Delaware Marathon Training: End of Week 1

How would I sum up the first week of marathon training in a nutshell?

Marathon Training GIF | 2 Generations RunningI’m feeling great at the end of this first week, but I know there are still 15 weeks to go, so I probably shouldn’t start counting my chickens before they hatch just yet. πŸ™‚ I successfully modified my plan to get my long run in without getting derailed by winter storm Jonas, though Boston was barely hit in comparison to the DC folks! We probably got 3-4″, but hey, after last year, we were due for a break!

2 Generations Running. Snowfall over my head.Last year’s snow… Saying a prayer that snow drifts are not taller than me this winter.

Anyways, here’s how the first week of training shaped up for me.

Monday – And the first day of marathon training began with NO running. Womp womp. Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day though and I had the day off from work so I had time to get a nice cross-training session in. I started with a 22 minute abs and obliques video (Fitnessblender) and then headed over to the gym for about 40 minutes of upper-body work.

Tuesday – 6 miles easy. We had a serious cold spell last week with highs for the day in the 20s (so it was around 7 degrees in the morning when I got up.) Definitely treadmill weather. I woke up at 5:10 so that I could have a quick cup of coffee before getting my butt to the gym by 5:40. I know there are going to be a lot of these early mornings during the next 16 weeks and while the initial getting out of bed part sucks, I don’t mind it so much when I’m at the gym surrounded by all the other early birds. Plus, I love being able to come home and just relax after work and not have to worry about getting my run in.

I ended up averaging around 9:25/mile on this run and I played with the pace and elevation over the course of the 6 miles to keep my mind from going numb. First run of the training cycle complete!

Wednesday – 4 mile hill repeats (again on the treadmill) at an average of 9:22/mile. Once I had warmed up, I cranked the elevation up to 4.0 (sometimes 4.5 for the last bit) and held that for 2 minutes. Then, I’d drop the elevation down to .5 to simulate the downhill and would recover for around .2 of a mile (I picked this recovery distance kind of randomly because I usually felt good enough to for another repeat by then). I increased the pace over the course of the 4 miles, but capped it at 8:57 since this was not supposed to be a speed workout.

If anyone has any tips for hill repeats on the treadmill, I’d love to hear them! An elevation of 4.0 felt challenging, but I’m honestly not sure what that would translate to as a hill in real life. I don’t want to slack off on these hill repeat workouts!

Thursday – Much needed rest/core work day. By Thursday, I think the early mornings had caught up to me, and I was EXHAUSTED. I was still going to bed around my regular time, but by getting up so early, I was getting almost 2 hours fewer sleep each day. I’m definitely going to need to work on getting to bed earlier as the weeks progress. I called it quits after doing the 22 minute abs/obliques workout again and went to bed by 9:30.

Sleepy GIF | 2 Generations Running

Friday – 6 miles on the treadmill again. I warmed up for the first mile and a half or so and then alternated between 8:40 and 8:34/mile for the rest of the miles before going into cooldown mode for the last mile.

Saturday – The long run!!!! πŸ™‚ Maybe it’s just the excitement of finally training for a big race again but I was really looking forward to this 9-miler. Despite the brisk temps and impending snowfall, I headed into Boston so I could run this one along the Charles again. I guess this run was technically closer to 10 miles since I jogged the half mile to and from the subway stop!

Running in Boston | 2 Generations RunningIt was cold, cloudy, and windy as hell. And there were still a ton of runners out getting their miles in before the snow, which was so awesome and motivating to see. Even though I was technically running by myself, it felt nice to have the company of other “crazies” out on the path and it helped me push myself through the cold and the wind. I was shooting for a pace around 8:42/mile, but that didn’t exactly happen – I ended up averaging 8:51/mile. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be thrilled with that, but I know this was a result of the god awful headwind I encountered on many of the miles.

Headwind GIF | 2 Generations RunningThat’s what it was like, but running. The wind was actually whipping tears from my eyes. I’m sure it looked like I was having a blast πŸ˜‰ Those super windy miles ranged from 8:51 – 8:59/mile, but that pace was HARD. When I had the tailwind, I easily ran 8:24 – 8:40/mile. So not exactly what I had hoped for, but I know there will be other long runs to push the pace on where I won’t feel like I’m fighting a tornado.

Adding to all the fun, I took out my phone around mile 8.5 to take a picture or two… and my phone died immediately after the one photo. After that, I just wanted to be done. I quickly finished the last half mile and then headed to a grocery store right next to the subway stop because all I could think about during the run was hot, delicious pancakes. I picked up a gluten-free mix and some syrup and I was on my way!

PancakesBest decision ever. I spent the rest of the day in my compression sleeves and sweats, doing a little laundry and a lot of relaxing.

Sunday – 6 miles, 4 (ish) at marathon pace. I woke up to tons of sunshine and 4 inches of perfect white snow. It was beautiful out, but I didn’t feel like dealing with snow in my sneakers for 6 miles, so I headed to the gym to get this done on the treadmill. I warmed up for the first mile, then paused a minute to stretch before diving into the tempo section of this run. I gradually increased the pace from 8:57 down to 8:05/mile over the 2nd mile, then held that pace for 4 miles before slowing down again for my final cooldown mile. I am finding that breaking the run into sections (warm-up, cooldown, actual workout) really helpsΒ the workouts seem shorter and mentally easier.

I did a short round of arms and abs after this before calling it a day.

Total Mileage: 31

Motivation Levels: Sky High

And my mantra for this week –

"If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough | 2 Generations RunningI’m excited for week 2 of marathon training and for the fact that I have a half marathon to race in 1 month!!! I have strong feelings that Augusta could be a new PR for me in the half because ofΒ my increased focus on pace during my training runs.

Any tips for hill repeats on the treadmill? How was your week? Are you buried in snow from Jonas????

7 thoughts on “Delaware Marathon Training: End of Week 1

  1. dgobs

    Great job on a successful week 1! I stepped out of South Station on Saturday morning into that wind and I’m pretty sure I looked like those ladies in that gif! I literally could not breathe – it felt like the wind was choking me. So crazy. Luckily we live far north enough that we only got 2-3 inches of snow. Best of luck with week 2! πŸ™‚


  2. charissarunning

    Ugh it’s gonna be awhile before I get outside for a run because the streets are so slippery still – Jonas dumped over 2 feet of snow on NJ! Good thing I’ve got my treadmill πŸ™‚ Speaking of treadmill hills, that’s something I do on occasion! I think your 2-mins of 4.0 incline were actually great! I’ve got tons of different things I do depending on what I feel like. Sometimes I do longer hills (0.5 miles) and for those I will typically use anywhere from 3-5 incline then recover for another 0.25-0.5 miles and repeat 4-6 times. 2 min hills are great for practicing speed + inclines (if you do 7.5 mph, you get a 1/4 mile hill!) with 1/4 mile recovery at a slower pace. Then you can do tougher (but short) hill repeats. For those, I do anywhere from 6-8% incline at a fast pace (ex. 7.5-8.0 mph) for 1 min (these are tough!!), then recover for 2 min at a slower pace without the incline (ex. 6.5-7.0 mph). I wouldn’t do more than 8-10 repeats of those because they are HARD. Lastly, you can vary hill workouts between two different types: the steady one (think lower incline, longer hill) where you try to maintain the same pace throughout the hills AND recovery, or the speedy inclines (higher incline, short and fast with slower recoveries which I described above). The first option can be used as an easy run while the second option is really more of a workout. I’ll give you an example of a treadmill hill workout I did recently but I’ll post it in another comment since this is getting long πŸ˜‰


    • Hahaha, thanks for taking the time to share all this info – it’s a big help! I was feeling pretty lost on how to do hills on the treadmill, but this sounds awesome (super difficult, but that’s what I need!). Woof, 2 feet sounds horrible. Hope you guys get some warm weather to melt it all fast!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. charissarunning

    Hill workout:
    1 mile warmup at 1.0 incline
    6 x 400m hills w/ 400m recoveries at 7.0 mph
    (All hills at 8.0 mph: 2 hills at 5.0 incline, 2 hills at 6.0 incline, 2 hills at 7.0 incline)
    1 mile cooldown

    Note: This was a challenging workout. You can adjust the hill and recovery speed to what feels like a do-able challenge for yourself! Hope this helps!


  4. Run Away With Me

    This is so motivating!!!! I mean, I can’t imagine starting marathon training right now seeing how many miles you’re running in week one vs what I”m doing right now as I return from injury, but it’s still making me excited! I love your mantra at the end. It shows how awesome you are going to be during training!


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