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

    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    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.



Running

Welcome to my RUNNING page – a place for me to share all of my stories and experiences involving the world’s greatest sport!

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My Running Journey

I have not always been a runner, or even an active person.  I started out my running career by using The Couch to the 5K program – alternating walking one minute and running one minute for my first few runs.  To read about my journey from couch potato to multiple marathon runner, make sure to check out…My Running Journey Page.

Running and Racing

The day that I started running, I signed up for my very first race.  I knew that having a goal and a plan was critical to my success, and I have been running and racing ever since!  From 5K’s to full marathons, I love races of all distances and sizes.  You can read all about all of my race experiences on…My Runs & Races Page.

Favorite Running Posts

Running is one of my favorite things to write about!  Below you’ll find links to some general posts about running, tips for becoming a better runner, and a few of my personal favorites.

Frequently Asked Questions (about Running)

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, please leave them in the comments!


55 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Renee     at 6:03 pm

I took your advice and checked out the “Couch to 5 K” website. The after reading the advice of others, I downloaded the “Couch to 5k” program on my iPod…it lets you put your ‘own’ music to it. Let me say, I am NOT a runner. But…this is so easy. I’m on week 2 already and I feel like I might actually be able to finally run a mile. (which is a HUGE thing for me…lol) Thanks!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

That is AWESOME, Renee! So excited for you!

[Reply]

Jenna Reply:

I just saw this and had never thought of there being an app for the couch to 5K. I used to run cross country in high school and am so excited to get back into it again! Good luck!

[Reply]

Iris     at 2:05 pm

Hey! I was wondering if you ever had a gait analysis done? Do you think barefoot running is possible for everybody or do some people need the support of the shoe?

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

I have done the gait analysis at running stores before, and they have always put me in neutral shoes. I’ve never actually done any barefoot running, but I am very interested in trying it at some point.

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Karen     at 8:02 am

Hi Emily
Just wanted to say thanks for the inspiation. I am in the UK and looking to get into running. I wonder if you could provide a link to the couch to 5k site you used – the one you can put your own music to – the ones I have found have awful soundtracks!!
Many thanks and looking forward to more posts.
Karen

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Greg     at 6:11 pm

Whats your take on this new bare foot running trend/minimum foot wear trend? I’m pretty knew to running and started running in slip-on’s and never had any pain. I then switched to running shoes fitted for me and my knee went out. Not sure if it was a coincidence or because of my body getting use to a new way of running and injured its self.

Just curious to a more experienced runners take on it.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Hi Greg! I’m actually really intrigued by it too. I don’t have any Vibrams or similar shoes, but I’m kind of interested in trying some, just to see what all the hype is about. I’ve read a lot on the topic – seems to be mixed feelings on which is better in the long run. (No pun intended.) :)

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Greg Reply:

I’ve read you really have to ease into since the lack of muscle strength when striking with the front of your foot instead of the heal(which feels more natural after today’s run. First run in a month with out any pain in a few months) I just ran in my van’s slip-on’s which have no support at all.
Im going to keep trying it even tho when I’m back in DC for Christmas I will be freezing my feet off.

Its funny with the debate over it since the running shoe was invented until the 1970′s. It’s very interesting.

Thanks for the response.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

I can assure you, you WILL freeze your feet off in DC next week. :) It’s 11 degrees here now!

[Reply]

Greg Reply:

Correction First run with out pain in months.

[Reply]

Sophie Reply:

Greg, just wanted to say that sometimes shoes without support may not be good either because they still force your feet into positions they wouldn’t normally be in while running if you’re barefoot. Stay injury-free!

[Reply]

Aubrey Reply:

Hey All – I am a barefoot runner who hasn’t run a marathon yet (I’m training for the half in San Antonio in November!) but I’ve run a few 5k’s (both in Vibrams) and I am in LOVE with them. I ran in regular shoes up until about 2 years ago, and I have to say it is a huge difference.

It is true that you have to ease into it because in barefoot shoes you’re utilizing muscle groups that you normally wouldn’t in shoes with support (calves, ankles, toes, etc) so you definitely have to be careful..you will have insanely sore calves at the beginning. I’ve had absolutely no issues with my Vibrams, and my first pair is still completely in tact. The best thing about barefoot running is the complete range of motion it gives to your foot – so comfortable!

My only caution is to be careful where you order them from (if purchasing online). There are a lot of counterfeits out there and they are definitely not the same quality. If you order online, definitely check their official web site http://www.vibramfivefingers.com They have a list of counterfeit dealers as well as where you can find them in brick and mortar stores. Happy Running! :)

Emily – Just want to add that I’m fairly new to your blog and i can’t get enough of it! :)

[Reply]

Kayley     at 3:16 am

So I’ve been fairly athletic my entire life but have just taken up running within the past 6 months and I’ve picked it up pretty well. I’ve ran a few short races and have made it up to about 8 miles fairly easily and have decided to sign up for my first half-marathon in April 2011. I know that most of my training must occur this winter and have been VERY discouraged the past few time I’ve ran freezing temperatures. My nose runs like crazy, my throat hurts SO terribly bad, and my ears ache like crazy (with ear coverings). Am I the only one that struggles with this? I’m worried I won’t be able to complete my half in April because of my struggles with the cold weather. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

[Reply]

Becky Reply:

Are you wearing enough “core” layers? I’ve found that my extremities (and head, etc) tend to get colder when I’m not wearing enough body layers – in really cold temps I try to err on the side of caution, wearing a little extra and unzipping if I get warm. Or maybe it is just way colder where you are (I am in Wisconsin, though – it is pretty chilly!) or you are just extra sensitive to the cold or not used to being out in it. I also don’t know what your schedule is like, but running between 11-4pm whenever possible (weekends or days off) might make for some warmer runs! Best of luck!

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Shannon     at 7:35 pm

I have a few questions. I completed a similar program to Couch to 5K on a treadmill and stopped running. I want to do it again but outside this time to help prepare to a 5K this year. Am I correct that when training for a 5K, I should do it outside rather than on a treadmill?

Also, once I’m finished with the program, how do I train to increase my speed? Do you have any good resources for this? Thanks!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Hi Shannon! It is okay to do some training on a treadmill, but in order to prepare for a road race you definitely want to do some of your runs outside. You want to learn how to adjust to different inclines, weather, temperatures, etc. As for getting faster – Runners World has some great article and training programs. Hope that helps!

[Reply]

Lori Richardson     at 10:51 am

any advice on buying a treadmill?

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Hmmmm not really. We got a Gold’s Gym model because it was highly rated on Consumer Reports. It really depends on how much you run though, and what features you are looking for!

[Reply]

Sue     at 9:11 am

Emily,
I first saw your guest blog on sparkpeople.com. I read about how you got injured and were unable to run for a while. I just had foot surgery on Thursday and running is out for a few months as well as lower body exercises for now. I can still do upper body strength training and core but I wondered if you had found a way while you were recuperating to get some upper body cardio in. It is a difficult transition for me to go form being very active to having to rein it in quite a lot. Thank you so much.

[Reply]

Malia     at 6:59 pm

My husband and I ran our first half marathon in November 2010. It was amazing. He is currently training for his second one. We used Hal Hidgon’s beginners Novice for training. We found it very reasonable and helpful.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

LOVE Hal Higdon! Congrats on your first half – what a great accomplishment!

[Reply]

Amy     at 11:10 am

Hi Emily,

Though I never enjoyed running in the past(nor did I ever really try), I started the Couch to 5k program in January, in hopes of shedding a few extra pounds I put on with two pregnancies. With the help and motivation of a good friend, I ran my first 5k in March and loved it! I think I’m addicted! My friend is now trying to talk me into running a 10k with her at the end of May. The thought of running a 10k excites me, but it’s only six weeks away. Do you think that is enough time to train? Also, do you have any tips on how to train mentally for distance running? Sometimes I have a hard time talking myself into going the distance, even when I know I’m physically capable of it… By the way, I love your blog! :)

[Reply]

Jessica     at 3:01 pm

Hi Emily!

I know you are VERY busy with the baby on the way and probably inundated with questions and comments regarding all the NEW things in your life- but I have a run-of-the-mill RUNNING question for you!

I saw a post you made recently about running through the woods in an unfamiliar town (DC was it?) while visiting family/friends/I am not sure. I saw at the end you posted a pic of your HRM with some stats on it. I am in the market for a HRM and have bought and returned 2, dissatisfied with their accuracy.

I think yours was a Garmin, though I am now having trouble finding the original post. Are you happy with this HRM, and do you have any recommendations (in the event you now use a different one)?

Let me know, thanks so much for all you do/share! :)

-Jess

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Hi Jess – sorry this took a few days! I have the Garmin Forerunner 205, but it’s not a HR monitor, just a running tracker.

[Reply]

Ashlyn     at 12:35 am

Hi Emily,

I was wondering if you ever stop and walk a while during your runs when your tired? Also, how do you stay motivated to keep going while running? Thanks,

Ashlyn

[Reply]

Megan     at 6:22 pm

Hello from the Midwest!! Just have to let you know that I love reading your blog….truely an inspiration. I do have a question about keeping your hair out of your face while running. I run 5Ks alot and am always searching for a way to keep my side peices of hair out of my face. I have hair shorter than yours, but long enough that I pull back in a ponytail and usually put a stretchy headband (for lack of a better word)in front to keep the wispy hairs back. My problem is that the headbands always want to creep up the back of my head, eventually falling off. I have bought smaller width headbands and use bobby pins to keep in place. This works, but then I noticed in most of your running pictures you have a wider band. Does this stay in while running or is there any special “techniques” you use to keep the band in place? Thanks for your help!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

I use wide goody bands that I get from Target! They stay on perfectly if you get the extra wide ones.

[Reply]

Megan Reply:

Hmmmm…..that is exactly where I picked up the most recent ones because they looked very similiar to the bands you wear, Goody wide band. I wore one this weekend during my 5k (without bobby pins) and within 5 minutes of running the race it had slipped up the back of my head and off it came. Maybe my head is just the wrong shape :) I will keep trying. LOL Thanks

[Reply]

Lucia     at 10:24 pm

I’ve been inspired by your running successes. I can’t wait to do a full marathon post-partum following your marathon training advice. I am currently 19 weeks pregnant and running a 1/2 marathon in two weeks. I plan to keep running until I can but probably won’t be doing 12 mile long runs anymore. You’ve inspired me Emily.

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Lucia! Can’t wait to see what running is like post-baby!

[Reply]

Lucia Reply:

I ran a marathon before my last pregnancy (this is my second) and fell right back into it a few weeks post-partum. I’d bet it will be the same for you.

[Reply]

Elisa     at 6:54 pm

Hi Emily! i just found your blog 2 days ago, and love reading it. I found myself being very identified with your running story. I just wanted to know, how much weight did you lose, and how long it took. I am currently wanting to lose 20 pounds, and i run 10 km for 5 days a week. Please let me know any advice you can share :) Thanks

[Reply]

Emily     at 11:28 am

Commenting here because I know I commented before to say that I was doing the Pig Half in 2012. Well, after realizing that I can do 10 miles and feel really good, I have been convinced. Flying Pig Full 2012. See you there?

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Crossing my fingers to be there with you! :)

[Reply]

Rachael     at 9:40 am

Hi Emily, I just started the Couch to 5k plan with my husband 2 weeks ago after seeing your blog and being inspired. For both of us, on our 6th run, we noticed our knees (and my ankles) hurting quite a bit – feeling like they were giving out on us. We just did our 7th run yesterday and both of us were still in quite a bit of pain. Did you have knee pain when you first started running? It seems strange that we both started hurting in the same places at the same time.. Any tips for pushing past this point?

P.S. Congratulations on baby Cullen!!

[Reply]

Karen     at 6:30 pm

I am training for 26.2 for Donna Feb 12,2012. It is my goal to qualify for Boston. I also weight lift 3x a week and think it is essential for running. I have noticed a considerable difference in my speed since being very serious about wt lifting for the past year. Hopefully it will help me shave 25 mins off of my time and get me to Boston!!!

[Reply]

Ramani     at 5:28 pm

Emily!

I love your blog, I feel like I KNOW you and am such a huge fan. Not only have I learned so much from you, you just seem like the kindest, loveliest person.

Question for you as I am BRAND new to running, do you have a running shoe you love?

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Ramani! I would suggest going to a running store to get fitted. They are all so different and it really depends on your stride and the shape of your foot. I wear Sauconey myself.

[Reply]

Claudia     at 11:33 am

Hi Emily, I love your blog as it is inspiring and uplifting and I don’t mind your family and baby inspired stories at all, they belong to you and are about what makes you you. Maybe you can help me with a question regarding the fitness/running part of your blog. You mentioned in your running section that you ‘have not always been a runner, or even an active person.’, but in another post you mentioned that you spend 14 years of your life in gymnastics and ballet, which in my opinion makes you a very fit and active person. I am finding that the earlier in life you begin with sports and activity the better and that even later on in life, once you might not be as active as before anymore, you can still reap the benefits of these earlier years of activity. I believe all the muscle, muscle tone and endurance you built up in those 14 years could have and most likely did help you become the fit person you are today.
I would love to hear your opinion on this. Lots of Love, Claudia

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Hard to say! I quit gymnastics at 17, and really did nothing fitness-wise until I was 25 or 26. It was a pretty long gap. But I was definitely very athletic as a child. Good stuff to think about!

[Reply]

Manasi     at 2:05 am

Emilly,

I just started workout .
So need advise how to increase stamina for running, how to start running, and intake for the same.And is this help me in reducing my ABs fats

[Reply]

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cait     at 5:29 pm

Hi Emily! Love your blog. I find it inspiring to every aspect of my life. I was wondering what your favorite brands and products for wokout gear are. Sneakers, clothing, socks, etc).

[Reply]

Sonia     at 3:53 pm

Is it true that running on pavement causes long term knee damage?

[Reply]

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[Reply]

Ella     at 7:53 am

This page always gives me the power, hope, desire to keep on running. I see where you started off, and what you later became… and it’s amazing. Reading about your accident, about your success and accomplishments, it’s kind of amazing everything you went through yet you never gave up. It keeps me running, gives me the wish to keep doing it even through the fails & bad runs. Thank you, & I hope that you soon update this page with many more runs.

[Reply]

John Martinez     at 3:16 pm

Emily, thanks for sharing all of this wonderful health and fitness information! Beautiful site!

John M.

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