Training

Let’s talk a little about training…

Running wasn’t really a thing that people did in the Irish Catholic Boston neighborhood where I grew up. I started running casually in high school, and didn’t realize that people who ran races had to approach their goals in a focused, structured way. Like, until I was nearly 24 years old, I thought everyone who ran marathons were just born with super-powered legs that could carry them 26.2 miles.

When I first tried to train for a half marathon, I plateaued at 7 miles because I was literally just running seven miles every single day with no rest days and no easy days, all while struggling with an as-yet-undiagnosed intestinal issue that causes me to be SUPER sensitive to gluten and a number of other things…more on that later.

Eventually I discovered pinterest and started actually educating myself on how running things are done. I’ve followed a few different plans over the years. I very loosely followed this plan that I tore out from a copy of Self Magazine when training for my first five or six races. Later, I discovered Hal Higdon’s plans. My favorite part of these plans is that there are a number of different options based on your own body’s needs. I especially like that you can use the Your Training Calendar site to download your race-aligned Hal Higdon plan into your iPhone! Nowadays, though, I pretty much write my own training plan with a little bit of help of my Stepping Strong team coach from the 2018 Boston Marathon.

Generally, when I am training for a race, I follow this (very) basic schedule:

  • Monday3-5 miles easy! Try to haul yourself over some hills. Also, maybe some light weights.
  • Tuesday: Cross Train! I love bootcamp! Also spinning, elliptical, hiking
  • Wednesday: Mid Distance Day! (3-5 miles if I’m training for a half, 6-12 if I’m training for a full. I also try to go over some hills.)
  • Thursday: Speedwork! Intervals, Yassos, or just push out 5-8 miles close to race pace (after your warm up, of course!!)
  • Friday: Spin Class or Barre Class! Also hydrating:)
  • Saturday: Long Run! (7-12 miles for a half, 13-21 miles for a full. Start at the lower number and add one each week, alternating in a “down week” 10 miler when you’re hitting higher milage)
  • SundayRest! Maybe take a nice walk, or take a yoga class. Foam roll, ect.

I’ve learned through experience, though, that your training is only as good as your knowledge of yourself and your body. If you’re super sore, or tired, or your stomach is not behaving, you need to take a rest day. Now, I’m not saying lay on the couch all day. But a walk in the park or a bit of light elliptical will give you the active recovery you might need to stay on track.

Happy trails, runners!