The first step to any marathon training program is figuring out the long run situation.

I write down the date of the race and work backwards.

  • 10 – 12 –  one week out
  • 16 – two weeks out
  • 20 – 24 – three weeks out

I know the week before my longest long run I like to have a step back week.

  • 14 – 16 miles – four weeks out

Then I look at how many weeks I have left till the race and what my longest long run currently is. Then I work forward. is my favorite go-to online calendar.

B & A Trail Marathon is March 16th

The race is in 8 weeks which means I have 7 weeks to get long runs in.

In a normal marathon training situation I would have allowed myself 12 weeks minimum to train with upwards of 16 – 20 weeks. I’m hoping that my residual fitness from the fall will help me out this spring. I’m also thinking that the shorter training cycle may mean I won’t get burnt out on winter running {I detest being cold}. I don’t’ have huge hopes of busting out a PR on 8 weeks of training, but I do want to finish this marathon feeling strong and happy, not weak and semi defeated.

Here is what my long run schedule is tentatively looking like

  • 18 miles – 1/19
  • 18 miles – 1/26
  • 20 miles – 2/2
  • 20 miles  – 2/9 {running a 5K the next day —}
  • 14 – 16 miles – 2/16
  • 20 -24 miles -2/23
  • 16 miles – 3/2 {running a 10 miler the next day – so I may just race the 10 miler and do a 6 mile easy cool down}
  • 10 – 12 miles – 3/9
  • RACE

I’ve signed up for Potomac River Run Marathon on May 5th which means there are 7 weeks in between B & A and that race. I don’t love the 6/7 week range for back to back marathons. I REALLY prefer to have the first marathon be the last super long run before the second marathon. My crazy marathon loving brain wants to run another one in April to break up that 7 week span.

This morning the boys and I went to the gym for day two of getting my butt kicked at spin class. I ran 4 miles before hand – 7:15 average – to warm up and then did an hour of spin. Starting 15 minutes into the class I was asking myself how on earth I was going to finish it. It did involved digging very deep and some seriously silent pep talks happened along the way.

After the gym the boys and I headed to Wegmans really quickly to buy more Kind Bars and some yummy Kombucha.

Colton is napping. Miles is at pre-school. Chloe is at school. I’m dressed for the day. Life is feeling extra good today.

Have I told you lately how much I love running and working out? It’s like brushing my teeth….I just don’t feel right if I don’t do it.


Looking for great deals on running, cycling, and fitness gear? Check out The Clymb. One of my favorite brands Aventura is on their today. The Daphne Shirt and Aurora Hat two of my favorites from this season are on there. I may need to order more colors! Other brands on there today include Sperry, GU Energy, and Cushe {I have the Cushe It Boot Cuff WP and the Fireside WP and like them both!!}

Live in the Northern Virginia/DC/Maryland area? Check out Potomac River Running’s Website for a bunch of great local races!

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  1. I build my schedule similarly. Although I like to have two peaks where I build up to about 20-22 miles then back off for a week, then build back up to 22-24 then back off and taper.

  2. Denise C. says:

    The Potomac River Run Marathon was my first ever marathon (ran May 2011!) I’ve talked myself into running Chicago this October! I know *exactly* what you mean about running/working out , I feel off the days I don’t do it. I am redoing Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, and am training for my half marathon in March! Happy Running!

  3. I think I ran it that year too!!! :) YAY for Chicago – it’s a fun marathon! I love the JM videos – just made it to level 3 last week and literally my back was sore for days from it. Hope you are staying warm!! xo

  4. What do you think of spinning??? I haven’t yet tried it, but it’s something I definetely want to incorporate into my running this year! Are you sore afterwards? Do you think it will make you a stronger runner? I’m afraid that I won’t be able to keep up!

  5. Denise C. says:

    I am a total date dork, I ran PRR marathon 5/6/12! I’ve heard very positive things about Chicago and am excited! I grew up in the suburbs of it, so I have asked my whole family (inlaws included) to come cheer me on! :)

  6. I love it – in a sick twisted kind of i-like-to-suffer way 😉 It’s REALLY hard and even though my heartrate was through the roof my wattage was VERY low – so there is only room for improvement. I have been told by other runners that it helped them improve their times and I tend to believe them since they have lowered their marathon times. My legs were sore but in a different way than if I lifted them. I was scared about not being able to keep up too – but you can adjust it to your own level and honestly you are the only one who knows how hard you are working – everyone looks like they are doing the same thing :)

  7. I plan my training the same way. It’s all about the long runs and I know I can get in my speed work during the week.

  8. Nice to see the Kombucha! I’m a ‘bucha girl – at least two a day. It’s sooo good for your body! My BRF and I both brew and bottle our own Kombucha. Many of our long run conversations revolve around what our SCOBY’s are doing, what flavors we’ve tried. Keep it up, your body will thank you for it!

  9. I ran outside today! ha, I was quite proud of myself, but I had so many layers on it was hilarious. My husband was wondering how I was going to move, but I averaged 7:30 pace for 6 miles, which I was happy about with the weather and all. Your posts always give me great motivation and I’m excited to try the tea that you suggested from my favorite grocery store, Wegman’s.
    Keep it up!

  10. I read all your posts, but this was especially helpful since I’m running a full on March 16 too (DC RNR). I’ve been messing with my long runs thinking I wanted to try a 2 week taper instead of 3. It just seems like I lose a little endurance when I’m “off” for 3 weeks. I’m hopeful running 5 times a week (finally) and close to 40 miles/wk will help as well. I like the idea of a long run 3 weeks out, but also a long-ish one 2 weeks out (or longer than my plan suggests). Thanks!

  11. I love working out the training/ long run schedule! I missed the 1st order of I RUN THIS BODY shirts, so I look forward to ordering in Feb.

    p.s I’m the one from Malaysia that’s always reading your blog. Keep dreaming big!

  12. I have the same exact approach for creating my training schedules (although I’ve only done half marathons in the past… hoping for a full this year!!). I start with the weekend of the race and I work back, with my longest run (13 miles) 3 weeks out and a cut back week the week before my peak week, as well. It’s good to know I should be safe applying the same approach when I create my schedule for a full marathon! I’ve got my eyes set on one in mid-November.

  13. This is awesome, I’m so glad Katie (msfitrunner) mentioned you in her email. I’m trying to figure out where I am in my training and what spring race I want to do. Katie mentioned the Potomac, which sounds good, for timing and aesthetic purposes. I certainly don’t run your paces, but I’ve always wanted to achieve and maintain “8 week shape” what I qualify as achieving a marathon in 8 weeks.

    Here’s to some good training!

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