Toronto’s Rejean Chiasson is not messing around in preparation for the Boston Marathon.
On Monday, Chiasson, the 2012 Canadian Marathon champion, ran 42K in a time that would win many small marathons. The Adidas Runners Toronto and Pace and Mind head coach covered 42.2K in 2:33:55 (moving time) with his elapsed time being 2:37:56. The approximately 3,600-calorie effort came on the Martin Goodman Trail along Lake Ontario in Toronto as well as in High Park– not a flat area by any means. He posted the workout to Strava, a social media platform where users post physical activity.
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During the run, his slowest kilometre was a 4:02 (though if grade-adjusted, the effort was about the equivalent of a 3:35 kilometre) and his fastest split was 3:29. Overall, taking into account his moving time, Chiasson averaged 3:39 per kilometre, and 181 steps per minute, during the effort.
He is preparing for the 121st Boston Marathon on and regularly puts in more than 200K per week in hopes of running around 2:22 come April 17. During the week of Jan. 30 to Feb. 5, for example, Chiasson put in 217K.
To put Chiasson’s run in perspective, consider similar runs done by other Canadians. Bryan Rusche became the winner of the GoodLife Fitness Toronto Marathon when he ran a slightly slower time of 2:35:54. Reid Coolsaet, Canada’s fastest active marathoner and the second fastest Canadian of all-time over that distance, put in a similar effort in October, post-Rio and ahead of the Fukuoka Marathon, where he ran 2:10:55 in his training.
Last weekend, Chiasson ran 1:07:34 at the Chilly Half-Marathon in Burlington, Ont. finishing third to Tristan Woodfine and Blair Morgan. He has a lifetime best in the marathon of 2:17:47 and 1:05:04 in the half-marathon. Chiasson hasn’t raced a marathon in five years.
Canadian Running caught up with Chiasson on Tuesday morning to chat about the previous day’s training. He’s coached by Eddie Raposo.
Canadian Running: How did it go/how did it feel?
Rejean Chiasson: My 42K long run felt great, I felt more relaxed doing this run than any of my 35K long runs so far in this build up.
CR: Why did you do it and what was the purpose of the run for your training?
RC: Because coach Eddie [Raposo] said so! For myself there are a few benefits of covering 42K in training. First, as a runner my strength is my strength, and the ability to recover from large training loads. So we want to take advantage of this and be very marathon specific with my training, get my legs used to covering that much ground and still hold a solid pace at a “relaxed” effort. This was also a great opportunity to have a dress rehearsal and wake up four hours before the run, eat the same thing I’ll be eating on race morning, and take in as many gels as I will in Boston during the race.
Will you do any more of these 42.2K runs before Boston?
No this will be the only one I’ll do until Boston.
How do you feel for Boston (in five weeks). Any goals you’re willing to share with us?
Physically, I’m as well prepared as I can be with the time I had available. I’m starting to feel like my old self. Racing the Chilly Half last week was a good confidence builder running faster than I expected and a chance to get the competitive juices flowing again and sparking that killer instinct needed to race at my full potential. Not having raced/trained for a marathon in five years I’m very excited to race. Adding to the Boston hype, over 20 runners from Pace & Mind will also be there, 11 racing the marathon, and some racing the 5K. It’s going to be a crazy weekend! Goal-wise I still have to sit down with my coach but I’m thinking below 2:22 would be a good place to be for now. With a solid next five weeks, sneaking under 2:20 might be possible under great conditions.