Hamptons Marathon Training: Week 2

Good morning!

It’s only the second week of official training for the Hamptons Marathon, but already I’m loving having a coach and definitely enjoying following a specific training plan.

As I mentioned yesterday, I was a little bitter when I got this week’s training plan and saw that Coach Cane had me resting on a Monday. I saw the beauty in this, though.

Note to self: Don’t ever doubt Coach Cane. He knows what he’s doing. You, Ali, have no clue.

So I didn’t run yesterday, which was fine.

Do you know what I did do, though?

I had this awesome sandwich for lunch:

A whole wheat pita filled with garlic hummus, spinach leaves and cucumber. It was delicious and I made the exact same thing for lunch again today. Operation Don’t Spend Your Entire Life Savings At Chipotle is in full effect this week.


So, yeah, I didn’t run yesterday. At first I was all, “WTF, Coach, I love running, I want to do it all day every day and how dare you tell me not to cram in extra, unnecessary miles!”

But then last night at the gym, I had a great workout. (He said cross training was fine for yesterday — not total rest.)

I did a Chisel class followed by “Cardio Tai Box,” which is basically wussy kickboxing. I broke a solid sweat and felt great. Not fatigued. Not rundown. Just fresh and ready to go.

That same energy continued into this morning’s workout.

This week, Coach Cane has me focusing more on hills and form and less on mileage. Here’s what the running plans are for this week, a la Coach Cane:

TUESDAY: Seven miles total. Run from apartment to Engineer’s Gate, then run three upper loops of Central Park. Translation: Run Harlem Hill three times. Says Coach Cane: On the climbs focus on lifting your knees and driving with your arms. Don’t look down — keep your head neutral and chin slightly tucked. Look where you’re going — not where you are. Think about form more than speed on the hills. The effort should be moderate, while making sure your form is clean.

WEDNESDAY: Easy 3 miles. Says Coach Cane: Remember, we’re making Tuesday and Thursday more challenging, so Wednesday has to be nice and mellow. Just “active recovery.” OK, fine.

THURSDAY: Tempo run — 1 mile warm-up, 1.8 miles easy, followed by 4 miles at goal half marathon pace, then a 1.5 mile cool down. Coach Cane says: This should feel brisk but sustainable. You’re looking for 3.15 miles at 13.1 mile race pace, NOT 3.15 mile race pace. Focus on your form once again. Think about a high stride rate, and your foot landing gently beneath your center of gravity rather than out in front of you.

FRIDAY: Nothing on the schedule. Perhaps some yoga?

SATURDAY: Healthy Kidney 10K race in Central Park. Coach Cane’s racing strategy for me: I don’t want you to race it, but I do want a productive race. Take it conservatively for the first 5K, and then aim for half marathon race pace for the second 5K. Get into the habit of passing people over the course of the race, rather than motoring at the gun and then fading. He knows me so well already… I’m pretty much an expert at “Go out as fast as possible then die by the end.”

SUNDAY: Easy two laps around the Central Park Bridle Path.

Nice looking week, huh?

After two days off from running, I was pretty pumped to wake up extra early to spend my morning dominating Harlem Hill.

For those who are unfamiliar, Harlem Hill is at the northernmost part of Central Park. It’s really not that bad, though running it three times consecutively did seem a bit challenging at first.

The hill isn’t brutally long, but it is fairly steep.

I attempted to take a photo on my way up the first time, but I didn’t want to stop, so it’s a blurry one:

Solid camera work, Ali. Really nice try.

The great thing about Harlem Hill is that you get a long, glorious downhill leading up to it, and another short downhill immediately after. I normally run Central Park going clockwise, so I run up the easier, double hills and get to go down Harlem Hill. Today was a welcome change.

The first time up the hill was fun. I was motivated, my legs were fresh, and I was thanking Coach Cane in my head for telling me not to run yesterday.

The second time up the hill was my favorite. By this time I was nice and warmed up and knew that once this climb was over I was more than halfway done.

The third time, obviously, was the most challenging, but I actually glanced down at my watch and saw that I was maintaining a pretty decent pace despite starting to feel a little burn in my hamstrings and butt.

Sorry: my gluteus maximus.

As a whole, the run was great — up until the journey back to my apartment, when my stomach decided it wanted to wake up and gave me slight hell. That wasn’t so fun. But I survived, and I’m riding high after my first official hill workout!

I saved time getting ready this morning by enlisting Lauren to pick out my outfit. She came over last night and I put her to work.

She scoured my closet and selected an old BCBG skirt and Banana Republic top for me:

It was pretty great not having to waste time this morning standing in front of my closet and whining about having “nothing to wear.”

Fun fact: I bought this skirt to wear for my college graduation party. I mean, I guess that fact isn’t really fun. But it’s true.

Only difference is today I did not pair the skirt with a shot glass necklace. I’m a classy grown up now. Clearly.

And for my next trick, I will get to work.

I WANT TO KNOW: Do you incorporate hill training in your workouts? Love ’em or hate ’em? Personally, I like them! Speedwork I haven’t fallen in love with yet, but I love that rush and feeling of accomplishment that sets in when you get to the top of a hill.



20 Responses

  1. I don’t intentionally plan hills into my training, but the route I often run does have them. Even though I might not always run races that include steep inclines, I like hill training because it builds up great muscle in your legs that will help on any terrain.

    Your Coach sounds awesome by the way!

  2. I love Coach Cane already. He seems like he has such a solid plan for you. Props to you for rocking it out! I run hills all the time because my house is surrounded by them, but really want to do some formal training.

  3. Congrats on your first hill workout! I love any running workout that isn’t a long run. I can do tempos, hills, speed, but I just can’t get through more than 6 simple miles without wanting to cry.

    Love the outfit, too … maybe I should force some friends to come over and assemble outfits for me, too. Hm.

    And thanks, Ali, for everything this week. 🙂

  4. put hill training in one hand, a celine dion album in the other, put those hands together and you’ve got my recipe for a perfect morning of training.

  5. Love, love, LOVE hills. Ran my first half this weekend and seriously the hills were my favorite part. I’m not very fast, but I train a lot on hills, so that’s my time to pass people. 😀

  6. When I was training for the marathon, I incorporated a few hills from Central Park every couple of weeks. I actually prefer speed training on the track on the east side. Do you ever train on it? I get a rush when I run around it fast!

  7. My Favorite hill workout is two minutes up and two minutes down for how ever many hill set you need to do… I build once a week for 6 weeks adding on new one a week. You do need a long hill that will provide you the space tou need. I am lucky I live in a community with lots of hills…. I love how strong you feel when you are done.

  8. Thank you for posting your coach’s training plan for you. I often have no plan and am guilty of running too hard too many days a week.

  9. We only have one hill in Virginia Beach and it’s man made so thats all I really have to work with as far as hill training but I definitely like it and hate it at the same time. I like it because it makes me a better runner but I do kinda hate it as I’m going up the hill!
    I like speedwork much better than hills!

  10. Looks like a good week of workouts to me! I love hill workouts (after I’m done doing them!) – those, tempo runs and speed workouts have made big differences in my training. It seems like your coach’s approach is to fit in 3ish really quality workouts a week and make time for recovery and cross-training, which is the same approach I take. I think that’s the smartest way to train!
    Also…this might be really overly cautious of me to say, but I wonder if for safety reasons you might not want to put on the blog the exact location of your runs for each day before you do them. I just know there are creepy people out there, and you never know! Just a thought 🙂 Hope you have a great day!

  11. I did a lot of NYRR races (including a half-marathon and an 18-miler) as part of last year’s NYC marathon training, so hills came with the territory. I don’t know what I’m going to do for hill workouts now that I’ll be training for NYC in pancake-flat Houston!

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I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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