Week 5: Marathon Training

Good morning and Happy Monday! It was hard to wake up with this rainy weather… but here I am! I hope you all have a great start to your week. Let’s get right in to the nitty gritty…

[ week 5 / 25 weeks until 26.2 ]

Sunday – Long run – 8 easy miles, easy pace (10min/mile). This run felt GREAT – I think mostly sue to the fact that the weather was extremely nice. It actually started off chilly and I thought about wearing arm sleeves… didn’t quite end up needing that (was fine in tank top and shorts) but it still was just the perfect amount of chilly for running. I didn’t need a ton of water and didn’t ever feel hot at all. (the BEST feeling). My legs felt great and I was never out of breath.

I just got in the zone, ran to my music and let my legs take me where they wanted to go. I never really have a planned route – just out the front door and run. I ended up running around 2 parks nearby. It was nice to explore. I was really happy about this run feeling great because a month ago, I never ever would’ve considered 8 miles to be “easy.” It’s still a challenge, but with the great weather it was quite honestly very nice.


Monday – Easy 3 mile run. 3 miles at 10min/mile. Did this run right before strength training (I’m doing Gold’s Fit every Monday for strength training). I’ve found that the only way I can get to the class on time at 5:45 is to go to the gym (where the class is) right after work and run on the treadmill – I then go straight to class. I don’t like running on the treadmill, but at least it’s a short run. I think next time I will try to run in the morning, though – then do the class after work. Anything to avoid the treadmill…

The strength training (Gold’s Fit) class was TOUGH this week. So, first you warm up (which is nice since I just finished running) with stretches and things like that. The warm-up today was 8 min x (10 dive bomb push-ups, 10M duck walk, 10 V-ups, 10M bear crawls). Then, you move on to “skill” which, today, was 3 x (10 split squats + dips to failure). For the dips to failure, I did about 4 (I lack a bit in upper body strength). Then you do “training,” which is really getting into the tough stuff. For training, we did 10 x (10 squats + 10 push ups + 10 AbMat sit-ups + 5 burpees). You can adjust reps according to your level. For example, I only did 8 push-ups each time, on my knees.

So, needless to say I was sore the next day.


Tuesday – Did NOT feel like running today. I waited until the LAST minute to get this one in. It was 7pm… about the latest I’ll start a run this time of year (outdoors) because, as a general rule, I don’t run in the dark. My vision isn’t the best, I live in the city, and don’t really have the proper gear for it – so I don’t feel safe. I manage to get my runs in during the daytime.

Anyway, I probably needed to do this workout on a treadmill in order to really do it properly, anyways, but I thought I’d try to do my best outdoors. I did hills today – my first “hill” workout during this training. Though I always encounter hills on all runs, I specifically found the toughest hills I could. So, the workout was 2 miles easy, 10 min uphill, 2 min down, 1 mile easy. Though it wasn’t quite possible to go uphill for 10min straight outdoors, I kept my pace up and went uphill as much as possible. It still felt very challenging – at times I felt like I was sprinting and was going 10min/mile uphill.


Wednesday – 5:30 am spin class! Always so excited for these no matter HOW early they are. For some reason I wasn’t very fast today… well, I didn’t win ALL the sprints… (I’m a bit of a competitive one here, if you haven’t noticed). Also I was EXTREMELY tired after the ride… I went home and had to lay down for a few before I got ready for work. I kept thinking there was no way I’d get my run in today…

I did it, though. I ended up getting my run in after work – and despite being EXHAUSTED that morning – the run actually felt great! I thought for SURE I’d be lagging, dragging heavy legs – you know… one of those runs. But it wasn’t! I felt great and actually had to slow myself down at first. 4 miles felt just right – not too long, not too short.


Thursday – 5 miles/46 min/9:10/mi. I mentioned in my journal that I had a “LONG DAY” at work – this is one of my biggest work events of the year… well, the one time a year when I pretend to be an event coordinator. Anyway, had a terrible headache after work but laid down, took some Excedrin and got ready for my run.

Surprisingly (again), I ended up having an OK run despite all the external factors. It did seem long, though. After about 3 miles I felt DONE. But, I’m glad I pushed on. I went around the park and I felt so, so much better after my run. Headache gone, energy back, feeling good!


Friday – 5 miles/9:21 pace. By Friday I was thinking to myself, how am I possibly going to run 5 miles today? I got out there… started off at about an 11:00/mile pace feeling stiff and  tired. It was one of those days I just wanted to think of excuses. But I know these are the days that make you stronger.

I kept thinking – there’s no way I can do this for 5 miles… But I felt better (finally!) after about 3 miles. It took that long for me to really warm up and get in the zone. I just kept trudging along and managed a 9:21 pace (goal was 9:30). One thing helping me overcome those thoughts of doubt was the reminder that tomorrow was going to be rest day!


Saturday – Much needed rest day! It really did the trick, too – I felt completely and fully recovered after today in order to get back at it on Sunday.

Total miles for the week – 29.3

HUGE THANKS as always to my amazing coach, Andrew Simmons with Lifelong Endurance, for guiding me through my training journey. Having a coach and having these runs and workouts lined up for me is helping IMMENSELY. I am really enjoying the challenge of the marathon training and will proudly thank my coach not only on the day of the Rock ‘n Roll Las Vegas Marathon, but for years to come. This is an experience I will never forget.

I also want to thank all of YOU – the AMAZING running community. You are all so, so supportive, kind, and encouraging. I truly think that runners are the happiest kind of people on this earth. I hope to encourage you as well.

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it” – Greg Anderson.

Thanks for reading!


4 thoughts on “Week 5: Marathon Training

  1. Joey says:

    The run you had Sunday are my favorite ones to have. You’re really moving along nicely. Waite until you see how great you feel 4 weeks from now, the progress is just a slow and steady one.We sometimes dont even realize it.Of course there are always set backs along the way. As long as we stay up beat, it works out. I really dont see lack of spirit as your problem LOL. I have been using a Personel Trainer doing core work which is way out of my comfort zone, so I find motivation in your posts as well.Thank you!
    You have the right mind set on your long runs.Time is not really an issue. As I am sure you know, the purpose of the long run is to prepare your body to spare glycogen and rely more on fat as a fuel source You delay glycogen depletion during a long race, so you delay the crash :)You also are getting mentally ready for what it will fell like to be out there for 3 or 4 hours on marathon day.”To prepare for the psychological challenge of racing for hours, you have to train for hours”. I love the approach both you and your coach ate taking, building over time. You cant cram the aforementioned process.I was went out for time on my long runs rater then distance. I always had a pretty good idea of how far I went. However, the time was my goal.OK YOU HAD ENOUGH OF LOL


    Liked by 1 person

    • jennarunslikeagirl says:

      Thanks so much, Joey!!! I really appreciate your feedback. Nice to hear. Glad you can find motivation in my posts. Having a coach has helped a lot and he seems to really know my level and set up my runs accordingly. Slowly building up the mileage and I know I will get there! Thanks again!


  2. Elizabeth C. says:

    Nice recap of your week. I think a key thing that you are seeing is that a run often doesn’t feel “good” until a few miles into it. In the case of your 5-miler, you were over halfway done. Our bodies are weird like that, and I’ve had runs that have been roller-coaster like. Congrats on getting all the training done last week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jennarunslikeagirl says:

      Thank you! YES! I actually meant to mention something about that at the end! It seems like I’m surprising myself on the days I feel like there’s “no way” I can run X amount of miles – sometimes it just take a few miles to get into it. Like you said, in some cases the run is almost over before I warm up/get into the groove. Some days I start off right in the groove of it. Just depends on the day! Thanks again for the encouragement! I really appreciate it!


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