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Data Driven 1/2 Marathon Training

This year I ran just over 1200 km I started with a 5km goal in mind and I am ending the year determined to qualify for 2021 Boston Marathon. I don’t call myself a runner, I do it to stay fit. As I learn more about the sport, I find myself trying to adapt to the changing dynamics of my body, the pressure of foot hitting the asphalt and mostly learning from each run. To keep me motivated, I had set a goal in 2020. A goal that will drive me to run faster and embrace something that can be so mentally challenging.

My first goal: The Toronto Half Marathon May 3, 2020 to assess where I am at. My goal expectation is to run this race inside 1:45:00 (Pace: 4:58). Ideally I would like to run it faster but I am not sure if I can. You see my journey started like almost 5 weeks ago. I was chatting with my marathon running cousin who suggested we both run a marathon to qualify for Boston in 2021. So this gave us one year to pick a race and qualify for Boston.

At the end of this November 2019, I ran 124 km and my longest run was 17 km. December I pushed myself to 200 km and my longest run is 23 km. This is the most I have ever run in a month and most I have ever run continuously. So yes I have doubts but I am optimistic.

Early October I had injured myself and had limited running for almost 5 weeks. In November I ran 70 hours for 124 km. In December I ran for 59 hours for about 200 km and that is 11 hours of less running for an extra 76 km. The numbers don’t lie, I am getting quicker but how quick I have not figured that out yet.

I am relying on a number of tools driven from my Garmin Forerunner 25, my iPhone camera and an Excel Spreadsheet. I run alone on the streets of Oshawa. So the data matters to me. My belief is we can all run a marathon but I am almost certain majority do not run a marathon for time.

At this point almost 4 months out, I believe I am where I should be. I have 1 long run a week they will exceed 20 km, in 2020. I run an easy km between 6 to 12 easy kms and I have one day of intense training, The training requires me to go faster and faster. I average 4.32 a km on those days. I do about 5 runs a week. My rest days I am adapting to Yoga for Runners, and one day of strength training using resistant bands.

So why does this data matter. Well I run by myself, I do not have a coach to watch my weakness or tell me where to improve. I believe I need to evaluate my progress and I need to see where I am making mistakes. The challenge now is knowing the unknown and using the data to get me to Boston.


I am training to qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2021. But I don't want to just run the race. I want to run the race with a good time. The training started Nov 2019. The goal is run, run and run.

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