Week 7, 6, 5 - Boston Marathon Training

It keeps getting more difficult to recap each week because time is flying by in this training cycle. Every other day I'm like, "I can't wait for this to be over! When will it end??" and then I'm also like, "OMG its so close and I'm not ready!" Marathon training creates so much mental craziness and physical exhaustion I'm never surprised that I feel so differently from day to day.

The last few weeks were some of my toughest. Work's been busy, mileage has been hard both in volume and intensity of workouts, and I've really fallen out of my diligent recovery routine. I'm still feeling pretty good and am positive this has been one of my best training cycles yet, so there's definitely some positives coming out of that grittiness.

Week 7 held my first tough long run. Up until this week's 18 miler, I was feeling super confident in myself. The weather for this weekend called for warmer temps than I'd been used to, but I couldn't bring myself to get up earlier. I paid the price. By mile 13 I was struggling hard. It was eye opening to a few of my weaknesses - one of which is pushing too hard, too fast, at the beginning of some of my repeats. Working on reining that in.

Week 7 Schedule:

Monday: 4 recovery miless (9:06 avg.)
               20 minute recovery yoga
Tuesday: 2 miles (Morning @ 8:07 average)
               8 miles (Evening @ 7:30 avg) - Progression (8:01, 7:27, 7:09, 7:14, 7:20, 7:29, 7:38)
Wednesday: 7 aerobic miles (7:58 average)
                     10 minute kettle bell workout
Thursday: Rest Day
Friday: 6 miles + 8 x 100 meter strides with 100 meter recovery between (8:00 average)
Saturday: 18 miles (7:48 avg) - 6 miles @ 7:53 avg followed by 5 x 1 mile @ GMP (7:05-7:15) + 1 mile easy in
Sunday: 5 recovery miles (8:32 average)
               Hip Strengthening (planks, side planks, donkey kicks, bird dogs, bridges)

Week 6 held some 800 repeats that I decided to do on the road (which is much harder because the track is just faster). Holy shit. Those killed me. I also had a super tough long run. I was supposed to work through the first 2 hours at a comfortable pace, and then do 2 sets of 20 minutes pushing the pace. The last 20 minute set was so painful, I stopped twice wondering if I was doing more damage than good. My coach confirmed the workout was supposed to be pretty challenging, and not to be discouraged. Sometimes it's hard not to be, but if anything, my mental game is going to be fierce come race day.

Week 6 Schedule:

Monday: 6 aerobic miles (7:53 average)
               20 minutes strength training (shoulders, biceps, single leg deadlifts)
Tuesday: 9 miles (7:25 average) - Yasso 800s on the road because I hate the track!
               1.5 mile warm up + 8 x 800s (3:04, 3:05, 3:10, 3:07, 3:09, 3:06, 3:09,3:10) + 3 min recovery between
               each + 1.5 mile cool down
Wednesday: 4 recovery miles (8:57 average)
                     20 min yoga
Thursday: Cross Training - 20 minutes elliptical + 30 minutes of strength training
Friday: 6 mile shakeout + 8 x 100 meter strides with 100 meter recovery between (8:10 average)
Saturday: 3 hour run - 22.75 miles @ 7:55 avg - 2 hours comfortable + 2 x 20 mins at 7:05-7:15 with 10 min recovery after each
Sunday: 4 recovery miles (8:48 average)
               Hip Strengthening (planks, side planks, donkey kicks, bird dogs, bridges)

Rootz Nutrition

Week 5 was a little cutback, and by the end of it, I was feeling like myself again. I also got to spend Sunday after my recovery run at the LA Marathon cheering on tons of runners to their new PR's. It was so fun and really got me excited for Boston and what an experience that will be.

Week 5 Schedule:

Monday: 6 aerobic miles (8:08 average)
               20 minutes strength training (shoulders, biceps, single leg deadlifts)
Tuesday: 10 miles (7:19 average) - 1.5 m w/u and c/d + 3 x 12 min cutdowns (7:00, 6:48, 6:36), (6:54, 6:48, 6:34), (6:51, 6:44, 6:34) + 3 min
               recovery between each
Wednesday: 7 aerobic miles (8:30 average)
               Hip Strengthening (planks, side planks, donkey kicks, bird dogs, bridges)
Thursday: Rest Day
Friday: 6 miles + 8 x 100 meter strides with 100 meter recovery between (8:12 average)
Saturday: 2 hour run - 15 miles (7:55 avg)
Sunday: 4 recovery miles (8:58 average)

One more 20 miler is on the schedule this weekend and then it's time to taper. I can't believe how quickly this training cycle has flown by.

How have the last few weeks of training been for you?

Did you run the LA Marathon?


How I Fuel - What My Daily Meals Look Like

I've received a few inquiries on how I fuel during the week before my runs and before my weekly long run. I've become a creature of habit since I've figured out what works for me, so most days look the same. Just like in training, consistency and good habits are key in nutrition to ensure you are properly fueled and to help avoid GI issues. My biggest thing with training is practicing what I'm going to do on race day, so these are habits I keep even if I'm travelling for a race.

Below you'll see how I fuel during a typical weekday (I run after work usually), and a slight difference in my nutrition the day before my long run.

Typical Weekday

Coffee: I always have a bulletproof coffee. This is super easy to make. I brew a little less than 20 oz of coffee in my Healthy Human Life Tumbler (keeps it hot for hours). Then I pour it into my Nutribullet or Vitamix container, add 1 tsp of ghee butter, 1 scoop of Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin, and cinnamon, and blend for about 20 seconds. It turns into a foamy latte! This combo gives me some protein + the fat in the ghee butter allows the caffeine to release slowly in your body throughout the day instead of all at once causing you to crash later. Trust me - try it!

Breakfast: Overnight oatmeal, Turmeric Oats, or Chia Seed Pudding, topped with berries and Wild Friends Peanut or Almond Butter.

Lunch: All da veggies. I get most of my carbs from veggies and whole foods (let's be real, I hardly evah eat processed stuff). My typical bowl of goods contains the following:

  • Roasted chicken, deli turkey, or hard boiled egg
  • Roasted veggies (brussel sprouts, bell pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, butternut squash, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
  • Brown rice, quinoa, or roasted sweet potatoes
  • Spicy Black Beans or 2 tbsp of Hope Foods Hummus

Sounds heavenly right? Most of my bowls look pretty gross when I put them back together for lunch after meal prepping on Sunday, but its an easy way to not just prep, but to create any combination I feel like with what I have on hand.
Here's my favorite bowl combo (pictured below): 1/4 cup brown rice, 1/4 cup spicy black beans, roasted butternut squash, roasted red bell pepper, roasted chicken, 1/4 -1/2 avocado mashed. It's like a burrito bowl where everything is good for you. DO IT!

My favorite combination!

My favorite combination!

Afternoon Snack (pre run): If I need one, this is usually yogurt, an apple with string cheese, half of a granola bar, or a protein ball (recipe coming soon!). This is my pre run snack, so I don't want it to be too heavy. I try to keep this under 250 calories and 1.5 to 2 hours before my run. If I'm feeling a little sluggish, I'll drink a Rootz Nutrition Energizing Superfood 30 minutes before (use code SUGARRUNS10 for 10% off your order!). The Rootz brand has really clean ingredients, so they're one of my preferred supplements.

Dinner (post run): I try not to get crazy here, but this is usually a filling meal that has lots of protein, some carbs and tons of good fat. I love the Fartlek Chili from Run Fast Eat Slow and topping it with mashed avocado. I also really like spaghetti squash boats (so many good carbs in this one), zucchini noodles mixed with Banza chickpea noodles + turkey meatballs, turmeric chicken stir fry, or even just some simple chicken with brown rice + broccoli. Don't be scared of veggies - there's tons of articles that say avoid veggies and greens leading up to a race, but they are full of carbs. EAT THEM! As long as a particular veggie doesn't cause GI issues for you, there's not a reason to avoid them.

Evening Snack: If I'm a bit hungry (which is usually the case), I will eat an evening snack of a few dark chocolate squares with some peanut butter, or I love these Good Culture cottage cheese cups. I add berries + peanut butter and it has 17g of protein to help me fall asleep fast.

Rootz Nutrition

Typical Day Before Long Runs:

The only thing I switch up from the above is my evening snack. I eat homemade banana ice cream for my evening snack before every long run. Here's my recipe:

Why? Bananas are full of simple carbs to fuel you for your long run and it feels like a treat. I usually top it with some berries and dark chocolate squares.

Morning of a Long Run

I get up at least an hour before my run and immediately drink water. Then I eat a Honey Stinger Waffle and half of an apple. About 30 minutes later, I head out for my run. The apple provides simple, easily digested carbs that hit my system right away and the waffle is the only product that doesn't upset my tummy.

I'll continue to share some recipes that I use in my diet. If you are concerned about your nutrition, please be sure to speak to a professional before proceeding with any dietary plan. If you are reading this the week of your race, do NOT change your nutrition now. Stick with what your body knows and maybe try some of these tips for your next training cycle :)

What do you eat before a long run?

Are there any foods you avoid before a run?