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Marathon Training Update: April 1-7, Making Progress!

I feel like I things started to click a bit this week – ran 5 out of 7 days, got in three strong quality workouts, and the toe seems to be almost back to 100%. The biggest validation that my training is starting to pay off came on my long run this morning – 18 miles and felt very strong throughout! It may be time to re-evaluate my race goal a bit, but still not planning to overdo it.

weekly training

Workout summary:

Monday: Planned off day

Tuesday: 6.69 miles at 6:48 pace. Ran intervals on the track with my local running club. 1 mile warm-up, two laps with strides on the straightaways, then 2×200 at 5k pace, followed by 6×800 at 5k pace. 200m jogs in between. Managed sub-6:00 mile pace comfortably on most of the 800s, very happy with that. No foot issues. Adidas Takumi Sen on the feet.

Wednesday: 3.63 miles at 8:36 pace. Easy run with Jack (the dog), big kids came along on their bikes. Kids spent most of the run bickering, Jack decided to poop on someone’s lawn a mile into the run, so had to carry it in a plastic bag for the remainder of the run (the things you do to be considerate…). Not a relaxing run. First run in the Nike Free 5.0 – not bad, except got blisters on the outside of my little toes. Not enough space on the lateral side due to the curved last.

Thursday: 5.32 miles at 8:09 pace. Easy does it, nothing much to say about this one. Brooks PureCadence 2 on the feet.

Friday: 9.4 miles at 7:20 pace. I blame this one on the new Saucony Kinvara 4. Caleb ordered 2 miles easy, 6 at marathon pace, and 1 cool-down. Wound up being 9+ at about 20-30 seconds faster than marathon pace. Felt too good out there to slow down!

Saturday: Planned off day, youngest son’s 3rd birthday party!

Sunday: 18.18 miles at 8:06 pace. Good music in the ears, new shoes on the feet (Saucony Fastwitch 6), and 18 fantastic miles in the books. This was the confidence boost I needed. Opted for a bit of a flatter (relatively speaking) route than my last several long runs, and felt the strength the hills have built up in my legs. I was feeling really good so I ran progressively faster in the second half (see splits below) and felt strong till the end.

Took the risk of making my first run in a shoe a long run, but was surprised by how good the Fastwitch 6 felt – wasn’t expecting it since the last FT I wore was not a personal favorite. Wore a heart rate monitor for kicks and was hovering around 140bpm for most of the first 10 miles, average HR for the run was 149bpm. Drank no fluids during the run, with no ill effect, and took one gel at mile 12. I have a tendency to overhydrate (landed me in the med tent after Boston 2011), so experimenting with my hydration a bit lately.


1 9:00
2 8:47
3 8:25
4 8:06
5 8:25
6 8:21
7 8:23
8 8:20
9 8:14
10 8:25
11 7:57
12 8:05
13 7:59
14 7:40
15 7:28
16 7:22
17 7:25
18 7:40
19 1:26

Later in the day I added another 1.25 miles at easy walk-jog pace with the 5K team I’m co-coaching. Loving it!

Week Total = ~44 miles

Workout schedule for the coming week – bring it on!:

  • Easy Miles: 8 (2 runs)
  • Strength Routines: Taekwondo
  • Workout 1 (Tuesday/Wednesday): 10 miles total. 2 easy, 5 @ MP, 2 @ HMP, 1 cool-down (SLOW)
  • Workout 2 (Thursday/Friday): 9 miles total.  1.5 easy to warm-up including 5 x 20 seconds strides, skips, drills, and a change of shoes into flats (if you want).  Then run 5 x mile averaging HMP.  First mile should be just faster than MP, last mile should be around 10k pace, with a progression in pace throughout the workout.  Standing/walking rest of 2:00 between repeats.  1.5 mile EASY cool-down following the mile repeats.
  • Long (Saturday/Sunday): 18 with a fast finish.  15 easy, 3 assertive by feel.  Fuel throughout this run on the planned marathon fueling schedule (based on minutes, not miles).

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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. Louise Bourque Cunningham says:

    Nice run in the new shoes! I find it so cool that you do your training in different shoes all the time.. shows how well your feet know how to compensate for changes!

  2. Wow.

    Ran by feel with no GPS like you talked about in earlier post. Ended up only a few seconds off my best pace in a half marathon today. New PR. Hoping my training (which amounts to something like cramming for an exam) works in marathon next Sunday.

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