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First Marathon Training Week 1 Update: Splitting Up a Long Run? Cross Training? #26by26

Week 1: Splitting Up a Long Run? 26x26 Marathon Training

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Splitting Up Long My FIRST Long Run

This is all about the reality of life and making running fit into your life. Yesterday, my husband and I were returning from a weekend of camping. The kiddos were with my in-laws (yes, they’re the best!), and I had the PERFECT plan for my Sunday long run. We would pick up the kids, head home, then I’d put them down for naptime and go for my long run while Travis mowed the lawn. Perfect, right? Except when we picked them up, Marshall had been napping for over 2 hours. Bye-bye long run. Of course, the kiddos were excited to see us, and that long run I’d envisoned went away. I decided that I would make SOMETHING work. Afterall, in the book I’m reading, Relentless Forward Progress, the author mentions splitting up long runs. While this is regarding ultramarathon training, I fugured the same could apply to a marathon.

So here was my hodge-podge of a “long run”

Last night: 4 miles after the kids went down and before the run went down. I timed it perfectly!

This morning: 3.5 miles on the treadmill while kiddos were in the gym daycare. 

This afternoon: 4.5 miles with the kids in our BOB Duallie Ironman. (I swear, a run with the stroller feels like double the distance!). 

Total Distance: 12 miles

Also in the middle I did a 1 hour Pilates class, because that is my core-work that helps protect my back. It’s super important, but ideally won’t be on the same day as so much running in the future. 

My goal is to NOT have to do this again.

Kiddos in the Duallie. Our 1 year old is totally asleep on the right, you can see he is laying back. Riley (3.5 years) is playing with a toy on the left.

Cross Training?

Honestly, this weird split up long run has me confused with how to attack the rest of my training this week. Tomorrow is supposed to be a 5-6 mile run, followed by a rest day of Yoga on Wednesday. But my legs are feeling pretty rough so I might cross train by biking with the kids tomorrow. I haven’t fully decided, and any suggestions are welcome. 


As I mentioned Travis and I were camping, and that meant for us not eating the most healthy. It also meant several beers around a campfire and on the water while kayaking. But the GOOD news is that we’ve got a solid meal plan set up for the week, and my body is telling me it wants certain foods real bad. AKA lots of veggies and whole grains. I mentioned that I might not eat Paleo, and that’s okay if I’m feeling good. I also would like to lower my caffeine intake a bit. I’ve been drinking too much coffee (yes, there is such a thing *cries*) 

New Workout Clothes found on Clearance!

Something exciting that happened not in training was that I found some clearance items at Sam’s Club. In fact, the items are by my favorite activewear line, Tangerine. This line is exclusive to Sam’s Club and I’m not exaggerating when I say I think the membership price is worth access to these items alone. Yea, that’s probaby over the top but it’s how I feel. I picked up 3 tank tops and one crop pair of leggings (with a cell phone pocket, woo!). Each item was $6.81, hooray! Note, they only have a few left online! I’ve already worn them all and know they’ll get used a ton. I was REALLY in need of proper fitting tank tops. If you didn’t read my last post/starting point, I’m heavier than I have been in the past when running, so these new tops make me feel confident, instead of like I’m busting out, which isn’t flattering. They’re already a bit loose but I like that kind of top. The crop leggings are simple, but that pocket is awesome because it means I can just take my phone, put on Spotify and use my wireless headphones and that’s it! At least for short runs.


Sorry to flip-flop between this week and last week, but last week involved active recovery & cross training. With camping, we did a little hiking, a leisurely 8 mile bike ride to/from dinner, a couple hours of kayaking, and an unexpected hour of swimming (long story short, a gentle float trip involved us kicking ourselves against wind across a big lake, it was funny looking back). 

Pilates today felt awesome. It allowed me to lengthen my muscles and strengthen my core. Because this class is only once a week, I’m really going to prioritize it! I missed yoga last week due to schedules, but intend to make it at least once if not twice this week. Yoga absolutely helps with recovery.

I’m also toying with the idea of doing a weekly Epsom Salt bath. If you have any experience, please comment below. I haven’t done one in at least 6 years and can’t remember how much it helped.

Ice.Ice.Baby. I love Riced Cauliflower to use as my ice packs. I basically line my legs with them. Then after I do “legs up the wall” for about 10 minutes and I feel like a new human. 

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Feeling Good!

Overall, it’s early in training, and I’m feeling great! The endorphins are making me happy. I’ve got a clear goal that is tangible and SMART. I’ve got inspiration in the books SHUT UP AND RUN and Relentless Forward Progress. If I can keep this up, the marathon will be great.

This Week's Focus: Hydration & Running

I need to drink lots of water. I need to drink lots of water. I need to drink lots of water. There, maybe now that I’ve typed it three times my brain will listen up!


And while it sounds silly to say that I want to focus on running during marathon training (isn’t that the whole point?!) I want to focus on RUNNING being the focus instead of fitting it in around cross training. That may seem counter-intuitive to other things I’ve written, but that’s my point. I’m working this all out, and I want to remember to keep running as the focus. Yes, cross training is great, but I’m not swimming the marathon. 

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2 thoughts on “First Marathon Training Week 1 Update: Splitting Up a Long Run? Cross Training? #26by26”

  • You did not run 12 miles, I’m sorry but you just ran three short runs. It’s not the same, and does not prepare you, even remotely, like a single 12 mile run would. I’ve run many marathons and tens of thousands of training miles. Running a marathon when you are properly trained is a mind blowing experience. Trying to run one without enough legitimate long runs in training is a worse experience than you can imagine. Do not skip any runs in your training program and never add up short runs as if they can substitute for a long run. You aren’t remotely the same kind of creature as an ultra marathon runner so forget about their training trips, they probably will not work for you. I’m just trying to save you from a very unpleasant outcome. If you can’t follow your program to the letter then drop out of this marathon and pick another later when you have time to prepare. And by the way, caffeine is the best known endurance drug, drinking coffee on race day morning is common for experienced marathoners, as is the use of caffeine laced energy gels. Good luck! Completing a marathon is quite an accomplishment. But it is very doable if you follow your training program to the letter.

    • I do agree! That week was a bit out of my control. I’m very comfortable with distance running, it’s just been a few years. Did 12 miles this weekend (at once, a true long run), and it was great! I’m very excited for this marathon. Thanks! If you have any mid race fuel ideas, I’d love to hear them! I used grapes yesterday but need a bit more oomph in future long runs. -Rachel

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