How I Trained for the Boston Marathon Running Three Days Per Week

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Hi, I'm Tina!

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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I always wanted to run the Boston Marathon, so when Stonyfield approached me about running it, it was an opportunity that I just couldn’t refuse. I was only 3-months postpartum and running just a few miles at a time– often with lots of walking breaks mixed in– so I really didn’t think I could run 26.2 miles. Obviously, physically, it was going to be a challenge, but, as a brand new mom, making time to properly train definitely wasn’t going to be easy. In the end, it took a village for me to run the 2015 Boston Marathon, but what ultimately helped me run a good race was my training plan (linked below), which was provided to me by the running coach working with Stonyfield at the time.

Prior to beginning my 14-week marathon training plan, I was running at least two times per week with a jogging stroller (2-5 miles) and then once without, which was typically a longer 60 to 90-minute run. I also did KFIT/CrossFit classes 2-3 times per week.

My marathon training plan included three days devoted to running with a few days of cross-training mixed in. The runs were time-based and included a mix of long runs, medium-length tempo runs/Yassos/hill workouts, and shorter runs. The 3-times-per-week schedule allowed me to train without injury and in a way that didn’t require me to rearrange my entire life, which was especially important with a tiny baby. Basically, running 3 times per week was totally do-able, so I stuck with it and felt completely prepared for race day.



Boston Marathon Training: Weeks 1 & 2

Boston Marathon Training: Weeks 3 & 4

Boston Marathon Training: Weeks 5 & 6

Boston Marathon Training: Weeks 7 & 8

Boston Marathon Training: Weeks 9 & 10

Boston Marathon Training: Weeks 11 & 12

Boston Marathon Training: Weeks 13 & 14


COMMIT to your training plan

Obviously, this is easier said than done, but two things in particular helped me stick to my training plan. 1) Remember that race day is going to SUCK if you don’t train well. Running 26.2 miles is no joke. It’s hours and hours of time on your feet, and it’s going to be really rough if you’re not prepared for it (been there, done that). When you’re only running 3 days per week, every training run is important to your success on race day. 2) Do everything in your power to make committing to your plan possible and easier. More on this below…

Schedule your training runs and ask for help (if you need it) 

These two things went hand-in-hand for me since I was a new mom and couldn’t just head out to run whenever I wanted. To ensure that I stuck to my plan, I scheduled my runs on a shared Google calendar with my husband, so we were both on the same page when it came to my training. I also made sure to stick to a fairly consistent schedule each week, so my training didn’t take over our lives and my husband was still able to work out. For instance, on Tuesday nights, you could always find me running on the treadmill at KFIT (because there was 8+ feet of snow outside – no joke) while my husband watched our little guy at home. Again, fitting in my 3 training runs every week was essential.

Be aware of over-training

Even though I was only running 3 days per week, I ended up over-training at points during my marathon preparation. At one point, I was running three days a week and doing KFIT/CrossFit workouts three days a week, which was just too much for me. Thankfully, I didn’t get injured, but I constantly felt tired and sore. Obviously, this training schedule didn’t give me enough time to recover, so I listened to my body, took more rest days, and prioritized my running. I ended up cutting back on my KFIT/CrossFit workouts to twice a week and then just once a week during the really high mileage times in my training plan to ensure that my body was both happy and healthy.


My 2015 Boston Marathon Race Recap

4 Things I’m Doing to Prepare for Marathon Training

How to Balance Running and CrossFit

It Takes a Village (for Me) to Run a Marathon

Marathon Training: Why I Didn’t Gain Weight This Time

My Favorite Winter Running Gear

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