Los Angeles Marathon Training – Weeks 1-4 Recap

Happy Holidays! Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend and gearing up for the new year!

I had grand plans of sharing with you my Los Angeles marathon training calendar and then showing you what I actually did in the first four weeks. However, that doesn’t really matter too much since I barely followed my calendar and yes, I realize that is not great. To be honest, I am still trying to figure out what works best schedule wise on a given week and I am not completely motivated. I need a coach to hold me accountable, clearly me being a coach is not enough!

Roughly speaking though, here is a sample of what my daily goals were and what I actually did on those respective days.

Monday – spin class / cross-training
Week 1: spin class – first day of training and yay, I actually made it to a 6am class!
Week 2: elliptical and strength training (free weights, kettlebell, and planks)
Week 3: easy run on treadmill
Week 4: rest day

Tuesday – intervals
Week 1: 3 x mile repeats with 400 meter recovery on treadmill
Week 2: rest day
Week 3: rest day
Week 4: 4 x 1000 meters with 400 meter recovery on treadmill

Wednesday – rest day
Week 1: rest day
Week 2: 2 x 800s with 400 meter recovery on treadmill (abbreviated)
Week 3: ladder intervals – 1200, 1000, 800 and 600 with 200 meter recovery on track
Week 4: rest day

Thursday – tempo run or hills
Week 1: 3-miles tempo on treadmill
Week 2: 3-miles tempo outdoors
Week 3: 4-miles easy on treadmill
Week 4: 30-minute tempo on treadmill

Friday – easy run or barre
Week 1: barre class
Week 2: rest day
Week 3: rest day
Week 4: barre class

Saturday – long run or easy run
Week 1: 3-miles easy outdoors
Week 2: NYRR Ted Corbitt 15K race
Week 3: rest day
Week 4: 4-miles easy on treadmill

Sunday – long run or easy run or barre
Week 1: 7.5-miles long outdoors
Week 2: barre class
Week 3: 5-miles long outdoors (abbreviated)
Week 4: 3-miles easy run outdoors

Total Miles
Week 1: 20.7 miles
Week 2: 15.9 miles
Week 3: 17.6 miles
Week 4: 16.1 miles

I am definitely not proud of how the first fours week have gone. I still haven’t been able to fall into a routine with morning runs. I adjust my training each week based on Josh’s schedule which isn’t helping. I try to take advantage of the days I can sleep in a little more and it is throwing off my plan. I also find that I lack motivation for a long run if I don’t have a race or cannot meet with a group that week. On the weekend days that I try to sleep in and run later in the day, I end up running less than planned. It’s hard for me to be away from Charlotte when I know she is awake — mom guilt in full force.

It’s my holiday and New Year’s resolution (I don’t typically love specific resolutions) to stick to a schedule as much as possible and to get out for my runs before Charlotte is awake. To help me with this plan, one of my holiday presents was the Phillips Wake-up Light. I am excited to test the alarm out this week and look forward to reporting back on how I do.

Training Strategy for LA Marathon

Training for a marathon is not easy and even harder when I am struggling to make it out for runs consistently. In the past, my training plans called for 5-6 days of running, where 2 of the days were speed work – intervals and tempo and long run during one weekend day. I used to double up cross training and runs at least once a week. Those days are long gone.

For the Los Angeles Marathon, my goal will be to finish the race in a respectable time. What does respectable time mean? Well, for right now, I am not sure. I signed up for the race so I had a goal and something to motivate me to run consistently. I missed the structure of having a schedule and everyone knows I am much happier and nicer after I have had a good sweat.

While I am not completely starting from fitness level zero, my days of having a strong base are a distant memory. These days my base is about 2-3 miles. While I was pregnant, I read about the “Run Less Run Faster” training philosophy created by the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training. For more research, I purchased the book leading up to developing my plan. While I have not read the book cover to cover yet, I find it to be a good resource and I’m sure will be useful in many more training programs to come. The theory behind the program is that more miles does not equal faster race results. Not only are there other time commitments that prevent people from being able to run as often as possible, for some, running more leads to injuries as well. The FIRST plan calls for 3 tough days of running and 2 hard cross training days. In the 3 days for a marathon, there are track repeats/intervals, tempo runs, and the long run. There are several critiques to this plan (as with all plans out there) which I acknowledge and respect but for me and my current training situation, this plan seems to make sense. I’ll definitely plan on doing an overall training recap after March 19th!

My training plan, which started three Mondays ago, is built on the FIRST foundation — three days of hard running: intervals, tempo, long run + two days of cross training: easy run, elliptical, or spin class + one day of barre. Most days I am up around 4:30AM to get ready for the day before the workout and many runs are unfortunately on a treadmill since it is still dark out. I try to join a local running group when I can and sign up for as many races that make sense so I can get some speed/tempo work in outside. So far it has been a challenge to get up that early and out the door but it does feel great to be done with your workout before the sun rises(!).

I’ll continue to keep you all posted in the months head. Look for my training recaps every couple of weeks!