Mixing it up

Hey Everyone!


Hope you all had a great long weekend. In races we had Brianna (2nd overall!), Jen and Ingrid all running the Toronto Women’s 5K! Way to get out there crew. As we all know, this is not a fast course but it is always a great event.


I was up north this weekend, and did a long-ish run for me these days. The last season I’d been up there training it had been for an Ironman, so my memory was fresh with long rides along those roads. As I was running this time, I turned to enter the last 6K stretch, and my mind said “so easy – we’re almost done”. This was odd because I can recall this stretch feeling super long and hard, and like I might not make it. But when I was on the bike (my most recent experiences), it really was just the last little bit. So my mind remembered what it represented on the bike, and it felt like the last little bit and was not a big mental battle.


I am currently training for a lot shorter distances on the track. Again this is putting my perception of paces and distances into different perspectives. I just completed an entire workout on the track, including warm-up and cool-down which took about an hour. And I covered 3 kilometers total in the workout. Which sometimes represents just the first rep in other workouts. It was broken up, and there was lots of rest, and I hit speeds I haven’t touched in years. And it was super fun!


My point behind all of this is that it is important to mix things up so that we can break out of our old paradigms of thought and experience. Now is a great time to experiment with training for “off distances” – whether shorter or longer than your usual. I see many people in our group doing this and I love it. The long rides can really put time and distance into perspective. And the shorter, faster training can really make your marathon race pace feel cruisey and not too intense (at least at first). Of course specificity of training helps, especially as you get closer to your event, but I do believe it’s important to “play” at other distances to keep your mind and body fresh. In Angela Duckworth’s book GRIT, she credits the grittiest people as being able to incorporate nuance into their pursuits. Nuance keeps it fresh and interesting and exciting. And importantly it allows you to experience your pursuit with a new perspective. So if you feel yourself getting a little stale in what you’re doing, my advice to you is to shake it up. Do a trail race, hit the track, get on the bike and do a long ride, … anything that will allow you to make the old new again. That just might be the mental edge you need to break through in your next race.


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


  1. 2 x 800 @5K pace w 2 min rest. 4 min rest. 4 x 600 @ a little faster w 2 min rest. 4 min rest. 4 x 200 @ faster w 1:15 rest.

Yes, this is more rest than we’re used to. Let’s work on getting our legs used to running a touch faster than usual. We will accumulate volume at these faster paces, and then eventually we can increase the distances and take down the rest.

  1. If going by time, 2 x 3 min @ 5K pace w 2 min rest. 4 min rest/easy jog. 4 x 2 min faster w 2 min rest/easy, 4 min rest, 4 x 30 seconds fast w 1:15 easy


That is all – see you in the am!