• Let The Training Begin

    April 25, 2011

    Six races in six weeks:

    One week in Las Vegas:

    It’s time to get serious about my training.

    The next race on my schedule is the Run to Remember at the end of May, which means I have just 5 weeks to step-it-up. My only goal for this race is to PR. Anything faster than my time at the National Half Marathon will make me happy.

    Even though I’ve run 20 races from 5K to marathon with all sorts of distances mixed in, I still consider myself a beginner runner. Of course, I know a thing or two about running, but I read running blogs and love to learn ‘tricks of the trade’ from more experienced runners. Just a couple of weeks ago, a few of my runner buddies told me about Smart Coach, which I am now obsessed with. It’s the BEST training program ever. I plan to use it for all of my races in the future.

    Check this thing out! You can totally personalize your program to meet your running goals. Look at all of the options!


    Here’s what Smart Coach turned out for me:


    This training program looks pretty good to me, so I hope to stick to it in preparation for the Run to Remember. Let’s hope it helps me get faster!

    How do you come up with training plans for yourself? Do you use online tools? Create them yourself?


    Mid-morning, I took a break from my work to eat a quick snack: red grapes + a blueberry muffin.

    IMG_0002 (480x640)IMG_0001 (640x480)


    A few hours later, I took another break to eat lunch on the sun porch with Murphy. On my plate: Sandwich Thin with veggie hummus, arugula salad with tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, and flax oil, strawberries, and Swiss and cheddar cheese cubes.

    I love tasting plates like this— I find that the flavors, colors, and textures are very satisfying, mentally and physically.

    IMG_0005 (640x480)

    I’m off to the gym to tackle my first training workout.

    See ya!

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    { 74 comments… read them below or add one }

    Alaina April 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Smart Coach looks great! I’ll have to try that!

    I can’t wait for the Run to Remember! I’ve heard such good things about the course. :-)


    Justeen @ Blissful Baking April 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    I love your spring-y lunch! I’m craving some arugula now – my current favorite green!


    Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner April 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    I usually look at a few different training plans and then adjust them to fit my schedule (I do mid-week long runs) and preferences.
    I think most of my meals are combinations of a food different foods–I like the variation!


    Claire @ The Lazy Alchemist April 25, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    I’m jealous of all the cool races you get to do! My friends laugh when I call them “fun runs” and can’t believe that I actually pay to race, but they don’t have fitness fever like a lot of the blog world.


    Heather April 25, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    I love smart coach! I have used it to train for a couple of races. I have “tweaked” it a bit, but all and all really like it! Good luck!


    Shelley April 25, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    I’ve always had good success with Smart Coach. I don’t follow it to a “T” and tend to skimp on the warm up and cool down portions. A new training plan is a great motivator!! Have fun!!


    Ash Bear April 25, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Love that you’re focused and have a clear goal for this next race. Since I don’t have a next half marathon yet, I’m using it for a 10k!


    Kate (What Kate is Cooking) April 25, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    I will definitely have to use that tool for my next race- that’s a great training plan!


    Shannon April 25, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    I had never heard of Smart Coach either. I think I will give it a shot for training for my half marathon this fall


    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin April 25, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Thanks for sharing about Smart Coach! I want to train for a 10K this summer but I have no idea how to come up with a training plan, so this pretty much solves all my problems! 😀


    Kasey April 25, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I love Smart Coach! I’ve used it to train for two marathons (PR of 3:43) and 4 half marathons (PR of 1:43). I’m going to start another Smart Coach training plan this summer hoping to get that elusive BQ this fall!


    Lisa @ Want Believe Achieve April 25, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    That site looks cool. I will have to check it out. I am also running the Run to Remember and it will be my first half marathon. I am super excited and my goal is just to finish :)


    Erin April 25, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    This is the one I use and it works great because it fits in strength training and cross training with 3 run days. Definitely check it out!! I started using it at 3 weeks postpardum to run my first race, and I’m using it again 9 months later!!



    Hannah April 26, 2011 at 2:25 am

    What a beautifully colourful lunch! That’s gotta kickstart the training program for sure :)


    Khushboo April 26, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Smart Coach is great…I was obsessed with it too when I first came across it!


    Dana Haidan April 26, 2011 at 5:40 am

    Thanks for sharing about Smart Coach! Great tool!
    i’m a newbie runner, and I found the track workouts you posted when you were training for the marathon very useful and I use them very often.. They helped me tackle a 5K three weeks ago! and i’m planning on running a 10K in June 😀 Can you please post your running workouts when you start training with the time, speed, incline and distance details? i’ll be eternally grateful!


    Lindsay April 26, 2011 at 9:08 am

    is that program free? it looks so easy to use!


    Tina April 26, 2011 at 9:09 am

    @Lindsay: Yep! :)


    Laura Jane April 26, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Smart coach looks like a great tool. I’m not doing much running now, but in the past I’ve used training programs from coolrunning.com.


    Christina April 26, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Good luck training! I’m also running the Run to Remember — my first half marathon :)


    Angela April 26, 2011 at 11:47 am

    You are doing amazing with all those races!
    I have the same program you show (the Smart Coach) as an App on my droid (just an FYI, don’t know what phone you have). I love it! I found it after I had already started training for my upcoming run but will definitely be using it for next time!


    gabriella @ embracement April 26, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I used smart coach for my first half and then I altered it a bit for Run to Remember. It is amazing. I really followed it to a tee and I wasn’t at all expecting the time I finished it at the More half.


    Junie B April 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    i think that Smart Coach works for distances less than a marathon. I just put in stats for 16 week marathon and it had me running way high mileage early in the training. It should take into account what your base is and then adding the 10% every week with a cut back after 3 weeks.


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