about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily

    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

    For partnerships, contact: dailygarnishads@mediakix.com.

    Looking forward to chatting with you!


    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

Marine Corps Marathon Training Plan.

Finally, as promised – my marathon training plan!  Thanks to those of you who suggested using Google Documents.  Why didn’t I think of that?  :)  Here is the schedule – click to see the details…

MCM Schedule Snip

This plan was put together as a hybrid of ideas from Hal Higdon, Runner World, and my husband’s brilliant advice.  In the past, I have done Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 and 2, as well as Intermediate 1 training schedules.  For all 5 of the marathons I’ve run, I have trained by running 4 days a week, and just focused on mileage – no speed work.

Between the 2008 Chicago Marathon and the 2009 Flying Pig Marathon, I got a LOT faster.  I credit it to two things:

  1. Over the freezing Ohio winter, I did the first half of my training exclusively on a treadmill.  By combining the monotony of the treadmill with the desire to get my runs over with, I found myself upping my speed little by little.  When I finally moved back to the sidewalk after almost 2 months on the ‘mill, I was naturally much faster.
  2. I lost weight – the combination of consistent cardio (running) with weight lifting 3 days a week helped me shed my final ten pounds.  While I was by no means fat when I started, ten extra pounds is a lot to carry when you’re running.  I could literally feel the weight coming off as it became easier and easier to pick up my pace.

While I did get faster, and set a great marathon PR, I never really did any formal speed work or advanced training.  This time around, I’m going to try something different.  My schedule is set up to include the following:


Tempo runs – these are continuous runs with a buildup to a fast pace in the middle, and a gradual slow down after you’ve hit your peak pace.  Runner’s World defines them as “comfortably hard”" runs that are critical to training.  My tempo runs will be on Wednesdays, and I will build up to a speed that is actually faster than my marathon goal pace.  Hopefully these don’t kill me!

Yasso 800’s – created by Running expert, and fellow-vegetarian, Bart Yasso.  Rather than listen to me try to explain these in my own poor wording, I’m going to refer you to Runner’s World again because they’ve already done a really good job of it.  These will be done less often – every three weeks, alternating with the tempo runs (above).

“Easy”  and Long Runs – You will notice that my running pace starts out around a 9:30 minute mile.  The idea is to get used to logging the mileage and time spent on my feet – and gradually increase speed week to week through tempo runs and yasso 800’s.  (I feel like it is important to note that while my schedule has me starting at a 9:30 pace, my natural pace is actually closer to 8:30.  I am intentionally starting out slower, and gradually building up endurance and speed as the weeks progress.  If you’re natural pace is closer to the 9:30 starting point, you would want to slow these early weeks down beyond that.)


Strength training – now this one is something I’ve done before.  I’ve said it a million times, but I will say it again.  I firmly believe that you cannot run at your maximum potential without incorporating strength training.  Cardio is great, but weights are equally (if not more) important.  Cardio helps you build your endurance, and weights build the muscles that you need to carry you through the tough final miles.  I will be doing weights 2-3 times per week, alternating with yoga.


Hot Yoga – yoga is a new love that I discovered since moving to Charlotte, so I’ve never really incorporated it fully into a marathon training plan.  For me, yoga is another form of strength training, so I will be alternating it with weight lifting on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.  I find yoga to be relaxing and calming, while also giving me a killer strength workout that works a lot of different muscles.

Sooooooooooo…that is my very long-winded training plan!  You may have noticed that my marathon goal pace is 8:23, which is a 3:40 finishing time.  Yes, 3:40 happens to be the Boston Qualifying time for my age group, but that’s actually not the main thing I’m aiming for.  My previous PR is a 3:50, and that was achieved with good training, but no speed work.  I’m hoping to gain 10 minutes this year – we’ll see.  I actually hate making my goals public, but I want to be honest with you guys in what I’m trying to achieve, so that the training and schedule make sense relative to the goal.  Promise you’ll still love me if I’m not fast enough?  :)

You also may have noticed that I don’t have any rest days scheduled.  I’m just going to be honest – I’m not really a “rest” person.  I like to move and walk, and I feel my best when I am going and active.  Also, while I find yoga to be incredibly challenging, it is also very relaxing, so I consider my yoga days to be a fun treat in the middle of my week.  And of course I am also human – if I feel like I really need to rest, I will.

There you have it!  Twenty weeks of running, yoga, and weight training – hopefully with a celebration at the finish line!


I’m also scheduled to run 16 miles the weekend of the Healthy Living Summit in Chicago.  Any other attendees want to run a few with me?  I need a team!  :)

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71 Comments so far
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Danielle     at 10:19 am

Emily, you need to check out Down Dog Yoga once you move to DC. It is the best (actually pretty much only) hot yoga studio. You will love it!


Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

I have seen that website! Awesome – can’t wait to check it out when we get there.


Whitney     at 10:55 am

I am scheduled to run 14 on the Saturday morning of HLS. I run much slower than you but I am training with Chicago Endurance Sports and they have a bunch of groups that go out from Lincoln Park (I can give you more details) and I bet they would love to have more people for this run.

Or if you girls want to do it Sunday, I can give advice on the best routes along the lakefront with water stops. Our local running store, Fleet Feet, does hydration stations on the weekends along the running path.


sassy molassy     at 6:53 pm

Good luck on the LR at HLS! That is tough to fit in long runs on busy out of town weekends. I’ve got an 18er on the docket for tomorrow morning out of town.


Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Thank you!! Good luck to you too!


Andrea     at 6:05 pm

Thanks for the training program!! I have been searching everywhere for a program that incorporated weight training and yoga. I recently started running and have not been able to find anything to help me incorporate the my weight training. Thanks again!!


Gabriella     at 7:44 am

I ran the 2008 Chicago Marathon as well and I’m looking forward to the 2011 Marine Corps Marathon! I just posted my training plan today on my blog as well. How long have you been running? Best of luck with the training and on race day!


Emily Malone Reply:

Been running since 2007! Good luck at MCM – such a great race!


Gabriella     at 7:46 am

just re-read the date and saw this was for last year…none the less, i enjoyed seeing your plan and I hope you’ve got some great races planned for this season!


john     at 1:49 pm

Is there any way you could post an .xls version of your training plan? I would like to download it and make some minor modifications, and use it as my plan.


Rachel     at 11:52 pm

Hi! I am going to use your exact training routine to run the Seattle marathon November 27th! I only have 18 weeks so I had to adjust your schedule just a bit but it looks great! I was wondering how exactly to do the tempo runs- is there a warm up or cool down or do you pick the pace up even more for the last few miles? Or do you just run the entire distance at that week’s set pace?

Also, could you explain in a little more detail how to do the yasso? I understand the 4:02 pace time but how many 800s should I run each time?



Emily Malone Reply:

If you go to Runners World online, they have a really great description of how to do the tempos and yassos – that’s where I got the base for my training!


John     at 11:47 am


So how did this plan work out for you?
What was your MCM time?
I previously have never ran over 5mi, and never consistantly over 2mi at a time.
I did do field sports here and there.
My training started out in 1/04/2012 where I ran 2mi in 25min, but now I’m up to running 4mi 3x a week in sub 32min.
The farthest I’ve ran is 7mi in a hr.
However, my right toe is consistantly sore, and I’m wondering if I should tone down the training.
Any advice for the new runner?



Austin Lasseter     at 6:05 am

Thanks for the training schedule! I was googling “marine corps marathon training” and came across this link. Also very impressed by your cool blog – shared it with my wife. Cheers, A.


Emily Malone Reply:

Glad you found me! :)


Jessica Styers     at 11:53 am

I love your Blog! I just started my own blog a few weeks ago so I am brand new to the blogging world. I have been looking into a good training plan to run my first full marathon. I have done a couple of half marathons already and I think I will be ready for my first full marathon next year. I will definitly this training plan…thanks so much! Check out my blog if you would like..we have a lot of the same interest…however I still have a lot of work to do with mine haha. It is supersonicsunflower.wordpress.com


Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Jessica! So glad you found the blog. :)


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