What I Do Before a Long Run + 26.2 Training Starts NEXT WEEK!


Just as planned, I dipped my toes into a speed session last week. An 8 mile run with five of those miles at a 7:30/pace tempo. That went well. The next day I did my usual body weight leg day which consisted of about 20 minutes of very basic exercises: light weighted squats (40lbs), TRX balance lunges and TRX pistol squats. I don’t know if it was the combination of speed & strength but Saturday I was still feeling sore legs…

When the alarm buzzes on a Saturday, usually 6:00am, the first thing I do is press the ON button for the coffee to start, then I take LE out for her walk and to get a feel for the outside temps to prepare for my run.

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sleepy pup

Once we get back I chug a large glass of water, move onto coffee, check emails and blogs while i stretch out my legs.

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I try to multi-task as much as possible while i’m waking up so I can get out the door in 30 minutes. I’m not one of those people that can just roll out of bed and run. When i do that i feel like i’m sleep running or something. I like being alert so coffee and stretching will do that real quick.

Once my eyes finally wake up, i pop the contacts in, get dressed and grab what I need for a 2+ hour run.

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I drove about 20 minutes from my house to scout out a connection trail for the ultra i’m running next month. I was happy to find that Rock Creek Trail has been updated with a lot of signs, port-o-pottys and lights have been installed in a dark under pass. The trail itself feels super safe, easy to navigate and there are plenty of fountains and toilets.

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Now I can tell you about how craptastic these two weekend runs were. I’m not joking when I said my legs were sore. Every single step I took over 15 miles hurt. I was hopeful that they would loosen up in the first few miles. Nope. Maybe this side stitch will go away. Nope. My muscles tightened for approximately 19,000 steps. And i felt every single step. The side stitch was there from mile 3 to 13, which resulted in a lot of walk breaks. I am always humbled when I see 10:XX miles blink on my watch.

But hey, these long runs are no joke. Cumulative fatigue is a real thing and the hard runs during the summer will make a strong runner for the fall. I didn’t mentally give up. I knew my legs were just tired. <—if that’s not ultra marathon mentality I don’t know what is.

Sunday I set out for 7 miles. Again, i was hopeful my legs would feel better. They didn’t. It was another slow, hot run. There was nothing I could do but enjoy Hello, From the Magic Tavern podcast and look forward to Monday, a day off from leg work.

After the run, I got out my calendar to mark the number of weeks until Philadelphia Marathon and whoa, I didn’t realize training starts next week! I’ll be following the Hansons Marathon Method (advanced) this training cycle. I’ll slightly adjust the long runs until the ultra is done in August, then follow the plan as closely as possible after.

I’m excited about this marathon. My first ever marathon was a 4:28 in Chicago when I was underprepared and undertrained. The last I completed was Chicago again in 2014 when I was extremely burnt out from work and personal life issues. I completed it in 3:50, which was a huge PR, but it was a stressful time to attempt a marathon.

Now i’ve got the mileage and strength to back me up. I’m happy at home and in work. This all adds up to a good time to try the marathon again. Cross your fingers and stay tuned for all the highs and lows of marathon training.

Last Week

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 6m easy 8:40/pace

Wednesday: 8m tempo (2m warm up, 5 @ 7:30/pace, 1m cooldown), 45 min upper body

Thursday: 6m easy 9:40/pace, 20min legs

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 15m long 9:43/pace

Sunday: 7m easy 9:42/pace

Total Miles: 42

Has anyone used Hanson Method before? Thoughts?

How was your weekend?

Author: She's Going the Distance


10 thoughts on “What I Do Before a Long Run + 26.2 Training Starts NEXT WEEK!

  1. “Get ready for the highs and lows of marathon training!”

    SO true – and I think that we can all learn so much about ourselves by getting feedback from those around us (and not just spouses) about what we were *like* during the training … as it took over our lives and thinking and so much else during that time.

    The whole cumulative fatigue thing is an amazing mindset that is totally unnatural to non-endurance athletes … there have been weekends when I’ve topped 40 miles across Sat-Sun … and then just kept back to my normal Mon-Fri running schedule. And how your body learns to deal with it is just stunning.

    I’m excited for your Ultra and your progress towards Philly – and I agree that being in such a better place in your life makes the mental game much more manageable! You’ll crush it!

  2. I have the Hansons book and really want to try it. I may read it and try it for my next training cycle. I think you’ll rock the Philly marathon and Ultra. I also try to be out the door really quickly before longs. I just tried that run gum since I always chew gum anyways at the start of runs at least, if we weren’t rungear twinning enough.


    • haha i actually thought about how similar our running gear was the other day. That was my first time trying run gum, but i honestly couldnt tell a difference because i just felt like crap anyway. ill try again next week and pay more attention!

  3. I’ve heard great things about Hansons, and I think I’d definitely be interested in trying out one of his plans. I didn’t think it was ideal for my first marathon coming up in October, but maybe if (big IF here…) I do a marathon in the future, I’ll switch to a Hanson plan. This weekend was a good one…Saturday was spent mostly relaxing and hanging out around the house, and ended with a 6 mile run. Sunday we went hiking and then later in the day I did my long run of 12 miles. My legs were dead, but I keep trudging on and made it through. 🙂

    • Hansons just updated the book to include a beginner’s “just finish” plan, which i thought was a great addition. Im excited to see how this plan goes. 12 miles after hiking is a feat. im virtually applauding you right now!

  4. Definitely no experience with Hanson’s, but I’ve heard good things. I’m basically going the opposite route and following the plan from the Run Less, Run Faster book (3 runs – track repeats, tempo, long + 2 cardio crosstraining). Ironically I’m running more doing this than I did last time, but it’s been good thus far. I just had to say that picture of that running trail looks awesome! So nice to have a place like that near by that you feel safe at. Good luck with your training!

  5. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who has to give their eyes time to wake up! My non-contact wearing husband doesn’t understand that concept. How many miles a week will you be doing for marathon training? I’m eyeing my first marathon in either December or March, and will have to decide what plan to follow!

    • The hansons method I’m following will be between 45-55 miles a week and peak around 60! Highest I’ve ever trained at, but I feel very prepared with the mileage I’ve been building this summer. Do u have an idea of what marathon u want to do??

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