Marathon Talk with Monica

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

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.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Good morning! Happy FRIDAY!

As you know, I’m training for the Boston Marathon with Team Stonyfield. It’ll actually be my third marathon, but since it’s been awhile since I last ran one (3+ years), I’m feeling a little rusty with my training knowledge. Well, ok, truthfully, I feel like a total newbie sometimes, so I’ve been asking Monica all sorts of questions. She’s a good friend of mine and she’s run a lot of marathons over the years, so she knows a lot about training and has some really awesome advice. I also talk to her multiple times a day via WhatsApp, so she replies to my questions almost immediately, which is super helpful when something pops up right before I am about to head out for a run (like the fueling question below).

If you’re new to marathon training or just feel like a newbie like I do sometimes, here are some questions that I recently asked Monica and her replies. I hope you find them helpful!

Does 40 minutes of a CrossFit or bootcamp-type workout count as a 40-minute run?

No. Unless the bootcamp is 96% steady state cardio, which would be a weird class. A 40-minute run is intended to be 40 minutes of building up your cardiovascular endurance. Most CrossFit classes are more High Intensity (HIIT) bursts, strength and pushing your body/muscles to fatigue. Maybe if the training plan asked you to do a speed session with short intervals it would work, but just because something is exercise doesn’t mean you can replace one with another.

Do I need to fuel for a 90-minute run?

AH! This is a tough one because your body usually has enough fuel to keep you going for 90 minutes of running. But, this depends on your body, what you ate before the run and how hydrated you were at the start. So this specific 90-minute mark requires your own discretion and knowledge of YOUR BODY.

I suggest taking fuel with you and using it if you feel like you’re hitting a wall or unusually sluggish. “Fuel” can be anything from Gatorade to a PB&J. Again, figure out what your body needs.

How the heck am I going to survive winter running?

You might not, it was nice knowing you”¦

The reality is training for a Spring marathon means running long in the winter. It’s tough! Each week as you plan out your training, check the weather report and adjust your training schedule accordingly. Don’t plan your long run on a snow day! Switch things around so you’re running outside on the best weather days and do your cross-training on bad weather days.

Also – gear up! Invest in some good cold weather running gear like quality tights, ear covers, gloves and a vest or jacket. Wear a sweat-wicking layer on the bottom.

My knee hurts. Wah. What do I do?

Ask yourself, “Is this injury pain or fatigue pain?” There are a lot of aches and pains that come along with training for a marathon. It’s important to know your body.

If your knee is just ”˜complaining’ that it’s tired, rest it and baby it with RICE RICE baby (Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation). But, if it is a shooting pain or and feels more like it may be injured, you need to take time off running and potentially get it looked at by a doctor.

You don’t want to keep running on an injury that changes your gait so if you have to stop and walk or stop running for a bit to let something heal. It’s for the best long-term. Remember this is a marathon not a sprint (literally)!

I’m not a fan of carrying water with me. Any suggestions for hydration during my long runs?

Me either! I plan my long runs in areas where I know there will be water fountains. When that’s not enough, I take a waist pack with water, but just fill up one 10oz. bottle and refill it at the fountains so I don’t have to carry more than 10oz. at a time.

Sometimes you just have to get used to carrying water, but the good news is when you don’t have it with you you’ll feel a lot lighter and faster! It’s a little awkward at first, but it’s better to be slightly uncomfortable and hydrated since being dehydrated can really hurt your performance.

How do I not eat everything in sight after my long run?

Wait. We’re not supposed to do that?! I wish someone would have told me years ago”¦

First make sure you are properly fueled before and during your run. If you start off hungry you are going to build up your hunger that much more during all those miles.

Second refuel within an hour of finishing your long run. I know sometimes this isn’t convenient, but it’s important both for recovery and for satisfying that marathon hunger that will come later in the day of a long run. If you’re not super hungry immediately after a run have something like a smoothie.

Third make sure you are hydrated, sometimes our bodies mistake thirst for hunger.

If all those bases are covered and you’re hungry – eat! You are torching a lot of calories and need to replenish those energy stores since you’ll be back at it soon enough.

Question of the Day

Have any running questions for Monica?



  1. Wow, I give so much props to you and anyone else training for a marathon right now. I’ve been consistently working out about 4 times a week, but that has quickly dropped to at the most 2 times. It’s freaking cold outside so all my motivation has gone down the drain!! Hopefully, I can start to kick things back into gear and start moving my lazy butt. You’re an inspiration

        1. @erica: It’s also not just whether you can get through the run, but how well you recover. I feel a lot better afterwards if I have something (gatorade or some fruit snacks) even on a 90-min run.

  2. I’m training for my first marathon and that q/a was VERY helpful, thanks ladies.
    Please please post ALL the helpful tips during your training, I need to steal them all 🙂

  3. Good tips! I always tell people to be flexible with their training. Life happens, weather sometimes sucks, etc. Your training plan is not set in stone, it can definitely be modified. If you miss a run here and there, it is not going to derail your whole training! That said, try not to miss TOO many runs because making that a habit isn’t a good plan! With Boston, don’t stress about Heartbreak Hill. The first time I ran it, I wasn’t even sure which hill was Heartbreak, they were all just hills when my legs were already tired! The next several times I ran it, I just had to remind myself that I am strong and I can do hard things and it took me up and over those hills! Enjoy it!

  4. Living in MA too. As long as it’s not super windy, I can still manage outdoor runs. I sometimes use my car as a water stop if I’m doing a loop. Good luck.

  5. Just another thought on water- when my dad and I were training for a marathon, we took some sealed water bottles and Gatorade and drove ahead to stash them at certain mile locations along the way. We would his them in a bush or something! It sounds silly but only once was one taken. We’d stop at a few Starbucks along the route for water, and have these stashed checkpoints to fill in the gaps.

  6. Great post Monica! I’m not training for a marathon but even after a 3 mile run I want to eat everything in sight haha. Food would be no match for me if I was training for a marathon!

  7. I certainly CAN run for 90 minutes without fuel, but I noticed a difference in my energy levels having just half a protein bar. I don’t always have them around so I often do without, but eating just that small bit about a half hour before my run has made a difference for me personally. I’m also still breastfeeding my 7 month old quite a bit so that may make a difference as well.

  8. A marathon question for TINA: Would you consider trying a CrossFit Endurance plan (or have you discussed this already)? I’m interested in trying it for a long-distance triathlon, but it looks really tough to fit in all the CF, plus three sports and mobility time. Just wondering your thoughts!

  9. I have not tried this and have only ever run 1 marathon where I did nothing but run for preparation, but I have a friend who has run a LOT of marathons, she is up to 40 now and on her way to completing one sub 4 hr in every state. When she switched to crossfit and specifically added in crossfit endurance workouts she was able to not only improve her marathon times, but to also put in less miles a week while replacing them with crossfit endurance work. So while Monica may not ave ever tried that, i do think it can be an option.

  10. Great roundup of questions! I find the refueling AFTER a run is especially true for me. Sometimes I’m not hungry within an hour-in fact, the thought of food might even turn me if (a rare occurrence). Eating when I’m not hungry seems silly, so I’ll wait. But then all of a sudden I’ll be famished and eat everything in sight.

  11. I love this post. I follow Monica as well and am blown away by her talent! I hope to someday be that fast… You’re not too bad yourself! 😉 I’m also blown away by your fitness throughout your pregnancy. Hopefully I can be as BA as you when I have my next baby… someday!

  12. This is great, thank you so much!! I know exactly what you mean in terms of feeling like a newbie all over again. I ran 2 1/2 (the 1/2 is for the 2012 NYC marathon that never happened but I trained for) full marathons and tons of halfs. My last half was in May and I havent really been running long distances since, BUT am signed up to run NYC half in March and feel like I am starting all over again. Your questions and Monica’s answers were extremely helpful. Thank you so much and best of luck…enjoy the training!

  13. I like these kinds of posts! I think the fuel thing really is personal, however I’ve always read that you should take in fuel after 60 minutes of running…. I’m not an expert by any means, but I’ve generally followed that rule while half training (sometimes going 70 minutes or so instead).

  14. I LOVE MONICA! She makes me laugh. I agree with her 100% and those were great questions to ask. My question is when doing long runs solo (over 10 miles) I like to stay nearby my home, do you prefer in and outs, circles, or one long loop?


  15. Any suggestions for what to do when your legs just feel like they weight a million pounds? I swear I couldn’t get through a simple 4 mile run yesterday….I’m only at the beginning of my training cycle and already feeling dejected. I’m sure the cold wintery weather and the fact that I’ve been recovering from a ton of injuries doesn’t help. But seriously I had imaginary ball and chains on my feet yesterday…

  16. I have never run a marathon (not sure if I ever will) but I have so much admiration for those of you who do! Not only is it a huge accomplishment physically, but it shows a tremendous amount of commitment and perseverance. Good luck to you Tina and all the other marathoners out there running in the spring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Join the community!

Get recipes, workouts. and discounts straight to your inbox for FREE!
© 2022 Carrots ‘N’ Cake. All Rights Reserved | An Elite CafeMedia Food Publisher | Funnel Build & Design by: Maria Filipina Co.