Napa Marathon Update

1) I absolutely promise this will be the last running related post for my Napa Marathon training season.

2) I will be back later today with a recipe and tomorrow with review of the luxurious Langham Hotel Sunday brunch and the Boston Wine Expo.

3) Does anyone read this thing on weekends?Winking smile

Throughout the fall, I, as I know many of you were, was following Tina from Carrots ‘n’ Cake as she and her husband Mal trained for their first marathon. Having run four marathons in the past myself and knowing Tina’s total commitment to this goal, I found her posts really fun to read and was happy to see them both succeed in their first marathon last Sunday.

As a follow up to her marathon training, Tina posted a half marathon training schedule which I thought was totally ambitious and holistic, meant to build a strong all-over body, not just one that could run. As I read through the comments, I came across this:

“Two days a week of running is really not enough running when you are training for a distance race.”

Says who?

Since I had already commented, I didn’t reply to this, and since it was time for a running post on my own blog, I thought I would include my thoughts as part of my update.

If you have read any of my marathon training posts in the past, you will know that for years my emphasis has been on minimal running due to past stress fractures and a general propensity to get injured easily. Really injured. Due to that and a lack of desire for a hip or other replacement at the age of 50, I went from running six days a week to just two or three. And I ran, what was for me, a successful Boston Marathon last year doing precisely this. During last year’s marathon training, I spent far more hours on the elliptical and spinning bikes than I did on the road. It works.

This comment sort of got to me because I 100% stand by the fact that you CAN run less than four days a week, even two days a week, and still train for a distance race including a full marathon. Maybe not everyone can do this, but if, like me, you put a whole lot of sweat into your other workouts, you can build crazy muscle endurance. You don’t have to run like crazy to be a good runner, you just have to commit to progress.  This is what tends to bother me about healthy living blogs in general. . . I feel like there is a competition to do the most the fastest for the longest instead of an emphasis being down to the individual.

So where am I in my training, you ask? The Napa Marathon is March 6, and I ran a little over 18 miles last week. Since I was feeling GREAT after this long run, I decided to take a week off of long runs to avoid pushing it. And then this weather came! I am hoping to get 21 miles in this week before we head to Ireland, but with the temperatures in Ireland in the glorious mid-to-high 40’s I may just have to make time to do it there. Rainbow

My focus over the past week and a half has been on hill climbing on the spinning bike, long workouts on the elliptical, and speed! I discovered on Thursday that I am still fast! I don’t want to brag, but I ran 6 x 400 meters at a pace that was between 6:40/mile and 7:30/mile. And I discovered that it is precisely this type of workout that cures the winter blues. I can’t wait to do it again, followed by a Philosophy Hazelnut Espresso bubble bath, beer, and pizza for recovery.

I love a healthy balance.

Are you training for anything right now? What is a healthy balance to you?

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Tags: Boston Marathon, healthy living, marathon training, Napa Marathon, running

  1. Lizzy’s avatar

    Thank you for posting this. I love your running posts! I am a HUGE believer in running three days a week. In my opinion its quality over quantity. As you mentioned I believe the key is to have R E (running equivalent) workouts on your cross training days. Honestly, I wish you’d post more about running because you are such a successful marathoner! Hope we can run together some time in the future!


    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      Definitely! Once it is warmer out maybe :) Thanks for your comment. When I was a 6 day a week runner, I was not a happy OR healthy girl.


    2. Daisy’s avatar

      That comment bugs me. some people think they know everything about everything. this post was enlightening and I really appreciate your running philosophy and healthy balance overall.

      and on that note, I can’t wait to stuff our faces at the Langham tomorrow!


      1. traveleatlove’s avatar

        Yes! And I have the doubly difficult job of going to the Boston Wine Expo after. But I may get my nails done in between if you are around!


      2. Michelle’s avatar

        Everyone has to do what works for them. I hate when people think one plan, one diet, one menu, one whatever is the solution. Keep it up with your training!


      3. Megan’s avatar

        I am not training for anything… I can’t even get myself to go to the gym! And yes, I read your blog on the weekend… as long as my weekend is not jam-packed. Can’t wait to see you tomorrow!


      4. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic’s avatar

        Great post. I’m training for a half marathon in May :)


      5. Emily’s avatar

        One size does not fit all! When I was marathon training I ran 3 days/wk and cross-trained on the elliptical. I can imagine, if you’re in good cardio shape, two days could work with the right exercise to complement it. In fact I wish I had only run twice/wk when training because I have been battling an injury for 3+ yrs and don’t think I’ll ever run long-distance again :( ps- I usually read blogs once/weekend.


      6. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

        Fantastic post. I think it’s different strokes for different folks. Who’s to say what anyone else can or can’t do? If a training schedule makes you miserable and dread your marathon, what’s the point? If you’re enjoying yourself, that’s all that matters. I’d love to read more from you about this!


      7. Raija’s avatar

        I’m trying to decide whether to work on improving my time on a 5K or start training for a 10K. I’m still so new to running. I went to the gym today though and ran for 30 minutes straight after not having done any working out since beginning or mid December. It felt great! Its nice to know I can jump back in now that I know I actually am capable of running. I feel so much more hopeful in general today and very much hoping that I can keep this up. Thanks for the post!


      8. Shannon’s avatar

        i’m not currently training for anything :( but… I’m a firm believer in making your own training plan, and that you don’t need to run 5x a week and cover crazy miles. it’s easy to try and compare to others, but listen to your body and you’ll do great :)


      9. alicia’s avatar

        I need to get at least a 5k on the schedule before I lose ALL my endurance. I have a treadmill at home now, and i’m trying to avoid joining a gym (due to the expense) for as long as possible….so I need to get a little more diligent with the workouts!

        I trained for my 1/2 with only 3 days a week, and honestly, if I were to do it again, I would NOT increase my days, but instead do more X-training. I literally did my weekly runs and nothing else…and my PF always bothered me after long runs. With my current yoga practice, I feel like I’ve got a good balance for the running, and the patience to get through long run-times on the ‘mill.


      10. Elina (Healthy and Sane)’s avatar

        LOVE this post!! You have the right approach. I too, cannot run more than 3 times a week nor do I think it’s necessary.
        PS – those were some FAST 400′s!!


      11. Di’s avatar

        This is great. You gotta do what works for you! I’ve only ever run a 5K, but I only trained a day or two a week for it and did fine (IMO). I wasn’t super fast but hey, I ran it, and that’s what matters. Good luck with the Napa Marathon!


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