The foundation runs that every runner needs.

I ran a fairly easy 7 miles through my neighborhood this morning. It was what I had on my schedule for today (a base run), and in the interest of keeping up with my training, that’s what I ran. As I said, it was a fairly easy run and I love those types of runs because I can just let go and think or listen to music. Sometimes, I stop to take pictures and other times I just zone out and almost forget how far I’ve gone or if I’ve even gone the right way. It’s cathartic for me and somewhat spiritual. These are the training runs I live for….that and uh, blogging…

running blogger

Anywho,

I’ve spoken to quite a few runners who are training for their first marathon and a lot of them have said that most of their runs are like this because they focus mostly on one or two long runs with ‘easy, recovery’ or ‘base’ runs in between. And I’ve spoken with runners who have run several marathons and they tell me they love the easy runs because they spend most of their time focused on speed work and endurance.

While every training program should really be adapted to your own needs, there are some fundamentals that should be included, especially if performance is important to you. I call them foundation runs. Every house needs a strong foundation, right?

These are the main components of my foundation and what they help me with:

  • Fartlek – (Speed)
  • Hill Repeats – (Speed)
  • Tempo Run – (Speed)
  • Intervals – (Speed)
  • Base Run – (Endurance)
  • The Long Run – (Endurance)
  • Easy (recovery) Run – (Endurance)

While I don’t do all of these runs every week, I do incorporate some of them regularly and some I split up. Here’s a sample of a training week for me and the types of workouts I do:

  • Monday Off
  • Tuesday Base Run or Tempo Run – (I shoot for 5-7 miles)
  • Wednesday Base Run – (I shoot for 6-8 miles)
  • Thursday Fartlek, Intervals, Tempo or Hill Repeats – (Rotate each week)
  • Friday Off
  • Saturday Long Run – (10-24 miles, depending on the week)
  • Sunday Easy Run – (1/3 to half the distance of my long run)

All of these runs will improve your running to some degree. If you are new to the half marathon or marathon distances, you may want to concentrate mostly on base runs and long runs and maybe one speed run. (Speed will eventually improve with endurance runs as your fitness improves.)

If you’ve previously run a half or full marathon and you’d like to improve your performance, you may want to incorporate some speed work into your training. Be sure to add any speedwork in at least 5 weeks prior to your race, because it takes time for your body to adjust to speedwork and show improvements, and you don’t want to move ahead too quickly or you could risk injury.

Use the foundation runs as a guide and adjust the training program to suit you. Remember, it takes time and dedication to run a marathon, if it were easy, everyone would do it. Even some of the world’s top runners have never run a marathon but if you build a strong foundation, you can do it.

Do you follow a specific training plan? Have you altered one to suit your needs? How did you change it and why?

A long weekend, a long run and lots of fishing.

Happy Monday! How is your day going? I am having a helluva time getting into the swing of things after my 4 day weekend and the Miley Cyrus VMA debacle, it was delicious, (in an evil sort of I can’t look away)! I can’t wait for the Twequel….

It was a joke

So, this weekend as you may now, MacGyver and I went down to Venice to celebrate my birthday. The Kid surprised me and came down Friday night and stayed for most of the day on Saturday even though he is working a ton of overtime lately. Did I mention how much I love my family….? What, a million times? Well, here’s one more, I love my family!

MacGyver bought me a new pair of Maui Jim’s sunglasses, which are so light and comfortable. I’ll be able to run, fish, surf, kayak and paddleboard in them. You really should try them out, they’re pretty awesome.

Maui Jims Sunglasses

Birthday Presents

The night of my birthday MacGyver took me to The Perfect Caper in Punta Gorda and let me just tell you, it was pure heaven. If you are ever even close to Punta Gorda, Florida this is a do not miss. The Perfect Caper restaurant has won many awards and it was highly recommended and it did not disappoint.

Ready for birthday dinner

My Birthday outfit…

The Perfect Caper

The Perfect Caper

After dinner we hurried back to the house to meet the Kid and we all had pie. Yes, I wanted pie for my birthday. It was also delicious. It was a Hershey’s chocolate mousse pie and I wish I would have taken a pic but it was gone in 60 seconds, or maybe 59.

I took the day off from running on Friday but on Saturday I woke up ready to burn off all those birthday calories and I hit the Legacy trail for 12 miles. It was hot but I felt so great after finishing. Nothing is gonna get me in shape for running marathons except those long runs, so I’m committed and I’ll push through.

Garmin Forerunner 410

After running on Saturday, we did some lawn work and puttered around the house and later in the day we went out fishing with the dogs in tow. The fish weren’t biting It started raining about 2 hours later so we headed back.

On Sunday morning I ran another 5 miles on the Legacy Trail. It was much harder than Saturdays run even though it was short. Maybe because it was so hot or because of all the wine I drank this weekend but what I do know is that your diet is just as important as your long runs when it comes to training. More about that in a later post. I promise.

After I got back from my morning run, MacGyver and I decided to go fish for a few hours. Unfortunately, once you get out there with MacGyver and you start catching fish, you stay out there come hell or high water or thunderstorms…..

thunderstorm while fishing

Thank you bridge for the temporary shelter.

Sunday was a good day for fishing! We caught some Reds and some Snapper.

MacGyver Redfish

My Redfish

Fishing Win

Add all that to the fish we caught the other 3 days, (more snapper, mackerel, trout and flounder) and I think we’re good on fish for a while. We’ve smoked them, grilled them, blackened them, fried them, made fish tacos, and fish ceviche. I’m running out of ideas.

Today was a rest day for me. I’ll be hitting the pavement again tomorrow. I’m also going to post my marathon training plan. Maybe that way you can help hold me accountable…maybe?

How was your weekend? Do you have any fish recipes you would like to share with me? Please feel free to do so. PLEASE….

My 4 day birthday weekend begins!

Hello From Venice, Florida!

MacGyver and I are taking a 4 day weekend in celebration of my birthday which is actually tomorrow. We got here late yesterday and took a trip over to one of my favorite places:

Trader Joe's

We don’t have a Trader Joe’s in Clearwater so when we come down to the Venice house we stop in Sarasota and do some shopping. We also tend to go there again on the way home because in case I didn’t mention it, I love Trader Joe’s for realz.

Trader Joe's

I am not big on Roses because I prefer Rose bushes and since I already have quite a few, MacGyver bought me these:

Sunflowers

I love sunflowers!

I got up this morning and ran 6 miles on the Legacy Trail but I left a little late because I overslept. (Must have had something to do with all those strawberries and wine…oops). All I know is, I was ridiculously hot and sweaty shortly after walking out the door. This is me before my run this morning, and Hankie photobombed…

Running in the Florida Heat

The trail is usually pretty desolate during the week:

Legacy Trail

Which is a very good thing because this is what I looked like after the run:

frying egg

Muah, ha ha.

After my run, I took the dogs for a one mile walk and then we all packed up and headed out in the boat to do some fishing.

Fishing in Venice Inlet

One of us caught 8 fish and the other caught 13 but what’s important is that we spend the day together as a family and had a wonderful time….and GIRLS RULE!

MacGyver, 8 Me, 13 = WINNING!

I’m not running tomorrow, we are going fishing at 5am and we will probably be out all day competing catching lots of fish.

Day one of the 4 day birthday, done.

What do you like to do on your birthday? Do you run on your birthday or take the day off?