What's my plan for Eau Claire Marathon training?

We're almost at the end of 2017 and that also means marathon training is starting soon. Like really soon. Like eight days from today. On the very first day of 2018 I will officially be training for my second marathon. Which seems so crazy to say because it feels like I just started training for Twin Cities Marathon not that long ago.

But it's already been over seven months since I started training and over two months since I ran my first marathon. So I thought I’d take some time to talk a little bit about my plan for the Eau Claire marathon is (including what my training plan is, what my nutrition will be like and what my goals are).

Training plan

Once again I'm going with one of Hal Higdon's training plans. I've used his training plans for all of my races except for my first 5k and most recent half marathon at Lake Minnetonka and they’ve always been great for me. I use the Intermediate One training plan for the Twin Cities Marathon. I did look at a couple of other training plans but I really liked the multiple 20 miler runs and marathon pace runs with Higdon’s plans. So I’m moving on up to the Intermediate Two plan, which has the marathon pace runs and three 20 miler runs. I'm looking forward to starting off my long runs in the double digits since to get up to the three 20 milers you have to start off at ten miles. Which I've been running recently and it feels really good, so I’m just backing off the mileage right now before I start training again.

I'll be using the same training paces for Eau Claire marathon as I did for Twin Cities. I know I was so close to hitting sub-5 hours at Twin Cities that I can do it with keeping at those training paces. I'm not concerned about keeping pace on the Saturday pace runs as much as slowing down on my weekday runs and Sunday long run. I've been finding myself going a lot faster on my normal runs at the moment since I'm not training for a specific pace and I'm keeping around a 10:30 average pace. So I'm really trying to use these days before I start marathon training to slow it down and get used to running at an easy pace again.

I’ll be using the Strong Curves template for my cross-training on Mondays and also going back to a regular yoga practice on Fridays. I’ve really been enjoying how Strong Curves gets me a full-body weights workout in about 30-35 minutes plus it really challenges me.

As I mentioned in a previous post so I'm hoping to make core workouts a regular part of my marathon training, after my Tuesday and Thursday runs. Especially since I’ll be doing my marathon training in the Minnesota winter, core stability is going to be really important to prevent injuries.

I’ll also be getting back on that foam rolling routine!. I found it really helpful while training for Twin Cities Marathon and then just haven't been keeping it up. So my goal would be to foam roll after every single workout whether it's strength training or running which would be six days of the week. And if I feel like I need some extra foam rolling on my rest days, I’ll be doing that too.

Nutrition

I’ll continue counting macros during marathon training. I find it really helpful to make sure I'm eating enough food in. Since I'm coming off of a cutting phase into marathon training I'm really used to eating a lower amount and that just isn't going to be  enough to fuel my runs anymore. I'm going to start off pumping up my calories to the 2,000 calorie mark with the increase coming mostly from carbs, but I’ll be increasing my fat and protein as well.

I'm also thinking about incorporating macro cycling again for my weekends so I’m fueling that long run and also recovering from it. Especially with doing a higher mileage training cycle than the last time, I want to make sure my body has enough fuel so I don’t start bonking on my long runs. I’ll keep you updated on how I chose to do that when.

Of course I'm going to continue using Nuun Hydration products and Gu gels on my training runs and in my day-to-day life. If you missed the news I am a Nuun Ambassador for 2018! I just love using their products on my long runs to give me a little bit of extra boost versus something like Gatorade. I've also recently started using their vitamins product day-to-day usually in hot water since it is mighty chilly here in Minnesota. It's a nice variation on water or tea with that extra boost of vitamins in it.

Goals

For the Eau Claire Marathon. the thing I've been saying over and over again is how I want to go sub five since I was so close at Twin Cities. In a way my big goal for Eau Claire marathon is to PR but I want bigger than a four  minute PR that going sub five hours would get me.

My A goal for the Eau Claire Marathon is to finish in 4:45 or faster. I feel like I have a really good chance of that with how well my off-season has been going. And if my training goes perfectly and race day weather is perfect I feel like I can easily hit that goal. My target pace for marathon pace workouts is a faster than what I would need to get a 4:45 so I'm building  in a buffer by training myself up to run faster but having a little bit slower of a goal time. So that if something happens at the end where I've been keeping on track perfectly and start bonking towards the end I'll still have a chance of getting that 4:45 time since my marathon pace runs were done at a 4:35 marathon pace.

It's pretty daunting to put out there that I want to run a 4:45 Marathon, which would be taking almost 20 minutes after off my marathon PR. But I feel prepared going into the second one. I gained a lot of knowledge running the Twin Cities Marathon. I know how my body reacts to marathon training and I've had time to both decrease my weight and increase my strength.

Are you starting training on New Year's Day like I am? Let me know in the comments below if you are or what your big goal races for 2018.

What I eat in a day: weight loss edition

Since I’ve changed up my calories to work on losing weight (and because I’m not marathon training and have to refuel after long runs), I thought I’d share what I ate in a day on my current macro goals. Which is pretty different from how I was eating during marathon training!

Breakfast

Most mornings, my breakfast is pretty much the same, oatmeal. It’s quick and easy to make in the morning and I can mix up the flavors in it easily. This morning, I did pumpkin spice oatmeal and added in egg whites (I plan out most of my meals the day before so I knew I needed some extra protein).

20171128_051354.jpg

I also had my normal coffee with sugar-free caramel syrup and frothed milk. Can’t get going as easily in the mornings without it and it’s a nice, relaxing start to my day.

Lunch

I had messed up my lunch even before getting into work. I had planned on having a spinach salad on the side with some Botlhouse ranch dressing but I didn’t bring any spinach with! Just the dressing. So I decided to move that salad to dinner and just have the leftover parmesan panko pork chop from Sunday night’s dinner. The good thing is I still got in some vegetables with my lunch since the pork chops have a puttanesca sauce!

It’s probably good to note that I’m drinking water throughout the day. I usually have three or four of my 20 oz water bottles by the time I leave work. Sometimes I have a Nuun tablet in one of them but usually it’s just plain water.

Pre-workout

I always like to have something small about an hour before my workout and this week it’s been Chobani Greek Yogurt Flips since they were on sale. Today’s flavor was mint chocolate chip, which was surprisingly good! The mint yogurt on it’s own was just ok but the addition of crumbled cookies and rice crisps made it delicious.

Post-workout

I planned on doing my run in the area around my work (get in some long hills on my five mile run) so I blended up my smoothie before hand. Mike was also working late this night so it was going to be easier to drink it on the drive home before I had to take Vinnie out on his walk.

Tonight's smoothie was Chocolate Brownie Batter from MyProtein, plain greek yogurt, a banana and some cold brew coffee. Just the perfect thing to perk me up after a windy five mile run!

Dinner

I finally got in my spinach salad that I was planning on for lunch while dinner was cooking. I love using our multi-cooker on Tuesday nights since dinner gets done really quickly with little prep work (or it cooks while I’m at work)! Tonight's dinner was Zuppa Tuscano, which was a recipe I had from when we did Whole30. It was super delicious and easy to make, everything basically got dumped in and cooked for about 20 minutes! Which meant I had time to foam roll while it was cooking.

20171128_183456.jpg

And that’s pretty typical of what I’m eating in a day right now! A lot more vegetables than during training for Twin Cities marathon, which I’m hoping to carry over to Eau Claire marathon training.

Cutting and weight loss during the holidays

Thanksgiving is this week and it kicks off the winter holiday season (for me at least). And with it comes a lot of food. In the past, I’d eat until I was beyond stuffed but I’ve been more conscious about how I’m eating in the last couple of years. So, how am I planning to mix both the holiday season and trying to cut and lose weight?

The first thing that I’m keeping in mind is to take it one day at a time. And even one meal at a time if I need to. Even though there’s over a month between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, it’s not like there’s something going on every single day. At most, we have seven or eight days where we are celebrating. And for a lot of them, it’s not a even a full day thing. So instead of worrying for the entire month or more I just need to take one day (or one meal at a time).

Going along with that, one day isn’t going to ruin all the progress I’ve made. It might make the scale shift up for a couple of days after but it isn’t permanent. It’s not going to take away from the hard work I’ve done. It’s the same mentality I took on the honeymoon with me and it worked great for me then.

I will be keeping up with my workouts and being focused on my eating still on these days so I can make better choices than I have in the past. I won’t be eating until I’m beyond stuffed because that just doesn’t make me feel good. But I’m not going to pass up some of my favorite things (hello mashed potatoes with gravy) just because I’m in a cutting phase. Instead, I’m going to focus on smaller portions of the food I must have a taste of and make sure that I’m focusing mainly on protein and vegetables. Plus, this means I’ll have room for dessert instead of eating pumpkin pie that just adds to that feeling of being stuffed.

Focusing on one meal at a time also comes into play with this. Take for example Thanksgiving this year. We are spending it with my family so we’ll be driving up to the Duluth area and having two Thanksgiving meals. But I’m going to do my normal weights and run before, probably just having a small snack before and using my breakfast as my post-workout meal instead of having breakfast, working out and then having a post-workout smoothie. And I probably won’t be eating as much at that second meal because I’ll still be full from the first. But you can’t bet I’m going to enjoy all that turkey!

What is your approach to keeping balanced during the holidays? Let me know in the comments!

Happy holidays!.jpg

Cutting Month 1 Results

My first month of cutting post-marathon is done! I’ve been backing down on my mileage, adding in more strength training and eating at a slight caloric deficit. So, how did my first month go?

Starting Measurements—October 1

Weight: 142.6 lbs

Body fat: 27.5%

Waist: 29 inches

Hips: 37 inches

Thighs: 20.25 inches

Forearms: 11 inches

Current Measurements—November 1

Weight: 137.8 lbs (4.8 lbs↓)

Body fat: 26.3% (1.2%↓)

Waist: 28.5 inches (0.5 inches↓)

Hips: 36.5 inches (0.5 inches↓)

Thighs: 20 inches (0.25 inches↓)

Forearms: 10.5 inches (0.5 inches↓)

 

I had a pretty drastic drop in weight the first week after the marathon, just over 3 lbs, which I was expecting as my body got back to normal after marathon training. I also had a bigger drop the second week (just before I went on my honeymoon) but while I was gone I wasn’t paying as close of attention to my calories. When I got back, I was up from the day we left (which I expected) but I’ve continued to see a small drop in weight since then. I might have weighed in another pound lighter if I hadn’t been on vacation (or if I had been super strict with my eating then) but the memories are more than worth it.

I’m really impressed with the changes that have happened already and how easy it’s feeling. I’m eating about 300 calories below my maintenance and was eating so much during marathon training that I was worried about my body feeling hungry during this phase. But I’ve adjusted really quickly to it and I feel like I’m eating healthier than during marathon training as I’m working on getting more volume in my food by adding in vegetables.

November will turn out a lot different from October. I’m not planning on losing almost five pounds but I’d like to get down to 135 by the end of the month.I feel like is completely reasonable based on how my weight has been moving since getting back from the honeymoon. I’m also hoping to see my hip measurement drop more too since that’s the spot where I carry most of my weight and the last place I lose weight from. I will also have a lot more consistency in November since we won’t be on vacation for two weeks!

I won’t be making any major changes to my nutrition or workouts in November. I might be having to hit the treadmill more depending on what weather comes our way in Minnesota but that’s just to be expected. I’ll also be moving on to the second phase of Strong Curves next week which will be fun to mix things up again.