Marathon Training Update (and what’s with all that cross training??)

I haven’t blogged in a while, or given you an update on where my training is, so I thought it was about time!  Life has been busy as usual, and as always my blogging takes a back seat to both my running and my family.  But that’s a good thing, isn’t it?

I’m currently about 18 weeks out from my next marathon (Windermere in Spokane, WA).  If you follow me on either Facebook or Instagram, you might remember that I signed up for a distance education course on Marathon Training.  (If you don’t follow me on Facebook or Instagram, then you SHOULD! 😉 )

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I’m not 100% sure where this is going to take me as I currently have a full time job, a family, and am actually pretty busy.  I love running though, and am really passionate about helping people, and would love to learn more and be able to help people reach their running goal.  Because of this, I’ve decided that I would make myself my first guinea pig (aka client). 

I’ve been doing A TON of reading lately, well actually this isn’t really a new thing; I’ve always loved reading books about running, and training, and have just been digging into some new books lately.  I’ve specifically been reading a lot about Heart Rate training, and have also reading Brad Hudson’s Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon: How to be your Own Best Coach.  For this cycle I’m taking Hudson’s Marathon 2 plan, and adapting it to fit with my schedule, my Running Partner’s schedule, and with my body and my needs. 

Here are the primary goals that I’m attempting to balance right now. 

  1. Run, lots, mostly easy.  I’ve been running really consistently since my second daughter was born, and my body is fairly happy with moderate mileage right now.  I know that lots of people think that the 40 mpw ish that I call moderate is A LOT, and others think that it’s peanuts… it’s so relative!  My body is used to this base, and I am extremely grateful to be in this place.
  2. Strength Train as much as I can, focusing on core, hips, glutes, etc.  I am of the firm belief that this is a huge reason why my body is happy with my current running volume.  The stronger it is the better able it is to withstand the running volume.  Right now, I’m working hard on incorporating 2 strength sessions a week.  It’s not always easy, I’m busy, and like most runners, running trumps all other workouts, but it’s important, so I’m making it a priority.  One big change I’ve made this cycle is to actually schedule these sessions into my training plan.
  3. Crosstrain.  I’ve never really cross trained much before.  Sure, I will bike or do other activities when I can’t run, or for a few months when I’ve lost my mind and signed up for a multisport race (haha!), but I’ve never made it a priority.  Why?  Because I’m a runner, so, well, I like to run.  Much like the strength training, I’m scheduling this in.  I have a bike trainer at home now, and bought the speed and cadence sensor for my bike (why?  Graphs, that’s why.)  This cycle, I’m attempting to have at least 2 non-running workouts per week (usually running or swimming, or the occasional x-country ski).
  4. Recover.  This is so important, and hard to do unless it is scheduled!  I’m taking a recovery week at a minimum of every 3 weeks, and sometimes more often, I’m also trying to build total rest days into my schedule.  Some weeks, I do not have a full rest day, just easy days, some weeks I have one day with absolutely nothing scheduled.  Everyone has different needs for recovery, and so far this is working well for me.  The other important building blocks of recovery are nutrition and sleep.  I’m trying to fuel my runs properly and to eat soon after them.  I’m also working hard at prioritizing sleep.  This is sometimes a challenge as my alarm is set for somewhere between 4:30 and 5:00 Monday through Friday.  I do my best to get my butt into bed early so that I have the energy to get through the day!

I heard a coach compare writing an athlete’s schedule out to being much like a game of Tetris… remember Tetris?  It clicked for me at that point why I liked writing out running schedules so much!  I love me some Tetris…


I have another new tool in my arsenal.  It’s a new Training Schedule website.  It’s a bit different from the other ones out there, such as Strava or Dailymile (which I still love and post to – so feel free to go follow me there also!)  This new tool is NOT social at all (crazy I know!), but is a site that only I have access to, and can plan my future workouts, and have my garmin upload my current/past workouts to.  The site is  It’s often used by coaches to design their client’s workouts, and you can search/hire coaches through the site, or use it simply for your own use.  I bought a premium membership for myself because I liked the format so much, and have not regretted it for a second. It’s easy to use, and I love that I can plan out my training cycle, and watch as the workouts are completed.

So this post ended up being more an update on my philosophy than my training… oooops!  As for my training, it’s going well.  Below is a snapshot from TrainingPeaks of what I’ve been up to.  I’m learning a lot, and trying to adapt that to myself, I’m not sure exactly where that will take me, but I’m excited to find out.  Hopefully it’ll have me running more and faster in the coming year!



What I eat…

The running (specifically running social media) community seems to have a lot of opinions on what we (runners, athletes and human beings) should eat.  I have generally remained fairly silent on this cause, but that does not mean that I don’t have some fairly strong opinions on it.  Perhaps it’s because of my strong opinions that I’ve remained silent. Continue reading “What I eat…”