Blue Ridge Training Plan, wks 2-3

See previous weeks here:

Weeks 1-2

Here is the plan for this week and next. I’m sorry I’m posting a bit late but Christmas kind of ate the weekend! Check out Week 1-2 for an explanation of the cross-training, etc. The only new thing is a 3-mile, hilly run with negative splits in week 3.  That’s just a three mile run with each mile a bit faster than the previous one.  Just remember, the key is to be a bit conservative with your first mile 🙂  This run will become progressively longer as the plan goes on so you want to practice not dying from the start!


My biggest surprise from the training cycle thus far is my lack of core strength!  I took a tabata boot camp class on Friday for my cross training, since I had a bit more time in the morning, and I was excessively sore for two days and can still feel some of my muscles!  Whoa!  I’m going to try it again this Friday.  And then hope to run my fastest four miler on Saturday night.  This should be good 🙂

Have you started training yet?  How’s it going?  I tell you, starting a training plan the week of Christmas was one of my least brilliant ideas but I think it all sorted out okay!


Winners and Blue Ridge Marathon Training Plan wks 1-2

First off, I have some winners to announce! The grand prize was a free race entry to Blue Ridge, second place was a cute mountain necklace, and third place is some BR swag. I wish I could give race entries to everyone!  But, if you didn’t get it, you can still use BRMFRIENDS to receive 15% off your entry.  Everyone has been contacted.  Thanks for playing along!


Now, on to training!  If anyone feels like joining me, here is my training plan for weeks 1 and 2. I’ll post at least a week ahead so you have time to plan.  The Blue Ridge Marathon is listed as the toughest road marathon in the US because of the 3 mountains that we climb: Roanoke Mountain, Mill Mountain (with the star), and Peakwood.  If you are training for this, hit the hills hard and try to up your core work!  Here’s my plan, in a nutshell:


Weeks 1 and 2.jpg
This plan follows a Sunday start to the week

The optional cross training on Mondays is Planks, Bridges, Russian Twists, pikes, etc. 20-30 mins – there are several core-centric plans online that you can follow. See Runner’s World for good ideas. Remember to roll!

The cross-training on Wednesdays is boot camp, HIIT, PiYo, plyometrics, etc. 30-45 minutes.  Choose dynamic exercise that work on stability as well as strength.  Remember to roll! This is in addition to a short run so, ideally, you should do an easy run before the cross-training.

The cross-training on Fridays is swimming, spinning, elliptical, stair climber, etc. 30-45 minutes. Choose exercises that will work on endurance without excessively fatiguing your legs (don’t do all the time on a stair climber!)  Remember to roll!

The runs on Saturdays should be faster, closer to your race pace.  The runs on Sundays should be as hilly as you can find and 30-60 seconds slower than race pace.

Hill repeats are, basically, to find a nice hill that is long and a fairly decent incline.  Push up at a steady pace, crest the hill and go 5 steps past the crest before jogging down for recovery.  Later in the plan you can practice declining repeats where you go easy uphill and let it loose on the downhills.  Remember to include about a mile warm up and cool down.  These workouts translate well to the treadmill. If you don’t feel like repeats, make it a progressive hill run on a treadmill – keep cranking the incline until you are maxed out and power hiking for a bit and then use the decline, if your ‘mill has that feature, and practice blowing down the hills.

For a short tempo run, warm up for a mile at an easy pace and then do the rest of the time at your 10K pace.  Follow up with at least a half mile cool down, if you have time. These are also great treadmill workouts.

Giveaway! Blue Ridge Marathon Race Entry

Training for Blue Ridge starts in one week!  To celebrate, I’m giving a way one entry to the marathon, double marathon (!), half marathon, or 10K (your choice!).

Runner up will receive a cute mountain necklace that totally reminds me of the marathon course.



And the third winner will receive a set of Blue Ridge shoe laces.

Also, starting next week, I’ll be starting a series of posts about my training (I will post my training plan for the week on Mondays, in case anyone wants to follow my plan, too), tips about the race, and other information about Roanoke.

Don’t wait!  The contest is only open one week!

*I have this entry as part of being a race ambassador.  Other prizes are provided by me.  Only new registrants are eligible for the race entry, sorry!  If you don’t win, you can still receive a 15% discount on your entry by using code BRMFRIENDS

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blue Ridge RA.jpg

December Reset: Week 1


I’m one week into my reset so I thought I would give a little update on how it’s going.

1. Walk at lunch at least 3 times a week.  Score: Goose egg.  I have not walked at all during lunch in the past week.  I finally remembered to bring a pair of walking shoes today but I can feel the excuses building already.

2. Engage in at least one group exercise activity a week.  I got in two group activities this week! Once was an impromptu spin session on Friday and the second was part of a group run on Wednesday.  I’m not sure I can count that as I was running *near* others but not actually *with* anyone.  I was close enough to hear conversation, though, so I think I’ll count it.  It was the runner’s version of parallel play.  Is it possible to be lonely and anti-social at the same time?  I seem to hit that combo quite often.

3. Complete 1,600 miles for the year.  I will not likely complete this.  I needed to run 35 miles a week for the rest of the year to get it and I only managed 16 this past week.  I’m not too broken up about this.  As one of my BRFs said, our goal should be to “be more awesome than last year” – in that case, double check!

4. Do a modified Whole 30.  Mostly good.  I had to do a massive baking session on Saturday and did end up sampling a bit but I haven’t been sneaking extra bites and I ignored an entire Costco cake at one of the THREE retirement parties we had this week at work.  Bonus: I’ve lost 3 lbs!  I know, it’s water, but still nice to see.  I would love to lose 4 more before the month is done but I know my body hangs on to every last ounce so I’m not too set on it.  I need to be careful, too, because I’m getting weird with food again.  I wound up not eating dinner last night because I was paralyzed over what to eat (after I realized too late we were out of spaghetti sauce so I couldn’t make the baked spaghetti squash casserole I was planning on).  I wound up eating a banana and a packet of Justin’s Almond Butter with Honey before bed.  Not ideal

5. Add magnesium back into my diet.  100% – I have been having magnesium every day and am up to full dose.  I’ll know in a few weeks if it will help with my PMS anxiety and migraine cycle.  I hope so because I’m getting pretty tired of it.

Overall, I think things are going well and I feel more centered.  I’m also feeling more optimistic about this next training cycle and am looking forward to having a non-goals race with friends.

Speaking of training….  Monday will be 19 weeks until the Blue Ridge Marathon (or half, or 10K or 1 miler – or double marathon, if you’re nuts!)  Stay tuned because I will be giving away one free race entry to the distance of your choice!!!  I will also be kicking off an All Things Blue Ridge series of posts that you’ll want to catch if you’re thinking of running next year.