Tag Archives: training plans

Today is the Day…

18 Jun

Day one of the next sixteen weeks of my life…

16 weeks that will probably have you sick of hearing the words “Chicago” and “Marathon”

16 weeks of torturing running with Kevin because he told me he’d run my training plan with me (if only the race wasn’t sold out…*evil laugh*)

16 weeks of kicking ass and taking names because I plan on owning this race come October.

Week 1 is an easy week:

Monday: Upper body/core workout

Tuesday: 4 miles @ 9:55 pace

Wednesday: Upper body/core workout (a.m.) 4 miles of hills (p.m.)

Thursday: 4 miles @ 9:55 pace (a.m.), yoga (p.m.)

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 4 miles @ 9:55 pace

Sunday: 9 miles @ 10 pace

Aside from a quick treadmill mile with my very first personal training client on Saturday morning, and some yardwork, I took the entire weekend off in preparation. My legs are really happy right now, I’m completely healed from my injury, and I’m ready to run.

We have 4 weeks until the Jamestown Half Marathon – the first race of the summer! That week will also be the beginning of the high mileage weeks involved in the plan I’m following – it tops out at 48 miles a week toward the end of the plan. I’m a tad nervous about that, since it typically takes me two weeks to run that many miles, but I trust in this plan and my body, I’m ready for it!

Is anyone else training for a fall marathon? What type of plan are you following?


More Exciting News!

9 Jun

Good morning and HAPPY SATURDAY my friends!

I woke up this morning to a very exciting e-mail from Tricia, the Social Media Director for the ZOOMA Women’s Race Series, asking me if I’d like to be an Ambassador for the Half Marathon that takes place in Falmouth, MA (On Cape Cod) on September 22nd.

After consulting my training plan, my answer was a no brainer:


15 miles or 1/2 marathon on the exact same day as the ZOOMA Cape Cod Half Marathon? I’m IN!

Jess is also an ambassador for this race, which makes it even MORE exciting!

Local ladies, you should register for this race and join us on what is sure to be a fun and fantastic day in September!

Have you ever run a women’s only event? I haven’t – I’m very excited for this event and opportunity!Signature


Planning to be Planless

8 Mar

Makes sense, right? I am going into Marathon #4 without a written training plan.

Are you thinking I’m crazy yet?

Here’s the thing – every time I write a training plan, it changes. Then it changes again. And then – well it changes some more.

Then I stress.

And I freak out.

And I panic.

Why do I do this to myself?

I am an extremely organized person. I love lists.  My closet is sorted by skirts, pants, blouses, sweaters.  I have folders for every piece of outstanding work I need to do on my desk at work, stacked in alphabetical order..

Maybe over the top but it makes me happy and comfortable.

Marathon #4 is where I am going to step out of my comfort zone.  Not just by not having a written plan, but also by increasing my run quantity.

Here’s how it’s going to go down:

  1. Run as much as I can while listening ever so closely to my body. At least one long run per week (of course). I’d like to work in some tempo and speedwork too, but I’m going to wait until April to start that. Right now, I’m going to ramp back up while my legs continue to heal. I run 4 days a week right now. If I can bump that to 5, and maybe even 6, I will. But it all depends on how the legs feel. (This is entirely experimental)
  2. Do yoga once a week – NO EXCUSES.  I am going for my sub 4:30 in Providence – I’m so close now, I’m confident I can do it. But I have to keep my hips open, and the rest of my legs and core strong.
  3. Begin strength training again – my entire body, not just my upper body and core. Again, with all this running I’m going to need to keep my legs strong. I’m going to try to strength train twice a week, at least.

I know this sounds crazy, and it sounds like a lot. But I’m going to move into it slowly and carefully. I’m also going to make sure I have a pull back week or two thrown in for good measure, and that I taper fully before the race.

Wish me luck!


Listen Closely…

9 Feb

…to your body. In my opinion, this is the most important lesson during marathon training.

I firmly believe that listening to my body is how I started 2012 off with a bang. Last year, after I ran the Air Force Marathon and the Amica Half Marathon, I started to feel worn out. My left hip was really bugging me and I felt like I wasn’t making any progress.

I took the rest of October almost completely off, and eased back into my workouts in November and December – allowing for plenty of easy runs, short runs (I didn’t run any longer than 10 miles for the rest of 2011), cross training, and of course, rest.

This is crucial when you train hard. If I hadn’t eased up those last couple of months of 2011, I would not have gone into my training for RnR New Orleans as strong as I did, and stayed as strong as I have through it so far.

Fast forward to the present – more specifically, the last couple of weeks.

Most of January I battled the head cold that wouldn’t quit, until it finally became a full blown cold and knocked me on my butt for a few days. I took a few days off and came back better than ever with my 18 Miles of Awesomeness.

This past week was similar, the cold is gone, but by Thursday I felt like I had been hit by a truck (probably from the 133 miles in January?), so I took it easy again. And again, I ran a killer long run – with a 10 minute PR for a 20 mile training run.

My point is this:

Always train intuitively. Listen closely to every single cue your body gives you. You put too much at risk if you don’t listen.

My tips for listening to your body:

  • Assess your soreness level.
    • Example: On Monday, my body was extremely stiff and sore from running 20 on Saturday and doing P90X Yoga on Sunday. To the point where it was difficult to get up and down out of my chair at work. That’s too sore to run. I took my dog for a 2 mile walk, then stretched my muscles and used the foam roller. On Tuesday morning I still felt a tad sore, but that walk did the trick. If I had run, I probably would’ve made things worse.
  • Assess your level of tired.
    • Last Thursday I was so tired I couldn’t focus on work, all I could think about was sleep. You don’t want to push your body through that, you’ll end up exhausted and sick or injured. Instead I came home, plopped down on the couch with a book and a glass of wine, and relaxed. I also allowed myself to go to bed an hour earlier than normal, so I got 8 hours of sleep. I woke up Friday feeling refreshed.
  • Adjust your training scheduled based on how your body feels.
    • Too sore to run, but not too sore to workout? Go for a bike ride. Use the elliptical trainer. Go for a walk.
    • Too tired or sore to lift weights? Try some body weight exercises or yoga.
    • Feeling generally run down, sore, or exhausted? Take a rest day, or two,  your body is begging for it!

And of course, always remember to take your vitamins and eat your fruits and vegetables!


How I Became FitFluential (7 Tips)

3 Dec

I never in a million years thought I’d be a part of the awesome family that is FitFluential. My idea of fitness was laughable, and I was in okay shape. I was only “normal sized” (what does that even mean?) because I didn’t allow myself to overeat – through various eating programs like Weights Watchers or straight up tracking calorie/fat intake.


When I realized that at 28 years old and 140 pounds (I’m 5’5″, so I was far from overweight…) I couldn’t walk up stairs without being winded or having knee pain, I had that moment of clarity. That moment that speaks to you and says, “Do something now, before it’s too late.” I didn’t have one particular person that inspired me, I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew I needed to do something. So I did.

What did I do? How did I do it? Here’s 7 tips, that are loosely based around what I did, which I think you’ll find extremely valuable:

1) Have a goal. It doesn’t have to be a huge goal, I learned this one fast. But, still have a goal. My goal was to run a 5k, so I registered for a 5k. Then I took on the challenge of the Couch to 5k Running Plan. And when I graduated the program, I ran my 5k. My point? The goal. Set it. Do it. After you complete that goal, set another one. A series of mini-goals will help you accomplish your end result in a much less frustrating manner than setting one huge goal. Keep your huge goal in mind, strive to accomplish it, but use these mini-goals as stepping stones toward your desired end result.


2) Create a plan. I plan based on my next goal. After tomorrow’s 5k, my next goal is the Rock N Roll New Orleans Marathon. I will focus on that and plan accordingly. Once the race is over, I’ll recover for a week or two, then reconvene (with myself…well, and Coachy, of course) and start planning for the Cox Rhode Races Marathon. Create your plan based on your next mini-goal – want to lose 10 pounds in a month? Plan around that. Want to run a sub-30 minute 5k? Plan around that. It doesn’t have to be set in stone, but a loose plan will make taking action that much easier.

Pencil your plan in, leave it open to changes, life happens! (Source)

3) Make the time. I am almost sure the #1 excuse for not working out is “I don’t have time.” I call B.S. Make time. #1 excuse for not eating healthy (In my opinion)? “I don’t have time to cook.” More B.S. There is always time, but you have to make the choice to find that time. I go to the gym right after work. Of course that means I don’t get home until 7 or later. So, you have to make time to plan meals accordingly too.  If you have a plan, then you know what days you’re working out, when you’ll be home late or up early, and you can plan accordingly. 

Make time for YOU (Source)

4) Spend some money. If you spend a good chunk of change getting started on something you’re going to feel pretty darn bad if you just throw it all in a corner and give up, right? Buy a sleek new pair of running shoes, join Weight Watchers, join a gym, whatever fits your current goals. I don’t need much motivating during nice weather, but in the winter I usually need a swift kick in the butt to get moving.  Luckily, seeing the $19.99 deduction from my bank account every month reminds me that I have a gym membership that needs to be used. That’s $5 a week that I could be buying Starbuck’s with… I’m throwing away if I don’t use the membership. 

These oughta make me run another 300 or so miles…
5) Make it a family affair. Get your family involved in your activity.  I got both of my parents to do Couch to 5k, and they run races with me! 
Me and Mom before the Irish 5k this past March (Part of Tour de Patrick)
Race bags for tomorrow’s Downtown Jingle Bell 5k – the whole family is running!
6) Start now. No excuses. Don’t say, “It’s the holidays, so I’ll make this my New Year’s Resolution.” If you are committed to getting fit, getting healthy, losing weight, etc. then you’ll start as soon as you are ready to start. Don’t put it off. The longer you put it off, the more excuses you can up with as to why you shouldn’t start in the first place.

 7) Find some inspiration. When I start to feel down, like I don’t want to press on, I look to others for inspiration. I read lots of other blogs. There are way too many people to name here, I’d feel like I was leaving someone out. I regularly read day to day life blogs, running blogs, weight loss blogs, general fitness blogs, or I just take to Twitter. There is inspiration lurking around every corner. Or better yet…

I hope you find my tips useful! Get out there, get moving, and you too can be FitFluential!

Welcome Back Old Friend (Day 29)

20 Aug

5 a.m. came way too fast this morning.  For some reason I saw every hour from midnight until 5 a.m. last night, so I decided with it being Friday and all that I could bump my run to tonight and allow myself a little extra “sleep.”

I held true to the deal I made with myself a pushed out an excellent run when I got home from work:

5.86 Miles
9:35 average pace

When I have easy-ish days on the schedule that aren’t speed days, I like to concentrate on doing something other than just running. Tonight’s goal was to maintain pace up all of my hills and work on negative splits.  Mile 1 and Mile 2 were identical in time, but I negative split the rest, finishing at a 9:14 pace.  I’m happy with that! I don’t normally run on Friday, but I’m working a new schedule that Coachy and I developed this week.

Earlier in the week I had a “6-mile epiphany” – meaning, I realized that 6 miles is not hard for me anymore. Somedays it’s not easy (like yesterday), but most days it’s not hard.

Then I had another epiphany.  I consulted the McMillan Running Calculator out of curiosity, to see what he thought my marathon time should be.  I based it on two of my best races, and this is what I came up with:

Best 5k (25:32) = Marathon Time of 4:08:55
Best Half Marathon (2:10:13) = Marathon Time of 4:34:38

Woah, huge difference right? Coachy concluded that I can run fast, but I don’t have endurance (well, I do, just not fast over long distance endurance).  Between the two of us we decided I need to build that endurance – so I can reach my marathon time goal of 4:30.  I have 4 weeks left to build up.

The new plan calls for 4 runs x 6 miles, Tuesday through Friday.  Saturday off of running – yoga or long stretching session, then Sunday long run.

I did 3 runs x 6 miles this week, and plan on 18 miles for Sunday.

My legs feel great now, but that could also be because I welcomed back and old friend today. 

The protein smoothie! I have been craving one of these for SO LONG.  When I realized that the protein powder I normally buy has everything I need to help repair my muscles after a run, I immediately got my butt to the store and bought a jug.

So what’s in it?

Sam’s Super Smoothie

  • 1 Scoop Vanilla Whey Protein 
  • 1 Cup Frozen Fruit (Frozen mixed berries this time, but it works with just about any fruit – pineapple makes it taste like a sinful treat)
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
I use frozen fruit, instead of fresh fruit and ice, so that the flavor doesn’t get diluted.  This smoothie is so delicious, and great for a post run replenishment.  According to the bottle of whey protein:

    Supplies a high nutritional value including naturally occurring glutamine and branched chain amino acids (BCAA) to athletes. 

    Glutamine serves as fuel for the immune system, provides an anti-catabolic effect and is involved in protein synthesis. Prolonged high-intensity exercise can decrease glutamine levels.BCAA are essential aminos that are part of muscle protein, they help to preserve muscle glycogen stores and help reduce the amount of protein breakdown during exercise. Whey also yields a high biological value, which measures usable grams of amino acids that are used by the body after intense exercise.

I’m looking forward to implementing these drinks into my daily diet! They’re so delicious and great for my body!

Have you had any training epiphanies lately? Anything you do after a run or workout to help refuel and repair your body?

    Tempo Thursday (Day 36)

    12 Aug

    Did anyone else think this day was never going to end? It was 80 degrees and 36% humidity. Could you really ask for a better day in August? That’s got to be why it dragged so much booty.

    When I was creating my training schedule for the next few weeks, I struggled over what to do with Thursday. My regularly scheduled programming used to look a little like this:

    • Monday: Yoga or core
    • Tuesday: Recovery run from long Sunday run
    • Wednesday: Speedwork
    • Thursday: Recovery from speedwork 
    • Friday: More yoga or core or some sort of intensive stretching
    • Saturday: Easy run (to keep legs limber for long run)
    • Sunday: Long run
    Now, naturally, this is all subject to change due to weather and whatever life may throw at you.  Do you see the problem with this schedule?  Three out of five runs are EASY. WTH? How do you train on three easy runs? You don’t.  Well – at least I DON’T.

    So, I sat and stared at my training calendar (mind you, this was after running a half in the pouring down rain and I was exhausted). And I stared some more. Then I put it down and watched TV. Then I stared some more.  Then I texted Coachy – “Where do you fit in a tempo run on this schedule?” So, now you may be asking why if I have Coachy am I creating my own training schedule? Well, he thinks I’m smart enough to figure it all out on my own, and he’ll be here for questions and moral support.  That works for me, I’m an independent person, and I like it when people tell me I’m smart. 
    This is what I came up with, and it got the Coachy Seal of Approval:
    • Monday: Yoga or core
    • Tuesday: Recovery run from long Sunday run
    • Wednesday: Speedwork
    • Thursday: Mid-pace tempo run.  Not easy, but not speedwork hard.
    • Friday: More yoga or core or some sort of intensive stretching
    • Saturday: Easy run (to keep legs limber for long run)
    • Sunday: Long run
    So now I only have two easy runs, a long run, a hard run, and a middle of the road run.  Much better. And that, my friends, brings me to tonight’s run.
    My goal was to run 4 miles between 9-9:30 and that is exactly what I accomplished.  The first 4 miles were run in exactly 37 minutes, giving me a 9:15 overall pace.  The last 0.45 was a walk up the mountain of a road back to my house – why do I do that to myself? 
    My legs felt great throughout the run, but are thoroughly exhausted now.  I’ll treat them to a nice super duper stretchy session tomorrow.  My lungs weren’t all that happy with me – but as long as I can breathe and my legs feel good, I push myself through unhappy lungs.  They’ll come around to my way of thinking one of these days, I’m sure of it. 
    In other news – today was Carb Thursday instead of it being tomorrow. Mother Nature has some sort of personal vendetta against me and running on Sundays.  Whatevs, I’ll show her, I know how to rarrange my schedule.  So I carbed up today instead.  Did you know that Basic 4 cereal has 44g carb in ONE CUP?! Holy moly!

    And now it’s Friday – I was so tired from Speedwork Wednesday and Tempo Thursday that I couldn’t even finish writing this last night! I’m looking forward to an easy stretch session and rest tonight, and MY FIRST EVERY TRAIL RUN TOMORROW!!

    What are you excited for this weekend?

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