Mapping (and Starting!) My Mississippi Blues Marathon Training Plan

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I’ll start by saying that there are millions of philosophies about race training.  Here I’ll share what has worked for me, and what I am planning to do for the Mississippi Blues Marathon, but this is not the only way (or even the best way) to train for a marathon.  I’d love to hear thoughts about what has worked well for other people.

In short, I like to make a rough sketch of a training plan for each marathon so that I don’t get completely off-track, and so that I can anticipate holidays, travel, and work events and prepare accordingly.  Usually I just jot it down on a calendar or in a Googledoc (or now, in a blog post).  The most important runs for marathon prep are the long runs, so I make sure to note what my goal long run is for each week, and then I have the option to do that run any day during the week (but usually Saturdays or Sundays).  I don’t generally write the week’s non-running activities (Orangetheory, pilates (upcoming post!), barre, yoga (also upcoming post!), swimming, etc.), or my run commute, in my training plan, and while I do sometimes put in shorter runs, all of those are subject to change.  Each week is different, and I vary based on my own schedule and how I’m feeling.  Missing a few runs isn’t going to totally kill your training.  Really.  I take at least one, but usually two, rest days each week. Continue reading

Why Running to Work is the Best Commute Ever, and How To Do It

I will start by saying there is an entire blog devoted to this topic, and the blogger there covers this issue very, very well.  In fact, I read several of his posts before adopting the run commuter lifestyle.  So here you go:  The Run Commuter.

But I will add my few cents here.


I started running to work about six months ago when I changed jobs.  My new office is 2.5 miles from my home, and there is not a particularly direct way to get there using the public transportation options.  In fact, I am not even sure if I could save time by using public transportation.  And it would certainly cost more than running.  Biking was another option, but I am less comfortable with city biking, and I would have to lock up my bike in a dungeon each morning and unlock it each night.  That sounded like a lot of time taken up by logistics for such a short ride.

I figured that if it took me about 30 minute to run to my new job, that was a reasonable commute time–very similar to my walk to my old job, and about what many people drive or Metro from nearby suburbs.  And of course I knew I was physically capable run the 2.5 miles (whether I would WANT to would be another question…).  Here are the main benefits I’ve identified:

  1. I get a minimum workout each day.  Most days, I have a nice, quick jog for 2.5 miles to work, and then I walk home in the evening.  I burn close to 500 calories just getting to and from work.  I can extend my morning run if I want, but even the shorter run has impacted my fitness.  I can tell that my legs are looking more toned, and my race time is back under 4 hours.  I still try to do some other workout about 4 days a week, including a long run if I am in training, Pilates, yoga, lifting at the gym, or Orangetheory.
  2. Instead of causing me stress, my commute helps me mentally prepare for work in the morning and decompress at the end of the day.  I come home at night having left the stress on the sidewalk.
  3. Running saves a lot of money compared to taking a bus or Metro.  I’ve only had to take an Uber a few times, usually during serious evening rain storms this past summer or if I am stuck at work super late.  The only cost of running was the initial investment in the backpack, plus getting shoes slightly more often.
  4. Good for the environment.  Keep your Prius; I’ve got LEGS.

But there is some planning that goes into becoming a run commuter. Continue reading