Marathon Monday: Road2Hope Marathon Training Week 1

Following in the footsteps of Rebecca over at RunningFoodBaby, I am going to start recapping my training weeks each Monday as I prepare for my fall marathon on November 1st.

It might be a little premature to start posting training weeks.  I have picked a 16 week training schedule, which will officially start next Monday.  But I picked that schedule knowing full well that I needed two weeks of base training to start with, given my lack of training in June.  O.K, I really needed a good four weeks of base training but that wasn’t going to happen.

For my two weeks of base training my goal is no speed work, no worrying about pace (I found that hard), no stressing about how slow I am and the fact that 42 kms is a freaking long way to run (that one was really hard).  Here is what the week looked like:


  • 6.5 km, flat dirt road, a 6:06 pace.  It felt reasonably good, I went farther than the intended 5k, but I certainly had no desire to run faster.
  • 45 minutes of pool running.  I am taking a class once a week and I really enjoyed my first attempt at deep water running.  Helps that the pool is really warm – thank you Dovercourt!

Tuesday: off, travelled up to our cabin in Quebec.


  • 10 km.  I found this run pretty tough.  The day wasn’t hot but I found the humidity overwhelming.  Combine that with the fact that when I run at the cabin there are NO flat roads, well I was panicking a bit about how I will ever run 4 times the distance.  It was very nice though to do the run with my husband, something we don’t get to do often.
  • Swimming (sort of).  This is practically a first for me, but after the run I jumped in the lake.  I hate, really hate, cold water.  I hate it enough that in the past five years I only remember jumping in the lake once.  The turning point this time was the fact that in the last 2k of the run it poured rain.  I figured if I was soaking wet anyways, I might as well just pull off my socks and shoes and jump in.  Sounds simple but I think it took me 10 minutes of standing on the dock contemplating the whole process before I finally made the leap.  I didn’t really swim per se, but I did kick around and tread water for about 15 minutes.  Baby steps…
I'm actually in the lake!

I’m actually in the lake!


  • 4 km of hills on dirt roads at a 6:12 pace
  • Swimming – I jumped in again!  I think it was only a couple of minutes of standing on the dock this time!  More kicking and treading for 15 minutes.  I convinced myself that moving in the cold water would be good for run recovery.


  • 30 minute or more of kayaking.  To be honest though, there was a lot of peaceful floating going on.  This was particularly true when I came across the lake’s pair of loons catching fish for their babies.  What is it about loons that are so fascinating, almost magical to watch?  I’ll call it mental relaxation training rather than marathon training 🙂
  • 3 km run.  Too many hills jammed into a very short run!
  • Swimming.  Made it in the lake again!


  • Maybe I kayaked again?  Hard to keep track of days when relaxing at the lake!
  • Swimming.  Tried out a cheap shorty wetsuit that I bought a couple of months ago and headed into the lake again.  I admit I was hoping the wetsuit would instantly warm me up, but of course that didn’t happen.  I did notice that I started warming up as time went by and as a result I stayed in longer and practiced backstroke and breaststroke.


  •  5.5 km.  Feeling pretty good, but still slowish.  Of course more hills.
  • Kayak.  I decided to make myself work on this one so I did spend most of my time paddling rather than drifting.  I didn’t wear my watch but I think I did somewhere between 2 and 3 kms.
Smiling and shivering!

Smiling and shivering!


I found this week to be a bit of a roller coaster.  I am really happy to be back on a schedule and building up my mileage but I also loved having the month of June to just run when I wanted and to step out of my comfort zone, participating in a trail running clinic and the Mad Trapper Natural Obstacle Off-Trail Race.  Those fun events are not going to stop as I have decided to make trail running a part of my marathon training schedule.  More on that to come, but I will say that there are at least 2, maybe 3 trail races in my near future.

Mentally this past week was a bit tough.  On the one hand those endorphin releases were wonderful.  On the other hand I constantly had to engage in self talk, reminding myself that of course 42.2k seems beyond impossible right now.  On a couple of runs I could actually feel my breathing change and my chest tighten every time I thought about the marathon.  One of my goals though is to focus on the now – no thought about how hard this whole training session will be.  No saying, either to myself or to others, that I am not a marathoner, that the half marathon is really my distance.  I’m hoping that in the next 17 weeks I will develop a stronger mind, not just a stronger body.

All that said, today was a little bit of a boost.  Despite the heat, my 7 km run felt pretty good and for the first time in a while my body just naturally wanted to slip below the 6 minute pace, even as I made a conscious effort to stay steady and slow.  Mentally, that was a nice little bonus 🙂

***Note, I still haven’t managed to write a Salomon S Lab shoe review but it is coming… (spoiler, it is positive!)

More mental relaxation.

More mental relaxation.



6 thoughts on “Marathon Monday: Road2Hope Marathon Training Week 1

  1. Rod


    Nice week of training! Congrats!!!

    I know it’s tough trying to get back into form. But YOU ARE DOING IT!

    You are experienced, you are savvy and you are a very good runner.

    You are also right not to worry about pace or distance right now. Let this training be fun for you too.

    It will all come back. I know it.

  2. Rebecca@RunningFoodBaby

    Nice first week back!

    I’m going to have to try pool running when I’m in California. I have a pool at the house where we are staying and I won’t be able to run much, so pool running it is! If I actually am still marathon training at that point – who knows!?

    1. kristi Post author

      I am keeping my fingers crossed for you! It is early days, I think it will all work out for you.
      I’m going to Sole Fit for a gait analysis this week. I’m hoping that it will help me learn about my running and in turn help me avoid injuries. Also hoping for some good shoe recommendations.
      I went for my second pool running class last night, I am feeling it today!

  3. Karla @ Run, Karla, Run!

    Look at you swimming in the lake! Love it! The beginning of marathon training always feels a bit like staring up at the mountain you’re about to climb. I often have runs throughout marathon training where it just seems like an impossible task. Yet, I’ve made it though 7 marathons and managed to PR at 5 of them. You can and you will!

    1. kristi Post author

      Still can’t believe I got into that cold water. Now that I have done it I guess there is no excuse for me to get out of doing it every time I’m there.

      You are one of my inspirations when it comes to marathons. I think we are similar runners and so it gives me hope when I see what you have done in your 7 marathons!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *