about me

    Emily Malone

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

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    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    A Look Back.



Spring Marathon Training Plan and FAQ’s.

A few weeks ago, I told you guys about my tentative spring race plans.  Yesterday, I sat down and made it all official – typing out one of my favorite color-coded training calendars. 

Since there are a lot of new readers that have joined us here in the past month or two (welcome new friends!), I thought I would do a quick catch-up for them, before I launched into all the current running talk.

I started running several years ago, and you can read all about my initial running journey here.  I have run 5 full marathons and many other races in the past few years, and I was training for my 6th marathon this past fall.  Just four days after my final long 20-mile training run, I was walking to a haircut appointment when I was hit by an SUV in a crosswalk.  I had many superficial injuries, and some more severe injuries to my left knee. 

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After several weeks on crutches, and almost two months of very little mobility, I started slowly trying to run again in mid-December.  Since then, I have been trying to find my running legs – essentially starting over as what feels like a newbie runner again.  Which brings us to TODAY!

While I know that I have a long road ahead of me, I’m grateful to be as recovered as I am in just three months, and I’m excited to see what lies ahead for me and my running this spring.  My ultimate short-term goal is to run the National Half Marathon in March.  But you will notice that this schedule runs all the way through May – the Flying Pig Marathon.  Right now, the Flying Pig is more of a hope than a plan.  I need to see how training feels week by week, and see how my knee handles the added mileage.  Here is what the next 17 weeks (hopefully) hold for me… (you can click to enlarge!)

Marathon Training Plan

Since I’m focusing on running this weekend, I thought it might be fun to share some of the frequently asked questions I tend to get when it comes to running and racing.  Here goes…

I really want to run a marathon or half-marathon, but I don’t know where to start.

First of all, consider why it is you want to run a race.  Keep in mind as races get more and more mainstream, you don’t have to run a marathon.  If you are trying to lose a large amount of weight, distance running is probably not the right path to your goal.  Many people actually gain a bit of weight to support their bodies through the rigors of distance training.  If you are interested in racing, I would suggest starting with smaller distances like 5ks and 10ks, and eventually working your way up to higher mileage.  Runners World is a great resource for all sorts of running questions!

What training plans do you use or recommend?

For all of my previous marathons, I have always used Hal Hidgon’s training plans.  I have done both novice plans, as well as the intermediate plan.  I find his training schedules to be approachable and not overwhelming, which is particularly important for first time marathoners.  I like running four days a week, and I try to always just take it one week at a time.  One of my most exciting running memories was meeting Hal Higdon in person at the 2008 Chicago Marathon expo!

Do you have any tips or advice for those just getting started with marathons or half-marathons?

The most important piece of advice I always give is to do your training runs.  Having a plan is key, and I would recommend printing up a training schedule and hanging it somewhere you will see it every day.  Either on the refrigerator, by the front door –  somewhere that you pass frequently, that will help you feel accountable to do your runs.

I also really like crossing off runs once I have finished them – there is a lot of satisfaction that comes from making a big black X!

How do you balance weight lifting, cross-training, and running when you are training for a marathon?

I’ve mentioned before that I think weight lifting is essential for being a well-rounded runner.  When I am training for a marathon, I try to keep to a schedule of lifting weights 3 days a week.  You can see the on schedule above that I space these days out in order to allow for proper recovery time.  Because my long runs are on Saturdays, I’ll stick to arms, back, and core work during my Friday weight sessions, and work on leg muscles earlier in the week.

One day a week (Tuesdays), I plan to do weights and running on the same day.  Since that day is typically shorter mileage, I plan to do it on the treadmill at the gym after I finish my weight sets.  Doing weights and cardio back to back also helps increase metabolism!

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How do you change your eating habits when you are in training?

I don’t really follow any particular meal plan or specific strategy.  Depending on how far I am running, I always add an extra snack before and after runs.  On exceptionally long run days (10+ miles), I will eat much bigger meals to make up for all of the calories burned during my run.  I also try to pay attention to my calorie intake during my runs – through sports drink, gels, and other snacks.  While it is obviously important to refuel, it can also be just as easy to over-estimate your calorie needs during marathon training.  I try to find a good balance.

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Training plans can range from 12 to 20 weeks, depending on the distance.  How do you stay motivated for months at a time?

One of my favorite ways to liven up my training plan is to find shorter-distance races to sign up for in lieu of training runs.  When I put this spring training plan together, I was able to fit two-half marathons and two 10-mile races into my training plan.  Having these shorter races to look forward to breaks the long 18-week plan up, and allows for different goals and milestones.

On certain weeks, like the weekend I’m running the National Half Marathon, the scheduled mileage (14 miles) lines up perfectly with a local race.  But other races, like the GW Parkway 10-Miler, are races that I want to do that don’t actually line up with what I need to do that day (20 miles).  So what I will do instead is plan to run 10 miles before the race starts, and then finish my 20-mile run with the 10-mile race.  That way, I’m not on my own for the daunting 20-mile run, and I’m much more likely to finish strong in a race environment.  

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Hopefully those questions are helpful for some of you who are just getting started, or for those of you who are still considering getting into distance racing. 

If you have any additional questions, leave them in the comments and I will plan to do a follow-up post!  What can you guys add?  What are some of your best training tips?

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100 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Steph@stephsbitebybite     at 11:49 am

I am so excited about this post! Thank you for all of the tips, especially the color coded calendar! And I hope your training goes well!

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Poppy @ From Fried Chicken to Tofu     at 11:49 am

I’m in the middle of training for my first half marathon (Disney’s Princess 1/2) and I LOVE crossing off my training runs too! Thanks for the FAQ’s!

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Heather@321fitlife     at 11:49 am

I love the color coded training plan and thanks for the FAQS they are great to read over since I’m currently training for my second half marathon.

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Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner)     at 11:50 am

Great post! You’ve actually answered some of my own questions, like how to balance other training during your plan, so thanks! Super helpful!

Hope your training goes well! :D

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Jenna @ Eating Green, Staying Lean     at 11:52 am

I didn’t realize you’d been hit by an SUV…that’s awful! Glad you’ve been on a quick road to recovery though :)

Thanks for the post, it’s definitely some good inspiration for me just getting back into the world of running!

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Kristy @ KristyRuns     at 11:52 am

I’m using Hal Hidgon’s half marathon training plan now! After 8 marathons, I don’t even know where to start to train for a half! :)

I think when training for a distance race, doing your long run every weekend is the most important thing. Getting used to being on your feet for hours at a time is key. Also, knowing which fuel (during your run) works for you is essential. Happy training!

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Emilie     at 11:55 am

Those were really helpful answers. This is stuff I still wonder about from time to time, even as an experienced runner. I’m always getting tripped up when it comes to maintaining a balance between cross-training, weight lifting and running, so I’m interested in trying out the tips you give.

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Stacy @ Every Little Thing     at 11:55 am

Great FAQ and tips, even for beginner runners like me!

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Jennifer Cook     at 11:56 am

I have really started incorporating strength training into my training schedule because of you. In the midst of training for my second half right now (same weekend as the Flying Pig). Thanks for all the tips and advice.

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Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete     at 11:57 am

I LOVE Smart Coach from Runner’s World. I like it better than other plans b/c it is individualized to your own pace. It really helped me improve with my times from 2009 to 2010.

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Jennifer     at 11:59 am

Love this post. I’m currently debating signing up for my first marathon at the end of May. Just trying to decide if I can fit in the training alongside uni and work. I had been looking at Hal Higdon’s plans so good to hear they work well!

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Chrissy (The New Me)     at 12:03 pm

I love making training plans! I think I like making the plans better than actually running the race. (Just kidding. Kind of.)

One thing I realized while training for my second marathon (it’s on January 30th! Eek!) is that it’s okay to be flexible and switch around workouts. I get so focused on the plan that sometimes I forget it’s supposed to work for ME, and not the other way around. For example, I’m supposed to run 20 miles today, but it’s freezing and raining outside so that’s not going to happen. Instead of beating myself up or running 20 on the treadmill, I’m putting it off until tomorrow afternoon when the weather will be much nicer. Little adjustments here and there go a long way!

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Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)     at 12:08 pm

I am glad you are ready to start getting your training plan together. I was worried about you after the accident, but it sounds like you have set up a great plan! You know I wish you all the luck in the world on this!

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Sara     at 12:08 pm

What happens if you get behind in your training schedule for any reason? Do you skip the days you missed or try to make up the miles somewhere?

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Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef Reply:

for the most part, i always just skip them. trying to make up lots of runs will likely only exhaust you. overall, in a marathon (or even 1/2 marathon) the long run of the week is the most important, followed by any speedwork you may be doing. so i try to value those runs and then the shorter maintenance/base work can take a backseat if need be. hope that helps!

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Emily Malone Reply:

If it is a long run, I would try to make it up during the week. Mid-week I wouldn’t worry about it. But long runs are KEY for training!

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Alayna @ Thyme Bombe     at 12:09 pm

This is really helpful stuff. I’ve never used a training plan before but it might really help to hold myself accountable. Thanks!

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Kim (Book Worm Runs)     at 12:12 pm

Great post and great advice! :) I plan on running my first full Marathon in October so this was very helpful, thank you! And good luck with your training and recovery :)

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Lee     at 12:26 pm

One of my best tips for beginning runners is to trust the training plan. It’s probably not going to have you running the full amount before a race and this freaks out a lot of people. But it will be fine come race day!

I also like marking the training runs off with a big X. I actually have one plan up on my fridge and another at my office.

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Sarah     at 12:44 pm

Great Running info… Love all of the advice. I started up running about a year ago off and on and I love it! I was going to run my first half marathon this September. Last week after a 5 mile run I had pain…. didn’t go away…. now I have achillis tendonitis with a side of heal spur. It’s so hard to just come to a complete stop. I know it was hard for you. Good luck.

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Stacey - The Habit of Healthy     at 12:45 pm

These are great tips. I’m planning on attempting some races this year and I’m a little nervous about it. I don’t know if I’ll like the race environment but I want to give it a try.

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Beth     at 12:51 pm

I think I mentioned this to you before, but if you’re looking for a good group check out Capital Area Runners. You can do the whole training program, or at the very least have an awesome group to long run with on the weekends! Good luck with your training!

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MaryBe@AccidentallyVegan     at 12:56 pm

I’m so happy that you’re feeling well enough to make a training plan! Lots of good info in this post but I’ll be honest and say I’m not here for your running, I’m here for the FOOD! It’s awesome!

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Stephanie     at 1:05 pm

How exciting that you got to meet Hal!!

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Johanna     at 1:08 pm

OMG…you’re amazing!! Can you share what your weight training plan looks like? Especially what you did when you were a beginner? I don’t do weights at all because I have no idea what to do. Thanks!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Working on that post for later this week!

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Danielle     at 1:15 pm

Your blog is seriously amazing:) I have a question regarding the weight loss (or lack of) during long distance training. If long distance running isn’t the most effective for weight loss, what is?? I am looking for cardio workouts that will help me shed the pounds rather than put on.
I guess I am just confused when I read all of the weight loss stories on blogs about how much weight they lost and how they have fell in love with distance running!
Do you have any advice of what a good cardio workout is when you are trying to achieve weight loss goals? xoxo

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Emily Malone Reply:

Any time you are running more than 60+ minutes, your body needs to take in additional fuel to continue to be able to run. With marathon running, you need so much extra fuel for energy for the runs, that most people actually end up gaining a few pounds. For weight loss, I would do intervals on the treadmill and elliptical – interval training has been shown to be the highest metabolism booster. Also, weight lifting makes a HUGE difference when trying to lose weight. Really revs up the calorie burn and metabolism!

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Lori Lynn     at 1:23 pm

I have a goal this year of actually running in a 5K this year. I’ve never ran in a race before, and I’m an extreme newbie at running. I was up to about a mile and a half before Thanksgiving, and then the holidays hit, and I’ve had to work my way up again. But I’ve been doing rather well with getting back at it, so I’m back on track.

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Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun     at 1:24 pm

Thanks for this post! I hope to give more effort to running after the baby and I want to do a couple races this year. I’m only thinking 5Ks now and don’t ever foresee marathons in my future, but all this info still helps. :)

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Cathy     at 1:28 pm

Yes! Hal is my training plan man too! I followed his Novice plan for my first marathon. I’ve also tried Runner’s World’s “build your own plan” tool for a half, but found that Hal’s plan worked better for me.

My other tip for training is to build up slowly. If you increase distance or pace too quickly, you’ll be much more prone to injury.

As for running a half or marathon, don’t go out too fast.

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Allison @ Happy Tales     at 1:30 pm

This post is a GOLD MINE!!!! Thank you so, so much for creating this for all to read! I also have a “hope” to run Flying Pig… I think i need to just bite the bullet, sign up, and make it my “plan!” You are such big inspiration to me!

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gas     at 1:32 pm

If you are going tobdo weights get plenty of protein and essential fat on your weight day consider interval training on the day you do legs

just eating protein tends to increase muscle mass even if you don’t workout i don’t know if you drink milk but its the perfect weight lifting food i drink 12 oz pre and 12 oz post for a total of 25 gm protein and 6 gm essential aminos i also eat some nuts post if you lift heavy your muscles will love taking up the protein and the galactose will refuel your glycogen the nuts give you a dab of fat

i also sometimes drink 100% whey shakes with a bit of cocoanut milk and almond milk and some cottage cheese to get the casein (longer digestion time) if i need to bump up my protein its a good thing to add a few bites of cottage before bed or a cup of milk to have a little protein hanging around while you sleep when your muscles are in repair mode

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Jess @JessCantCook     at 1:34 pm

These are such great tips! I especially like the idea of incorporating shorter races into your training plan, I think that would’ve made my first half marathon training much more interesting.

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)     at 1:47 pm

Great tips, great post, I love it!

My tip…if you’re not having fun anymore, re-evaluate why you’re doing it. For about 10 years I was what I’d call a hardcore runner. Running at least 25 races a year. But it wasnt always fun. I wished sometimes I had ran less races, and had more FUN running back then…but I finally got that all figured out now and only do it if i am having fun :)

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Marci     at 1:47 pm

My tip is to use weights as physical therapy to trouble muscles. When training for my first half, my hips would really hurt the day after I ran. So I did squats with weights and without, lunges, and some hip flexor stretches to work the muscle and get a general stretch in. The weights helped with strengthening it, the stretches helped with, well, stretching.

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Amber K     at 1:55 pm

While I have no plans to run races, I really enjoy reading tips like these. It’s amazing what our bodies are capable of!

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PR_Cal     at 2:01 pm

Thanks so much for this post. It’s very timely for me as I was just thinking this morning of asking you (and other healthy living bloggers/runners) about beginning to run.

My main question was how long would I need to train for a 5K, if I’m starting from scratch?

I’m trying to convince myself to sign up for my very first race in May and searching for all the info I can get. So I’ll look through all the links you provided!

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Emily Malone Reply:

I would think about 8 weeks? There is a great program that I highly recommend called Couch to the 5K! That’s what I used to start running, and I loved it!

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Amy*     at 2:03 pm

Great post! I spent most of last year falling in love with running, and I ran my first full in December. I still feel like I’m pretty new to running, and I have a lot to learn. I’d love to hear more about strenght training, how to get faster, how you refuel during runs.*

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Amy* Reply:

One more question! I’d love to hear about how you approach runs with your husband. My husband runs faster than me, so when we run together, I’m usually just watching his get farther and farther ahead of me. I’d love it if he would go slow with me, but I don’t want to hold him back. I know you’ve said before that Casey is pretty fast, so I’d love to hear your insight.*

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jen @ taste life     at 2:03 pm

So happy to hear about the two possible races! I hope you’ll feel up to the full marathon, if that’s what feels best for you.

I have run two half marathons and also used Hal Higdon plans, as I had no idea where to start!

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The Peanut Butter Addict     at 2:06 pm

This is such an awesome post – thank you for all the information. I want to start running longer distances and possible do a half this spring/summer and this post is very helpful for that.

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Maryann     at 2:10 pm

Great tips! I am looking forward to reading about your training and hope that your knee continues to feel better!

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Kate     at 2:30 pm

Great advice! One tip my nutritionist had was to eat most of my “extra” calories before, during and after the workout, rather than throughout the day. Women often skimp on proper training and recovery fuel because we want to enjoy that cookie instead, but when I followed her advice (…and I need to start doing that again…) my workouts were great, and I lost the extra baggage I was carrying :)

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Kristy @ RunTheLongRoad     at 2:40 pm

Good luck with training…it looks like you have a great schedule to follow. I’m also doing the Cherry Blossom 10-miler! I heard it’s a great race!

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Maddie     at 3:08 pm

Good luck with training! I’m so glad you recovered so quickly.

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Genevieve     at 3:14 pm

Thanks for the great tips! I started running last year with the C25K iPhone app. I highly recommend the app for anyone wanting to begin with the program. It takes all the timing away so you can focus on running. I ran my first 5K last fall and lost 30 pounds in the process–it takes so much less time to burn the same calories running as walking.

I decided to start increasing my mileage this year and signed up to run the Flying Pig 10K. Maybe next year I’ll get up to the marathon! I love that there are lots of good events in Cincy–I’m doing the Cincinnati Duathalon in July too.

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Sarah (Sarah Learns)     at 3:35 pm

wow, thanks for all the tips! :) i’m glad you’re able to really start running again. here’s hoping for an injury-free training plan and a fully recovered knee!

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Charlie     at 3:47 pm

That’s great that you’re getting back to running! I did 7.7 miles today, my longest ever run, but it was pretty slow. I am running the London Marathon in April and am aiming to do 10 min miles. Do you have any tips on how I can speed up my miles on long runs? I was doing about 11.5 min miles today! I am using Hal Higden’s plan and finding it really useful.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Runners World has some great speed work schedules you can set up with tempo runs, yassos, fartleks, all that stuff!

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Ash Bear     at 3:51 pm

Thank you so much for this great post. I’m also training for the National Half marathon. This is a great base for my plan! What tool do you use for making these great plans? I love the colors!

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Alaina @ The Jogging Concierge     at 4:17 pm

I ran a marathon last year and with all of the overtraining I did, I ended up doing a number on my knees and had to take a running haitus. I probably also wasn’t as diligent with my long runs.

Next one will be better though! :-)

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Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn     at 4:38 pm

Ahhh thank you for this post! I’m trying to train for a half (but who knows when that will happen, I’m not out of high school yet and I don’t want to kill my body!), and this was so helpful. It’s so great to be able to find advice like this:)

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Katie     at 4:44 pm

This is such a great post- and at a great time for me! I am pulling my training together for my first marathon training (after two half’s last year!) and was so excited to start- then got sick and now am in a slump, trying to get motivated to start it up! I, too, would love to know your routine with weights- I’m pretty lazy with weight training unless I have a checklist! Thanks for always being an inspiration!

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Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]     at 5:03 pm

Q: Favorite running shoes?

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Emily Malone Reply:

Sauconies!

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Namaste Gurl     at 5:13 pm

I’m looking into doing a 5K marathon in April, so this info and advice definitely helped! Good to hear your past experiences and what you hope to do different this time as well :)

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Georgia     at 5:33 pm

Great post! I’m currently training for my first 5k and was wondering how best you deal with soreness the day after the race? Is there anything aside from a good warm-up/down that I should be doing?
You can read about my attempts at running at http://fabulousfoodandalittlefrolicking.blogspot.com/

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Emily Malone Reply:

Soreness is just one of those things that comes along with running, but stretching and icing afterwards can definitely help alleviate some of that.

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Georgia Reply:

Thanks, for your response, Emily! I haven’t tried icing afterward – will try tonight and see how I go :)

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Amy @ Teach, Write, Cook     at 5:53 pm

Thank you so much-this is such a timely post for me! I just started running a few weeks ago, and am aiming for an 8k by the end of the Spring. I’m finding reading the posts linked in your running tab really helpful and inspirational, too.

My question is how do you handle running outside in the winter? Do you have any recommendations for how to dress appropriately and plan around the shorter hours of daylight?

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Emily Malone Reply:

I am such a wimp about running in the winter!! I just try to bundle up in LAYERS, so I can take some off once I warm up, and always watch for slippery sidewalks. Running as soon as you get home from work might help you beat the sunset!

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Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous!     at 6:42 pm

Wow what an amazing story! I am so glad you are well enough to start running again! I am actually doing a half marathon here in Texas the same weekend you are doing yours. I can’t wait to read all about your journey! :)

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Shelly @ EpicOrganic.net     at 6:45 pm

So glad to see you running again!! You’ve inspired me to take the next step: I’d thought of maybe training for a half marathon this year (I’ve been running for 9 months now – I’m up to the 5 mile mark)… so, I’ve decided. I registered for a 25K in May, and worked up a training spreadsheet for the next 17 weeks. Here goes!!

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Rae     at 7:15 pm

As a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD), the couple of suggestions I highely recommend for runs are:
1. Have an easy-to-digest snack 30 minutes before your run: toast with jelly, pretzels, waffle, 1/2 bagel, crackers, etc. Something high in carbs, low in fiber and fat.
2. Fuel during long runs. It is essential to train your body to accept fuels (both solid and liquid) during your training runs so that you don’t have GI issues during the race. Women should have a gu, bloks, or something similar every 50 to 60 minutes. Long runs: Rely more on gatorade than water. Water can actually cause more dehydration because there is no sodium (water goes where the sodium is!).
3. Refuel within 30 minutes of a longer run (more than 75 minutes). Having something with a ratio of 4 carbs to 1 protein helps your muscles store more glycogen and in the 30 minutes after your workout, the enzymes that store glycogen are working their hardest.
4. Do ensure you’re eating whole grains, fruits, veggies, and lean protein in your diet during the tough training. All of these foods provide nutrients necessary for your body to recover well and for you to perform your best!

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Emily     at 8:40 pm

Hi Emily-

First of all, I love your blog! I hope your knee heels well enough to take you to the flying pig marathon.

I’m running my first 10 mile race in April (the cherry blossom 10 miler – I live in DC too!), and I’m just starting to add weight training to my training schedule. I’d be interested to hear some more specific tips and plans you might have for weight training – exercises, reps, etc. It would be great inspiration!

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Joelle (The Pancake Girl)     at 8:51 pm

I never wrote this when you posted it, but i have to say I really appreciate your post about weight lifting a while go… It has been really helpful for me since I’m trying to gain more strength.

Good luck with training! I plan on volunteering at the National Half!

-Joelle (the pancake girl)

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Susan Fine     at 10:29 pm

i’m interested in how you’re moving from 5m in week 1 to 9m in week 2. i was told to build at about 5% each week, but perhaps because of your running history? or fitness foundation? this will work?

i really like the book HOW TO TRAIN FOR AND RUN YOUR BEST MARATHON by gordon bakoulis bloch. all the training is done with minutes. i used it to build the foundation i needed (basically not being a runner at all) for training for a marathon and then for the marathon training itself. lots of good info and lots of different training plans.

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Emily Malone Reply:

That schedule is actually an 18 week schedule, but I only gave myself 16 weeks. So the first 2 long runs should have been 6 and 7 miles, then drop down to 5 and up to 9. I missed the first two weeks, so I’m just going to do my best. I might have to knock the 9 down to 7 – we’ll see.

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Joanna @ drizzle of sunshine     at 10:41 pm

Good luck with your training Emily!! You’re truly an inspiration to us all! I am baby runner at best and am starting with 5Ks. Even training for that is hard on my body! Thanks for the tips! It helps even beginners like me!

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Jess     at 11:25 pm

First time on your blog…you got hit by a car!? You poor thing! Best of luck this time around.

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Emily Malone Reply:

I did! Doing much better now. :)

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Gena     at 7:15 am

Great and useful post for the runners!

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Sarah @ goingongoals     at 8:24 am

Great post! I really like that you post your training schedules as it really brings to life the commitment it takes to run a marathon. I hope to tackle the MCM as my first marathon this fall!

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Nellie     at 8:26 am

love the low-down on your running program. I enjoy running, but have never been able to wrap my head around marathons. I am, however, interesting in taking part in some short 5k races when I can pull myself together and run more regularly. Thanks for the tips and GOOD LUCK with your training!

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Stephanie @ The Cookie Battle     at 8:42 am

I would have died to meet Hal Higdon!

These are great tips…I think it’s super important that people realize that distance running is not a good way to lose weight. Training for my first half marathon, I gained about 5 lbs, but it was worth it!

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David Schaewe     at 9:43 am

2 questions:

Are there any differences in your weights workout on the days you run?

Also, what is your stretching/warm up routine like?

10 weeks till my 1st 5-k in 25 years!

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Emily Malone Reply:

I don’t do leg weights on days before my long runs, and on the other days we try to just do a full body set. Honestly, I’m really bad about stretching. Definitely something I need to get better about. I’m so excited you are running the Heart Mini 5k – such a fun race!!

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Cindy Robinson     at 9:53 am

I’m still so amazed and excited for you that you’re able to run after your accident! What a blessing from God :) You go Emily!!

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skinnyrunner     at 11:26 am

love this post! and great answers to the questions.
its very inspiring to see you come back from the car wreck and start running again.
i really want to do flying pig one day!

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court     at 11:42 am

question! You said you will finish up a 20 miler training day with a ten miler race. I like this idea. Do you take a break between can you explain that a little?

thanks

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Hey Court! There would probably be a small break between finishing 10 miles, and getting ready to start the race, but I’ve done it before and tried to time it as best as possible. It’s such a great way to break up a long run! Or you can always start with the race, and keep running to finish your run afterwards (but I find that I’m more tempted to cut it short that way).

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Cyndi @ Weightless Life     at 12:18 pm

Thank you for the tips. I’m going to run my first marathon in October, and I need all the help I can get.

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Macrae     at 12:46 pm

I love the idea of putting races throughout your training. It seems more fun to run half of your 20 in a race, especially if you don’t have a training buddy! I wish you the best of luck to bounce back strong :)
Oh, I saw you ask on twitter if Atlanta snow is national news worthy. I would say YES. I live in Athens, ga and this much snow is insane to us- we don’t have all the winter weather know-how, so it’s pretty overwhelming…but fun too!

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Amelia Dunlap     at 12:57 pm

Three tips that I’d add:
1. Have a good playlist for your long runs! I love running to GirlTalk because the music changes every 30 seconds or so, and it keeps my attention

2. If possible, find a running partner for your long runs. When I run with someone, we set a specific time & mileage in advance. Running long distance is all about planning – having a partner is a good forcing mechanism to plan early (and get your mind prepared for the run) and then KEEP THE PLAN!

3. Mental preparation – I know you’ve written a lot before about the mental aspect of running long-distance, which is most of the battle. For me, I have to tell myself all week long “this weekend I’m running 16 miles”, I tell others, I schedule it in my calendar and then when Saturday morning comes, it’s like “of course, now’s the time to run 16 miles”

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Pete     at 2:35 pm

You’ve probably seen it on TV but you should come to the NBC Health and Fitness Expo this weekend. Free event in DC with lots of activities, speakers, health checks, and cooking demos. If anything, it’s an excuse to check out the Washington Convention Center =) http://www.nbcwashington.com/station/community/NBC4-Health-And-Fitness-Expo-2011.html

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Kimberly @ Healthy Strides     at 2:37 pm

Here’s hoping the Pig becomes a plan! It’s such an awesome race. Good luck!

When I started training, I got uber nerdy and tacked my schedule to the fridge. Every time I completed a run, I gave myself a sticker. It made me feel accomplished and it was fun to see month after month full of stickers. Plus, focusing on the training a month at a time made it much easier to tackle.

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Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker     at 3:00 pm

Loved this post. Love that you’re feeling great and ready for this challenge. And am looking forward to reading about your progress <3

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Valerie @ City|Life|Eats     at 4:00 pm

I saw this on etsy — it’s a print of a couple walking in Alexandria and it totally made me think of your posts about walking around Alexandria: http://www.etsy.com/listing/63327560/alexandria-va-love-gocco-art-print

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kate     at 4:09 pm

Including races into your training is such a great idea! I would need mini goals like that to keep me motivated for the full training period.

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Hollie     at 4:33 pm

Loved this post! I have completed three half marathons and am planning my first full in Sept. I am curious to know your strategy for fueling during the race and on long training runs. Water or sports drink? Gu? How often?
Thanks!! Best of luck with your training!

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Samantha     at 6:22 pm

I love giving recommendations to NYC visitors!

Gustorganics (14th and 6th Avenue) is a great organic restaurant with lots of GF and vegan options, plus a nice ambiance.

Quantum Leap, Bonobo’s Vegetarian, and Village Natural Restaurant are great low-key options for veggie-centered fare.

Lula’s Sweet Apothecary has AMAZING vegan ice cream and treats.

Enjoy!

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Sarah     at 11:05 am

I’ve been following your posts a few weeks now but this is my first time commenting. I love your blog! I started running last year and love it, so I decided to run my first half-marathon this year. This post really helped! Thanks especially for referring to Hal Hidgon’s training plans, I spent a long time yesterday just perusing the website.

By the way, I LOVE your cinnamon cider brussels sprouts recipe. :)

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Kristen     at 4:22 pm

Where do you hear about all these races in the DC area? I generally look on Active.com, Pacers, and Washington Running Report, but I don’t think I’ve seen most of the races you’ve referenced above on those sites!

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Emily Malone Reply:

I usually look on Runners World.com – I haven’t found a great DC web resource for races yet. Some of them seem like they only have races listed that they are sponsoring, instead of just listing all the races in the area.

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Kelly     at 3:29 pm

I’m so happy that you’re back in race training mode! I’m thinking about running another marathon in May in Vermont and am also planning to use Hal Higdon’s training plan. I like that he has more shorter mileage runs that the training plan I used last. It had less runs with higher mileage per run. Anyway, I’m just so happy you’re feeling good again. :)

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Erin     at 4:33 pm

Have you ever used a foam roller to help work the kinks out of your muscles? It’s been a life saver for me.

I’m so glad to hear that you’ve jumped back on the running band wagon! Good luck!

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Jessica     at 10:07 am

i just signed up for my 4th half-marathon and it is in 20 days. My general fitness schedule is body pump at least twice a week and running at least 4 miles 3-4 times a week. Do you think i am pushing it to only have 20 days to the start line?

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Emily Malone Reply:

Hard to say since I’m not sure about your running background. Just make sure you don’t push yourself too hard and risk an injury!

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