We take a look at the upcoming London Marathon and what you can expect as a regular runner. We also look at the elite fields in the race and who will win. Plus, an analysis into Eliud Kipchoge’s world record race in Berlin and whether he will run the Boston Marathon next April.

London Marathon Training Week #18 Training Is Over…Time to Race Prep

Training for this marathon has been the most difficult by far. First, I dealt with a setback in late December when I came down with some kind of nasty virus. It wasn’t the flu but it certainly seemed stronger than a cold. That derailed my training for a bit as I felt weak and awful when running. I had a decent performance in the Pasadena Half Marathon despite the setback. After the race, I was able to resume normal training until the end of March when shin splints and some kind of groin strain (likely caused by me altering my gait due to the shin splints) forced me into the pool for some aqua jogging and also onto a stationary bike. This happened just as I was about to enter my peak training week then taper. Also, as life goes, there were some things outside of my training that took my mind off of running.

I was able to run this week for four consecutive days. My pacing was good. The groin area is still tender but under control, meaning it was no bother as long as I didn’t overextend my leg. The shin splint pain is much less to the point that my gait is not altered anymore and I can run normally. However, the four consecutive days has left my legs a little achy and sore. I’ve been rolling my legs everyday with a foam roller and hand roller to loosen and relax the muscles. Yet, they’re still achy. I think three days off of running before the race should fix that.

Now, race day is approaching. There is nothing more I can do to improve my fitness ahead of the race. Whatever hay is in the barn stays there as the barn is now locked. How do I feel? Honestly, this is the worst physically I’ve ever felt before a race. Achy legs, shin splint, groin issue, etc. I’m optimistic my body will survive but a marathon is a long race and everything needs to be just right to have a solid performance. It’s a long grueling ordeal. Fortunately, my body and mind have experience with said ordeal. While I’m a bit nervous about my body holding up, I’m getting excited ahead of the race. Traveling to London to run a marathon is a huge treat. It’s an even bigger treat to run for charity. I want to thank everyone who donated. (you can still donate here) But I especially want to thank my brother, Matt Morrison. His substantial and generous donation to Livability is helping a lot of disabled people connect with their communities. He also said he wanted to ensure I would reach my fundraising goal so I could concentrate on training as he wants to see me perform well. I’m humbled by his selflessness. I hope I can make him proud with my performance as I’m dedicating my race to both Livability and Matt.

I leave for the airport now with my amazing wife who continues to put up with my running neuroses. To make it up to her, we’re going to have a nice vacation sightseeing in London and nearby areas.

I’m ready to go! WMM #5! 

The London Marathon promises to be an amazing experience regardless of my individual performance. The elite men and women fields are arguably the most talented ever so racing fans are in for what could be thrilling races on both sides. I’ll get to connect with people from Livability as millions of dollars/pounds will be raised for numerous charities by thousands of people who get to run on the streets of London. The energy will be electric and the crowds will be loud. I can’t wait! Life is good! Hail Britannia!

Running With You,


London Marathon Training Week #11 Day 4 The Semi-Long Run

NOTE: For those of you interested in donating to the charity I’m running for in London please click on this LINK.

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperature: Partly cloudy, 62 degrees

Type of Run: Semi-long

Length: 10.26 miles

Type of route: Gradual uphill and downhill, some flat, four hill climbs, three downhill descents

Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes, 51 seconds

Pace per mile: 7:24

Reason for Run: This is the semi-long run for the week which is longer than the usual runs but shorter than the long run. As I’ve stated before, I like it to be between 10 and 14 miles. This run helps build endurance. Usually, the pace is a little faster than long run pace. Since this is a recovery week, I opted not to shorten this run’s distance because my interval/speed workout will be shorter than usual and I’ll probably take an extra rest day.

How did I feel? Decent. I kept the pace comfortable mostly. My legs did feel a bit worn out and fatigued, probably from yesterday’s negative-split tempo run and probably from earlier in the week. I should be fine though as I plan to take two of the next three days off. I ran in new shoes today which felt fine. I always like getting new shoes especially when I can find good deals and I got a good deal on this pair. So while today wasn’t the best day in terms of feeling great it also wasn’t the worst day either. Sometimes you have so-so days. All you can do is shrug your shoulders and move on.

Running With You,


London Marathon Training Week #11 Day 3 A “Negative” Run That Turned Out Positive

NOTE: For those of you interested in donating to the charity I’m running for in London please click on this LINK.

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperature: Partly cloudy, 56 degrees

Type of Run: Tempo

Length: 6.18 miles

Type of route: Gradual uphill and downhill (Rose Bowl 5k loop)

Time: 39 minutes, 49 seconds

Pace per mile: 6:27

Reason for Run: This was a variation of the standard tempo run. Since this week is a recovery week for me, I’m decreasing the mileage and intensity of the workouts. I decided to do a tempo run in which I would negative split each mile. That means I’d run each mile faster than the previous one. The pace of the run is gradually increased. This is beneficial because it teaches the body to adjust pace and pick up the intensity when required. This will help if you’re in a pack of runners that starts to surge. It also helps with marathon preparation because the first few miles of the marathon are done at a slower pace than goal pace to preserve energy. You’ll need to increase your pace after those early miles to hit your goal.

How did I feel? Good. I did this run exactly the way I wanted without a hitch. Each mile was faster than the last. My first mile was 6:55 and my last was 5:50. I felt good to start and was able to pick up the pace without much problem. The only thing I had to control was how fast I picked up the pace because I didn’t want to increase it so much that negative splitting would be very difficult. I wanted a smooth build up and I did that. Knowing I can increase my pace during a run should give me extra confidence that I can do it during a race, especially if I’m trying to catch or lose someone or if I need to speed up to reach a time goal.

Running With You,


London Marathon Training Week #11 Day 2 A Brisk Run in Cool Weather

NOTE: For those of you interested in donating to the charity I’m running for in London please click on this LINK.

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperature: Partly cloudy, 54 degrees

Type of Run: Easy

Length: 5.19 miles + 4 strides

Type of route: Gradual uphill and downhill with one uphill climb and one downhill descent

Time: 36 minutes, 58 seconds

Pace per mile: 7:07

Reason for Run: This was the usual easy recovery run done a day after the long run. The goal is take it at a comfortable pace to give my legs some rest after a hard workout like the long run. I usually like the run to be between 6 and 7 miles. But since this is a “recovery” week in which I reduce my mileage, I ran a little more than 5 miles. The strides are done at 75 to 90% full speed with the purpose of building speed and improving leg turnover and efficiency.  They should be between 70 and 100 meters long.

How did I feel? Good. Usually, my pace is slower for this run. But the weather was nice and I found my brisk pace was not a bother. The weather plays a big role in how fast distance runners can go on any particular day. The longer the distance, the greater factor weather becomes. A 5k run in 75-degree weather can still be done quickly by those in good shape. However, a marathon run in 75-degree will slow even the best runners down considerably. You can forget about a PR (personal record) in that weather regardless of the course. When the weather is cooler, it’s easy for the body to regulate its heat. It doesn’t have to work extra hard to cool down. You’re basically expending less energy to keep cool. That extra fuel goes toward you’re running therefore making you faster. That’s a simplistic explanation but I don’t think you have the time to read about the biology behind it and I don’t feel like writing about it. Suffice to say, I like running in cool weather and you should too.

Running With You in Warm and Cool Weather,


London Marathon Training Week #9 Days 5 and 6 Week #10 Day 1 An Uphill Run, Yasso 800s and a Quality Long Run

NOTE: For those of you interested in donating to the charity I’m running for in London please click on this LINK.

Location: Pasadena and La Canada, CA.

Temperatures: Day 1–Sunny 72 degrees, Day 2–Sunny 73 degrees, Day 3–Mostly cloudy 56 degrees

Types of Run: Day 1–Easy with hills, Day 2–Speed/Intervals, Day 3–Long

Lengths: Day 1–8.41 miles, Day 2–4.97 miles (10 x 800-meters), Day 3–18.1 miles

Types of routes: Day 1–gradual downhill, long gradual uphill climb, two uphill climbs and two downhill descents; Day 2–400-meter oval track; Day 3–gradual uphill and downhill with one downhill climb and some flat

Times: Day 1–1 hour, 1 minute, 42 seconds; Day 2– 28 minutes, 12 seconds (2:49, 2:49, 2:47, 2:49, 2:48, 2:49, 2:49, 2:51, 2:48, 2:49); Day 3–2 hours, 8 minutes, 9 seconds

Paces per mile: Day 1–7:20, Day 2–5:40, Day 3–7:05

Reason for Run: Day 1–This was an easy run done at a comfortable pace. The purpose is to rack up the mileage but not too much on this run so anywhere from 7 to 10 miles should be enough. I chose a hilly route for an added challenge and to build muscle strength..

Day 2–This was the weekly speed/interval workout which has the purpose of building leg speed, turnover and efficiency. Interval workouts help the body prepare for the higher intensity of races since you run intervals at a higher intensity. I chose to run what are called Yasso 800s. Clicking on the link can explain what they are. I gave myself  about 1:30 of  recovery time between each rep. The thinking is that your times for the 800-meter repeats can predict your  marathon time. For example, a 2:50 repeat would mean you can run a 2 hour, 50 minute marathon. A 3:00 repeat means you can run a 3 hour marathon. There’s some debate about whether there’s a direct correlation. Either way, 800-meter repeats are great workouts because you can sustain a high intensity for at least a couple minutes. My pace was about 5:40 per mile which is about my 10k race pace.

Day 3–I took a day off  in-between the interval session and the long run. I wanted to give my legs a day off. I decided I was ready for a tougher long run. Usually, long runs are done at a very easy pace with the goal of building endurance and strength. A long run helps the body become more efficient at burning both glycogen and fat. Today, I decided again to mix in some hard efforts during the run. The hard efforts would be done at marathon pace or a little slower. I ran the first 4 miles easy, the next 3 hard, the next 3 easy, the next 2 hard, the next 3 easy and the final 3 hard for a total of 8 hard miles and 10 easy miles. The goal of the harder increments is to prepare for the marathon itself. I want to be able to pick up the pace in the middle of the long run at various points. I purposely finished the long run with a hard effort to get my tired legs stronger and more used to running hard at the end of the long run which is what will happen in a marathon. This type of long run shouldn’t be done all the time because it’ll wear the legs out but maybe once every four weeks at most. I was able to hit marathon pace roughly for the first 3-mile effort (6:24 per mile) but I was slower for the 2-mile (6:45 per mile)  and final 3-mile effort (6:42 per mile). That’s ok though because the goal was to push the pace on tired legs which I did.

How did I feel? Day 1–Fine. This run was challenging because of the hills. I was comfortable with my pace. My legs were a little tired from the workouts earlier in the week but overall it was a typical run.

Day 2–Decent. My legs felt a little worn still like they did the day before. This was a tougher workout than I expected, maybe because I was tired from lack of sleep the day before due to my work schedule. I felt I should’ve run each rep 2 to 3 seconds faster but my times during this stage of training were acceptable. My legs felt stronger than the previous couple interval workouts too so that was good.

Day 3–Good. The weather was cooler but also a bit windy. I don’t like running in the wind but it wasn’t bad. My legs felt good during and after the workout. They were worn out when I stopped which is typical after running so long, however, they’ve been worse after much slower runs. Picking up the pace when I had to was fine. There was no point that I felt tired or exhausted. Mentally, I felt confident which helped make the run easier to handle. I felt good and I felt strong.

Running With You,


London Marathon Training Week #8 Day 5 Another Solid Run

NOTE: For those of you interested in donating to the charity I’m running for in London please click on this LINK.

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperature: Sunny, 83 degrees

Type of Run: Easy

Length: 8.16 miles + 4 sprint strides

Type of route: Gradual uphill and downhill (Rose Bowl loop), some flat areas, two downhill descents and one uphill climb

Time: 59 minutes, 16 seconds

Pace per mile: 7:16

Reason for Run: This was an easy run done after a more intense workout which, in this case, was a tempo run. This easy run is longer than the recovery run following a long run which I like to keep under seven miles. For this easy run, I like the mileage to  be between 8 and 10 miles. As for pacing, I like to keep it relaxed and comfortable. The strides are meant to increase speed and leg turnover to help with efficiency. Even marathon runners need to get some kind of speed work. The strides are anywhere from 80 to 100 meters. They’re done between 75%-90% of full speed.

How did I feel? Good. It was warm again but manageable. I felt I kept a comfortable pace. My legs felt good toward the end of the run and during the strides which were done after the run. I take this as a good sign that I’m building back up my leg strength and endurance after the Berlin Marathon and after my illness.

Running With You,


London Marathon Training Week #8 Days 1, 2 and 3 A Long Run Sandwiched Between Easier Runs

NOTE: For those of you interested in donating to the charity I’m running for in London please click on this LINK.

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperatures: Day 1–Sunny, 80 degrees, Day 2–Sunny 78 degrees, Day 3–Sunny 78 degrees

Types of Run: Day 1–Very easy, Day 2–Long, Day 3–Easy

Lengths: Day 1–4.06 miles, Day 2–17 miles, Day 3–6.28 miles + 4 sprint strides

Types of routes: Day 1–mostly flat with one slight incline; Day 2–gradual uphill and downhill with two uphill climbs and two downhill descents; Day 3–gradual uphill and downhill with one uphill climb and one downhill descent

Times: Day 1–29 minutes, 18 seconds; Day 2–2 hours, 8 minutes, 4 seconds; Day 3–47 minutes, 14 seconds

Paces per mile: Day 1–7:13, Day 2–7:32, Day 3–7:31

Reason for Run: Day 1–Usually, I run six days in a week and rest on the seventh. However, last week and this week I decided to run on my “off days” to boost my weekly mileage total. These runs are on the shorter end so as not to wear out my legs and are done at a comfortable pace.

Day 2–This was the typical long run in marathon training. The long run boosts endurance and helps the body adapt to running for a long period of time by increasing capillary size which allows more blood to deliver nutrients to the muscles. It also makes the body more efficient at burning both glycogen and fat which are the fuels muscles use when running long distances.

Day 3–The was a recovery run following a long run. The goal is to run shorter and keep the pace relaxed. I included strides which help improve leg turnover and leg speed. This helps make my running form more efficient. The more efficient your form is —the faster you can run.

How did I feel? Day 1–Good. I felt relaxed and in control. Four miles was a breeze this time.

Day 2–Fine. I held up pretty well for my longest run since the Berlin Marathon in late September. I had enough in me to go another mile or so despite the warm weather. I kept the pace on the slower end since I’m building back up mileage. I don’t want to burn my legs out too soon. Running in warmer weather is beneficial because the body will get used to performing in those conditions and adapt accordingly. When you run in cooler weather, your body will be more than ready and it’ll seem easy. It’ll be because it is. Your body will be prepared for warmer conditions.

Day 3–Not bad. My legs felt a bit heavy and worn from the long run the day before. This is not uncommon for me. As training ramps up in mileage and intensity the legs will begin to feel this way. My pace was on the slower end but that was fine although this was one of those days when my pace felt faster than what it was. I like when the opposite is true and the pace feels slower than what it is. Then you know you’re having a great day.

Running With You,


London Marathon Training Week #7 Days 6 and 7 A Solid Week

NOTE: For those of you interested in donating to the charity I’m running for in London please click on this LINK.

NOTE #2: I’m combining multiple days

Locations: Pasadena, CA. and La Canada-Flintridge, CA.

Temperatures: Day 1–Mostly Sunny, 82 degrees, Day 2–Sunny 78 degrees

Types of Run: Day 1–Semi-long, Day 2–Speed/Intervals

Lengths: Day 1–9.2 miles, Day 2–4.54 miles (5×400-meters, 1-mile, 5×300-meters, 1200-meters, 5×200-meters)

Types of routes: Day 1–four uphill climbs, three downhill descents, gradual uphill and downhill; Day 2–400-meter oval track

Times: Day 1–1 hour, 9 minutes, 7 seconds; Day 2–24 minutes, 10 seconds (1:19, 1:16, 1:17, 1:18, 1:17; 5:45; :57, :57, :57, :56, :57; 4:15; :36, :36, :36, :35, :36)

Paces per mile: Day 1–7:31, Day 2–5:19

Reason for Run: Day 1–This is a semi-long run. The goal is to boost endurance by doing one run a week during marathon training that is longer than normal but shorter than your long run. This particular semi-long run is on the shorter end because I’m slowly building the mileage back up. Ideally, a semi-long run should be anywhere from 10-15 miles. I usually will top out at 13 miles.

Day 2–Interval or speed workouts are designed to boost running efficiency and intensity. They are supposed to mimic a race effort so your body can get used to the effort. This particular workout I did is my favorite interval workout. It’s a mixture of shorter intervals with two long ones (1-mile and 1200-meters). By mixing the distances of the intervals, the body is forced to change paces. I started with 5 x 400-meters then went to the mile before doing 5 x 300 meters, etc. I finished with 5 x 200-meters. By running the shortest and most intense intervals on tired legs, my body and legs now know how it feels to run fast on tired legs. This can be beneficial late in a race if I need to increase my pace to either beat other runners or achieve a time goal.

How did I feel? Day 1–Fine. It was warm but I wanted to keep the pace nice and smooth. I didn’t want to burn my legs out before an interval workout. The hills on this run make it challenging but I finished without any struggles or difficulty.

Day 2–Fine. I felt much better than the last interval workout I did in which my legs felt way too tired. I can tell my legs are getting used to a normal training routine again. It wasn’t my fastest interval workout in terms of pace but it wasn’t my slowest either. My legs still felt a little fatigued but that could be because of running for 11 straight days. The warmer weather doesn’t help in terms of flying through intense workouts but it wasn’t so hot that it slowed me down considerably. I’m hoping on improving on my speed and endurance in the upcoming weeks.


Running With You,


London Marathon Training Week #7 Day 5 Building Back Up Mileage

NOTE: For those of you interested in donating to the charity I’m running for in London please click on this LINK.

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperature: Sunny, 81 degrees

Type of Run: Easy

Length: 8.54 miles

Type of route: Gradual uphill and downhill mostly

Time: 1 hour, 2 minutes, 28 seconds

Pace per mile: 7:19

Reason for Run: This was a run done at a comfortable pace meant to add to the weekly mileage total. This was a moderate-mileage run, meaning it wasn’t short but wasn’t long either. It was in the middle–hence moderate-mileage. Every run can’t be either long or short. Some of them will be in the middle and this was it. It gives my legs a chance to increase mileage but not so much that it wears them out for more important workouts like intervals/speed or tempo runs or the long run.

How did I feel? Fine. It was warm again but not too bad. The humidity is low which helps because the sweat can evaporate, regulating my body’s heat. My legs felt a little fatigued from the previous several days of running. That’s normal though and it’s a good thing to run on tired legs because that’s what you’ll have to do in a marathon. The legs get fatigued and worn in the later miles and it’s important you know how to push through. I wore an older pair of shoes too. When you wear an older pair shortly after a new pair you can really tell the difference. The newer shoes have so much more bounce and give to them.

Running With You,