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Preparing for Vancouver BMO 2017

by Troy Scott


On Friday, January 27, I signed up for the Vancouver BMO 2017 marathon. This will be my second full marathon. I started getting serious about running in the summer of 2015. Before that I used to run a few months a year during the summer and fall months. At best I was running 50 to 150 KM per year. Enough distance to prepare for the annual Sun Run but definitely not enough for a full or half marathon.

Unfortunately, as I got older (44) running "part" time was actually doing more damage than good. While training for the Sun Run in 2014 I developed bursistis in my left hip and even though I completed the race it took me over 1 1/2 hours to run the 10 KM course. After the race it took over 3 weeks to recover and my weight was also climbing.

At the age of 44 I thought my days of running were over. Luckily I met a personal trainer at the local gym who had the knowledge and rigth attitude to get me back in shape. Three months of strenght and core training was enought to get me running again in the summer of 2015 (now 45). First month I ran about 40 KM, second month the distance was up to 80 KM. By the 3rd month I was running over 100 KM.

In October 2015 I completed my first half marathon and then set my sights on the 2016 Vancouver BMO. Looking back this probably wasn't a good idea. Physically I was in good shape but I did not take the preparation seriously. If you are going to run a marathon you have to put in the miles and you have to have a solid plan and follow it consistently. Although I finished the 2016 marathon it took me about 5 hours and 20 minutes at the cost to some damage to the right ankle. Luckily the injury to ankle was do to overuse and I quickly recovered in 4 to 6 weeks.

For the 2017 BMO Marathon I have been preparing for over a year. I have run 3 1/2 marathons in the last 3 months and learned to rest for a week or two after each race. With just only 3 months to prepare for the marathon, it is important that I try to keep to the game plan. This week (starting Jan 30) is week 1 of my training plan. For the next month I am going to use a combination of HIT and Running. As i get closer to race day I will decrease the HIT sessions with my trainer and focus on the running (80 KM per week is the goal).

Here is an overview of the week 1 plan:

  • Mon: 5 to 8 KM run
  • Tues: 5 to 8 KM run
  • Wed: HIT Training Session
  • Thurs: 5 to 8 KM run
  • Fri: HIT Training Session
  • Sat: HIT Training Session
  • Sun: 8 to 10 KM run

Since I am training everyday I use a range for my running distance. In most cases the running pace will be a slow jog. Probably 30 to 60 seconds per KM slower than my race pace. Since I just completed a 1/2 marathon last week, I am keeping the mileage low for the first week. Hopefully total running distance will be about 25 KM for Week 1.

At this poing I am not too concerned about hill or speed training. The HIT sessions with my trainer definitely compensate for that. But as I get closer to the race date it is important t practice hills outside on the road or trail. Speed training is also important. If you want to run faster then you simply need to run faster. I'll try to make a post once a week on my trainig progress.