Marathon Training Update + A Visit to True Runner

true-runner-purchaseDisclosure: This post is sponsored by Vocalpoint and True Runner. All opinions–as always!–are my own. I appreciate your support!

This marathon training process has been a huge learning experience for me. Every day feels like an experiment. From injury prevention to gear and nutrition supplements, it’s been fun for me to immerse myself in this expansive world of long-distance running. I went into training vowing it would be a one-and-done. Cross it off the bucket list, never put my body through a marathon again. But … I’m starting to see why people get hooked on these things. The running community is so supportive! I can’t even count how many people have reached out to me, offered me advice, shared their own experience–it’s been amazing. I am 100% sure I will cry tears of overwhelmed happiness on race day haha.

In just one such example of the amazing Boston running community, True Runner offered me a gift card to come shop their store in Chestnut Hill. It’s located in the same shopping center as Sweetgreen, Drybar, Soul Cycle and Equinox so I made a nice afternoon of the trip out to the ‘burbs.  true-runner-outside

True Runner carries a wide range of shoes, apparel and gear to support all your running needs, and their staff is super knowledgeable in finding you the right products for your body, running form/gait. Specialty running stores like this are an especially smart choice if you’re newer to running and are unsure of what shoes to buy. I’m in a committed relationship with my Nikes so I decided to use my gift card on some smaller running accessories I need for the remainder of training.

I’ve just started trying out different nutrition/energy supplements during my long runs that are over two hours. I went with the vanilla bean Gu an hour into my 16-miler and liked it, but Double Espresso sounds like the EXACT thing I want in my system at around mile 12, so I got a few Clif shots to try out this weekend. I’d love to hear what your go-to’s are for supplements during long runs! 

I’ve been running with my iPhone in my pocket, so the Nike armband is going to be a massive upgrade. The Experia socks have extra padding over the heel and ball of the foot (can’t hurt!), and with the weather in Boston nearing 70 today (!!!) I figure a pair of running shorts might come in handy as I near race day. true-runner-inside

Marathon Training: Week 12

Even though last week was technically my twelfth (just took me four tries to spell ‘twelfth’ correctly FYI) week of training, with all the time off for my knee injury and then being sick, it really doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. Here were last week’s workouts:

MONDAY |  Yoga

Having run 16 miles the day before, my body was craving some yoga. I found this YouTube video and loved it–lots of great stretches and poses for the hips and IT band. Just what the doctor ordered!

TUESDAY | Strength Train (Btone)

WEDNESDAY | Run 4.5 Miles + Yoga

I ran a quick loop around the Charles River and then did the same yoga YouTube as Monday.

THURSDAY | Rowing Class 

I haven’t rowed since I stopped teaching it so I decided to hop in for a class at Btone. Rowing is an awesome option for marathon training if you want the cardio and lower body strength benefits of running but without the impact to your knees.

FRIDAY | Strength Train (Btone)


SUNDAY | Run 10 Miles

Despite taking a rest day Saturday, my legs felt like led on this run. Rowing is a challenging leg workout (Thursday) and Friday’s Btone was also a low-body challenge, so I definitely paid the price on this 10 miler. On the bright side, I’m glad I made the mistake when the “long” run was only 10 miles. I’ve adjusted my plan this week so that my legs will (hopefully) feel fresh in time for Saturday’s 18-mile run.

Runners–what’s your go-to for race nutrition? Gu? Beans? S Caps? Gimme suggestions!


Hill Pyramid Workout with Strength Training Tabatas

Hill Repeat Workout with Strength Training Tabatas (focusing on core and upper body)Hello from Maine! I’m up at my parents’ place enjoying a final morning of beautiful views before heading back down to Boston. There’s no phone service up here and I only get wifi at a couple places in town so it’s a forced unplugging that I need once in a while. 🙂

Hill Repeat Pyramid with Strength Training Tabatas

The running part of this workout is as hard as you make it–if your hill is long/steep, it’ll be a doozy. If you want more of a quick cardio blast in between the tabatas, pick an easier hill length/grade. I did this outside in the North End between teaching classes Friday on a short but steep hill (it probably took me 25 strides to get from the bottom to the top).

The hill sets get shorter and shorter as you go. First set = 5 repeats; next set = 4 repeats; all the way down to one. Sprint up the hill and jog down. If you’re doing this on a treadmill, you’d just reduce the incline and speed in between each sprint.

In between each hill set, you’ll do a tabata superset that focuses on the core and upper body. A tabata is 8 rounds of 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest. You’ll alternate between two exercises in each tabata. For example, 20 seconds of marching plank, rest 10 seconds, 20 seconds of push ups, rest, and so on for a total of 4 minutes. Full detailed breakdown below the image.

Hill Repeat Workout with Strength Training Tabatas (focusing on core and upper body)



  • Marching Plank | You’re essentially just moving from low plank to high plank, up and down. Starting in a forearm plank position, press up into a high plank, one hand at a time. Reverse the movement when you’re in a high plank, lowering onto one forearm at a time.
  • Push Ups | I’m working on push ups with my hands close to my body rather than wide (because I’m bad at them and they need improving!) so I did them like this: Start in a plank position with your hands stacked underneath your shoulders. From here, roll forward slightly onto your toes so that your hands are now a little further back, aligned with your ribs (this will allow you to bend elbows to 90 degrees). Keeping your elbows close to your body, lower down to a low push up position and then press through your hands to rise back up, straightening your arms.



  • Full-body Crunch | Start laying on your back with legs outstretched and hovering a couple inches off the ground. Arms should be outstretched overhead and hovering as well. From this starting position, crunch up, bringing your knees in towards your chest as you wrap your arms around your knees like a wide hug. Extend back out, lowering to starting position. The goal is to never bring the legs to rest on the ground when you extend back out.
  • Triceps Pulses | Start sitting down with legs outstretched and palms pressed to the ground by your sides. From here, press into your heels to lift your butt up a couple inches and forward a couple inches so that there’s space for you to bend into your elbows, pulsing your body up and down. Keep your elbows pointing straight back when you do these; don’t let them bow out to the sides.



  • Forearm Plank | Most of us are familiar with a plank, so just a couple form queues: think of stacking your joints, elbows directly below shoulders. Pull the lower abdomen in to protect the low back (think of pulling up your jeans’ zipper). Squeeze the quads above the knees—notice how engaging these muscles helps straighten out your body even more. Tuck the tailbone slightly and then fire up the entire abdomen by pulling the forearms and balls of feel in towards each other (you won’t actually move, you’ll just contract the muscles). Need more explanation? I did a whole post on common plank form errors).
  • Low Push Up Hold | For this, I want your hands close in to the sides of your body (tricep push up). To get into the hold with proper alignment, start in a plank position with your hands stacked underneath your shoulders. From here, roll forward slightly onto your toes so that your hands are now a little further back, aligned with your ribs (this will allow you to bend elbows to 90 degrees). Keeping your elbows close to your body, lower down to a low push up position and hold there with your body hovering off the ground, abs held in tight.Modify by holding the push up from your knees. Just make sure your hips are still lowered so that your butt isn’t sticking up into the air. Think of lowering from your knees rather than your hips to achieve this.



  • Mountain Sliders (alternate) | Start in a plank position with wrists aligned underneath shoulders, abs engaged and spine straight. From here, lift your right leg and bend your right knee in towards your right wrist, making physical contact if possible. From this starting position, you’re going to slide your knee up and down your arm, zipping it towards your armpit as you pull your abs in and round your back slightly up towards the ceiling (think of a mini-cat stretch) and then sliding it back down to the wrist. At the bottom, you want the knee at a hover; try not to rest it on the floor. The goal is to keep the knee lightly touching your arm the whole time, but just keep the knee pulled in as close to the arm as possible.
  • Side V-Ups (alternate) | Start laying on your side, balancing on that bottom hip/side butt area with your bottom hand on the floor in front of you for support. Top arm is bent with hand behind your head and elbow out wide; legs should be extended and hovering off the ground. This is your starting position. From here, you’re going to crunch up and in, bending your legs and bringing your knees in towards your top elbow as you lift your torso up and in to meet them. Use that bottom hand for support, but try to push off it minimally. Slowly lower back down and extend back out to a hover.


Get 15% Off My Outfit with code PUMPS15

Hill Repeat Workout with Strength Training Tabatas (focusing on core and upper body)The leggings and sweatshirt I’m wearing in today’s post were given to me by my friends at ALALA (. I love them! This is my second pair of their leggings and the fit and function are great. The material is shinier (more spandex-y, if you will) than, for example, Lululemon leggings, so they’re great for sweaty workouts. You only need to be traumatized by butt sweat showing up in a group fitness class once to agree with me that this is an important detail to include in an activewear review. I’d finish that sentence with a “LOL” or “haha” but I’m currently having flashbacks to the time I taught a row class in dark pink Fabletics leggings …

(I really like Fabletics leggings BTW, but for yoga and Pilates–would only wear the *black* ones for cardio).

Anyway, ALALA performance aside, the design is so on-trend. The print with sheer panels on the leggings is perfect and THE FISHNET THUMB HOLES on the hoodie–don’t even get me started. I feel like I’m both a trendy fitness instructor and an 80’s rock band member.

ALALA skews on the pricier side of the athleticwear spectrum, so I’m excited to give you all a code for 15% off: PUMPS15 Hill Repeat Workout with Strength Training Tabatas (focusing on core and upper body) Hill Repeat Workout with Strength Training Tabatas (focusing on core and upper body)

Enjoy the last bit of your long weekend for all those who have the day off today!


Bodyweight Pyramid Workout with Sprints

Bodyweight Pyramid Workout with SprintsYou could do this workout out on a track, in the gym using a treadmill, or anywhere outside. When I want to run a measured distance outside, sometimes I’ll use Google Earth—you should try it! It has a ruler tool that allows you to plot out different distances so that you can easily figure out ok, if I sprint from the end of my driveway to the big rock down the street, that’s 100 meters.

I’m sure there are easier ways to do this with a smartphone app, but Google Earth is just so fun/creepy…

Bodyweight Pyramid Workout with Sprints

There are only three exercises in this workout. The first time you go through them, complete 10 reps of each. Next time you go through them, you’ll only do 9 reps of each. Continue this way, reducing the number of reps until you reach 1 rep of each. In between each completed set, sprint 100m. If you want an added challenge, time your sprints and try to match or beat your time each of the sprints.

For clarification, here’s what the start of the workout looks like:

  • 10 Push Ups with Crossbody Tap
  • 10 Back Lunge to Knee Raise Hop on the right
  • 10 Back Lunge to Knee Raise Hop on the left
  • 10 Side Plank Swimmer Kicks on the right
  • 10 Side Plank Swimmer Kicks on the left
  • 100m sprint
  • 9 Push Ups with Crossbody Tap
  • 9 Back Lunge to Knee Raise Hop on the right …

Bodyweight Pyramid Workout with SprintsPush Up to Crossbody Tap | Start in a plank position. Do a push up, keeping your body straight (abs in tight; don’t let your low back sag towards the floor). Press back up, and as you return to the plank position, crunch your left knee in towards your right arm and tap the knee with your right hand. Step back into plank and go into your next push up. At the top, crunch your right knee in to meet your left hand.

Back Lunge to Knee Raise Hop | Start standing with feet hip width apart. Step your left foot back behind you as you bend the right knee, sinking into a lunge. Get as low as you can, trying to bring the right knee to a 90-degree bend. From here, keeping your weight in the right base foot, swing the left knee forward and up, engaging your abs to bring it in towards your chest. As you do, straighten your right leg and push off the foot, hopping straight up. Land softly on your right foot and step the left foot back, sinking right into your next lunge.

Swimming Side Plank Kicks | Think of your kick while swimming the breaststroke. Start in a side plank position with supporting hand stacked underneath your shoulder. Hover your top leg (the goal is to not rest it on the ground the entire duration of the exercise). This is your starting position. Crunch the top knee in towards your chest. Next, kick that top foot straight out in front of you (as if you were trying to kick yourself in the face). From here, sweep the leg straight back into the starting position. That’s one rep: bend, kick, sweep. Try not to let your hips sag while doing these; engage the bottom oblique to keep hips lifted. Bodyweight Pyramid Workout with Sprints

WEARING | hoodie c/o The North Face // shorts c/o Cory Vines // sneakers Nike (similar here)

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Cheers to a productive, healthy week ahead! signature