Feb 25

Pittsburgh Marathon – Training Week Seven

2014_Run_Home_Blogger_BannerOne more week and I’ll be halfway through the training plan. Before I know it, it’ll be taper time. There’s a lot of work to do between now and then. And after this week, the work that needs to be done, is a little more clearly defined. I’ll explain.

First I’ll start with the week six recap. This week was a little different because I had a race worked into the plan on Saturday. That meant taking it a little easier during the week to keep the legs fresh for the weekend. I did my typical three runs during the week; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, each 4 miles a piece at an easy pace. I only captured one workout in photo, and since it was a “race” week, I decided to add a race related quote.

20140224-191630.jpgSo, I wasn’t as camera friendly last week, but I wasn’t any less devoted. 😉 Friday was a day off and Saturday was the Spring Thaw Race. (See full race recap here)

Typically before a long race I start hydrating like crazy a day or two before, and change my diet slightly by laying off the high fiber foods that typically dominate my diet. I also made a batch of beet juice. I became a firm believer in beet juice ever since the Boston Marathon last year when I was introduced to it’s potential racing enhancement qualities. I shared the simple recipe on Instagram and now here, below. Want more information on the powers of the beet? Check out Running.Competitor article “Beetroot Juice: The Drink of Champions”.

2 beets diced – juice from 1 lemon – fresh ginger diced – 1 apple – 2 cups water

Blend, Strain, Enjoy!

20140224-193648.jpgSaturday’s race was a designed to be a gauge to see how my fitness level is so far in training. I have NEVER done a race during training, I typically shun them, but will ALWAYS do this during marathon training from now on. It was a great way to recognize some “weak” spots and allow me to properly make adjustments to correct them. I won’t go into the race details, you can read the full Spring Thaw Race Recap here. This was also my long run for the week – 15 miles, for a total of 27.

One important change that I’ll be making from the outcome of the race is changing my speed work strategy. I have always done speed work on the treadmill. I think from now on I am going to complete these sessions on the track whenever possible. I don’t know if it will help, but it can’t hurt and I figure if anything, it will better simulate race “feel”. I will also complete my first hill work session this week. I have the perfect hill in my neighborhood for this, so we’ll see what I have in me when it comes to the hills. And for Pittsburgh, I’m gonna need a lot. :)

This week’s schedule:

  • Monday – Rest
  • Tuesday – 4-5 miles @ 9:12 – 9:27
  • Wednesday – 4 miles hill sprints
  • Thursday – 4-5 miles @ 9:12 – 9:27
  • Friday – Rest
  • Saturday – 7 miles @ goal marathon pace (8:47 – 8:57)
  • Sunday – 15 miles slow long distance @ 9:27 – 9:57

Total miles: 35 – 36 miles

So, as I said earlier, lots of work to do. I don’t know what it is about this marathon that has me so fired up, but I am determined to own this course. After it knocked me down in 2011, I’m back and ready to fight!

Have a great week!


Do you have certain things you drink/eat before a big race?

Do you typically run a warm-up race prior to the “big dance”?


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  1. Steffany R.

    Absolutely run training races! I have three planned during my next full training. Need to keep training fresh!

    1. Kim

      It was a valuable lesson I learned. :)

  2. Kristy

    I can’t believe you’re halfway through training already! Time is flying……although winter doesn’t seem to be.

    1. Kim

      I know, and two weeks of that will be a taper. I only did a 16 week plan on paper, but started “prepping” a month before that. I typically enjoy the winter but this one has been particularly difficult. We need to just hang in a little bit longer.

  3. Nichole

    Halfway? Eek! You have a nice plain laid out, though. Keep it up!

    That beet recipe looks interested. That’s one thing I can say I’ve never thrown in my blender… but maybe I need to?

    1. Kim

      Well, close to halfway. Next week will be the 8th week in a 16 week training plan. Try the beets – this recipe turned out so much better than I was expecting.

  4. Running Bear

    Congrats on another solid week. I like the inspirational message you put in the pic, certainly captures the spirit so far!

    You mention the hills, good call. I look at the elevation chart for the race and cringe over that real big one. The hilly place I wanted to train this winter has been iced over since December, so no go there. I try to find every little incline possible.

    1. Kim

      Thank you. There are a few (well more than a few) rolling hills and I know which one you are referring to. It’s not HORRIBLE, but certainly takes some work. The best thing is knowing when its coming and being mentally prepared. I will have a course description out here soon which I hope will help. I’d love to go video the course. :)

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