Bay Race Training – 20km in the snow

The title says it all…

Well just a short update on our Around the Bay race training.

This weekend was a 20km run. The forecast looked pretty good so when the snow started to fly on Friday, it caused some concern.

We both wanted to run on Saturday morning and there is something to be said for having someone counting on you to be there…you just don’t want to be the one to ‘call it’.

The temperature was decent, especially the last half of the run, as the sun peeked through the clouds to warm us up even more that we were.

The first half of our out and back run was met with slick, snow covered sidewalks.  The footing was a little treacherous and seemed to wear on the legs a bit.  The second half, when the sun showed itself, was a lot easier as the snow melted on the sidewalks allowing us to speed up a little on the way back, despite having fatigue.

The long run is all about the mileage.  It is easy to get a little disheartened if you look at your watch and realize how long you’ve been out there, but one thing to remember is that the long run is just for the purpose of building the endurance.  The shorter, tempo runs will be the runs that benefit your time on race day.

This week we have to do three runs before the weekend.  We have to run 7km, 12km and 7km this week and a 23 km on the weekend.  The forecast looks good so we hope it won’t be too cold!

I took a picture of Valley Inn Road, the bottom half of the 1 km hill that is placed at the 26km mark of the race.



Bay Race Training

One month down!!!

The month January moved along very quickly and the weather cooperated for the most part here in Ontario, Canada.  Training for the Around the Bay 30km Road Race again and I was quickly reminded of why I took a break for a few years.

You have to train through the winter!

The race is at the end of March and there is just no getting around the winter running.  There is no amount of treadmill running that can prepare you for this race.

Now…I have used the treadmill for the days I only have to run 5km.  The shear boredom of treadmill running is enough to limit me.  I have a theory as well that the treadmill, although I find good for speed work, is harder on my joints that the road.  I tend to pound my feet harder when I run on it and ‘feel’ it the next day.


So we have completed the first month of training using a great schedule I found online.  The training so far, is basically 3 runs through the week and a long one on the weekend.

For January, we ran two 5km runs and one 10km during the week, with one of the 5km runs a little faster.  The long run would come on the Saturday or Sunday, depending on our schedules.  We have built up to 18km, which we have done twice so far.

One of the best years I had running this race was when I trained on the hardest part of the course.  Living about 5 minute drive from the course is really at my advantage here, so for that I am thankful.  For the 18km runs and the next long runs that will be coming up, we decided to drive over to Dundurn Castle, which is right on the course, and park there to run the hardest part of the course.  This part comes at about 5 km from the end of the race.  This part is also home to Valley Inn Road.  Valley Inn Road aka The Hill, is probably about 1 km in length and all up hill.  The last two years, the road has been under construction and has not been included in the race but it is all done and ready for race day!

The pictures are from before construction but it basically looks the same.  They certainly didn’t shave any incline from it!

The hardest part of the Around the Bay is the last 10 km.  The route is hilly, rolly, and long.  This part of the race is mainly on North Shore Blvd and it culminates at Valley Inn Road. By training the long runs and running out and backs along North Shore, we end up running the worst part of the race twice.  I know this seems almost masochistic but it really does help on race day.  The crazy part is that we run down Valley Inn Road and it is just as steep going up the other way.  We then have to run back up to get to our car!  I question my sanity on many occasions.

During the race, once you’ve run 27km and come to the top of Valley Inn Road, you will be greated by The Grim Reaper.  Seriously. There has been a few times I wanted to join him at that point.

So far the training is going well. With the exception of 5 days of flu there have been  no injuries to speak of and the joints are feeling pretty good.  I am trying to include a lot of Yoga as well to keep the muscles stetched out.  We have been using some really good fuel gummies that seem to help with the energy levels.  They are called Skratch energy gels.  They are made from real fruit purees and contain no gelatin.  Great tasting and don’t leave a weird taste in your mouth.



This weekend we will add on and make it an even 20km for our long run.  The weather looks pretty decent and the roads are still pretty clear for footing.

I have to admit that I am actually looking forward to the long run this weekend.

If you’re looking for a challenging winter race, and are in the area, give the Bay Race a try!