Philly Half Marathon Training Week 8

I can’t believe I’ve been consistently running for 8 weeks now! No joke, I had not really ran since last year’s NYC Marathon. My mom and I were just talking about how we can’t take an elongated running break like that again. Starting from zero seriously sucks. And we do really want to start working towards a BQ…even if it is years away ;)

This past week went really well! Here’s my training:

Monday: Planned – XT + strength training, Actual – nothing. Felt SO exhausted today. Ever have those days? No energy. Oops.

Tuesday: Track workout – 8×400 meters. We did a 1.5 mile warm up, then the repeats in 2:05-2:06. Last one was 1:57. Half mile cooldown. Felt really good. The last few were tough but I love track workouts. Track workouts > long runs, any day! I saw this on the bulletin board inside my high school and thought I’d share…I certainly need to read this on my lazy days:

 Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 3 easy miles. I also did strength training after which included squats, deadlifts, cable rows, tricep rope pulls, ANNNDDDD I did 3 unassisted pull-ups!! Sure I had to take a break in between each one but still!!!

Friday: Planned – XT Actual – nothing. Ended up going shopping with my mom…sue me ;)

Saturday: Planned – 7 mile long run, Actual – 6 miles. We explored a new park and it was absolutely beautiful. We just didn’t know it closed at 6 pm, so we got kicked out before we could finish 7 miles. 6 miles will have to do!

Sunday: Easy 3 miles. I was really dreading this run. I honestly debated on even going, thinking “Do 3 miles really matter?” Then I remembered my mom and I talking about how we need to be more consistent if we want to work towards a faster marathon next year. And I thought about other runners I see on Instagram and how they get it done. So I laced up my shoes and went. And surprisingly, felt awesome!! Isn’t that how it always is? You dread a run but then end up feeling unstoppable? Moral of the story: get out there even when you really don’t want to ;)

I’m excited to keep getting faster and fitter with Coach Marc! I think I’m running another 5K mid-October, then a 10K in early November before the half marathon.

What’s on your training docket this week?

Can you do unassisted pull-ups? If so, I’m jealous!! I’m working on doing continuous pull-ups :)


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3 Workouts For Beginner Runners

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Hey everyone! While I’m away in Paraguay, I wanted to let my running coach Marc take over a few posts for me. He’s really knowledgeable on all things running, so I figured why not let him write about some running tips. Enjoy!


It’s Coach Marc and I’m taking over Patty’s blog while she’s on vacation!  Today, we are going to talk about 3 great workouts for (beginner) runners.

The first workout that all new runners should do is fartlek (Swedish for speed play).  Fartleks can be unstructured or structured – the choice is yours!  Unstructured fartleks work something like this…: Warm up with 10-20 minutes of easy running, then pick a place (parked car, tree, lamp post, etc) in the distance and run at a faster pace towards it; the recovery is the next object you choose.  Go in this fashion until you’ve decided you’ve had enough.  The structured fartlek is very much the same, however, in this case you can use a watch as your guide.  Say, for example, 3 minutes hard, 1 minute easy and repeat that for 10-15 times.  Either way, you’re getting in some faster running and taking a break in between each one.

Hills are another great workout for runners.  Whether the hills are long or short, steep or gradual, you can get a great workout in.  For early season, I suggest doing longer hills at a steady pace (think 10k to half marathon).  As you get into your season, you can switch from longer & steady to shorter & faster.  This will help generate power and speed that will propel you to faster times.

400s are another great workout because you can find a track anywhere and do anything from speed work to threshold & tempo runs around a track.  Below are the three main types of workouts you can do that are 400 meters in length.

For speed workouts, you’ll certainly want lots of recovery.  The amount of them you do should be based on the amount of miles you run in a week.  Typically speed workouts should be no longer than about 5-8% of your weekly mileage.  

Interval workouts should be done at 5k pace and require roughly the same amount of recovery as the repeat took.  For example, if you do a 400 in 80 seconds, you should recover (jog) between 70 and 90 seconds.  The amount of interval 400s you do, again depends on the amount of miles you run in a week with the general rule being no more than 8% of your weekly mileage.  

Threshold workouts are the primary workouts for marathoners and are done at a comfortably hard pace.  This pace is usually 10k though marathon pace.  With threshold, you don’t need a ton of recovery because the pace isn’t all that fast or taxing.  Typically a 5 minutes of threshold to 1 minute of recovery is the standard amount of work:recovery time.  As with speed and interval, threshold work should be done, but with no more than 10-15% of your weekly mileage.

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Whatever type of runner you are, fartleks, hills and 400s should always be a staple in your workout routine.  They are three great ways to build strength and stamina that will prepare you to run fast in your next race.


For more workout ideas and running tips, make sure to follow Marc on Facebook, and on Twitter or visit his website.

Which of these workouts are your favorite? I love hill intervals and 400s :)


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Track Workouts 101

Just got back in from shoveling 10 or more inches of snow…and am exhausted. I usually write 2 posts a day but this morning was hectic.

Right now I can’t even imagine running outside (too snowy, too icy, too cold), but it’s never too early to start thinking about track workouts!


If you’re training for any sort of spring race, track workouts can help you increase your speed, strength and stamina. You can easily do these on the roads or treadmills too, but I do feel more hardcore doing them on a track ;)


If you’ve never run on the track before, here are some basics:

  • People usually run counter-clockwise. I’d say it’s okay to run clockwise but only in the outermost lanes. If you will be doing lots of laps, switch directions every few laps if there aren’t that many people.
  • If there are faster people, run in the 2nd or 3rd lane. If you’re one of those faster people, just yell out “On your left” as you run up behind people so they will move out of your way.
  • I’m sure everyone knows this, but each curve and each straightaway is 100 meters. A whole lap is 400 meters. 4 laps around the track is a mile.


If you’ve never done a track workout, there’s no need to make it complicated. The great thing about the track is that it is a measured distance, so you know exactly how far you have gone. Always start with a good warm-up. I usually jog for half a mile to a mile before starting, and cool-down with half a mile to a mile.

Here’s a good workout to start with-one that I have had my dad do when he occasionally runs with us:

  • Run 100 meters (the straightaway) at a brisk pace (not necessarily a sprint, but faster than a run…should be comfortably hard).
  • Jog/walk 100 meters (curve).
  • Repeat for however long you want to run.

Or another variation of that:

  • Run 200 meters (straightaway + curve) at a brisk pace.
  • Jog/walk 100 meters
  • Repeat for however long you want to run.

Once you feel comfortable here are a few workouts you can try out, depending on your goals. Shorter distances at faster speeds will be better for 5k training, and longer distances will be better for half or full marathon training.

The Simple Workout

  • Run 400 meters (1 lap) at 5K effort.
  • Rest for however long it took you to run 1 lap. Active rest though-walk or jog.
  • Repeat 5-10 times depending on your abilities. Start with 5 and work your way up to 10.

Little Bit Longer Now

  • Run 600 meters (1.5 laps) at 5K effort.
  • Rest for however long it took you to run 1.5 laps.
  • Repeat 3-6 times depending on your abilities.


  • Run 100 meters FAST (but not all out sprint-we want to preserve form here).
  • Rest 1 minute
  • Run 200 meters fast.
  • Rest 2 minutes
  • Run 400 meters at 5K effort.
  • Rest 3-4 minutes
  • Work your way back down

Work On That Stamina

  • Run 800 meters at 10K effort, or at a comfortable hard pace. You should be able to finish the 800 meters, and have enough in the tank to repeat it. Definitely not going all out here.
  • Rest 3-4 minutes
  • Repeat 2-3 times.

Takin’ It Back To Gym Class

  • Go to the track. Warm up with an easy mile or half mile.
  • Run 1 mile as fast as you can.
  • Cool-down. Note your time, try this next month and see if you improved.

I love track workouts and can’t wait to get back to it once it gets warmer out.

If you can’t make it to the track now, you can easily do these on the treadmill too. Just make sure not to choose a pace that is too fast for you, because that can lead to overstriding and injuries.

Which of these do you want to try?

Do you have a favorite running workout? Track? Tempo run? Fartleks?


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Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

I can’t believe it is almost May! April seriously flew by…but somehow it is still not spring weather…

I found a lot of good health links for you this week!

  • Treadmill Speed Workout (Pumps & Iron) – Speed workouts help you get faster for races, but are also great interval exercises if you want to switch up your usual cardio routine.
  • The Premarathon Habit That Needs Breaking (Fit Sugar) – I had no idea that popping pills before running could have some serious effects.
  • Zesty Lemon Artichoke Hummus (Pumps & Iron) – This just looks delicious!
  • Track Workouts to Run Faster (Fitfluential) – Just like the first link I posted, these are great for improving speed, but also just in general! This one is good if you prefer running outside as opposed to the treadmill.
  • Honey Mustard Crunchy Chicken Plaintain Salad (PaleOMG) – I just bought plantains from the store because I know they are a paleo staple. I have never had them and am kind of nervous to try, but this salad looks delicious!
  • Travel Workouts (PB Fingers) – Need a workout on the go? No equipment? Here are a few!

Have you tried plantains before? I’d love to recipe ideas!

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