Marathon Monday: Road2Hope Marathon Training Week 2

Two weeks done and feeling good so far.  I know, I am nowhere near the tough stuff yet but I am pleased that I am enjoying my running and making some improvements.  I started really focusing on form, in part because I finally used my SoleFit gait and footwear analysis gift certificate that I bid on way back at a MadTrapper snowshoe race.  There are definitely things I do right (no heel striking, consistent 180 cadence, no overstriding) but I also walked away with some things to work on.  I am very tight in my hips, which has been the cause of my piriformis and occasional sciatica pain.  I am also quite stiff in my ankles. I don’t quite complete my stride, bringing my foot up and forward a little early.  My feet fall to the centre of my body rather than landing under my hips.  My left heel doesn’t touch the ground at all and my left foot turns out rather than pointing forward.  It was quite fascinating to watch myself on the computer screen doing things I had no idea I did!  All of my runs since Thursday have been about concentrating on these areas that need work.

I was also given stretches to do, which I believe are already making a difference.  In particular, the bridge stretch and lunges seem to be loosening up my hips.  As for shoes, my Salomon trail shoes and my Nike Lunar Tempos are fine.  My Asic Nimbus, as I thought, are more shoe than I need.  While I have a footfall that would work fine with a very minimalist drop, my tight ankles and calves mean I am not ready yet to go below a 6mm drop, but I definitely don’t need more than 8.  I was given a list of shoes to try, including the Mizuno Hitogami.  I have yet to find them in my size but I did try a size down and it is quite possible that they could be a good shoe for me.  They have a little more cushioning than my Nikes but have the same light feel.  My challenge for the marathon is going to be to find the perfect shoes for me – lightweight but enough cushioning to help me through 42 km.

Here is how the week of July 6-12 looked:


  • 7k, 41:25 high humidity but felt good.
  • deep water pool running, 45 minutes

Tuesday: off


  • 11k, LSD, 6:20 pace including water break.


  • Gait analysis at SoleFit


  • 5k, 30 minutes


  • 5k, easy pace with a friend, rolling hills
  • Kayaking, relaxed, 20 or 30 minutes, then out again later working a little harder for about 30 minutes (but once again had to stop to watch the loons and their babies!)


  • 3k progression run, rolling hills
  • “Swimming” 30 minutes in the lake.  Not really swimming but lots of slow kicking, treading water, etc.


I am still not running quickly but I am reminding myself that I don’t need to be right now.  At this moment my priority is to do whatever I can to avoid injury and that means getting a strong base without pushing too much or too quickly.  One thing I plan on doing differently this training session is really slowing my long runs down.  I still struggle with that idea because I panic that I won’t be able to pick up the pace on race day.  I know the science is there confirming that slow long runs work, I just have to get my head and body to believe it.  Patience is also a factor… sometimes I just want to get those long runs done!  As for any speed work, I will wait a little longer.  I will start adding strides in next week but that will be the extent of my speed work for now.  Hills are happening naturally every time I do a run in cottage country, though soon I will need to find some very long downhills to help prepare for the 5 or 6 kms of decline at the Road2Hope Marathon.  Piece by piece, the training plan is coming together!


12 thoughts on “Marathon Monday: Road2Hope Marathon Training Week 2

  1. Ann-Marie

    Hello! I’m new to your blog and am also from Ottawa and also training for the Road to Hope Marathon. I’ve ran it once before and it resulted in a huge PB!! Its a well-organized race and the downhill is a definite bonus! 🙂 I look forward to following along with your training 🙂 😉

    1. kristi Post author

      Hi Ann-Marie and welcome to the blog. I would love to hear about your Road2Hope Marathon experience! Would you mind if I emailed you to touch base? I would also like to hear about your training for this year. I like that “huge PB” part you mentioned 🙂 Hope we can connect – always fun to hear from other Ottawa runners.

    1. kristi Post author

      It was my first time there and I definitely learned quite a bit. I guess if you are a really technically correct runner you might not get the full value, but I knew by some of my aches and pains that there were things that needed fixing. It was good to have someone look at my form and figure it out. You only have to run for about 5 minutes and it is amazing what you see in that short recording. I liked having the shoe recommendations too.
      How was your race last weekend?

      1. Jerome Lambourne

        Sydenham lakeside, 10k PB 52:38. 4th overall, 3rd men, 1st in my age group. Small race helps 🙂
        It was hot and there was a steep hill in the middle. Cooler weather, flatter course, I think there’s a 51:XX in these legs.

          1. Jerome Lambourne

            According to sportstats, your 10k PB is faster than mine, so you shouldn’t be feeling slow 🙂

  2. Rebecca

    I’m curious to see how much my form has changed from my gait analysis from last year. I notice in race photos that I don’t whip my legs back any more – any in the Brooks shoes, it looks like I barely heel strike anymore.

    You might actually like the Wave Inspires – they are very light weight for shoes with cushioning.

    Sounds like a good week of training!

    1. kristi Post author

      I might be shoe shopping tonight, I’ll try on a pair of the Inspires too.
      Glad to hear you were able to run relatively pain free last week!

  3. Carl Wright

    Stride analysis is something I have very briefly thought about, but have not gone any further Kristi. This looks quite interesting with how you have written about it.

    I will be in Toronto at STWM, 2 weeks before the Road2Hope. Would love to do Hamilton, but don’t know if my body could do 2 marathons over 2 weeks. I have heard about that long downhill, which is pretty cool! 🙂


    1. kristi Post author

      Two marathons in two weeks would be a lot! STWM was one of the races I thought about for this year. Definitely a well run race with a great course.


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