What It Takes - World Half Marathon team member Justin Kent

"He ran that how fast?!"

Usually most people just see the finish line photo- or the final result. Few see behind the scenes of what it takes to get to the international level.  World Half Marathon team member and fresh off breaking the Canadian 20,000m track record — Justin Kent shows us a typical week of training and the products he swears by to get him there. 

Monday

AM: Long Run
29km - 1:49:00
3:46/km pace

Got out early with a couple of teammates, Cam and Carlos, and caught some early morning light around Burnaby Lake. Traditionally Sundays are the chosen long run day for most training programs but lately we have switched to Monday. And I must say, it's becoming my favourite way to start off my week. 

PM: Physio + Strength

Before and after almost every run I use a foam roller and open up all the tight spots. If you’re needing something a bit more aggressive, the Addaday Peanut works wonders for pre or post run therapy—it really allows me to get into those tricky spots.

Similarly, if you’re suffering from tight feet or any plantar fasciitis, a doubles squash ball is the perfect size and composition to work out all the niggles in your feet. I use all of these daily, sometimes twice a day to work out any tight areas pre or post run. 

Total Day: 29km

Tools of the trade: Left to right Doubles Squash Ball, Addaday Peanut, Protec Foam Roller

Tuesday

AM: Recovery Run
12km - 45min 

Post long run days I like to split my recovery day into two runs to maximize recovery and make it a little easier mentally. I usually run these days without a GPS watch and just go by feel. 

PM: Easy Run
8km - 35min 

For close to 85% of my mileage I run in the New Balance 1080v10. When you’re unsponsored you have the ability to test a lot of different products on the market and the 1080s have become the shoe I rely on to pack in a lot of miles. The 1080 provides a bit more cushioning than your average runner, but I find that aids my recovery between sessions without being too bulky. 

Total Day: 20km 

 

 Shop here

Wednesday

AM: Track Session @ Empire Field
4x (2k-1k)
5:54, 2:52, 5:51, 2:49, 5:45, 2:48, 5:44, 2:46

After an easy day on Tuesday, we hit the track Wednesday to add a little bit of quality to the week. I wore the 1080s for warmup and switched into a faster Nike Next% for the track portion. Paces varied from somewhere between Half Marathon effort and 10km effort.

Total Day: 22km

Thursday

AM: Medium Long Run
22km - 1:29:00
3:58/km

Got up early with the birds and hit Burnaby Lake for what I call ‘Bloops.'  I run a lot of my mileage around Burnaby Lake. I find the flat terrain and soft gravel trail is a lot easier on my body than the road or hillier areas. Plus, these easy runs in the trails are so therapeutic for me mentally. 

PM: Physio + Strength 

Total Day: 22km

Fall Running Essentials: (Left to right) Body Glide, Ciele GoCap, well cushioned running shoes (1080v10)
 
Shop Ciele Hat- “keep your noggin warm."
Shop Body Glide “your post run shower will thank me.”
Cushioned and properly fitted running shoes - “1080v10 for me are gold.”

Friday

AM: Easy Run
35min - 8km

You guessed it, easy double day post long run. I got out early with my girlfriend Lindsey this morning. We went around our neighbourhood and along the Trans Canada Trail.

PM: Easy Run
42min run - 10km

In the evening I got a couple of km in with my friend Ryan around Burnaby Lake for one more ‘bloop’ of the week. Got to rock one of my favourite new running shirts from Ciele. I’d highly suggest getting your hands on one yourself before stock runs out — they're currently available in-store. 

Total Day: 18km

Saturday

AM: Stanley Park Run
3 x 5km
15:13, 14:58, 14:46 

One of my favourite places to train in Vancouver is on the roads of Stanley Park. It’s a real treat to have this in our backyard. This session focused more on Half Marathon effort and finding that race rhythm. Back into my 1080s for warmup and swapped into some faster Nike Vaporfly Next % for the workout. 

Total Day: 25km

Sunday

AM: Easy Run
45min - 12km

PM: Easy Run
35min - 8km

A light double to finish up the weekend and let all the hard work soak in the legs.

Total Day: 20km

Weekly total: 156km

Unfortunately, due to a last-minute rise in Covid-19 cases in Poland, Athletics Canada chose to withdraw their team from the World Half Marathon Championships 24hrs before departure.

Although our man, Juice, didn't get a chance to race the worlds best he didn't let his fitness go to waste. Justin shifted his focus and ran a half marathon around the sea wall raising money for Kidsport BC, running 62:34. 

 

Justin Kent burst onto the Canadian running scene after winning the 2019 Vancouver Sun Run - a feat that hadn’t been accomplished by a local since 1992. Over his career, he has found success in events ranging from the 1500m to the half marathon – representing Canada at the 2017 Francophone Games and 2019 World Cross Country Relay Championships. He most recently broke the Canadian 20,000m track record and won the first Virtual Canadian 10km Championships running 28:52. Justin currently lives and trains in Vancouver with the BC Endurance Project and has aspirations to represent Canada on the Olympic stage.