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Last week’s marathon training + a small diet tweak that made a big difference

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Last week’s marathon training workouts plus a small diet tweak that made a big difference.

Woah, okay, I’m so behind on blogging! I usually get my weekly workout recaps up on Sunday or Monday – oops! But I wanted to still post about it since I know lots of you have asked to see details about my marathon training and it’s helpful for me to reflect on my workouts, what what well and what could have been improved. I tweaked something in my diet that made a HUGE difference so be sure to see details about that in the How I feel section at the bottom!

Last week’s workouts for marathon training

M – 5.7 miles, 9:17 pace – Recovery Run

  • Oof! This recovery run felt SO rough after the 20 miler the day before, but I was also really happy that my first split was almost a 10 minute mile. Why? Variation in paces throughout your training is SO important. You have to go slower to go faster. This is more almost minutes per mile slower than my half marathon PR race pace! I’m really working at making recovery runs easy easy easy and letting my body do what it wants and needs – no pushing.

T – Cross Training Fun Time

  • 15 minute elliptical intervals
  • 5×5 back squats @ 115#
    • 10 dumbbell curls between each squat set @ 15#
  • 5 rounds for time (finished in 10:30), 10 reps of each:
    • deadlifts 95#
    • weighted russian twists (each side)
    • KB swings
    • push-ups
  • 10 minute elliptical cool down (first 5 minute intervals; last 5 very easy)

W – 14.1 miles, 8:35 pace – midweek long run

  • My legs were still dead and I was grateful to have company. I did 5 with Ali and Christian and then happened to run into some friends at mile 9 when I was really struggling. They were going FAST (7:40 pace) which felt awful for me, but sticking with them for about 3 miles helped break up the monotony.

Th – 6.7 miles, 8:35 pace – Recovery Run + Scraping/Needling

  • This recovery run felt great. I ran with friends after work to give my body a little extra recovery time and did six 100m strides in the parking lot to finish.
  • At my PT appointment, she did just a few needles and spent most of the time scraping my hamstring and under my glute where I have a lot of scar tissue. My hamstring and glute are getting SO much better!


  • My training plan has a run scheduled the day before a long run, but mentally, I struggle with that, so I always try to take a rest day before my long run. Then, I do a recovery run the day after my long run. I very much like to stick to a plan (in life and in running) but sometimes you have to make adjustments. Don’t make excuses to skip workouts, but don’t be too rigid with your training plan either (or life ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

Sa – 16.5 miles, 7:54 pace – Long run with marathon pace miles

  • I ran 4 warm-up miles and then did 12 miles at marathon goal pace and finished with a 0.5 mile cool down (mostly to get back to the car!)
  • I started alone and then happened to catch my friends (the same ones from Wednesday!) right as they were starting their run. They were amazing to pace me from mile 5-10 – we ran 7:35-7:45 minute miles and having their company to start the faster miles helped a LOT. I finished the last 5 miles solo, but still felt great and even caught myself reining in the pace when I dropped to 7:20 a couple times.
  • I had to stop and tighten my shoe laces a LOT towards the end (also think mentally I wanted a break ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). But, I do think part of the problem is that I need to wear thicker socks with my Adidas Bostons and I need to wear thinner socks with my Nike Zoom Elites, which always feel tight on top. These are all things to figure out in training so the kinks are worked out for race day!

white tank, old | long sleeved top (my favorite!) | hat

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I use Strava to connect to my Garmin Forerunner to analyze my workouts!

Su – 6.2 miles, 8:42 pace –  Recovery miles with Cheryl

  • It was a beautiful day but I was having a hard time getting out the door. I texted Cheryl and it worked out perfectly to run together!

Total Miles: 49.2

Long run fuel:

  • Pre-run: 1/2 RX bar + giddy up ball + water & coffee
  • Midrun: 2 skratch chews & water every 30 minutes
  • Post-run: 1/2 RX bar + date and then breakfast! (Eggs & potatoes & berries)


Fueling Tweak:

I tracked my meals for a few days and realized my carb intake was VERY low. I’m not a huge carb person…I’d rather eat nuts all day long. But, I have to take in enough carbs to fuel this level of running. I eat potatoes 2-3x a day and thought it was enough carbs, but when I added it up, I was barely hitting 30-35% of my diet from carbs. That’s below the recommended 45-65% for a marathoners diet. (Read this post about the case FOR carbs and this book that I can’t recommend enough for dietary guidance while training.) I added rice into my diet for lunch and dinner for 3 days leading up to my long run and I really think it helped. I’ve kept my carb intake up this week and so far, all my workouts have felt SO much better.

How I’m Feeling:

I was completely giddy after my long run since it went so incredibly well. So much of training is so hard and so many runs feel terrible since my body is constantly in recovery mode, but it felt like all my training came together on that run.

I’m honestly not sure what time I’m aiming for at Boston, but all the training calculators predict I can run a 3:17-3:20 based on my most recent half marathon time. It seems like a big jump from my qualifying time of 3:28, but hey, I can always train to that goal if it feels good. And that long run felt AMAZING.

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    3 responses to “Last week’s marathon training + a small diet tweak that made a big difference”

    1. With the right training plan and preparation, that’s a totally do-able time! It seems like you’re doing an awesome job with this training cycle ๐Ÿ™‚ I ran my first marathon last year just under 3:37 and then ran my second one with the guidance of a coach and PR’d with a 3:20. I can’t wait to go to Boston next year! Can’t wait for your experience and recap!

      • Holy CRAP! That’s a huge chunk of time to cut off!!! That’s amazing! I’ve toyed with the idea of a coach… I should try working with one sometime just to see how I like it/what I learn. And man, I’d love results like that!

        And thank you for your encouraging words!!! I so appreciate it!

    2. Are you laying low on CrossFit these months while youโ€™re marathon training? Just curious!

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