Monday, January 7, 2013

Training Kickoff

And so it begins... training cycle for my fourth marathon. I'm anxious. I'm excited. I'm freakin' nervous!

I have a big goal for the Eugene Marathon (April 28)... to come under 4:15, which is a 9:44 pace... for 26.2 miles. It seems pretty lofty right now, but I did finish under 4:19 last May at Wisconsin. Why not go for the PR? Is there any other way to train?

I chose to follow the Run Less Run Faster training once again. {see my review of this book here}  The plan worked well for me in the past - good endurance prep for the marathon, but also pushes my speed and allows flexibility in cross-training.

My training program begins with the the RLRF version for Women 55-59 (BQ4:15).  I will follow their three key runs each week, trying my best to hit the dictated paces. The three key runs are my 'must-do' runs of the week. I add in a couple more easy runs for pure enjoyment. If I find myself needing a break, the easy runs are what I skip.

The book recommends two days of cross-training. It shouldn't surprise you that I add in more... Spinning, swimming, boxing and yoga are the culprits. The cross-training burns extra calories to lose weight (without added stress on my run muscles) and helps me get triathlon-ready in the process.
This week's plan. Download/print this training template here.

Today was Day 1. Just looking at the task for a Monday scared me... but at least the hardest part is done for the week.

20 min warmup
3x1600 @ 8:11 pace (1 min RI)
10 min cooldown
Run 2 miles slow warmup. 
Sprint a mile (1600meters) at a 8:11 pace or 7.3 mph
Take a 1 minute rest interval (jog, walk, gasp for air...)
Repeat sprint and rest two more times.
Run 1 mile slow to cooldown.

I've done intervals many times before... but it's been a long time since I've taken the sprint seriously. An 8:11 mile is real serious in my world.  I'm disappointed to admit that I couldn't do it. Not yet anyway. The 1600's ended up being an assortment of 400's and 800's... but I didn't give up on the pace. I kept the sprints at the 7.3mph setting on the treadmill, but just couldn't hold them long enough. I can't tell you how frustrated I was with myself. There were many f-bombs landing in my basement. Upside... I have room to grow.
Ending Stats... 6 miles in 57:51

On a happy note, my little girls and I painted our toes RAINBOW last night. Every girl needs a new paint job to start a training plan, right?!


  1. I'm starting a CrossFit Endurance training plan for my half marathon in april. It has tons of sprint intervals. I might die.

  2. Oh good, I'll be ready to run 10 @ 9:44. You got this!

    1. Haha... now we gotta find someone to drag me thru the last 10!

  3. Can I say how much you inspire me. I am on a routine to get fit, but no way am I ready for a Marathon YET. It is in my sights, but just not now. I have been following you for a while, and your posts and your challenges have helped me immensely. Keep up the great work. Oh....the rainbow toes look awesome too.

  4. Looks great!!! Good luck with your training!

  5. Awesome Jess!

    I also have the book and really like it too.

    Hope to see you in Little Rock! Are you running the full or half marathon?

    1. I'm doing the FULL at Little Rock too... just not "racing" it for time. :) LR is all about the bling!

  6. I can't wait to meet you in Eugene! You will get your pr, that town is magic. Plus, you are on the kick-butt Furman program. It's no joke, which makes me wonder if all the extras you are throwing in could be counter-productive? They're pretty adamant about being well rested for those key workouts.

  7. Thank you for posting this. It is so refreshing to me to read "this was way hard and I couldn't do it" because that's reality. 8:11 is NO JOKE and I have every confidence that although you couldn't do it this time, you WILL be able to do it.

    You are going to kick ass in Eugene!!

  8. You know I love those toes!!!

    4:15 marathon...still trying to wrap my head around that LOL

  9. I admire you so much! I love that you can admit when things are hard and you couldn't do it. I am just considering my first full and I am nowhere as good as you- YET! Following you gives me hope that I will get there too!

  10. Jess I so appreciate your honesty - those intervals sound crazy hard! Good luck with your training - I've heard such good things about RLRF.

  11. Great job on the training. You'll get that 8:11, you know it. Good luck with the rest of the training cycle.

  12. Good luck with the training! And you will get that 8:11 mile...just keep trying! PS: I LOVE all your printables! Thanks for sharing!!

  13. oh yay, good luck to ya :) Very exciting. I'm on my own training play with intervals and I'm kicking my own butt so far! Ha! this paired with clean eating has me pushing myself beyond the limits and it feels so good!

    Your toes look great too!!!

  14. Good Luck on your training plan and Marathon #4.
    I decided to sign up for my #2!! So nervous but so excited to try and beat my own previous time.

  15. You can (and will!!!) do it!

    Reading your blog over the years, I'm always impressed by how much you've accomplished. Can't wait to hear about marathon #4!


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