Boston Marathon Training (T-11)

Well, apparently we have another six weeks of winter to look forward to. Way to go, Punxsutawney Phil.


Photo via Twitter

I remember saying a few weeks ago that I felt like winter had been fairly mild. Yes, we had some cold days. But we hadn’t had any snow or any days where it was just plain miserable to be out running. Well, all that changed rather quickly and last week was a another week of horrendous weather (that much of the country has been dealing with).

I managed to run outside three times – and was forced to the treadmill the other three (once because of the blizzard and twice because of ice on the ground).

Planned: 8-9 miles with 6×20 sec strides
Actual: 10 miles – no strides

I did this run as the snow was starting to fall Monday morning – I knew that at least two days would likely be on treadmill so I wanted to save my I’m going to lose my mind cards for later in the week when it was 100% necessary.

It was actually quite beautiful to be out while the snow was starting to fall but I opted out of the strides because the roads were pretty slushy by the time I was finishing up.

photo (98)

Planned: 2 mile warmup, 4 mile tempo, 2 mile cooldown (target 6:50-7:00)
Actual: 2 mile warmup, .7 tempo (6:57 average) + 4.0 tempo (6:42 average), 1.3 mile cooldown (entire workout at 1.0% incline)

The only time I could do this run was first thing in the morning and unfortunately, the roads were pretty icy from the snow the day before.

After the 2 mile warmup (8:07, 7:47), I immediately started the tempo portion. However, I had to get off a couple of times within the first .7 miles because of blisters on the backs of my heels (that happened during the previous Saturday’s snowy long run). I tried different bandaids but each one would start to move and come off after a minute or two. I finally got some electrical tape and just taped my ankles to keep the bandaids in place.

However, after a rest of almost 5 minutes, I made decision to start the tempo from the top. The purpose of a tempo is to run continuously for “x” number of minutes or miles and I felt like it was kind of cheating to add in a 5+ minute break in the middle.

I found that when I started back up, the pace I was running earlier felt easy, too easy, for a tempo, so I picked up the pace. The first three miles felt comfortably uncomfortable; the last mile I was working – but still not at race pace effort. Splits: 6:54, 6:47, 6:39, 6:31. 

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
Planned: 6-7 miles (easy paced)
Actual: 7, 7, 7 miles (one on treadmill, two outside)

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Favorite way to warm up post-run these days.

Planned: 16 miles (moderate pace – 7:40-8:10)
Actual: 16 miles at 7:52 pace

My training plan is pretty flexible, so if I need to bump a long run to Sunday, it’s usually no problem. The forecast for Saturday looked frightful (hello, -5 windchill) but I didn’t want to run on Sunday. My husband and I had dinner plans with my sisters and their husbands (we were spending the night at my sister’s) while our little guys slept over my mom’s house. I was looking forward to a night filled with good food and great wine and didn’t want to have a long run on Sunday staring me in the face.


I was all set for the treadmill but after chatting with Amanda, I figured I’d at least give running outside a shot. Even if I could get 5 miles in, it would make my time on the treadmill seem way more manageable.

So, I laid out my clothes, picked up some last-minute gear advice thanks to more-experienced winter runners from Instagram and got ready for the coldest run of my life – literally.

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It ended up being a bit warmer than forecasted at that start of the run (-1 instead of -5) and while definitely cold, I was surprisingly pretty okay for almost the entire run. The only really uncomfortable part was when I was headed directly into the 20 mph headwind. That would be uncomfortable if it was 5 or 30 degrees.

long run

Changed out my Pro Compression socks for SmartWool socks.

I kept my watch under my mittens and jacket so had no idea of pace until I was finished and was surprised at the pace. I was sure that I was running closer to 8:15-8:30 miles for most of the run!

Splits: 7:53, 7:51, 7:48, 7:52, 7:46, 7:48, 7:55, 8:04, 7:55, 8:01, 7:59, 8:01, 8:01, 8:08, 7:40, 7:35.
Average Pace: 7:52

The week also included two 30-minute trainer rides (easy pedaling), three core workouts (~25-30 min) and two strength workouts (~35-45 min).

Total Mileage for week: 55

What’s the coldest temperature (with windchill!) you have ever run in? 

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    9 thoughts on “Boston Marathon Training (T-11)

    1. We had a very cold winter last year. It’s Minnesota so I have run in -20 degree weather. So far, so good. I do still have all my fingers and toes. If it is colder than -20 I give myself a day off. I dressed pretty much the way you are pictured above. I find once my fingers and toes get over the initial chill, it’s really not too bad in the negative degrees.

    2. i love reading your training recaps. i ran on saturday – it wasn’t quite as cold as NY here in DC but we did have that awful headwind. outside of that, it was quite pleasant. two pants, wool socks and my “i might murder you” ski mask did the trick! :)
      Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC recently posted..February 2015 GoalsMy Profile

    3. Single digits with a negative windchill is the coldest I have gone. The wind makes a HUGE difference!!!! You are doing SO awesome getting out there. I went out Sat too…it was a little warmer her…but I wasn’t too cold at all. My cheeks were freezing though and the gusts of wind were not fun. I can’t complain though because on that run I had a man run past me in shorts!!!! You and your hubbie are so cute :)
      Jen@milesandblessings recently posted..Perspective & Kids runningMy Profile

    4. What a great training week my friend!!! Don’t you love it when you’re running faster then you think? All that strength training is paying off in power! Keep up the good work and you look great in that picture with your husband :-)
      Coldest running temp to date has been 10 with 0 wind chill. It was COLD but totally manageable and light years better then the treadmill…
      Allie recently posted..Questions Answered…with QuestionsMy Profile

    5. Today I ran in 11 degrees, with with the windchill bringing it down to -10. Your cold weather outfit looks so toasty! The balaclava is the one thing I have yet to be able to wear on runs, regardless of the cold. I can’t stand the feeling of something around my neck. Can’t believe Boston is in 11 weeks — Thank you for the inspiration.