The good, the bad and the ugly

Hi All!


Hey look – it’s March! Spring rivals Fall as most runners’ fave running season. I know we’ve had some seriously emotionally turbulent weather. And it will probably still give us a fair bit of back and forth, but for the most part we’re through the worst of it. And Spring is the time for races! There are quite a number of great ones coming up – from the Achilles 5K & 10K, the Chilly Half, Around the Bay (5K or 30K), the CRS Spring Run Off, the Bum Run, … If you’re racing a Spring Marathon, I do recommend throwing at least one shorter one in in the lead-up.


This weekend Aliphine Tuliamuk won the USATF Half Marathon in 1:09:37. A fast time for sure – not record breaking. What I thought was interesting was when she posted it on Instagram, I saw a comment from her teammate, pro runner Sara Hall. Sara said something to the effect of “See! I TOLD you you weren’t out of shape!” This made me smile. Aliphine is an Olympian and professional runner. You would think she would be able to tell objectively whether she’s “in shape” or not, but she obviously still has those “I’m not sure if I’m in good shape” doubts and voiced them openly – at least to her teammates. Who can’t relate?? When we’re training, we have good runs, we have mediocre runs, and we have bad runs. One elite runner claims it’s the law of thirds: you have about that percentage of training runs in each bucket. A third go really well, a third are fine, and a third go poorly. This is regardless of our experience and running ability. It is just how training and the body flows. So we’re left constantly doubting ourselves and questioning whether we’re fit, mediocre, or out of shape. And we keep trying to allay our fears by “proving ourselves” in workouts. But this is not what workouts are for. They are there to help us to challenge ourselves in various different ways – sometimes physically and sometimes mentally – and to work on building us up one piece at a time. Sometimes they’re there just to support and maintain the work that came before them so we can take a breath, lay a stronger foundation, and get ready for our next one. They work in combination with the runs that came before and to set up the runs that will come after. They are all just part of a whole system that will only be revealed on race day. It is impossible to predict a race through one or a series of workouts. They are just there – little bits of stimuli – on our good days and bad days – to help to support the overall building. And when we get to our key race we will probably look back and say, “well … I’ve had some great workouts, some so-so workouts, and some pretty bad ones” and we’ll have to be ok that that is how it goes, and we will race with the knowledge that we showed up on all the days anyway and will give it our best shot.


For tomorrow, back to Lakeshore and Leslie – 6:05 drills, 6:15 Go time!


  1. 6-8 x 800 w 1:30 Just straight up – nothing fancy. Start at Half Mara pace and work down to 10K pace.
  2. If racing Chilly Half – 3-4 of them.
  3. If going by time: 6-8 x 3 min w 1:30


That is all – see you in the am!