Natasha Wodak is in the beginning stages of her marathon build for December’s NAZ Elite Marathon Project, which will be her first marathon in seven years. Wodak is just under eight weeks out from the race, but running a fast marathon isn’t her only goal — she’s also hoping to reclaim the Canadian half-marathon record during her build. Last week on the Shakeout Podcast, Wodak announced her plan to run a half-marathon this weekend in an attempt to run under Andrea Seccafien’s mark of 1:09:38 from February of this year (Wodak owns the second-fastest time by a Canadian at 1:09:40).
Wodak says she’s enjoying the training and feeling confident in her ever-improving fitness. Beyond her hopes for the weekend, her tentative goal for December is to run a 2:26:55, which is what she needs to secure the third spot on the 2020 Olympic team (Malindi Elmore has run 2:24:50, and only Dayna Pidhoresky has a guaranteed spot). Here are three workouts she’s been doing to get herself ready.
This is a workout that runners can do by feel, which works on helping people get comfortable with pace changes. This can be treated as a speed day. Wodak averaged around 3:00 per kilometre pace for her hard efforts (which is a little ahead of her marathon pace) and around 4:30 per kilometre pace for her easy minutes. The easy minute shouldn’t be a shuffle jog, but it should feel comfortable.
Mile repeats are a staple workout. Wodak did this particular effort on two minutes rest and averaged 3:12 per kilometer pace throughout. Again, this workout is on the speed side, but not as fast as the minute-long efforts. This workout should be done a little ahead of marathon pace.
Wodak said on the Shakeout Podcast that this was one of her first efforts at what will hopefully be her marathon pace. She did three by five kilometres with only two minutes rest. Her first 5K was 17:23, the next was 17:05 and the last was 16:53 – that’s a cooking workout. This is a good introduction to a runner’s marathon pace and can be used as an assessment of where their fitness is at, a few weeks into a build.