After a very active childhood, Dave Emilio found that his activities had taken on a more social nature. “By my late 30s’ I realized that I was not healthy and not feeling well all the time,” he said. “I set out a plan to run as part of a weight management and overall health improvement strategy.”
Now running five to seven days a week, Dave is usually putting somewhere between 65 and 110 kilometres in a week depending on the time of year and what race he is training for. “I follow a combination of several plans,” says Dave. “It’s not far removed from any one plan and involves the pyramid structure of base, strength and then speed.
“I believe a lot of potential is built up between programs with steady, high mileage easy running. Most people drop off their mileage after a race and then start from scratch with each new race and wonder why they don’t improve their race times.”
Since May 2007, Dave has run 14 marathons and one 50k ultra marathon. “My favourite should be Mississauga, as that’s where I first qualified for Boston,” says Dave, “but I will always think fondly of my first marathon in Ottawa. Nothing beats crossing that marathon finish line for the first time.”
Last May, Dave achieved one of his running goals when he qualified for the Boston Marathon with one minute and 49 seconds to spare. “Now my short-term goal is to run a personal best of a sub 3:19 marathon this April in Boston,” he says. “After a three-week layoff with a broken toe in December I have my work cut out for me, but I’m working hard.”
When asked what advice he had for those of us who hope to one day qualify, Dave said, “If you want to qualify for Boston, be patient. Run lots. Lots of easy miles, warm up and cool down and you will stay healthy. Then, work hard and don’t be afraid of the dark mornings. Fast marathons are run with proper training, not just positivity. Massage, cross training, good food, good sleep and time management are all necessary, whether or not your goal is to qualify for Boston.”
In addition to Boston, Dave will also be running the Around the Bay 30k Road Race in March (he hopes to get a silver medal, which are award for completing the course in under two hours and 15 minutes) as well as a second attempt at the 50k distance. Mississauga and Ottawa marathons will round out the spring racing season and he is the four-hour pace bunny at Ottawa, his fourth time as a Marathon Pacer. On top of these plans, Dave will run four to five more marathons this fall and hopes to finish one of them in three hours and nine minutes or better — his ultimate goal is to complete a sub three hour marathon.
“Running was a way to get healthy, but now it is a way to remain healthy,” says Dave. “I feel better than I ever have. Yes, sometimes I’m sore from workouts, but overall, running has made me feel good all the time. Racing keeps me well rounded, eating and sleeping better than I normally would. I will race as long as I can!”
In addition to his own personal running goals, Dave has also looked for ways to engage with the running community in Toronto. In 2006 he launched a running blog that would eventually become Running with Scissors. “It’s a place to share running thoughts, notes, data, and basically keep track of my own running,” says Dave. “It is also partially to compliment the Running Room clinics with a place to hold info like training schedules and documents.”
This past January, Dave announced a new project he’s piloting — The Beaches Runner’s Club. “The Beaches is a great place to run and the people who run around here are great,” says Dave. “Why not bring them together.” His hope is that the club will allow the many little groups within the running club to come together and to see that people always have someone their pace to train with. “I’m also looking to see about getting younger runners out there,” said Dave. “I think there are a lot of young people who do not know the value and enjoyment of running — let’s see if we can help them see the light.”