2016 Boston Marathon Training (T-13)

Some weeks running and training are seamless and each run goes as planned. Other weeks it takes lots of moving of the puzzle pieces to get the runs in. And other weeks, those puzzle pieces may not fit so perfectly and something has to get tossed.

This past week was the 2nd. I got all the runs in that I planned to, but it took a bi t of finagling and shifting of when and where the runs happened.

6 days of running with a weekly mileage of 60 miles – highest since mid-September. The constant hunger has returned and so in case my mileage didn’t indicate the return to marathon training, the endless calories and meals are a good sign.

There was a lot of treadmill running this week. Not ideal or how I hoped to spend my weekend, but as always, I’m just grateful for the opportunity to still run even when the roads are less than ideal – or the child-watching situation makes it impossible.

As many of you, we got hit with a ton of snow Friday evening into Sunday morning. The last report I saw had Staten Island with the most in the tri-state area – at 31.7 inches. It was a lot. But life went back to normal on Monday – school for the boys and roads mostly open. Running outside is day-by-day right now depending on the temps. If it’s sub-freezing, then there’s too much ice on the shoulders for me to run. IMG_8167IMG_8257Here’s how the week broke down:

Monday, Thursday, Saturday
7, 8, 6 mile easy/recovery days
Two were on roads and one was on the treadmill. I love my easy days so much these days. They are relaxing and enjoyable and the miles just tick by. Monday was the coldest run of the year for me – windchills hovering around 7-8 degrees!


Tuesday – To run fast you have to run fast
10 total miles with 5 x 1 mile repeats
Sometimes I get into the routine of running easy. There is certainly NOTHING wrong with this, but I know that in order for me to work on my speed in the marathon, I need to work on my speed and turnover in shorter distances. Not every speed day should be long tempos or pace-work. By focusing on shorter distance speed, it will make the tempos feel easier. Tempos, in turn, make marathon pace feel easier.

A chilly morning meant slick roads, so I was on the treadmill again for speed this week. I kept the incline at 1% for the entire run (as I always do when I am on the treadmill).

2 mile warmup with the 2nd mile intentionally faster than usual. I usually hover around 8:00 min/mile for my warmup, but I knew that my legs needed to have a little warmup a touch faster than usual. So I did my usual 1st mile warmup and then started picking up the pace for the 2nd mile (I got down to about 7:00/mile). Once the warmup is complete, I stop and stretch for about 2-3 minutes. This ensures that I’m adequately warmed up and stretched out.

Goal pace was 6:20-6:30. I started on the slower end. The last time I did short intervals on the treadmill I felt like I was barely hanging on. I wanted to finish this workout fast and strong. So rather than immediately jump to the low end of my coach’s range, I started on the slower end and worked down.

Splits: 6:27, 6:22, 6:18, 6:15, 6:08. All with .3 active recovery (coach wanted me to do 1/4 mile but my treadmill only shows tenths of a mile) at 9:22 pace.

The 6:08 is the fastest I’ve run mile repeats in a long time. I felt really, really good for the first 4 – and so made the decision to pick up pace a bit for the last one. It wasn’t all out but it was harder effort than the previous 4.

Cooldown miles: 8:13 (x2)

Friday – embrace the craziness
19 miles: 7:46 pace
To be honest, I didn’t have any intention of doing this run on Friday. I had to be at work earlier than usual so there was no chance of 19 miles happening before work (I needed to leave my house by 6:30am). I would have had to be finished running by 5:45am – which would have meant a 3:15 start time. Umm. No.

And so I intended to do my Sunday run (10 brisk/pace miles) on Friday with the long run on Sunday on the treadmill (my husband left Friday for the weekend/early part of week). But, my oldest was up a lot during the night coughing and under the weather, so when the alarm went off, I made decision to scrap the run and get more sleep.

I was able to leave work a bit early – and while I was on the bus headed home, had the thought that maybe I’d try the long run – just to get it out of the way. Both boys took long naps with our babysitter so I knew that I would be able to run the miles without stopping to do the bedtime routine or lay with them.

They were pretty excited – we popped some popcorn, loaded up on snacks, drinks and toys and went down our basement to watch Wizard of Oz. I also had a quick cup of coffee when I was prepping all of their supplies. The extra caffeine helped!

I was able to run continuously for 19 miles. I’m pretty lucky that my kids sat through the movie and then continued to play until I was finished.


I had a small bottle of water and 16 oz of water mixed with one scoop of Gen Ucan for the run. I started sipping every 2 miles or so from both around 3-4 miles for the duration of the run. I usually fuel with gels or chomps but after a full day of food felt that the liquid calories might sit better on my stomach. No stomach or energy issues – I felt energized for the entire 19 miles.

I started at 8:00 pace and dropped it down every few miles until I was running 7:40s. I then picked up the pace the last few miles to finish fast (last 2: 7:15, 6:53).

I shared the run on Instagram and got a ton of questions about how I stayed entertained for 19 miles. Here’s what I did – I don’t think I would have lasted for 2:30+ hours if I didn’t do something like this:

I kept the incline at 1% for the entire run (it never went below 1%). After a 10 minute warmup, I started increasing the incline every 4 minutes for 30-60 seconds. Nothing major with the incline – it was anywhere from 1.5-3%. But it was enough to keep my mind occupied. I did the 4 minute inclines in between the .5 and 1.0 mile points. So I was either counting up or down for only 2 minutes at a time. It definitely helped break up the run for me and force me to only focus on one part at a time.

Sunday – pace work
Planned: 10 miles @ 7:10-7:20
Actual: 10 miles @ 7:07

This was another treadmill run. My husband was still away, so I headed to the treadmill early Sunday AM after a cozy morning with breakfast by the fire. My plan was to stay right around 7:10 – no faster – until the last couple of miles. I didn’t want to head to the low 7s or upper 6s too soon and turn it into a tempo run.

Again, incline was at 1%. I also incorporated hills into this run – every 4-5 minutes, I would run 30-60 seconds at 1.5-3% incline. Just enough to simulate rolling hills.

First mile was somewhat of a warmup as I eased into the paces. 7:18.

Miles 2-7 were steady at 7:08 (my treadmill has paces for 7:08 and 7:13) so I opted for 7:08. These were enjoyable, strong miles. My heart rate was in control and I felt like I could run at this pace for longer. So I decided to pick up pace just a touch over the next 2 miles (8: 7:03, 9: 6:55) and then hammer it home for the last mile (10: 6:25).

I’ve been working with a couple of new brands/companies the last few months and am excited to share the details with you soon. I’m a big believer in only sharing products/gear/etc that I use and love – and the only way that happens is after weeks of trying it out – either during or after a run. I’m not trying to be secretive – just want to finalize a few details with these brands before anything is announced formally!

Hope you all had a great week and enjoyed the snow (if you were lucky enough to get some!) :)

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    13 thoughts on “2016 Boston Marathon Training (T-13)

    1. Way to go! I’m in awe of your attention to detail on the breakdown of miles. I have the hardest time focusing which is probably why I struggle with improving my time. I’ve been running for years but only recently started taking interest speeding up, helps with the boredom. I noticed R&R VB on there, I was at that same race, a hot one that year!

    2. Great week of running, well done. It really does blow my mind how accurate you are with your progressively faster tempo miles. I know you were on a treadmill but still to be so disciplined at the pace is seriously impressive! Nice idea to make an evening out of it with your kids for your long run. Kinda makes me want a treadmill :)
      Fiona recently posted..Eating the Burn Series: Long Run DayMy Profile

    3. I love your dedication! I’ve done it the other way around plenty of times–20+ miles and then a full day of work–but I cannot imagine running that distance at the end of a long day…on the last day of the work week. Kudos to you for getting it done! You rock!!

    4. I’m loving my new treadmill but worried that I’m now running too much on it and not out on the roads! Not sure I could survive 19 miles but I’ve done several 10 milers and it seems to fly by pretty well.
      You had another really strong week and love the pics of the boys and snow :-) We got lucky and were only hit with about 6 inches!!
      Allie recently posted..5 Most Embarrassing Songs on My PlaylistMy Profile

    5. I felt like I was reading my past two weeks of life! Lots of snow, long run on the treadmill(adjusting incline and all that too), and rearranging runs. The only thing I didn’t like was having to smoosh two longer runs back to back due to work schedule. But, got it done!!! Way to go speedy mama! Maybe one day I’ll be training for Boston too. :-)

    6. You are an amazing runner. I love following your training as you navigate life and running! You are a great runner!

    7. I did the exact same thing for my 13 miles last Saturday. Not 19 by any means, but I still get bored for longer than 10+ miles on the treadmill. I went from a 1% incline to 4% incline every 6 minutes and just kept playing with the incline. Plus, I figured extra incline definitely can’t hurt for Boston! Great training week!
      Sara @ LovingOnTheRun recently posted..Developing Mental StrengthMy Profile

    8. What are your recommendations for cold weather gear? I’m always looking for suggestions and you seem very adequately bundled!

      Kudos for 19 miles on a treadmill. I’m way slower than you, so even the thought of 8 is a bit daunting. Do you watch TV or anything?