In the trenches of marathon training!

I am now just under 7 weeks away from marathon day….in other words right in the thick of training!


This past week was another higher mileage week for me with another 20 mile run. I have always gone with the training philosophy that 1 20 miler was good, if not best for marathon training. No need to risk injury trying to do more. This is the first training cycle where I am going to try for 3. I now have 2 down, 1 more to go!

I really don’t think there is a magic number of miles to run or 20 milers to do, and it is going to be totally different depending on the person and their goal.

For me, personally, I am wanting to (and really feel like it is in my ability) shave another 10-15 minutes off of my time. I think adding in a few more 20 milers, to get my body used to running that long, will help.

It is important when you are in “the trenches of training” to pay attention to details

Trying to be careful not to overdo it, making sure to stretch, adding in some strengthening exercises, nutrition, foam rolling, keeping some of my easy runs at an easy pace, and running some on a trail are some things that I am trying to do.


I am doing my own training plan based on a combination of several plans and just my own experience. This week I was a little worn out from last week so I did 1 stress workout on Tuesday and my long run on Friday.

Monday- 8.25 miles 8:03 pace

Tuesday- 9 mile tempo. I really didn’t have time for a warm up and really want the tempo to be 9, so I just did the 1st mile a little slower and then did a 1 mile cool down for 10 total.

Wed- 8 easy miles (8:23 pace)

Thurs- 8 easy miles

Friday- 20 miles 7:56 pace. While this was a hard run because any run that is 20 miles is hard, it felt good and my last mile was my fastest at 7:29.


Sat- 8 miles on a trail while the girls rode bikes :). I LOVE these runs!!!!


Sun- off

Another week of training in the books! The weather has been absolutely perfect!!!!

I have been struggling with my fueling for runs, and for Friday’s 20 miler I decided to go a little unconventional. Peanut Butter m&m’s. I realize that this is not healthy (please don’t remind me), and I am sure not the best fuel choice, but it worked better than what I have been trying. I was able to get fuel in without feeling sick and finish strong. I am still not convinced this is what I will use, but it has worked the best so far :).

Next weekend is my half……FREEDOMS RUN! If you are in the West Virginia/Maryland area come run it!!!! There is also a 5k and a 10k…and a marathon if you are the kind of person that can just do that without planning!

What race are you training for? How many weeks to go?

How many 20 mile runs do you do in a training cycle?

Who takes their kids on runs with them :)?


  1. says

    That is a SOLID week my friend! Nice job on your pacing and great advice about balancing hard efforts with hard recoveries!!! That is key and probably why you’re doing so well at this point. As for the PB M&Ms – if they work – use them!!! There’s not a whole lot of nutrition in GU last time I checked πŸ™‚

    • Jen says

      Thanks!!!! πŸ™‚
      That is hysterical…I guess I never thought about the nutritional value of GU! I can always count on you for sensible advice πŸ™‚

  2. says

    Great 20 miler! Awesome time! I am tapering for my first marathon. I did two 20 miler runs for my training cycle. The 2nd one was much more tough than the first.

    My kiddos are only 4 and 2, so not quite old enough to go out with Mom, yet. Looking forward to that, tho.

  3. Jen says

    Thanks Kristy!!! How is your training going…I had checked your blog a few times for an update :). When is your race? Don’t worry too much about the 2nd 20 miler…you did 2 of them and that is awesome!!! This is the first time that I have done more than one. The 20 milers make me nervous and they are just rough! I am so excited for your first marathon!!!!!!!
    You will love it when the kids get older and can tag along with you :)…there are fun things about all ages with kids!

    • says

      Thanks, Jen! I will update my blog one of these days! Even if it is just a race recap. Training is going well, I think. Last week I hit 54 miles which is high for me. I felt pleased with it. I actually had an issue with my hamstring in early August, which made me question the entire marathon goal. Long story short, my left hip was out (I have had issues with my left side for 2 YEARS). I was desperate to know what was going on with my body, so I CAVED and went to a chiropractor (a good friend, actually). I have always been skeptical. Anyway, he adjusted my hip. I think it went out after my second child was born. He was a big baby. Plus I always carried him on my left hip for his first 18 months of life. I am AMAZED at the difference at what I can handle now in terms of mileage! I went back for another adjustment, and he said I didn’t need it! That my hip stayed in place. Isn’t it crazy? Such an easy fix for me! Praise God! I am hoping to break 4 hours for my race, but my main goal is to run by feel and run it strong.

      • Jen says

        54 miles is awesome!!!!! I am so glad that going to the chiropractor helped! I am skeptical about it too, but my husband goes and it helps him. I think if you went and he said you didn’t need an adjustment that shows he is honest :)! I think running by feel is a smart way to go…I was actually working on a post about that based on an article I just read :). When is your marathon? You are going to do awesome!

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