Heading into the last part of winter, your mind shifts into thoughts of the upcoming racing season.
For both scenarios, this is an ideal time to evaluate your off season training progress as well as what steps are going to be needed to kick into gear. There are certain steps that a runner should look at when physically and mentally preparing for an early season event. Your week should consist of a medium run, a cross training day, one or two easy days, a tempo run, a speed workout, and one or two off days. It’s time to get your feet wet and your legs muddy at Golden Ears this weekend, the first race of the 2011 5 Peaks trail running season.
The 8.8 kilometer Sport and 14 kilometer Enduro courses will test both beginner and experienced runners alike with a combination of single and double track terrain through Golden Ears Provincial Park. Golden Ears Provincial Park lies in the Coast Mountains 11 km north of Maple Ridge on the north side of the Fraser River. My mother recently went to a chiropractor, and he stated that it is unhealthy to run marathons only two weeks apart. Too many times athletes I’ve worked with start off with grandiose and unachievable goals for themselves.
Remember that the journey is as great, if not greater, than the end result or race day event. He has been guiding runners to reach their personal best at any level, from the novice looking to reach the finish line for the first time to the experienced runner looking for extra guidance and accountability.
The Sport course contains a total elevation gain of 324 meters while the Enduro course boasts twice that amount.
You’re carrying a workload that probably puts you in the top 10 percentage of runners training today when it comes to mileage.


I love the dream and I love process to get there, but in the end, the athlete needs to be true to themselves and what’s possible.
It usually coincides with where they are in their training program as they head towards an event. Start off with 2 mile repeats when you first do this workout and do no more than 4 as you progress.
Every Tuesday, world-renowned coach, author and athlete Hal Higdon posts and answers athlete questions here. Higdon estimates that more than a quarter million runners have finished marathons using his training programs, and he also offers additional interactive programs at all distances through TrainingPeaks. With that, don’t expect a PR in an early season race or that you will be peaking by then. The last portion, let’s say the final 2 miles or 25 percent of your time remaining, shoot for goal race pace plus 15 to 20 seconds.
For a relative newcomer, whose pre-marathon weekly mileage was only 15-25 miles a week, or who had never run before, I would say, yes. Hopefully you have and the next step is to consider what your race pace will be for such races.
Working with a coach, there is a guidance and accountability that will go a long way to success.
You can also use a multitude of running calculators that can be found online to help with getting a grasp with getting a good training pace for yourself. I have never experienced any major injuries, and it takes me about 3-4 days to recovery after a marathon.
There probably is some residual muscle damage and glycogen depletion that is hard to measure, but you can soldier on and get through a second marathon within two weeks.


I tell my athletes to look at the results as something they have earned and a starting point for what’s to come. Doing this workout, you will get a good sense of what you can handle in terms of a race pace. Whatever you choose, your goal is 4 to 6 at goal race pace with a full recovery of a 300 meter to 400 meter walk. That person will barely have recovered from number one, thus bad things may happen in number two, although don’t ask me for a check-list.
That doesn’t mean you will be able to maximize your potential in one or both races, but you should be able to finish in reasonably good shape.
Keep in mind that your adrenaline will kick in on race day so don’t worry about hitting a goal race pace during this workout.
If you examine my Marathon Recovery programs, you will discover that I suggest a 5-week post-marathon recovery period ending with a Welcome-Back 10-K. Bring your cell phone and call Mom to tell her you still are healthy after you cross the line.
The warm up and cool down is standard for all of your workouts with the exception of the medium long runs.



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