California International Marathon Training Week 12

California International Marathon Training Week 12

Just 6 weeks to go until CIM! Marathon training truly feels like marathon training at this point: 20 mile long runs, hard tempo workouts, and a huge appetite.

Training fatigue seems to ebb and flow at this point in marathon training. I’ll have days or even full weeks (like last week) where everything just feels great during and run and I ride on a good post-run high throughout the work day. Then I have days like Wednesday and Thursday of this week where running feels hard and all I want to do is take a nap and eat grilled cheese sandwiches with soup (that’s been my recent marathon training craving). 

California International Marathon Training Week 12

Monday: 8 miles with 6 miles at goal marathon pace

I sort of winged this workout once I started running – a bit of something to do some short marathon pace work before the workouts become more difficult in the following weeks. I ran over some rolling hills to mimic the first 16 miles of the race course. Some of the miles ended up slightly faster than my goal race pace, especially over the downhills. 

Tuesday: AM: 7 miles easy; PM: 20 minutes strength training

I can tell when training becomes more intense because of how my easy run paces slow down. This easy run took as long as the previous day’s run – only I ran one full mile less. I’ve stopped looking at my Garmin on easy runs. I flip the screen over to the clock and program it to beep at me when I need to turn around. There’s no reason to worry about pace as long as the effort is truly easy. 

California International Marathon Training Week 12

For strength training, I did a short workout with a few lateral strength exercises: 3-way lunges, push ups, lateral walks, side planks, and side step ups. 

Wednesday: AM: 10 miles with 4 x 2K; PM: Core work and foam rolling

Along with progression runs, 2K and 2-mile cruise intervals are some of my favorite workouts for the marathon and half marathon. They can be a demanding workout in the middle of peak training, but they add some quality tempo workout without wearing on the body as much as a continual tempo run. 

I considered doing 5 x 2K or tacking on some shorter and faster intervals afterward, but 4 x 2k was enough hard work for this day. Those final few weeks of marathon training feel like a sort of balancing act of applying just enough stress without overtraining. In retrospect, I think Hansons overtrained me slightly, so I’m being more cautious in these final weeks with both my volume and intensity. 

California International Marathon Training Week 12

The scenery along the trail was breath-taking! The fall foliage and morning fog were stunning. I sometimes wish there was a marathon that just ran the 13 miles out and back along this trail. 

Thursday: AM: 5 mile recovery run; PM: 25 minute Pilatesology workout

My shoes were soaked within the first half mile of this run – heavy rains meant deep puddles. But once you’re drenched, it doesn’t matter how long you run. I still kept my run short and slow so that it served the purpose of a recovery run. 

California International Marathon Training Week 12

I spent the remainder of the day chilled. While I don’t mind rainy runs, sometimes I can’t warm up for hours after them. 

Friday: 20 mile long run 

No rain or wind for the first week in a while, so I took advantage of the pleasant weather and ran my first 20 miler. I went out with a plan of 18-20 miles, but I knew within the first few miles that I was having a good long run and should make the most of it. 

California International Marathon Training Week 12

I felt good for my first 20 miler! I started out at a comfortable pace and took it one mile at a time. The stunning fall colors made time pass quickly – I always run better with great scenery to look at. Other than my legs feeling a little shaky immediately after the run, I felt good both in the remainder of the day and during the following days. 

Also – see my socks? I received Darn Tough Vermont socks as part of the swag bag at the Rise.Run.Retreat and they are incredible – comfortable, breathable cushioned, and no blisters or calluses after a 20 mile run. 

Saturday: Rest day

Ryan and I decided to go car camping over the weekend. The high volume of rain recently left washouts and lots of mud along many of the trails – and not to mention that there was already snow in the mountains, which doesn’t make for comfortable camping. Charlie and Ollie were a bit confused about why we were spending the weekend in the car along the side of a river, but it was refreshing to get away and just relax.

California International Marathon Training Week 12

Sunday: Rest day

I slept over 8 hours for the second night in the row – my body needed rest after that first 20 mile run! The little mini-vacation was the perfect reset before training enters the peak weeks. We enjoyed breakfast and coffee by the river before returning home.


You can catch up on past weeks of training here

Linking up with Weekly Wrap! 

What foods do you crave during marathon training?
How was your week of running?

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31 Responses

  1. A great week of training Laura! I can’t believe CIM is 6 weeks away – the time flew by!
    You are going to be so ready – I am excited for you!
    Love these stunning pictures, and yay for camping!!

  2. Nice job with the 20 miler! Im glad you finally got some better weather for your long run. I moved my weekend run to Sunday because it was really windy here on Saturday. I bet your camping trips are such a nice getaway and the perfect way to reset before the next week! After spending the entire weekend on my laptop, I am feeling like I could have used some time disconnecting.

    1. Thank you! The time disconnecting from technology is so refreshing – you should definitely find some time to after how hard you’ve worked on your site! I kept my phone in the glove box most of the weekend and didn’t miss it!

  3. I’m so jealous of all your workouts this week! My sickness has turned into a sinus infection and I have been strapped to the couch or bed. My sinuses are feeling better but now I’m nauseous. Fingers crossed it’s gone today.

    You are killing your workouts! Great job on keeping things easy and pushing hard when need be!

  4. I think that my body is convinced that I am training for something because I am so sleepy and a bit body tired, even though I’m not doing too much else! Either that or it was just like THANK GOODNESS WE ARE HOME and catching up (not that I ever am really that behind on sleep). I am also desperately trying to figure out what to wear for these runs. The temp shifts so much!

    1. Being away from home for several weekends in a row (or goodness even one) does feel tiring! And ARM WARMERS! They’re seriously my go-to item right now because the temperature changes so much here as well, especially on longer runs.

  5. Loving all your fall foliage pics and stunning mountain views!! You’ve definitely gotten a ton of good training in for CMI!! I love how you lay out all your workouts in your post-good information! I was running with my daughter last night, she was feeling discouraged, I reminded her that not every workout/run is going to be great. We definitely need those good days, great runs, to balance things out! Yeah- for that awesome 20 miler!

    1. Thank you! That is so awesome of you to encourage your daughter like that. It’s the runs that are tough that make us stronger runners, both mentally and physically.

  6. Awesome week- just six weeks to go! So exciting! You got in 3 really solid workouts- I would be sleeping and eating grilled cheese too. 🙂 For me, it’s sugar cravings when I’m running hard… brownies or making cookies and eating the dough as I go… !

    1. Thank you! I do crave sugar more as well – I made Ryan a pumpkin pie and definitely treated myself to some of it! All in moderation, especially when marathon training 🙂

  7. I crave salty things and rice!!! I don’t know why, but I assume it’s because of sweating (due to Heat + Humidity) and being half Korean…


  8. I was following Hansons and I agree with the overtraining feeling. To me, those long continuous tempo runs at *goal* race pace were too close to a race effort. I wish I had either run them at current half pace, or split it into 2-mile or 2-k increments like you did this week. I saw you post about your 20 earlier this week and it looked like it went well for you, that is a BIG confidence booster!

    Solid week, Laura. A great 20 miler, a 10 mile run that included a workout, and a 8 mile/6 tempo run… excellent!

    1. Those long tempo runs at goal race pace are tough – and depending on what your goal is, training completely the wrong physiological system. You should give the 2 mile or 2K repeats a try! It’s basically the same stimulus as a long tempo run but much quicker to recover from – which is important during training. I know both Jack Daniels and Brad Hudson’s coaching philosophies heavily rely on broken tempos/cruise intervals. And thank you!

  9. You were able to sleep over 8 hours in your car?! That’s impressive. That 20 miler is awesome! Nicely done. I have the same problem with regulating my body temperature after a cold wet run too. It’s the worst. My lips and mouth and chin all go blue. I get so cold that it hurts! I end up standing in the shower and using an entire hot water tank.

    1. We transformed my car for car camping – I have a Honda Pilot so we folded down two rows of seats, inflated an air mattress, and brought sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows. It turned out pretty comfy except for Charlie kept trying to steal my sleeping bag and Ollie kept climbing all over Ryan. And thank you!

  10. Awesome job on your workouts this week, Laura!! And your 20-miler….wow. Super impressive!!

    My runs have been “ehh” lately. Not training for anything so just trying to get out and try to keep a decent base…whatever that may be for me. I really do not even know. As years of running have continued, I am beginning to realize that I just enjoy running and I might say I am “training” but really I am not. I will throw in the occasional tempo/fartlek/interval workout run, but well….yup. I just enjoy running.

    1. Thank you Aimee! There’s nothing wrong with enjoying running as it is – I did that for 6 years before I started racing just 2-3 times per year – it’s what you enjoy the most that matters. In fact it’s good to figure out what you enjoy! I’m glad that you’ve found that! 🙂

  11. sooooo beautiful out there!!!!!
    and seems a little cold! hehe

    great training week!
    I hope I can get back to running by November/December and even if it means missing the marathon that I was originally training for, I’m waiting to get back to running again so I can enjoy every moment of it. (well almost every moment. I know there will be some bad ones…)

    1. It is cold in the mountains – snow is already falling – but in Seattle it’s still in the 50s to 60s each day. Thank you! I hope you can get back to running soon as well! 🙂

  12. Congrats on a great week of training and the strong 20 mile run. Pretty scenery would definitely help when logging those distances! I love a long hot shower after a nippy run, but still my hands are so cold afterwards. Six more weeks. Very exciting! Thanks for linking, Laura!

  13. What a beautiful trail yes a race along that would be great!
    Good week for you, the car camping does sound fun, heck I like any kind of camping!
    My hands and fingers some of them go numb after I’ve run in the cold. No certain finger(s) either.
    I wanted to eat carbs!! And I did. Too many!
    Thanks for joining us in the weekly wrap!

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