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Ask the Elites: What Does a Normal Week of Training Look Like for You?

Ask the Elites: What Does a Normal Week of Training Look Like for You?

Monday, July 21, 2014 - 6:34am

Patrick Fernandez of the Capital Area Runners. Photo courtesy of Cheryl Young. 

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Kristin Johnson of Georgetown Running Club (GRC): I take every Monday completely off, Mondays are tough enough as it is. Wednesdays I have a workout in the evening with GRC and Saturdays I try to do something a little up tempo and a Sunday long run. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday are just easy runs before work. I usually run about 70 miles/week.

Ryan Witters of GRC: For a normal training week, I'll get most of my runs in after work (around 6pm or so).  I like to mix in one or two morning runs (Lots of trail runs in Rock Creek Park).  With workouts on Wednesday and Saturday, I'll use Sunday for a long slow run to reach my weekly mileage.  I try to listen to my body to determine if I need a day off or get in the pool to cross-train.  Knowing how your body reacts after workouts or long-mileage weeks is paramount when you are pushing through a long season.

David Magida of Reebok Spartan Race Pro Team: I typically train 6 days per week. I usually double about 3-4 of those days. I do believe in rest but often that rest day is even a light jog. Those active recovery days I speak of are essential to not just staying healthy but improving as an athlete. They allow you to push yourself harder during your tough workouts. I tend to do about 2-3 days of interval training per week with my running. One of those days is speed, another is longer intervals and I try to do one day a week of hill work. Often, that means driving out to the mountains in western Maryland and putting in 3-5 hours going up and down the ski slopes. Often on my runs I like to cross rivers and streams so that my body gets used to racing in heavy wet shoes and my feet get tougher. My other workouts are on the bike, in the pool and of course, circuit training with bodyweight, kettle bells, dumbbells, etc. I like to constantly keep the body guessing. 

Check out an interview with David from last year where he talks about training in the mountains and race strategy.

Katie Sheedy of Capital Area Runners (CAR): I typically do intervals at the track on Tuesday mornings, a tempo run ranging from 5-10k on Friday mornings, and a long run on Sunday mornings with the awesome gang from Capital Area Runners. The other days during the week I keep the pace of my runs relaxed and often meet up with friends and teammates to get in both mileage and socializing. I try to stretch after all of my runs and will foam roll and do strength training and core exercises at the gym a few times a week to help stay strong and prevent injuries. I drink lots of water (I am rarely seen without a water bottle in-hand) and eat a primarily plant-based diet with lots of veggies, fruits, nuts and whole grains. Sleep is also an important part of training, so I try to sleep 7 or 8 hours a night to stay fresh and healthy. I usually take one day off a week so I can get a few extra z's and give my body and mind a break from the daily routine.

Patrick Fernandez of CAR: During marathon training, I rarely take a day off to get in my mileage, but I make sure to keep my runs on my easy days at an easy pace. I generally have two hard workout days (interval and tempo workout) and a long run day, with the remainder of the week being used to get in easy miles.

Susanna Sullivan of CAR: I train with Capital Area Runners, so I have teammates by my side for any hard running I do. I'll double a few days a week to get volume without too much stress on my legs. We certainly aren't opposed to a day off, but usually I don't need to because my coach adjusts my training based on how I'm feeling. I'll   take a really easy day if I'm feeling tired. 

Jeff Duyn of the Montgomery County Road Runners Club (MCRRC) Competitive Master Team: I run almost every day, typically 60 miles per week. I always try to get out even if I do not feel great; if I feel lousy after 2-3 miles, I stop. This happens occasionally when I am overtrained. During the week , I mostly run at noon; In the weekend, in the morning. I do little dedicated speed or track work; most of my runs have a couple faster miles built in towards the end. How fast depends on how I feel. Normally, it is between 10 k and half marathon pace. Once or twice a week I do serious hill work.

Randy Howard Smith of MCRRC Competitive Open Team: I typically train 7 days a week, only taking a day off about every 3 weeks. My goal for the remainder of the summer is consistent 80mile weeks, this includes 2 days of tempo/speed work, long run, and easy miles to fill in the gaps. Typically 1-2 of the days will be doubles, usually as an evening compliment to the speed work.

Lisa Chilcote of MCRRC Competitive Master Team and Co-Coordinator: Yes, many days off! Two days of running, a day of cycling and aqua jogging and three days of running. Monday: run and aqua jog; Tuesday: run workout and weights; Wednesday: cycling and walk; Thursday: run and weights; Friday: easy run and cycling; Saturday: long run or race; Sunday: run or easy short treadmill/cycling and weights.

Dionis Gauvin of MCRRC Competitive Open Team: I only train 4 to 5 days a week, and I usually take the day before a race off.  I'm a low-mileage runner because I'm injury-prone.  I try to run at least one long run a week and do either a speed workout or a hill workout one day each week.  As a new mom, it's hard to stick to a predictable schedule, but I try to run as often as I can.

Christina Papoulias of MCRRC Competitive Open Team: I typically run 5-6 days a week.  One day is a long run, and one is a speed workout and the rest tend to be easy runs.  I always build in at least one or two complete rest days.  This has usually been more for a mental break more than a fear of getting injured. I’m much more excited to get out and run on a regular basis with these breaks.


For more info on the runners and their associated teams, visit the GRC, CAR, MCRRC, and Reebok Pro Team websites.

About the Author

Jamie Corey is a RRCA certified coach and author of RunsterInc.com. Jamie has completed eight marathons, several triathlons and is currently training for her first Ironman. When she isn't trying to find the best bagel in town, she is usually tweeting at @TheRunster.