Day 1 Week 1

Posted by bernicky - February 28th, 2005

Day one week one Marathon count down. ING Ottawa is 12 weeks away – today is the official start of my training routine. 20 lbs heavier than I want to be but ready to go. I will be posting frequently about the training I am doing. Here is the schedule I plan to follow.

Each week includes 1 rest day. Speed work sessions are to be 1 hour long. A speed work session is a combination of sprints followed by jogs – Fartlek.

1. Week 1: Run 22K one day, do one speed work session one day and run 8K on other days.

2. Week 2: Run 24K one day, do one speed work session one day and run 10K on other days.

3. Week 3: Run 25K one day, do one speed work session one day and run 12K on other days.

4. Week 4: Run 16K on a hilly course one day, do one speed work session one day and run 13K on other days. This is going to be difficult not a lot of hills around where I live. Fortunately the Ottawa marathon is a pretty flat course.

Maintaining Stamina

1. Week 5: Run 29K one day, do one speed work session one day and run 8K on other days.

2. Week 6: Run 16K miles on a hilly course one day, do one speed work session one day and run 13K on other days.

3. Week 7: Run 32K one day, do one speed work session one day and run 8K on other days.

4. Week 8: Run 16K miles on a hilly course one day, do one speed work session one day and run 13K on other days.

5. Week 9: Run 35K one day, do one speed work session one day and run 8K on other days.

Tapering Off

1. Week 10: Run a 15K or half-marathon practice race. Do one speed work session one day and run 8K on other days.

2. Week 11: Run 16K one day, do one speed work session one day and run 8K on the other days.

3. Week 12: Do a little speed work (about half of your normal workout) one day and jog 5K on two other days. Run the marathon.

Went long – owww

Posted by bernicky - February 27th, 2005

I did a long run yesterday. 25 kilometers (15.6 miles) which is a little over half the marathon distance of 42 kilometers 195 meters. I was running for endurance training not for speed or to have a quick time which is a good thing because it took 2 hours and 40 minutes to do the distance. It was chilly and damp which resulted in a very cool picture I asked Lynn to take when I finished my run:

Despite having some pretty sore leg muscles today the run proved to me that I will be able to be ready for the Ottawa Marathon.

A big thank you for the positive messages left – they are appreciated.

Changing schedules

Posted by bernicky - February 24th, 2005

I have decided to take the plunge and run a marathon.

May 29th at 7:30 AM I will set off on a 42K run in Ottawa particpating in the ING National Capital Race Weekend. That only gives me 12 weeks to get ready. I lost 1 month of training in January but recovered well in February so I think I can be ready.

Going long is unlike any other sporting event I have ever participated in. It is brutal and as physically demanding as it is, it is probably equally if not more mentally demanding. I have run 20K training runs, but have never gone farther than that. On Saturday I will start my training with a 2.5 hour run and see how much ground I can cover at a leisure pace. From there it is non stop training daily for 10 weeks followed by 2 weeks of taper training. I have to up my distances from the 40 or so K per week I am running now to closer to 80K per week with one long run 2.5-3 hours once a week.

It is a lot of training, but the upside is after the taper I should be ready to run a marathon and complete it in 4 hours or less. It might be possible to complete it in 3:40 but quicker than that would probably be out of range. It would be a hoot if I could do it in 3:20 and qualify for Boston.

After Ottawa I will take a week off from training and then throw myself back into training for the June 20th Mont Habitant Triathlon. With luck I will be able to finish that too. I have 10 K races planned for March, April, July and August with another Tri planned for September followed by another 10 K in October and the last one of the season in November. For some reason there are no local races in December and January.

That is my plan for the summer.

My friend Tracy and her beau Brian have their own web log now at where they write frequently about life and their sport in Japan. They are both into fixed gear bikes all of a sudden, no idea why when gears seem to make so much sense to me. They don’t explain their passions so much as tell you what they are doing with them – always an interesting read.

In the swim

Posted by bernicky - February 23rd, 2005

Back in the pool again. Last night was only the third time that I have been in the pool this month, but it is starting to get easier.

Swimming is hands down tougher than cycling or running though it does not burn as much energy as the others during the same space of time. The way the triathlon is structured the amount of energy expended increases for each event. A 170 lb man doing a sprint distance Tri will burn about 300 calories on the swim, 700 on the bike and 900 on the run and finish the whole even in about two and a quarter hours if he is slow.

The pool is a lot like other sports for me though. I marvel at the ease with which others execute their strokes and turns just as on the bike I marvel at the cyclists who zip by me or on the run the guys who go by me like I was standing still. It is essentially useless to say that you cannot compare yourself to others in these things because we do compare ourselves to others all the time. It is partially what drives us – the desire to be better not just better than we are now but better than someone else. I would like to think that I have risen above that kind of thinking as I have gotten older but I haven’t. I want to finish first all the time no matter how unreasonable an expectation that may be.

Going down

Posted by bernicky - February 19th, 2005

Since being able to seriously exercise again (the cracked ribs are pretty much healed now) I have started to drop a few pounds again. My weight had been hovering in the 180 range has now retreated to the 175 range.

Looking at the range rather than the specific weight is kind of new for me, but it only makes sense. My weight will vary by 2 pounds in either direction on any given day so I don’t worry about it as long as it is trending downward. Getting back to running was a relief after almost a month of being unable to do any exercise other than the bike. Recently I have also made it back to the pool to get ready for what is the hardest part of the triathlon – the swim. Swimming has been going quite well with my times steadily dropping as my technique and wind improves in the pool. There is no doubt in my mind that swimming is first in the Triathlon because if it was last too many people would die!

On a dietary note one thing I have noticed of late is that I am not eating bread or pasta anymore. It just hasn’t made it’s way into my diet since December with the exception of the occassional bagel. Strange really but I guess on the carb front the volume of oatmeal cookies and Quaker Harvest Crunch Granola probably makes up for it.

My very first 10K race on Feb 6 went very well. 48.08.59 was my official time. That was fast for me but placed me in 136th position out of a field of 159 runners (40th in my age group with 70 competitors). The next race will be in mid March – another 10K and after that a half-marathon either in Montreal (the city of tickets) or Ottawa.


Posted by bernicky - February 17th, 2005

Life has been insanely busy of late. There is no slowing down for fear of being run over by my own life. The old John Lennon quote “Life is what happens while you are making other plans” really seems to fit with me right now. Between teaching, installing computers and networks, maintaining websites (my newest one was for GB Envirionmental) training for the triathlon in June and all the sundry aspects of maintaining a household I barely have time to breath.
On top of all of that James Martell released an updated version of his book which has been a hugh success but also means long hours doing the support desk for me.
It really has been an insane few weeks with no break in site. If it weren’t for being able to get out and go for a run no and then I think I would explode from the tension.

Life has been busy

Posted by bernicky - February 7th, 2005

Tomorrow I will be 42 which means I will have been writing this blog for 2 years now. Aside from my marriage that is the longest commitment I have ever made to anything.

Last week I had to cut two players from the badminton team. One girl was cut from the girls’ bantam level and one boy was cut from the boys’ bantam level. I felt like crap doing it. The real problem is that there are still 2 too many boys on the boys’ team we have an embarrassment of riches.

Sony, EMI, Koch and Fox have all started sending review material to us at our funny site. It is amazing what a little PR and a lot of time consuming reviews can do to generate interest. We are really happy about all the attention from the major labels. It will go a long way to making the site really click.

I have been working out regularly and have been able to start running again with the ribs on the mend. I barely notice them anymore. On Sunday I ran in a 10K race and finished 136th out of a field of 255 40th in my age group which had 70 participants. That makes me about average. Something I know already but life never seems to tire of reminding me.

Lynn is definitely going under the knife, but she is also definitely going to Vancouver for the big dragon boat races in June. So we have to figure the surgery will take place after the big race. It’s going to be another entertaining summer at the hospital.