Fitness Update | Marathon Training

London living, four months in, training for the…. Paris marathon!

Since the end of my varsity rowing days, I’ve enjoyed getting stronger by focusing my daily training sessions on weightlifting. Now that we’re within four months of the race date (April 14th), running mileage and the pace really have had to pick up. BUT, I really didn’t want to give up many (or any) of my lifting sessions.

My current fitness routine works out to the following all mixed in together.

1.) Long run

  • Once a week, I go for a long(er) outdoor run, usually along the Thames. Originally, I planned to do a true long run each week, but for fear of injuring myself, I’ve changed it. Every other week, I do a long run of 16+ miles (I’m working on building up my mileage). On the “off” weeks, I do a middle-distance run of about 11-13 miles. I’ve pretty much been repeating the same path every week, and I would appreciate a change of scenery.

2.) Speed session – shorter pieces

  • This is usually my track session for the week. I used the My Crew app to find a group I enjoyed running with. Each Tuesday morning, we meet and do fast pieces. Not only is it motivating to run with people who are faster than me, but it is also motivating knowing that they expect me to show up. It makes getting out of bed at 6am a bit easier. I do anywhere between 200m and 800m pieces.

3.) Speed session – longer pieces

  • My longer pieces are usually done on the treadmill – something around 1km or 1 mile each. Doesn’t sound very fun, but I put on some good music and watch other people train, and it’s not so bad.

4.) Steady-state run

  • Once a week, I will do a 30-40 minute steady-state run about 1kph faster than marathon pace on the treadmill. Though not very long, this one is way more boring than the speed session I do on the treadmill because it’s a constant pace.

5.) 3-4 of my regularly-planned lifts

  • I still come up with a lift plan of supersets that I complete cyclically until I get bored and stop being sore from them. My chin-ups have really improved, and I really enjoy finding new push-up variations.

6.) 1-3 steady state stairs

  • As a pre-lift session, I will do 30 minutes on what I would call the stairmaster, but is commonly referred to here as a “stepper.” I try to incorporate variation like side-stepping and kick-backs. These are workouts that I will proudly do and then make fun of someone else for doing.

7.) Wild card(io)

  • I like to try to things or mix things up once a week. Sometimes this is as simple as doing 30 minutes of the elliptical before a lift, but sometimes it involves taking a cycling or pilates class.

In terms of planning for Paris, I am now all booked and ready to go – taking the Eurostar and staying in an Airbnb within walking distance of the start/finish line. I might regret this decision the day after the race, but I am going to Disneyland Paris for three days right after the marathon! This will be my fourth Disney park (after Orlando, Anaheim, and Tokyo), and I’m most excited for Phantom Manor, the French version of the Haunted Mansion.

I think I’m doing a pretty good job of training for physically completing the distance, but I need to start seriously mentally preparing. I have been slacking on my meditation practice, and I do psych myself out during some runs.

Remember, a goal is a dream with a timeline!


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