Tag Archives: Marathon Training

CIM Training Week 1: Aug 4-10

Now that its time to start training, I’m going to recap my Weekly Workout Recaps marking the number of weeks of CIM training:

Mon, 8/4: Rest Day
Tues, 8/5: 50-min Run of 4-minute intervals
Wed, 8/6: Strength Training with Trainer Dave
Thurs, 8/7: 50-min Run of 1-min sprints
Fri, 8/8: Rest Day
Sat, 8/9: VeganRunning Spin class at Equinox
Sun, 8/10: 90-min 70-min Run

My typical routine on days that I run is:

– Wake up
– Take Coco out for a 20-30 min walk
– Come home and eat half a banana and do some dynamic stretches
– Put Coco in her crate
– Leave for run
– Come home and feed Coco (and myself!) breakfast

Except I overslept on Sunday morning. We didn’t get out for our walk until almost 9 am which left me with a scheduling dilemma. I didn’t want to leave for a 90-min run and not feed her breakfast until after 11 am.

I ended up feeding her when we got home, which then meant that I had to wait for her to do her poop business after she ate. By then I was starving myself so I ended up eating breakfast too…

I have been struggling with figuring out a routine for her when I need to run longer miles. I have NEVER done a long run in the afternoon/evening but it was an idea I’d been toying with. What a better time to give it a try!

It would have been ideal to start my run at 6:30-7:00 pm, but I decided to start earlier because:

1. Evening running gives me insomnia

2. Coco eats dinner at 6 pm. She has an extremely sensitive stomach so I don’t like to deviate too much from her normal routine. When I have in the past there were consequences for the both of us.

3. I didn’t want to eat dinner late either.

So even though it was a hot (for me) day, I started my run at 4 pm. Whenever I’ve see people running during this time-of-day I’ve always thought to myself, “Why???” Now I know…

The first couple of miles felt tolerable and then around Mile 3 I crumbled. Had there been some shade I could have managed but it was 95% exposed and well, I don’t do well when the sun is beating straight down on me.

{So pretty to look at, so awfully hot to run in..}

It was so warm that the small water bottle I carried was emptied by Mile 4. I was slowing melting away.

Around the 45-min mark I ran under a tree for shade. I pulled out my phone and send my coach a text message asking him when an acceptable time to cut the run short would be. He told me to cut it the run down by 20-min. I was thrilled but barely made it to 70-min (and was so happy to be done!).

That evening it took hours to wind down from the run – and heat. And as expected, insomnia hit me hard that night. I still felt wired past midnight.

Clearly afternoon/evening running doesn’t work for me. Not only did it throw off my sleeping schedule, it also messed up my digestive system. Even though I didn’t eat anything for at least 2+ hrs before my run, the Vietnamese food that I ate for lunch did not sit will in my belly during the run.

It was a good experiment for me to try as now I can eliminate it from my options (or suffer the consequences again).

Moving forward I need to make a better effort at going to bed early the night before my long runs. And I need to stick to my proven early morning long run routine.

As for Coco, I’m considering having someone watch her (or sending her to doggie day care). That way, I won’t have to worry if she’s been in her crate too long. And I could run long runs elsewhere – like in the cool, foggy (and hilly) City!

“Its About That Time” – Weekly Workout Recap: July 28 – August 3, 2014

{I wish I could run like Coco!}

I haven’t been posting my Weekly Workout Recaps because they’ve been non-existent. I spent the past few weeks focused on strengthening my knees and hips which has been successful – all pain gone! *knocks on wood*

My running coach said, “It’s about that time…” so I guess I can say that CIM marathon training has officially begun.


A couple of weeks ago I went into my new gym for my free fitness assessment. It included a V02 max test. To quote the trainer who did my test, “So you plan to run a marathon this year? I suggest you start swimming and running hills because you’re going to need more endurance than this…”

With that in mind, here’s how the week went:

– Mon, 7/28: 30-min Swim

– Tues, 7/29: 4.03 miles Intervals Run

– Wed, 7/30: Strength Training with Dave (my first workout with him since he came back from a month-long vacation)

– Thurs, 7/31: 2.81 miles Stair Intervals

– Fri, 8/1: Attempted Strength Training session with Dave (but the DOMS from Wednesday was too intense and I couldn’t even do a single TRX Atomic Push-up.

– Sat, 8/2: Spin class with Meghan

- Sun, 8/3: 80-min Run in Golden Gate Park

The highlight of this week was the run in Golden Gate Park.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’ve limited myself to running around my neighborhood so it was more than a treat to be back in foggy GGP.

It wasn’t an easy run by any means, especially up those hills, but I didn’t hate it!

It sucks is humbling to have to rebuild my running fitness from scratch but this run felt so good! It’s one of the best runs that I’ve had in a long time!

And it left me feeling excited to start training “for real” this time!

Eating To My Metabolism – Revisited

Somewhere along the way, it seems like counting calories became a bad thing. At times I have felt guilty and embarrassed because I do so. Why do people who look down on this practice care? To each their own. It may not be something that works for everyone, but it works for me.

Last Fall I participated in a study at San Jose State called “An Assessment of Nutrition and Feeding Practices of Adult Female Marathoners.”

Runners World had tweeted a link to it and when I saw that it was with a local university, I inquired about joining the study. I had to complete a questionnaire to see if I qualified for the study, and I did.

For two weeks I had to keep a food diary recording every single thing I ate, and every workout I completed.

At the time I wasn’t counting calories, but was loosely keeping a food journal to make sure that I was eating sufficiently while training for the New York Marathon. I thought I was eating pretty healthily and wasn’t too concerned about total calorie intake because, you know, I was in marathon training and I needed as much fuel as I could get for all that training.

Three months later I received the results from the study and it was eye opening.

I learned that my average daily caloric intake was substantially higher than recommended for my activity level. I was eating 700+ more calories per day than I needed to, even while marathon training.

No wonder I always gain weight during marathon training…

The study also told me that:

+ I had to reduce my intake of carbs, protein, fat and sodium.
+ While I ate many healthy whole foods, but I was also eating some very calorie-dense food.
+ I ate a lot of vegetables, but not enough fruit.
+ My iron levels were very good.
+ I was deficient in biotin, potassium, and calcium.

Now that I’m in a new marathon training cycle for the San Francisco Marathon, I want to do better with my nutrition this time. I started using My Fitness Pal again in January and unlike other training cycles, plan to continue using it through this period of marathon training.

I also got a Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) test last week.

An RMR test calculates how many calories your body burns by doing “lifestyle activities” like working, eating, walking, driving, etc. It also calculates how many calories your body burns by doing moderate exercise. Then it calculates caloric zones giving you guidelines on how many calories to eat to maintain weight and lose weight. It also gives you a zone, which you should only stay in if you are medically supervised.

This is a good link that explains more about the test itself.

All of this is designed to teach you how to eat to your metabolism. Not another person’s metabolism. Not what a generic diet plan says. It tells you what is right for your individual body right now.

I’ve had an RMR test done
a few times, but it’s been a couple of years. It was very useful in helping me maintain perspective on my diet. I’m a person with an addictive personality who loves food, so when I find something that I really love; I tend to go excessively overboard with it. Thank goodness my current obsession is Brussels sprouts. No one ever died from eating too much BS right? {I kid…} :)

We all set marathon goal times, but I also like to set other goals, especially during a training cycle. Eating healthy foods that will fuel my workouts, in amounts that are sufficient to my metabolism is one goal that I have right now. Hopefully I will be able to stay on track with it so that I can maintain an ideal race weight and achieve the race goals I set for myself.

Fortunately for me, I’ve found that changes I’ve had to make weren’t significant, once again proving that little changes can amount to big benefits.