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Weekly Marathon Training Update: March 18-24

Last weekend I made a deal with myself. I’d get my training plan from my coach (who, by the way, just won the HAT 50K yesterday!), post it here on the blog, then update how things went the following weekend. The goal was to both keep myself honest with my training, and also to give a little insight into what it’s like to work with an on-line coach.

Here’s how this week went for me:

Monday: planned off day

Tuesday: unplanned off day due to blizzard (another foot of snow!)

Wednesday: 1.5 mile warmup, then 4 x 1 mile from marathon pace down to half marathon pace with 2:00 walk breaks between. Mile splits = 7:39, 7:29, 7:07, 6:37. 1 mile cool down to finish. 7.31 miles total. New Balance MO80 on the feet.

Started feeling some pain under my right forefoot about midway through the run, middle toe was sore when I put pressure on it the next morning. A bit worried that the MO80’s were a really bad choice for a speed workout on asphalt due to the lack of cushion and a firm rubber outsole.

Thursday: unplanned off day to give my foot a break

Friday: 2 miles warmup, 3+ miles fartlek at a wide variety of paces (that’s what fartleks are for I guess!), two miles cooldown. 7.63 miles total. Asics Gel Lyte33 v2 on the feet. Foot achy, middle toe pretty sore the following morning.

Saturday: 1 hour Taekwondo workout. Foot felt ok during the workout. Been about a month since my last TKD class and it felt amazing to be back. Made me realize how tight I’ve gotten from only running for the past several weeks. Stretching was much needed.

Sunday: Ran 15.1 miles in 2:05:40 and it kicked my butt. Total elevation gain over the course of the run was 1,343 feet, and had to walk a few of the ups toward the end. Despite that, pretty pleased with an 8:20 min/mile pace (walk bits included in avg. pace). This was a run to remember! Skechers GoRun 2 on the feet, felt amazing, might be the frontrunner for the Vermont City Marathon. Could feel the toe, but not too bad.

Here’s the elevation profile for the long run – intense!

Elevation Profile

Total miles for the week = 30.04. A bit off my planned total of 36 since I skipped the easy runs due to my foot worries. Foot feels ok after the long run, so don’t think it’s serious.

All in all not a bad week, got all of the quality workouts in, and only missed the 6 easy miles.

On to next week, here’s what Caleb has planned for me:

Easy Miles: 4 (1 run, you choose the day)

Strength Routines: Taekwondo

Workout 1 (Tuesday/Wednesday): 8 miles total.  1 warm-up including 5 x 20 seconds strides, 3 @ MP, .25 SLOW jog recovery, 3 @ MP, .75 cool-down.

Workout 2 (Thursday/Friday): 8 miles with ON/OFF effort.  First mile easy, 2nd mile at a bit harder than marathon effort/pace, then alternate the remaining miles of the workout (even miles hard, odd miles easy).

Long (Saturday/Sunday): 16, steady easy effort throughout

Looks like fun!

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a biology teacher, track/soccer coach, and dad (x3) with a passion for running, soccer, and science. If you'd like to learn a little bit more about who I am and what I do, click here, or visit


  1. I get similar forefoot lateral pain in my brooks pure connect. 5th metatarsal. Nike Pegasus took that right away for my 11 mile long run tho

  2. good stuff, pete. that’s a really hilly route! my week was somewhat similar. did 16miles previous sunday (farthest distance yet), and the rest of the week felt like recovery runs. keep it up.

  3. John Sentz says:

    I had lateral forefoot pain a couple of weeks ago. I attributed it to a speedy 8K race in my snuggish Kinvara 3’s. Ran a half marathon the following week and a 30K today in my GoRun 2’s with no issues. This shoe has been my “savior” and my choice for my May marathon without question.

  4. I always enjoy reading your blog, and have liked the recent posts about your training in particular. I’m preparing for my first marathon in a few weeks, but I haven’t had the time to do what you would call “training.” My main focus is on being efficient and pain-free, and I have slowly worked my mileage and speed up in shoes like the Adam and the Samson. My wife got me some Kinvaras for Christmas (upon my suggestion and per your recommendation) in anticipation of a possible spring marathon. They’re OK, but I had to remove the footbed so that the knuckle of my big toe didn’t rub the inside of the shoe. I don’t think I have a “high volume” foot, but they seemed surprisingly tight in the forefoot. I even sized up from my normal 11 to an 11 1/2. I recently ordered a pair of Piranha SP3s and Wave Universe, and they seem perfect–super light and plenty of room in the forefoot, plus more cushioning than what I normally wear. I can’t imagine wanting anything different in a shoe, and I’m seriously considering running in one of them in the marathon. Granted, I’m slow, and don’t anticipate finishing faster than 4:30-4:20, but am I delusional in thinking I can run 26.2 miles in shoes like these?

    • Another thing about the Kinvara–You’ve said that it’s a neutral shoe without stability elements. It seems to me that there is a bit of anti-pronation structure built into the medial side of the sole. They seem like they want to push my ankles up and in a bit when I wear them. They’re certainly not like the other shoes I mentioned or like my Instincts or my Distance-all of which seem truly without stability elements.

    • Pete Larson says:

      If you have enough adaptation to a flat, minimally cushioned shoe I don’t see why it wouldn’t be possible. If you we’re doing all of your training in the Kinvara, then the Universe might not be the best choice, but if you’re training mostly in shoe like the Samson then I don’t see it as being as much of an issue. What have you been doing your long runs in?
      Sent from my iPad

      • I pretty much run exclusively in the Adams and Samsons now. Wore the Universe today-Awesome! Probably Piranhas tomorrow. Look super geeky, but like the firmness. Kinvaras have been abandoned for a while now-except for wearing to Target and stuff.

        • Pete Larson says:

          I think the Universe should be fine then, enjoy it! I haven’t tried the Piranhas, but suspect that they are similar?
          Sent from my iPad

          • 17 yesterday in Piranhas at 9:14 pace. 13.1 today in Adams w/footbed at 8:49 pace. So far so good. Feet, ankles, knees, everything OK. Need to figure out what gels or salt pills or whatever I need to get through 26 miles.

          • Pete Larson says:

            Awesome, keep it up! I use gels mixed with water in soft-flasks for the marathon. Seems to work for me as I have a hard time sucking down gels when they’re really thick.

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          • Thanks. Actually do feel a little soreness as the day has progresses on outside of knees. Unusual. Is that the dreaded IT band area? Probably shouldn’t do so much in just 2 days. My plan was to run 20 yesterday. Didn’t quite pan out, so felt the need to go out today and make up for it. Will probably go out tomorrow as well.

          • OK, last post about this. 5 today. Feels fine. Not worried about it.

          • Pete Larson says:

            Outside of knee could be ITB, glad to hear today went well. Just keep an eye on it!

  5. Christian Eriksson says:

    It always brings a smile to my face when I see the Swedish word “fartlek” (“speed play”) used in an English text :) It must be a rather, eh, strange word to use and pronounce? Well, maybe less so for you Pete! Ja? ;)

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