First Day of Long Beach Marathon Training

Today is my first day of training for the Long Beach Marathon. I put together a program based on a 3 day a week training plan, but will have an optional 4th run day every week depending on how I feel.IMG 0170 600x800 thumb First Day of Long Beach Marathon Training

I don’t have it online because I still live in the 1800s and used a rock and a chisel paper and pencil to write it down. Plus, I always tweak my plan as I go along depending on how I feel and travel wlEmoticon smile37 First Day of Long Beach Marathon Training

Here is the weekly break down of my Long Beach Marathon Training plan:

  • Monday: Speed work (this is going to be tough)
  • Tuesday: Strength*
  • Wednesday: Tempo Run
  • Thursday: Strength*
  • Friday: Optional Run or other Cardio and Yoga
  • Saturday: Long Run
  • Sunday: And on the 7th day, we REST

*Adding strength to my routine is totally new to me, but now that I’m a trainer I’ve finally seen the light on how important strength is. Since I’ve never done it before we’ll really be able to see if incorporating strength work into a long distance running plan helps!IMG 4706 800x600 thumb First Day of Long Beach Marathon Training

The race is October 9th so this leaves me 110 days / 15 weeks to train!image thumb7 First Day of Long Beach Marathon Training

I ran Long Beach last year and missed my goal by 4 minutes and 4 seconds, so now I’m training to redeem myself.

My goals for this training program:

1. PR on the race! So, I need to stick to the plan, eat healthy and rest well.

2. Complete all the long runs at a good pace. Push myself when it gets tough.

3. Do the speed and tempo work! (I always intend to do tempo work and end up flaking because it’s hard.)

4. Eat clean Sunday through Friday (trying to do tempo runs on a bloated belly doesn’t work for me.)

5. Get to yoga once a week. It’s good for the body, it’s good for the soul.

Today’s run was 1 mile warm up, 3 1600 Run Eat Repeats and a cool down. It was really tough for me. I am not used to speed (if you can even call it that).

Then, I piled everything not nailed down into a bowl and ate it wlEmoticon winkingsmile15 First Day of Long Beach Marathon TrainingIMG 5112 800x533 thumb First Day of Long Beach Marathon Training

Adding crushed pineapple to Pineapple Chobani is one of the smarter moves you can make this week. Do it do it.IMG 5117 800x533 thumb First Day of Long Beach Marathon Training

Now, I’m off to work – see ya in a bit!

Question: How many days a week do you do cardio? How many days do you do strength??


  1. says

    Good luck with your training plan–I hope it helps you accomplish your goals! I try to do cardio 6 days a week, with 2-3 days of strength training mixed in. I am just coming off a stress fracture, and during my time in the boot I was doing strength training 4 days a week. I love strength training so much.

  2. says

    When I was training for a half marathon, I was doing 3 days running, 3 days of boot camp (which I considered strength training). I could not believe how much boot camp improved my running. I took 17 minutes off my PR for a half. Now that i’m injured (ankle ligament tear) I am focusing more on strength training because it’s what I can do now. I’m hoping it helps me when I get back to running again!

  3. says

    Holy biceps woman! :) I’m currently doing NROLFW and LOVING it! I’ve never consistently done strength training before, but seeing the difference already after only 3 weeks has me hooked. I’ve cut my running back to 3 days a week to be able to incorporate it and still let my body heal/rest and I’m loving the combo!

  4. says

    Right now, I run 3 days a week, and do other cardio 2 days a week. Strength is 2 days a week too (on the same days as other cardio). For the summer I decided on 2 rest days a week since we are more active, going for walks, golfing, gardening, bike riding etc!

  5. Summer T says

    Wow, we are setting out on a similar running mission, however your PR will be about an hour shorter than my finish time :) We start our training on July 18th for our November 8th marathon (first one ever for me). I have seen crazy good results from incorporating 2-3 days of Crosspit into the weekly rotation. It is intense weight training/cardio. It really does replace 1-2 runs per week for me. Your endurance will go through the rough by adding weights. Can’t wiat to follow your journey and do it right along with you :) Indiana weather is much less predictable probably, wish us luck :)

    • Courtney says

      I do 5 days of cardio and 3 days of weight training (M, W, F). But I’m coming off a back injury and have been taking it easy this month with just 2-3 days of cardio and no weights. I can really tell a difference in my body by not lifting. I’m probably the only one who notices but it is driving me crazy. Don’t want another injury though. I worked with a personal trainer for three months. It was expensive but totally worth it! I have been to a local Crossfit Gym for a few workouts and I loved it. So I’m planing on doing that starting in July.

  6. jillian says

    I am training for my second marathon (NYC in November) and also have a goal of 4 hours (I did my last one in 4:09). Currently I work with a trainer (strength) twice a week, and run 3-4 times a week. I also try and spin once a week. Most people I train with run 5-6 days a week, so i would be really interested in seeing your schedule if you get it up electronically. My body does NOT like running that many days — it starts breaking down if I run more than 3 days in a row!

  7. Lea says

    Blue running shirt! I saw you jogging today on the street this morning, haha. Aaargh! creepy! It was cool though, like seeing a celebrity :)

  8. says

    My marathon training schedule is very similar to yours! I’ve been slacking on the strength, though. I have it scheduled for 2x/week but, to be honest, I haven’t done my strength training for a week now. That’s going to change, though! I’m still looking for a good routine to do. The one I was doing was too hard on my lower body and made my runs difficult.

  9. Kati says

    I’m currently running 3 days and other cardio/strength 2 days. Could you update us with some of your strength workouts? I have done strength on and off for the past few years and never seen any huge results (probably because I got bored and stopped doing strength)…maybe if I found some new routines to add into my mix, it would prevent me from getting bored again! Good luck with training!

  10. Emily says


    I, too am training for a marathon on Oct. 9th (Portland). I just ran my first half marathon yesterday and was less than happy with my effort/finish time. I just re-read your post from last year’s Long Beach Marathon and I am in the same place right now. But I LOVE what you said at the end:

    Sometimes in life you want something more than you’ve wanted anything else, And sometimes you try harder than you ever have before, And sometimes you pray real hard for something…

    And you still don’t get it.

    But you live to try again. And that’s the point of life.

    So now, I’ll pick myself up, revamp my training plans, and get it done. And I’m planning on running another half marathon in a couple weeks to see if I can redeem myself.

    And — I know you will get that sub 4 hour time you want! You rock!

  11. says

    I usually do strength 3 days and harder cardio two or three days, but I often take long walks or hike on days when I’ve done strength. If i trained for another half I would definitely incorporate strength, because I’ve never done it that way before and I think it would make a difference.

  12. says

    I like your plan! I have found that strength actually does help my running some. I try to do strength 3 times a week in some way, and I’m kinda a cardio junkie sooo thats almost everyday I struggle with rest days sometimes I go 2 weeks between them. oops. Oh and I really like including yoga last summer when I was in marathon training I was running a billion times better since I was doing yoga then in the fall when at school I wasn’t doing yoga and wasn’t feeling good.

    Oh and I’m jealous of your arms. :)

  13. Jill says

    Training for my first half-marathon (and my second too).

    Long, group run Sunday, gradually increasing distance. Monday is either a 2-3 mile run, or Zumba class. Tuesday and Thursday, coached group with speed work. Wednesday, no cardio but 90 minute yoga class. Saturday is total rest day (except for housecleaning, grocery shopping etc.)
    Every day I walk between one and three miles with my dogs. I also do a 30 minute stretch/strength routine each morning, per the chiropractor who is making my owies go away.

  14. says

    Good luck with your training, Monica.

    When I trained for my marathon, I only ran 3 days a week. I did BodyPump twice a week and BodyCombat once a week. I told my husband, who was the one who talked me into the marathon thing, that 1) I didn’t want to hate running by the end and 2) I refused to give up BodyPump. I cut back my squat/lunge weight towards the end of marathon training, but I totally think strength training really helped me. I’m not a super speedy runner by any means, but I was well trained and had a positive marathon experience.

    As a plus, having muscles is awesome!

  15. says

    I’m so bummed! I was going to do the LB Half, but our good friends are getting married the night before. I’m still on the fence about registering, but I’m really leaning towards not. I really wanted that Surf City/OC/Long Beach medal!

  16. Kate says

    Jealous of those arms! It has taken me 2 years of weight training like a fool to get ANY definition and mine are no where near yours! Go girl! Oh, and I usually do cardio 3 days a week and lift 2-3 days per week.

  17. says

    I try to do strength twice a week and cardio 3-4 times, but sometimes I do a 50/50 split on the same day. Also sometimes yoga leaves my shoulders so sore I count it as strength since I typically go to power yoga classes.

  18. dana says

    Hi! I love your blog and have been following it for some while from the Netherlands and you are a real inspiration! I have started running seriously since a few months and am now able to do 17 km fairly well. I would love to run a marathon in the future (my goal is to run one before my birthday end of January) and there is a race coming up mid October in which you can choose to run either a half marathon or full. As I really love the long distance running and love a challenge but can’t train more than 3-4 times a week, would you advise me to go for the half marathon or could I tackle a full one? Thank you!
    ps: I don’t think you are a slow runner at all, if I remember your last PR during a half marathon it was really fast!

  19. says

    your training plan looks a lot like my weekly workouts. i’m going to run a half marathon in october {my 3rd one} and a full marathon in december {my 2nd one} and i’m just building my base right now and will start “training” in a couple of weeks. i usually do strength training 2 or 3 times a week {one muscle blast class at the gym and either 1 or 2 boot camp style workouts with lots of plyometrics moves and squats and lunges and core work} and i run 3 days a week and do cardio at the gym for cross training 3 or 4 times a week. since i started cross training regularly and doing strength workouts more often i have noticed a big improvement in my running which makes me happy :)

  20. says

    Your arms are OFF THE CHARTS AMAZING already! I can only imagine how pumped those guns will be after some strength training. Seriously…your bicep and delts are bangin’ in that pic of you flexing!

    You’re my hero :)

  21. says

    i’m doing something really similar when i start training for the nyc marathon in july. 3x/week for running and amping up on x-training and strength (and yoga). can’t wait to see how it goes — esp. since you’ll be about a month ahead of me the whole time.

  22. Christie says

    After reading your blog for a long time, I was inspired this past weekend to sign up for my first 1/2! It’s the Annapolis Half on September 17th. Thanks for the motivation :) I just did the Baltimore 10 miler on Saturday with very little training (the horror! the horror! The last two miles were entirely up hill!!)
    I pretty much only do cardio right now. It’s bad. The boys at my gym are scary and have me too intimidated to lift near them. I do like to go to Body Pump when I can make it because I need the structure of a class to actually do strength.

  23. says

    I’m lucky if I can convince myself to do strength training once a week. It’s just not fun! I can’t read a magazine and lift weights at the same time! Waaaah ;)

    But I’m really good about getting cardio in 5-6 days a week. I love feeling pumped after a great cardio workout. Now…to just convince myself to feel as good after doing weights!

  24. Kat says

    Well right now my physio is forbidding me to run, although I may sneak in a couple kilometres later today, since my gym is only 2K away on a great running trail…so right now I’m doing elliptical intervals 2-3x a week and steady low resistance cardio on the bike 2-3x a week. I strength train 3x a week and do yoga twice. If I could run I’d keep the strength training bit the same, but for cardio it’d be be running 3x a week and low=impact cardio 1x a week. I’ve learned my lesson and I need to be careful with my poor joints since basketball season is only a couple months away.

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