Nashville Marathon Training: Week Four (38 miles)

One month done! Week four wrapped up the last full week of January and I have to say it was my best first month of training I’ve ever had. It’s crazy to me how quickly this month went by. My mileage ramped up quickly, but I felt ready for it. It’s nice to have already logged 100 miles for 2017.

Here’s the week breakdown:

Monday – Torch class + 3 miles (5 miles total)

5:15 AM alarms are never my friend, but once I get to the studio I’m wide awake. I covered 2 miles during treadmill intervals  in the class and followed it up with 3 more miles outside to bring me to 5 for the day. The strength and rowing circuits are getting a little bit easier, which is so exciting for me.

Tuesday – 4 miles

Four easy miles after work that weren’t exactly at my easy pace. I averaged 7:50 miles, but it just felt so good to get outside! My effort didn’t seem hard, so I just went with it. Running for the enjoyment of running and not caring about my pace is what I live for.

Wednesday – Cycle Class AM + 7 miles (speed workout) PM

6 AM cycling class to start the day. 45 minutes. 500 calories burned. And I did my speed work after work. I was supposed to meet up with the group, but the weather didn’t look great and I wimped out. Took it to the treadmill and actually had a great workout. 15 minute warm up, 5 minutes “on” at 7:47 average pace followed by a 5 minute jog. Repeated 4 times and did a 12 minute cool down to bring me to 7 miles. I love that I was able to keep my pace exactly the same for all four reps. And this was pretty fast for me on the treadmill (it always seems harder to run fast than when I’m outside).

Thursday – 4 miles + Torch class (6 miles total)

I ran 4 easy miles on the treadmill right after work before I went to my Torch class. One hour of strength, running, and rowing intervals to close out the night. 2 more miles on the treadmill brought me to 6. I used heavier weights than I usually do for the strength circuits and I felt strong. Love getting this cross training in!

Friday – Hot Power Yoga

Friday is rest day, but I really wanted some yoga in my life, so I took the 6 AM hot yoga class. My legs were really sore and the heat and stretching helped a lot. I’ve found such a new love for yoga.

Saturday – 16 miles. 8:17 average pace.

First hilly long run of this training cycle! I went out to Barrington with the Boston group and ran in a pack of about 8 awesome women. The last 5 miles were supposed to be at our marathon race pace and our splits were: 8:03, 8:01, 8:01, 8:03, 7:59. Really happy with those numbers…especially since I was having some stomach discomfort for about 3 or 4 miles towards the end. Running with the group helped distract me and I know that maybe I should stick to a more carb heavy dinner the night before a long run. The hills were consistent and rolling. I forgot how much harder it is to run a hilly route than it is to run the Chicago Lakefront Path. It was a great change of scenery and I actually enjoyed the hills. Hopefully they get easier from here on out! Either way I’m super proud of this distance, pace, and effort.

Sunday – Flywheel class AM + Yoga Flow 75 PM 

Late morning Flywheel cycling class for cross training day. I hadn’t been to Flywheel in awhile and my legs were really sore from the hills, so I wasn’t expecting much from this ride, but I surprisingly did well. A power score of 294 and a second place finish for the females. I was grateful for a sprint heavy class instead of a hill heavy class. It was nice to flush out my legs. And I’m going to my usual Yoga Flow 75 at Studio Three tonight. It’s truly my favorite way to end a weekend. Need some more stretching in my life after another hard week of work!

I’m proud of how well I’m handling this training cycle already. I was no where near a 16 mile long run by the end of month one during my last training cycle, so this is new to me. This plan calls for high mileage much more quickly, but I’m liking it. I love when I’m back to the stage where I think to myself “oh only 16 miles this weekend?” ONLY?! But it’s true. It changes your mentality. I love being in marathon training mode. We’re only 13 weeks away from Rock N Roll Nashville!

Week four = 38 miles 


Nashville Marathon Training: Week Three (34.39 miles)

The difference in this training cycle for me so far has been three major things: WAY more cross training, group paced long runs, and faster mileage escalation. I am feeling strong, but also very very sore. I’m interested to see how I’ll feel in a few weeks. Thankfully, I’ve been taking better care of my body in terms of nutrition and sleep so that is working in my favor.

Here’s what the third week of training looked like:

Monday – 6 miles + Torch 45 Class (1.5 miles)

Long weekend with a bonus day to put in some work. I ran 6 miles outside in the freezing rain to start my day because I couldn’t pass up the extra chance to run in the daylight even if the weather was awful. I ran a little too fast for an easy paced day, but the rain will do that to me. Felt good! Then I took a Torch 45 class at noon. Usually Torch classes are one hour, so this was a “fast paced” one. I covered 1.5 extra miles during the treadmill intervals and spent 25-30 minutes strength training and doing rowing intervals. Love these classes so much.

Tuesday – 4 miles

Easy run day. I ran 4 miles at 9+ minute pace with Kyle after work. It was nice to just relax and get a few miles in. And I love having the company so I can run in the dark.

Wednesday – 6 AM Cycle Class + 6.84 mile speed workout PM

6 AM cycling class with Antonia to start my Wednesday. Always a great way to wake up. 500 calories burned in 45 minutes. Then I had my speed workout with the Boston group after work. Workout was 10 minutes at 15 seconds faster than goal marathon pace times 2 with 5 minutes rest in between plus warm up and cool down. Ran the 10 minute reps at 7:31 pace and 7:21 pace. Felt really strong and loved running fast with the group!

Thursday – Torch Class (2 miles)

5:45 AM Torch class today! Covered 2 miles on the treadmill intervals, plus the rowing and strength intervals. The plan called for 7 miles today, but I decided to replace the mileage with this class. I was already at 20 miles for the week and my legs were very tired. Happy with my decision.

Friday – Cycle 45 Class (Live DJ ride!)

Friday is supposed to be my rest day, but when there’s a Live DJ ride at Studio Three I can’t pass it up. It was an evening 45 minute class and it was SO much fun. Nothing quite like having a live DJ in your spin studio. I didn’t push it too hard and just enjoyed the workout. It was a fun way to spend a Friday night after work.

Saturday – 14.05 miles + 1 hour Yoga Class

Saturday long run with the Boston group! 14.05 miles at 8:17 average pace. Somehow it was 50 degrees in January in Chicago…very strange, but it made for perfect long run weather. Miles really fly by when you’re running with a group and I’m so happy I made the decision to join this one. It’s definitely a faster long run pace than I’m used to, but it isn’t feeling hard. Could this be my new easy pace?? We’ll see. Ideally I’d like to run a sub 8 minute average marathon so maybe it could be. I also went to a one hour yoga class in the afternoon. My hips were tight and it felt good to stretch out.

Sunday – Cycle 45 Class AM + Yoga Flow 75 PM

Sunday is for cross training. Took a 45 minute cycling class at 11 AM — a sweaty way to recover. And I’m heading back to the studio for a 75 minute yoga class this evening. All this cycling and yoga is helping my legs recover more quickly.

I put in a lot of work this week. It’s fun to see it all written out every Sunday and reflect on how I feel. I did skip my rest day (which I don’t recommend), but it was for a special occasion cycling class I wanted to take. At least I’m doing the cross training! My legs are very sore, but the yoga is helping and after next week I’ll take it a little bit easier. Crazy how fast the first three weeks have gone by.

Week three = 34.39 miles


Nashville Marathon Training: Week Two (30.65 miles) 

Week two came and went quickly. I had to make a few minor adjustments to my plan in order to keep up all the extra cross training, but I’m glad I did. All of this cross training is making me a faster runner.

Here’s what the week looked like:

Monday – Torch Class AM (2 miles) + 4 miles PM

Took an early morning interval class to start the week! An hour long combination of running, rowing, and strength circuits. This class is my jam. It wakes me up and gives me the boost I need to have a productive day. Covered two miles on the treadmill, so I had 4 more miles for after work. I ran on the treadmill and kept my pace easy. 6 miles & solid cross training done for the day!

Tuesday – 4 miles

Got up and out for 4 miles on Tuesday morning. It was surprisingly warm for January in Chicago and I loved it. I averaged an 8:40 pace which I was happy with. It’s a struggle for me to keep an easy pace on easy days!

Wednesday – Cycle Class AM + 2.65 miles PM 

6 AM cycling class with Antonia. This class was a tough one. Almost the entire first half was out of the saddle with heavy hills. I loved it! Then after work I attempted to do my 800 meter speed workout alone to beat the rain, but I didn’t. I got two reps done in the pouring rain before I called it quits. (1.65 miles). I tried again on the treadmill, but after 1 more mile on tired legs I decided it wasn’t worth it, so I called it quits. Sometimes you just have to listen to your body.

Thursday – 4 miles + Torch Class (2 miles)

The only day of the week I didn’t get up early. I snuck in 4 miles outside right before my Torch class. I then covered another two miles during class, plus strength and rowing intervals. I already feel myself getting so much stronger. Love this class so much.

Friday – Rest day / Hot Yoga Class AM

Friday is my rest day, but while I have this membership I’m doing yoga classes on my rest days. I took a 6 AM hot yoga class and loved how much better I felt afterward. My body thanks me for it.

Saturday – 12 miles 

I was helping out a friend in the morning, so I missed my group long run, but that’s okay. I moved my 12 miler to the afternoon and got Carly to run her 8 with me! I ran the first three miles alone (a little too fast) at 8:05 average. But overall average pace was 8:58. This run really felt easy and I’m so glad. It feels good to be back up to 12 miles not really seeming like a long run. It’s such a mental game, but I really enjoyed this run. Company always helps!

Sunday – Cycle Class AM + Yoga Flow 75 PM

Double day for cross training. I took an 11 AM cycling class then went back for a yoga flow 75 class in the evening. Recovering with cycling and yoga is really working for my body. It helps get rid of the lactic acid that builds up in my legs from a tough week and a long run. The best way to spend a Sunday!

I’m proud of this week because I’m still getting in decent mileage while cross training way more than I’m used to. I won’t keep this up the whole marathon training cycle, but for January I want to make the most of this unlimited studio membership. The running is the easy part right now and I’m enjoying that too. 12 miles felt effortless on Saturday despite my sore legs. It’s amazing to me how quickly your body can adapt and remember what it’s like to be in marathon training mode. It’s my favorite.

Week two = 30.65 miles

Ready for week three!!

Nashville Marathon Training: Week One (28.59 miles)

First week back in official marathon training mode and I couldn’t be happier. I know marathon training is a big time commitment (a lifestyle really), but it’s my favorite way to spend my time. Early mornings, tough speed workouts, weekend group runs…it all makes me feel like myself. Happy to be back at it!

Here’s how my first week went:

Monday – Torch class & 3 miles

I kicked off the week with an interval class at Studio Three. One hour of rowing, strength, and running intervals. I covered 2 miles on the treadmill during class, but I ran another 3 miles outside afterwards to hit my 5 miles for the day!

Tuesday – 3 miles

A late night easy 3 miler on the treadmill. One goal I have for this training cycle is actually keeping my easy runs an easy pace, so I’m aiming for 9+ minute average pace. It’s nice to have 3 miles feel like no big deal.

Wednesday – Cycle class & 5.59 miles (speed workout)

I got myself up at 5:30 AM and to Studio Three for a 45 minute cycling class. I love starting my day like that. After work I had my first speed workout of training! A two mile time trial. We did a warm up and cool down with two quick miles in the middle at 7:35 and 7:19. It was freezing cold. 10 degrees. But it felt good to be back with a group and I enjoyed running fast again. The workout totaled 5.59 miles.

Thursday – Rest day

Moved my rest day from Friday to today since my run streak had reached 42 days and I needed some rest. It was weird not to run at all, but I look forward to rest days during the week.

Friday – Hot Yoga & 5 miles

Started my Friday with a hot yoga class in the morning! I am awful at yoga. I’m not flexible and I have horrible balance, but I still like going. I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone more this year and yoga is one way to do it! Plus, I really needed an hour of stretching. After work I ran 5 miles on the treadmill at 9:30 average pace. I didn’t feel like braving the 5 degrees knowing I’d have to again in the morning, so I was thankful for the treadmill.

Saturday – 10 miles

First group long run of training in 3 degrees!! It was brutal and I definitely wouldn’t have gotten through it alone. We stuck together for 10 miles and had an 8:17 average pace. I actually felt really strong the whole run despite the cold, but I’ll be happy if no other long runs happen when the real feel temperature is in the negatives.

Sunday – Cycle class & Yoga Flow 75

Cross training day! Double day at the studio. A 12 PM 45 minute cycling class and a 75 minute yoga class in the evening. Perfect way to recover from a great first week.

I’m doing a lot of extra cross training this month because of my membership, but that’s a good thing! January is a great time to focus on it since mileage stays low. My legs are sore, but I’m feeling strong. And I have a really good feeling about this training cycle!

Week one = 28.59 miles