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Marathon Mondays.

July 18, 2011 by Carolina


When I first started running I had no idea what to do; I couldn’t even run a mile without feeling like I was going to pass out. Running long distances seemed overwhelming & time consuming — how was I going to find the time with a full time job, grad school, family, dating & friends? A year & a half later, I’ve ran a few half marathons, several races & am currently training to be a marathoner. I’m still working a full time job, going to grad school & living a busy life. Here’s the thing: there’s always time to do something you set your mind to. Whether it’s running, being a vegetarian, losing weight…it’s all about commiting to the life you want to live. Where there’s a will, there is a way.

You too can find the time to train for whatever you wish, & I want to encourage you in that journey. Enter Marathon Mondays. Every Monday I’ll share my week in running with you, the good, the bad, the ugly. I’ll also share tips I’ve discovered that may help you should you chose to run. Are you ready?

Here’s my schedule for week of 7/18:

Today: Cross Training/Stretch (Yoga or Foam Rolling…post on foam rolling coming soon!)

Tuesday: 3 Miles, fun

Wednesday: Intervals, 30 minutes

Thursday: 3 Miles, tempo run

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 8 Miles, easy

Sunday: Cross train/stretch

Lets start by discussing speed — what do easy, fun, interval & tempo mean? When you run an easy pace, you should be able to hold a conversation as you run. If you find yourself running out of breath as you talk you’re running too fast. All your long runs should be easy pace — if you feel you’re running too slow chances are you’re running the right pace. The logic behind this is that you don’t want your body to wear out fast. By running a steady, easy pace, your legs will be fresh longer & will carry you the long distances. Always do your long runs at an easy pace.

Is there such thing as a fun pace? In my world there is! Once a week I do one of my runs for the love of it. I don’t worry about pace, I just go out & run to run. These runs are my favorite & the reason why I run — they’re light & carefree. Sometimes they’re very slow, sometimes they’re fast, it all depends how I feel that day. You won’t find that pace in any running program you research but it works for me & my body. I love my fun runs!

Intervals are when you alternate between speeds, the easiest being walking/running. I start my interval runs (modeled after No Meat Athlete’s plan) with a 5 minute warm up starting with slow walking & progressing to a light jog. I then run hard for 1 minute, easy for 2 minutes & repeat that cycle 6 times. I end the run with a 5 minute cool down until I’m walking very slowly. You can use that as a guide for your runs, alternating between running & walking if you wish. Intervals are nice because they give you a mini break & also change up your run. There are many runners that run entire races using intervals.

Now lets stalk about tempo runs. Tempo runs are comfortably hard; faster than easy pace but not as fast as a sprint. A good way to gage your tempo pace is to add about :30 secs/mile to your 5K speed. If you’ve ran chipped races before you should know what it is. If you haven’t, time yourself next time you go for a 3.1 mile run & use that time to calculate your pace. For example, if you ran 3.1 miles in 35 minutes,  your 5K pace is somewhere between 11:30 – 12 min/miles. The tempo pace you want to hold is about 12 – 12:30 min/miles. Here’s how I do tempo runs: Warm up for 3-4 minutes with an easy run then run 3-4 miles at my tempo pace then cool down for 3-5 minutes at an easy pace. At the end of the run I’m beat but it feels great!

Lastly, don’t forget to rest. Giving your body a day of rest will help keep you injury free. A rest day is key in any training program so please don’t skip it — your body will thank you!

There’s another speed we’ll discuss later on when I begin incorporating it to the training: hills…or at least my Florida version of hills cause lets face it, we have none.

And there you have it, the short version of speed definitions. If you have any questions at all shoot me an email, I’d love to hear from you. I also want to know what do you think of running? Love it or hate it? What’s your favorite way to cross train?


Carolina is a marketing professional living in Orlando, Florida. Originally from Colombia, Carolina loves experimenting with different spices in the kitchen. When she's not cooking she loves to run, practice yoga and spend time with her dog Rocco. Carolina is passionate about travel and always has her suitcase packed and ready to go!

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