Shorter, Faster

The Oakville Half Marathon is only two weeks away. That means I won’t do any more long runs or hill repeats for the next little while. Instead, I’ll concentrate on speed work (not my strength, so I have to make a conscious effort), pace, form, and breathing. With all the steady running I’ve been doing, my endurance is good, and I think I’ve got my head screwed on right for this one. Just need to nail down the speed thing.

As usual, I’ve got a full spectrum of goals for the race. Above all, I want to have fun. I’ve not done the Oakville Half before, but I know the town, and am reasonably familiar with the roads it’ll be run on. It’ll be a pretty route, most of it along the shore of Lake Ontario and through some fairly well-to-do neighbourhoods. The weather promises to be good, too. Secondly, I’d like to acquit myself honourably as far as a finishing time goes. My realistic goal is to finish somewhere between 2:10 and 2:15. My ideal goal is to get as close to two hours as I can. To put that spread in context, my PB for the half is 2:03:18. That was done at the Grimsby Half Marathon in 2009, when I was still a shod runner, in the middle of a training program I’d done with a bunch of runners who were 30 or so years younger than me, as well as much stronger and faster. They pushed me hard, and I responded in kind. Next down the timeline was a 2:07:45 finish at the Run for the Grapes Half, also in 2010, which I ran in my VFF KSOs. Thn came this May’s 2:17:14 finish at the Mississauga Half Marathon, which was my first barefoot half. I feel stronger physically and mentally than I did in May, so we’ll see how that plays out.

This morning, I had a very good barefoot tempo-paced run on neighbourhood streets. On the run, I focused on optimizing my form and breathing while keeping my cadence and pace high. Everything worked as it should, and I felt good about the run. Back to commutes and fartleks for the rest of the week.



  1. Good luck on your race Alan. I can’t wait to get to the distances you are at. They seem crazy to me, but 3 months ago I thought 3 miles was crazy. A month ago I thought 10k was a crazy distance, but I’ve run it twice now, and I’m incoporating it into weekly runs. It’s refreshing to see a post from you in my inbox. Keep up the good work.

    1. You’ll probably find (as I did, and as many runners do) that the distances just sort of roll on by themselves. To be sure, there are physical barriers to doing greater distances, but I feel very strongly that the primary barriers are psychological. As you said, a month ago you thought 10K was a “crazy distance,” but now that you’ve it a couple of times, it doesn’t seem crazy at all. As always, be aptient with yourself, work on your form, and the distances will come. I can see a barefoot half marathon in your future. 🙂

      1. I see one too. Perhaps one we could run together or something. In spirit anyway haha. Oklahoma to Canada is quite a distance, and finding something in the middle might be difficult with traveling and expenses and whatnot.

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