Tag: Training

Training Report {1/27 – 02/02}

Monday – Easy 9 miles on the treadmill (average pace – 8:33 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 1

photo 1 (5)

Tuesday – 10 miles with 4 x 1200 m @ 5k race pace with 400 m recovery on the treadmill (average pace – 7:47 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 1

photo 2 (5)

Wednesday – Easy 8 miles on the treadmill (average pace – 8:33 min/mile)

Thursday – 30 Day Shred Level 1

Friday – 11 mile tempo run on the treadmill with 7 miles at marathon pace (average pace – 7:54 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 1

Saturday – 5 mile easy run OUTSIDE at 4 AM (average pace – 8:37 min/mile) + 5 mile easy run OUTSIDE in the afternoon (average pace – 8:35 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 1


Sunday – 14 mile long run OUTSIDE (average pace – 8:08 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 2


Totals -



  • I bet you’re all shocked to hear that I’m sick of the treadmill. It’s been a nice option for speed days when I’m unsure if it’s going to be icy outside and I will be running in the dark but I miss doing my easy runs outside. I’m hoping that this cold streak breaks soon but the 10 day forecast isn’t very promising. Until then, I’ll keep wearing my 3 layers on my short jog to the gym each morning.
  • Speaking of, do you guys run to the gym and do you count that mileage towards your run? I definitely do. The gym is about 0.4 miles from my apartment so most days I make sure to run back and forth and then count that 0.8 towards my total mileage. It makes the run faster (as opposed to walking) and then I have fewer miles to run on the treadmill.
  • By Saturday, I was determined to run outside… so much so that I woke up at 4 to squeeze in 5 miles before going to Evanston for early morning lab (I had to do two labs on Saturday to make up for the one I missed to run F^3). It seemed like a great idea and I was soooo happy to be outside but the early wake up left me exhausted the rest of the day and Sunday. I haven’t been prioritizing sleep lately like I did last summer and I need to be better about it. I’m unhappy when I’m super tired and my runs suffer (which is less important than the happiness point, but still…). I’m currently brainstorming about how to make this happen.
  • Given the above, on Sunday I woke up and didn’t want to do anything but lounge on the couch and eat all day long. Unfortunately, it was not in the cards. I procrastinated my run but had to be productive during the day and by the time I got outside, I’d eaten a bunch of food that is not generally run-safe for me. My run wasn’t as awful as I thought it’d be but it definitely wasn’t a “good” run.
  • I finished Level 1 of the 30 Day Shred this week and I’m still enjoying it. Although, I started level 2 on Sunday and it was a lot harder and involved a lot more shoulder stuff than level 1. It’s going to be more of a struggle to keep up with it for the next 10 days.

Training Report {1/13 – 1/19}

Monday – Easy 9.15 miles (average pace – 8:51 min/mile).


Tuesday – Treadmill 10 mile speed run with a 3.5 mile warm up, 6 x 800 m at 5k pace with 400 m recovery, and a cool down (average pace – 7:54 min/mile).

Wednesday – Treadmill easy 8 mile run (average pace – 8:30 min/mile).

Thursday – OFF

Friday – Treadmill 10 mile tempo run with a 2 mile warm up, 6 miles at marathon pace, and a 2 mile cool down (average pace – 7:47 min/mile).

Saturday – Treadmill 9 mile easy run (average pace – 8:20 min/mile).

Sunday – 12 mile long run (average pace – 7:55 min/mile).


Total – 58 miles


  • I’m so so so glad that I decided to join a gym this winter. If I had known just how bad it would get, I could have easily cut my deliberation time in half. I’d never be able to get my miles in without access to one. That being said, I ran on the treadmill so much this week (and anticipate doing so again next week). It’s been too icy to do track work outside and I’m always nervous I’ll attempt a tempo run, it’ll be too slick out, and my workout will be a bust. We’ve also had some extremely cold mornings and I don’t have much flexibility right now with when I can run either. Netflix has been keeping me going (I actually upped my data plan for this) and I keep reminding myself that treadmill miles are better than no miles.
  • Speaking of cold mornings, I woke up early yesterday to do my 12 mile run first thing but it was 17 degrees feels like 1 degree out. Womp womp. I ended up going for another mid-day run in order to avoid the treadmill. It’s honestly not a big deal, but I always enjoy knocking some miles out early.
  • I didn’t cross train at all this week. To be honest it totally slipped my mind with work, school, and family stuff going on. I have a plan for next week though and I’ve already put it on my iCal so I can’t forget about it. For me, being prepared and planning ahead can be the difference between a workout happening or not.
  • Thursday was my first day off from running in 9 days. I’m not sure I’ve EVER done that before. Skipping rest days is not something I usually like to do but I missed a day during the polar vortex and switched those miles to my previously scheduled rest day. I never felt excessively tired so I just kept running. I did decide to take my rest day this week and probably will every week from here on it this cycle. Rest days have traditionally helped me stay injury free and have prevented mental burn out!
  • This week was my last week in the 50 mile range and next week I jump up to just over 60 miles. I’m excited! I’m also signed up to run the F^3 half marathon and was excused from lab so I could do it (so happy about this!). I’m not going to taper for the race (obviously) but I will be changing a few things around to accommodate a hopefully speedier long run (weather permitting).

How do you deal with crappy weather? Do you prefer to run on the treadmill or schedule a cross training day?

Training for the I-Challenge

I’ve received a few questions about how I’m training for the Illinois Marathon so I figured I’d address it in a post. Like always, what works for me may not work for you, I’m not a running coach… disclaimer disclaimer disclaimer.

I had such a great experience with Hansons Marathon Method while training for the Chicago Marathon so I wanted to use a variation of the plan again. I never ended up recapping my thoughts on HMM after the marathon but basically the mix of hard and easy runs (alternating every day other day or so) helped me stay injury-free and the speed work, particularly the tempo runs at marathon pace, greatly improved my ability to run faster for longer distances. I also felt strong during the race and never bonked, even though my long training runs maxed out at 16 miles.  photo_3[1]While all of this is great, there are a few things about the Chicago Marathon training cycle that concern me. For one, despite my legs feeling great during the race, I started to feel nauseous around mile 22. At the time I thought it was because I got hot, but I’ve definitely run warmer races without feeling nauseous. Now I wonder if it had to do with fueling, not taking enough in during training runs and only consuming GUs/Gatorade without any solids during the race. Everyone fuels differently and for marathon success it’s really important to find out what works best. For me, I know taking in about 100 calories every 7ish miles (and more-ish towards the end as needed) is ideal. However, when I’m going for a 16 mile training run, I most likely won’t take GUs at miles 7 and 14 because that seems silly (to me), I just take one at mile 8 and call it a day. This becomes problematic when long runs are capped at 16 miles because it doesn’t provide many opportunities to experiment with fueling multiple times over the course of a run. My plan this training cycle is to increase my mileage and therefore my long runs to allow for additional fueling opportunities. As of now, I’m scheduled for one 16-miler, one 17-miler, and one 18-miler instead of the traditional HMM three 16-milers but this may change depending on how training and winter go. (An aside: a common misconception of HMM is that long runs can be no longer than 16 miles. In reality, the program specifies that long runs should comprise of 25-30% of a runner’s weekly mileage.)

Speaking of increasing mileage, I’ve ramped up the HMM by adding more miles to my easy days. While my initial plan was to run higher mileage to allow for longer runs, the more I thought about it, the more increasing my mileage makes sense. My improvement in the marathon distance has plateaued over the last year and I want to shake things up. HMM already calls for two speed workouts each week so increasing my mileage is the next logical step (short of hiring a coach). I was nervous about this at first (going against the plan!) but in general, my body seems okay with higher than average mileage and I’ve been running basically 55-60 miles/week for the majority of my training cycles over the past year so it’s not like I’m taking a huge leap. HMM actually recommends adding miles to the scheduled rest day but I prefer having one day off of running a week so I added more miles to my easy days. My plan at the moment is very go-with-the-flow so after a few weeks, I’ll reevaluate and see if I need to scale back or ramp up.

I’m also aiming to run my marathon pace tempo runs at slightly faster than marathon pace. I tend to pick up a lot of extra mileage because I’m not good at running tangents. I remember looking at my Garmin during the Chicago Marathon when I hit 26.2 miles and seeing 3:20:4X, however, I still had a couple tenths of a mile to run. I also remember picking up a lot of extra distance when I ran the Illinois Marathon in 2011. Training (and hopefully racing) a few seconds faster than “goal pace” should help me hit my goal time even if I happen to pick up extra distance on the course.

One additional tweak I’m making to my training is changing my rest day. HMM is pretty adamant about doing the runs in the order scheduled which includes taking Wednesday as a rest day. I did this all summer and LOVED it. There was something so nice about sleeping in in the middle of the week. However, once classes started in the fall and I was in Evanston until 11ish on Wednesday nights, waking up at 4:30 or 5:00 AM to run a tempo run on Thursday morning was such a struggle and my runs suffered! I decided to copy Declan and do the HMM prescribed Friday run on Wednesday and take Thursday off. Friday and Saturday are both generally easy runs so this really shouldn’t cause any problems.

So yeah, that’s how I’m training. I took my training plan knowledge and formulated the most relaxed approach I’ve ever had towards training. It may work out or it may backfire but at this point, the flexibility of this plan is really appealing to me. I’m pushing myself and working towards a goal but I’m doing it smartly and adapting everything as I go. Wish me luck!

How do you pick a training plan? Do you adapt it?

Weekly Workouts

Sunday – 8 mile easy effort run (average pace – 8:10 min/mile)


Monday – 1400 yard swim

Tuesday – 6.2 mile easy effort run (average pace – 8:18 min/mile)

Wednesday – 6.2 mile easy effort run (average pace – 8:22 min/mile)

Thursday – 40 minutes of strength training via Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred

Friday – 8 mile easy effort run (average pace – 8:22 min/mile).


Saturday – OFF


  • I have been loving my Sunday runs. I have to be up super early on Saturdays for lab so by the time Sunday rolls around all I want to do is sleep in. I’ve been heading out later in the morning (ya know, after 7 am) and appreciating seeing all of the other runners and the daylight. Nothing like running in the dark all work week to get you excited for a little sunlight.
  • I had big plans to swim a mile on Monday but the lifeguards were late and the pool opened 15 minutes later than it should have. Womp womp. I did what I could before I had to get out and get ready for work.
  • I had a huge midterm and a big work deadline last week so my only goal was to do something active every day. My 6 mile route is my favorite so I’m not surprised I gravitated toward that distance.
  • My bags were packed to go to the pool on Thursday and then it was raining and I convinced myself I was better off strength training in my apartment. It’s been a long time since I’ve consistently done any strength training though and I was SORE afterwards with major DOMS after my 8 mile run on Friday.
  • I feel like I’m finally out of my post-marathon funk, it’s nice to be back :).

Wednesday Workouts {10-09-2013}

Wednesday – OFF

Thursday – 13.85 mile tempo run with 10 miles at marathon pace (mp miles – 7:34, 7:38, 7:31, 7:30, 7:35, 7:35, 7:33, 7:35, 7:35, 7:43; average pace – 7:52 min/mile).

Friday – Easy effort 7 miler (average pace – 8:51 min/mile).


SaturdayEasy effort 8 miler OFF

Sunday – Easy effort 8 miler (average pace – 8:10 min/mile).


Monday – Easy effort 6 miler (average pace – 8:14 min/mile).


Tuesday – Easy effort 5.1 miler (average pace – 8:22 min/mile).

Total – 39.95 should I just call it 40?


  • My tempo run this past week was most likely my worst run of this training cycle. Wednesday night I had class in Evanston until 9:15 and I didn’t get home until after 11:00 PM. I was exhausted and stressed and didn’t fall asleep until well after midnight. I also didn’t eat a real dinner Wednesday and woke up Thursday morning feeling exhausted and hungry. First I didn’t want to get out of bed but once I started running I felt okay… until mile 10 when I totally bonked. I stopped along the lakefront path and was ready to walk home when I started to think about all of the training I’d done over the last few months. I convinced myself to run the rest of the way home but it wasn’t my best.
  • I was supposed to do back-to-back 8 milers this weekend but decided to skip my Saturday run so I could get more sleep. I was up late on Friday night doing homework and couldn’t imagine another 4 AM morning (especially followed by a 1.5 hours on pubic transit + 4.5 hours of lab + 5 hours of sitting in the car on the way to Michigan). It was just too much! So I slept in a little and still work up early but gave myself some much needed “me” time on the computer instead of rushing out the door to go for a run.
  • After not running on Saturday, I was itching to run on Sunday. My body actually felt achy from not running (or sitting in the car for a long time) and my run started off really slow. My ankles and feet also felt tired?? However, as the run progressed, I continued to feel better and better. I also really enjoyed exploring my mom’s neighborhood.
  • I had Monday off and Ian and I stayed in Michigan so I slept in and then headed out for an easy 6 miler. The cool temps + the trees changing color reminded me that it really is fall (even if it’s been warm and muggy in Chicago).
  • When I saw that I had a five mile run on my schedule last week I was surprised. I think that it was the shortest run of the entire cycle but I definitely appreciated the extra sleep.
  • I can’t believe the marathon is this weekend!