here is in it to share it. There are no solo performances. As inspired as I was by all of the runners out there on the weekend, I was just as moved and inspired by their teammates who drove or biked or ran out to spend their Sundays cheering them on. And those who have shared countless dark, early morning miles, strength exercises, long runs and hills. Not everyone raced this weekend, but those races were a culmination of everyone’s contribution.


As some of you know (because I probably talk about it ad-nauseum), I’m training for an Ironman this summer. The reason? 10 ppl from this group are doing it and it felt welcoming and fun. Ok, it’s hard and intimidating and exhausting and a tad terrifying, but I would be nowhere without my teammates. There is always a smiling pool buddy, a “no-drop” bike ride, an early morning running bud. And the very best part? All good people who raise me up in all areas. If I don’t come away from a run or a bike faster, at least I come away probably smarter and definitely happier.


So yes, when you choose to hang out with top-notch folk, it’s possible to get caught in the comparison trap and feel like you’re not measuring up. But flip that around and remember that we are all lifting each other up. And I love you all for that!


Onto tomorrow’s workout:

Back to Lakeshore. 6:05 drills, 6:15 Go

Anyone who raced on the weekend, no workout! If you ran the marathon, no running for a week and maybe ease into workouts after if you feel ok. Half marathoners can start running this week but no workouts till next week.


1 mile tempo. 3 min rest. 8 x 200/200 Hard/Float (edit: we took a 3 min break after the first 4)

The idea is that you go fast (but not grabbing your knees at the end fast bc you have to keep going) and then straight into 200 “float” which is somewhere around marathon race pace. So not a jog. With this workout, you can work on increasing your “float” pace vs. increasing your “fast” pace for performance benefits. Works on your ability to clear lactate, your stamina and strength (as it pertains to maintaining speed). Fun, right?


See you in the am!