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To the thin line beyond which you really can’t fake

April 21, 2009

No beating around the bush,  I’m going to run the  Ottawa Marathon on May 24th!

This is going to raise a few questions, here are the answers to the obvious ones…

Why run a marathon? 

My X-training volume has been high since the beginning of the year and that type of training is physiologically closer to Marathon training than 5000m training.  Also, my tempo runs and longer intervals are at a higher level relative to my track workouts right now. 

The standard for the marathon to make the World Championships (2hours 18 minutes) is easier relative to the track times (13:20 for 5km and 27:47 for 10km).  The reality is that I’ve never run a marathon before, so although it is theoretically easier there will not be anything easy about it. 

I have been interested in running a marathon for the past couple of years and with the possibility of Canada sending a full marathon team this year to Worlds it seems like a good time to take a crack at it.  Even if it doesn’t go well I know the training and experience will help me down the road in later marathons.

Why not just train until June and by then my track times should be better? 

I’ve never had a layoff as big as I have in this past year, so either way there are going to be some unknown variables.  It’s also still possible to run fast on the track come July if I run the marathon on May 24th (the last day to qualify for the World Championships on the track is July 26th).

Did I decide to run a marathon after watching Boston yesterday?

No, I had been thinking of this for a while but I didn’t think Dave was going to go for it so I didn’t mention it.  It turns out Dave had been thinking about it as well when looking over my training and when he brought it up a couple of weeks ago I was all over it.  I just needed to make sure I could handle the longer stuff and then commit before I bothered telling people.

Why do a marathon so soon? 

The last day to qualify for the 2009 World Championships is May 24th in the marathon.  Waiting until later is not an option for the marathon. 

Why run a marathon when I don’t have the optimal preparation?

In an ideal world I would of had a longer training block for the marathon however, I am also not trying to run as fast as I would with an ideal build-up.  My 5000m and 10 000m times rank me in the top 4 in the All-Time Canadian rankings, to break into the top four for the marathon I would have to run 2:11:15.  I’m not aiming to go that fast on this outing.

In terms of the marathon what are some of the challenges I will face in the coming four and a half weeks? 

The first of course is 42.2km… I’ve never run that long.  So far I have a 35km run under my belt and with 4.5 weeks remaining I’ll have one more long effort this weekend.

Figuring out what to drink and eat during the event and practising taking it in while running 3:12/km.  Thankfully Dr. Trent Stellingwerff (Powerbar) has been advising me on what to take and when to take it.  I’ll practice taking in fuel on the run this weekend at the Billy Taylor road race.  I’ve also been practicing, a little, already with gels and water bottles.

I’m going to have to get used to running on pavement.  So far the majority of my mileage has been on soft surfaces.  I’ll have to train more on the roads to get my legs used to the impact.

Am I running a marathon to impress all the wankers who ask me if I run marathons when they learn I run professionally?  “Oh, you run…  like marathons?”


Does having a 3-1 record against Ryan Hall mean that I’ll be about as fast as him in the ‘thon?

Not at all, but I thought I’d toot my own horn by asking that question. 

Once I’ve done my marathon does that mean I have to wear my race T-shirt tucked into faded jeans with white running shoes?

Only if I’m going out on the town.

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Here’s an article from the Guelph Mercury about the upcoming Billy Taylor Road Race

  1. April 22, 2009 2:36 am


    good luck.

    others may think you’re nuts, but ‘why not?’

  2. leslie permalink
    April 22, 2009 6:11 am


    You will love the marathon experience!!! Ottawa is a great place for your debut as so much beauty and energy in key spots. It gets pretty quiet in some areas but you have what it takes to stay focussed without all the hoopla. What is absoutely critical is getting used to the pounding on hard pavement – 20 milers with 10 mile tempos in the middle etc. Eating and drinking is not rocket science, but you have to be disciplined in drinking an istonic beverage (i.e. 125-200ml) every 20 minutes (after 45 min-hour into your run) even if you don’t feel like. Enjoy the journey! Leslie

  3. adriandelmonte permalink
    April 22, 2009 6:29 am

    awesome, reid.
    all the best over the next few weeks.
    so glad you’re back in action.

  4. alexhutch permalink
    April 22, 2009 6:52 am

    Awesome! Now I’m reeeally excited to see the Ottawa race. Enjoy the training… 🙂

  5. RMac permalink
    April 22, 2009 7:43 am


    That’s awesome buddy. I really hope to be there to see it since I’m trying to go myself. If I was still in Ontario this weekend I’d come out to do some of that big mileage with you but I’m going home on the 23rd.

    Best of luck

  6. Skuj permalink
    April 22, 2009 8:00 am


    London 2012 Baby!!! 🙂

  7. April 23, 2009 11:12 am

    Sweet! Looking forward to following this new direction. Those last two questions were priceless….

  8. slice permalink
    April 24, 2009 9:58 am

    Giddy UP!! I’ve heard Friday night Bocce Ball is good mental training as well, we’ll see how you do in that!


  9. mpd permalink
    April 25, 2009 12:25 pm

    Good luck at B.T. tomorrow Reid!!! I wish I could be there…


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