Big Cottonwood Marathon Training Week 1: Hello Humidity

me running

I told a few friends and anyone that asked I would start marathon training when there were 100 days until the Big Cottonwood Marathon. I have a strong enough base that I’m not starting from zero. Plus, I have no plans to grind away at extremely high mileage during hot, humid months like July and August. I will train appropriately, but am I going to do countless 20 milers? No.

Despite being a short work week, this week felt like it took forever and it was also exhausting. I’ve been increasing mileage and time on my feet. Together with oppressive humidity, it took it out of me.

That being said, I got mostly everything I wanted to get accomplished in the workout week done.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes (Charlottesville)
Tuesday: AM: Easy 60 minutes
PM: Swim 3000 meters
Wednesday: AM: 6x800s averaging around 6:20 pace (90 seconds jog in between).
PM: Easy 3000 meter swim
Thursday: Easy 3000-meter swim
Friday: Easy 80 minutes with Alexis
Saturday: Scott Coffee 8k 33:03/6:41 pace
Sunday: Long Run 14 miles averaging 8:05


Typing this out, it’s easy to see why I’m more exhausted. I upped my mileage and crammed my swimming in early (the only time I had to swim).

Wednesday: 6X800 averaging 6:20 with 90 seconds in between

Running in Charlottesville early in the week was hilly, and it made my calves a lot more sore than they have been. I felt as though I could not get my legs to turnover as fast as I would like. The workout wasn’t terrible, and it was humid, but I was hoping to be faster.


Swimming didn’t feel as good as some weeks, but I was happy to get some swimming in. I wasn’t sure I would be able to find the time during the midweek, but it all worked out.  Last week I wrote a post about swimming for runners. I’ve been doing 2X1500 meter swims because I like the mindlessness of it.

Scott Coffee 8k: 33:03 (6:41 pace)

I haven’t run the Scott Coffee 8k in several years, but I’m happy with my result. It’s one of my better races recently.  It was hot, humid, and the course is hilly, but my effort was there.

Long Run: 14 miles averaging 8:05 pace

Low, 8-minute pace doesn’t feel “easy” for me, especially in the heat. This was at a moderate effort. I was able to finish with a few 7:45 miles, and I felt strong the entire time.

Next week I’m going to continue to increase my mileage. I’m racing a half, so realistically I don’t have to do anything different but add a couple of miles after the half marathon on Sunday.

Posts from the Week:

Swimming for Runners

Topo Magnifly 2 Shoe Review

ERR 10k: 42:40 

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked about tying your shoes2…who knew you needed to learn about that?  In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

How was your week of training? 

How long are your marathon training cycles? 

1 Comment

  1. One reason I like typing out my workouts is to see what I’ve done then I can link heart rate and things! I like how you run by minutes not just miles. I feel like that helps take the urge away to hit a certain mileage number. Our bodies know effort not necessarily a number. Great week Holly!!

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