Marathon Talk with Monica II

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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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Hey, hey!

Here’s another edition of Marathon Talk with Monica! If you missed the first one, you can read our Q&A here.

So, Monica is my go-to person for whenever I have a running-related question. We talk pretty much everyday, so it’s easy to ask her any (and everything) that comes to mind. Monica knows a lot about marathons and running, and I love that she gives me real, straight-up, not sugar-coated advice. That said, here are some more questions that I recently asked Monica and her replies!

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I hardly ever drink water on my long runs, but I know it’s important, and I want to start practicing for race day. How often should I drink water during a long run? 

One of the important things is to go into your run well hydrated and aim to take in some fluids every 15 minutes or so – more on hot days or when you feel like you’re sweating more.

If I do my long run on the treadmill, is it okay to change speeds? If so, how much is too much?

Yes. It is good to be consistent on long runs since they are meant to be steady state cardio (most of the time). But – it’s even better to do negative splits = where you end faster than you started. So if the first 6 miles were an average pace of 9:30, but you feel up to doing 9:20s for the last 6 – that’s great! You just don’t want to turn it into a speed or fartlek workout since that’s not what’s on the agenda.

Does a Soul Cycle class ”˜count’ as a tempo run? I mean, there’s a warm-up, pace pick-up, and then a cool-down. It’s kind of similar, right?

A tempo run is a specific workout meant to get your body ready for some long and speedy miles. Yes, it is similar but I don’t think one could be exchanged for the other as a rule. If you are feeling an injury coming on or your body is telling you to take a break from running, this could be a nice option over complete rest. It’s a great workout! But it’s just not a tempo run.

I was sent a pair of NANOspikes to review. I’ve never used them before, but I want to try them on an upcoming run. Is this okay?

Running in NANOspikes is better than slipping or falling. For sure. But, it is going to be different than running in running shoes on dry ground. This might affect your foot turnover rate and gait so I would be careful of that when running in spikes. Really you should be mindful when trying anything new that might affect your foot strike since it’s important to prevent injury. Be smart.

Is it okay to switch up my training plan for road races?

Yes, it’s good to get out the jitters and have a dress rehearsal race. Aim to put it in training around the same time as a long or harder run since racing definitely takes a lot out of your body! And realize you might have to tweak the runs leading up to or after the race to properly rest and recover.

I keep comparing my mileage to other runners who are training for Boston. I’m following my plan pretty much to a tee, but I can’t help but think I’m not running enough. What do you think?

DO YOU. At this point you know your body better than anyone else. You know your strengths and limitations. You know when your body is telling you it can push more and when you need rest. Don’t compare yourself to other runners with other bodies and other experience and other toes… you get my point.

Running three days a week is a unique training plan. Most marathon training plans have you running 4 or 5 days a week. But you have already run 2 marathons and have a history of injury and a weird hip (I don’t know the technical term for your weird hip). You have to be smart about getting ready to run 26.2 miles and walk the line or training enough AND not getting injured.

If you feel like you can or should run more talk to your Stonyfield coach and see how she would suggest tweaking the plan. But if you feel like this is a good balance between getting in marathon shape AND not getting hurt – stick with it. Do you, Boo.

I missed a bunch of runs last week because I was sick. Should I rearrange my training plan or just move on to the next week?

Many marathon training plans are 18 weeks long. Over the course of that 18 weeks you might get sick, go on vacation, have a birthday party, get stuck in a Netflix tunnel for 48 hours… a lot can happen. So, it’s pretty common that you will miss one or two runs living your life. It’s okay. Most of the time I say move on to the next week since you really don’t have time to ‘make-up’ for lost runs without over-doing it one week.

You should not increase weekly mileage more than 10% per week, so as long as you’re not breaking that rule, move on and jump right back into training 100% healthy!

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