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My Palm Beach Training Plan

by Meghann on October 19, 2010

It’s official! I’m registered for The Palm Beaches Marathon on December 5th.


Now what?

Oh right… I need a plan. A good one! 🙂

The Palm Beaches Marathon is exactly 8 weeks after the Chicago Marathon. That gives me 8 weeks to keep up all the great training I did for Chicago. I worked my butt off training in the heat and humidity for that race and now that Fall has finally kicked in in Central Florida I plan to work as equally hard in the slightly less heat and humidity. 😉

8 weeks doesn’t seem like much, but since I’ve already been in marathon training mode, keeping up my endurance and stamina shouldn’t be a problem. Plus, this isn’t the first time I’ve done this.

Remember the Michelobe Challenge I did back in February? I ran a 5k, 15k, and full marathon all in one weekend only 6 weeks after running the Disney marathon. And you know what? I felt great afterwards.   So great, in fact, that I’ve decide to pretty much copy the original Michelobe Challenge plan. The only difference being the two additional weeks I added in the middle.

 PBplanOct PBplanNov PBplanDec

(Click here to see the full plan)

My running coach Megan had helped me design the original plan using the McMillan Pace Calculator.


I explained the calculator in this post, but here’s a refresher.

Basically you enter your goal time (in my case 4:00 hours) and the calculator spits out what pace you should be training at for tempo runs, long runs, easy runs, etc.


Example: According to the calculator my tempo runs should be between a 8:20 to 8:42 min/mile pace and my 400m speedwork outs should be completed in 1:48.1 to 1:54.3.

Get it?

The original plan created by Megan emphasizes ending long runs with 3 or 4 miles at goal pace. This is a training technique I’ve ignore in the past, but something I really, really, REALLY want to strive for leading up Palm Beach.

I need to learn to push myself the last 10k of marathons (because that’s when I start to fall apart) and the only way to push myself is to learn to push myself during training.

I’ve got 8 weeks. I’ve got this!

I kicked the plan off this morning with a Fartlek


Besides two of the three treadmills in my apartment gym being ‘out of order’ (grrr…) the fartlek went great. I did a 10 minute warm up, 8 Fartleks at 8.5, and a 10 minute cool down. My legs felt normal – a good sign for someone running back to back marathons. 😉

Oatmeal Newbie


As you may or may not be aware I am an oatmeal newbie. After years of not being able to stomach the texture of hot oatmeal, the concept finally appeals to me. I’ve enjoyed hot oatmeal TWICE while on the road the past month and loved it. I figured it was about time to give it a shot at making my own pot for breakfast this morning.


Being an oatmeal newbie, I had no idea where to start! So, I headed to the Queen of Oatmeal ‘s (Kath) blog for advice and inspiration. My eyes immediately fixated on her ‘Superb Oatmeal Combination’ and I decided to give it a shot. (minus the banana)


I followed her directions by adding the oats, milk, water, chia seeds, and cinnamon to the pot first. I let it cook until everything had the perfect oatmeal, mushy consistency. Then I stirred in the pumpkin and cottage cheese.

I was a little scared when the cottage cheese didn’t mix well at first, but after a few minutes the cheese sort of melted and blended with everything else. When the cheese melted, the oatmeal was ready to be served. I chose to top mine with dates, granola, almond butter, and fig jam.


Hmmm….. it was ok. It didn’t ‘wow’ me. I think the banana was a key missing ingredient. Next time I’ll add brown sugar to sweeten it up in place of the banana. I would also leave the cottage cheese out next time, it almost made it too cheesey.

BUT, it was my first attempt and I’m quite proud of myself for coming this far. As I gradually find my way in this oatmeal world, I know I will start to spit out creative, yummy combinations that will compete with the best of them….. I hope. 😉

1 Melissa October 19, 2010 at 9:47 am

I love that bowl, where did you get it? Good luck with the training plan, you’ll rock it 🙂
Melissa recently posted..Where I’ve Been

2 Meghann October 19, 2010 at 10:35 am

The bowl is from JoAnn fabrics. I think it’s supposed to be a candy dish. 😉

3 Amanda (Eating Up) October 19, 2010 at 9:48 am

Haha that picture totally could have come from Kath’s blog! 🙂
Amanda (Eating Up) recently posted..A Sweet Shout Out to Apple Holler

4 Heather October 19, 2010 at 9:54 am

your plan loosk great. good luck! you can do it!
Heather recently posted..A Look Back in Time

5 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday October 19, 2010 at 9:55 am

Thanks for that McMillan’s Running Calculator link. I’m going to check it out!
Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday recently posted..Superhero Balls

6 Brittany (Eating Bird Food) October 19, 2010 at 9:57 am

Welcome to the world of oatmeal. 😉

Can’t wait to see you this weekend!!!!

7 kristy @ October 19, 2010 at 10:01 am

Congrats! I usually run several marathons each season. It’s so much easier when you’re already in marathon shape…it’s just maintenance. Just gotta make sure you really listen to your body so you don’t get injured. 🙂
kristy @ recently posted..Pumpkin Trip Oh-Ten

8 Marina October 19, 2010 at 10:03 am

Welcome to the oatmeal world! You’ll find some great combos on the blogsphere, I’m sure you’ll love it
Marina recently posted..hunger- where are you hiding

9 Kelly October 19, 2010 at 10:05 am

Good luck training for the next marathon. You’ll do great!
Kelly recently posted..New York- New York!

10 Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather October 19, 2010 at 10:06 am

That is the cutest bowl ever! I love it.

Your marathon keep-up training plan sounds great. I like the idea of finishing your last 3-4 miles at goal pace. I’ll have to keep that in mind during my next half marathon training.
Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather recently posted..Interval training with the GYMBOSS giveaway

11 Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards) October 19, 2010 at 10:06 am

where did you get that bowl??

12 Beth @ DiningAndDishing October 19, 2010 at 10:12 am

haha, congrats on finally learning to love oatmeal! 🙂 pumpkin and butternut squash work well in place of a banana ( i usually put a little maple syrup in to sweeten them up). the addition of some sort of fruit or veg really enhances the creamy texture.
Beth @ DiningAndDishing recently posted..Bright Lunch Idea

13 sweetersalt October 19, 2010 at 10:13 am

I’m not a big cottage cheese in the oats fan myself. I use banana, honey, or maple syrup to sweeten up. Love a blob of pumpkin in there too!

sweetersalt recently posted..Moroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn Squash

14 Michelle (The Runner's Plate) October 19, 2010 at 10:17 am

I tried cottage cheese in my oatmeal the other day and wasn’t a big fan. For me, banana is the key and a little added sweetness from agave nectar, brown sugar, or maple syrup. I don’t know that I care for pumpkin in my oats either. Keep experimenting!
Michelle (The Runner’s Plate) recently posted..Feta Shrimp Skillet

15 'laina October 19, 2010 at 10:22 am

When it’s hot the banana vanishes, melting into the oatmeal, adding an amazing sweetness and creaminess to the oats- so if it’s a texture thing, I don’t think you’d mind it this way. If it’s allergies, I would probably just add the brown sugar.. and some yogurt instead of cottage cheese.

16 'laina October 21, 2010 at 10:44 am

Or how about some ricotta, instead of the cottage cheese? That just hit me this morning, and sounded tasty, so I thought I’d mention it (days later. lol)

17 Kathryn October 19, 2010 at 10:30 am

Congrats on registering! I just signed up for the Austin half in February…superrrrr pumped!
Kathryn recently posted..I’m trying to teach Darby to shake

18 Kath Younger October 19, 2010 at 10:34 am

It will never be the same without the banana, but we can work on it 🙂 How much CC did you add? I actually DON’T let it cook anymore to melt the cheese – I prefer the curds to be embedded in rather than stringy.

Also, I see you have “easy 4-6” on the plan for this Saturday. Can we change that to “a fast hilly race 10K”!? I’m not sure I can do 8 the day after a race, but it would be fun to do them with you!
Kath Younger recently posted..Harvest

19 Meghann October 19, 2010 at 10:55 am

I’ll change Saturday to ‘Fast Hilly 10k race and Sunday for slow hilly 8 miles. 🙂

20 Kath Younger October 19, 2010 at 11:07 am

There’s actually an awesome 8 mile run out in the country nearby – I have yet to try it, but we could go there on Sunday? I hope we have time?

21 Nicci October 19, 2010 at 10:35 am

I tried cottage cheese in my oats, but didn’t care for it. I do love putting PB and bananas in my oats.

22 Alexis @ Mission: Ambition October 19, 2010 at 10:48 am

That bowl is so cute! I would definitely add something to up the sweetness, that would help I’m sure 🙂
Alexis @ Mission: Ambition recently posted..Personal Trainer – Yay or Nay

23 Alayna @ Thyme Bombe October 19, 2010 at 10:59 am

Glad to hear you’re still feeling strong after Chicago!

I have never liked cottage cheese so I’ve never tried it in oats, but I know that bananas really work wonders. Maybe something else sweet and smooth like pumpkin butter or cooked sweet potato could stand in nicely.
Alayna @ Thyme Bombe recently posted..A week with the hubs

24 skinnyrunner October 19, 2010 at 11:06 am

you can definitely rock out that marathon in december. you’ll kill it!

25 Biz October 19, 2010 at 11:12 am

Too cheezy?? I didn’t think that could be possible! 😀

26 Jessica@tastyandtrim October 19, 2010 at 11:37 am

I recently gave in to trying oatmeal this year too and am now hooked! I have been on such an oatmeal kick lately too..I keep craving it! I love it because it is SO versatile. You can add almost anything to a bowl of oats 🙂

27 Lauren October 19, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Great plan!! I really like that calculator, that is definitely a cool tool.
8 weeks may seem like little time to some, but somehow, I’m so confident you’ll have no trouble. You rock!!!
Lauren recently posted..Walkers for Knockers

28 Alicia at Poise in Parma October 19, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Thanks for sharing the McMillan Pace Calculator. While I haven’t been stressing myself out about my pace, I know that it will come in handy down the line. All the best in your next training adventure!
Alicia at Poise in Parma recently posted..ten things this tuesday- Best of Cleveland edition

29 Becca October 19, 2010 at 12:29 pm

I love the charts to find out your speeds! my next goal is a 5k fun run new years eve so i may have to use that! thanks!
Becca recently posted..Eastern Canadian Classic Update

30 Sarah-Mae @ Eat, Run, Knit October 19, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Banana in oats is KEY for me, and I LOVE my oats. It sweetens and adds extra body to your bowl. Plus the banana is a great way to start off the morning!

I use the MacMillan pace calculator as well and love it.
I also have to mention that since I’m still on crutches after my marathon last weekend I am super jealous of this post, I want to be back up and running so. badly.

31 Clare @ Fitting It All In October 19, 2010 at 1:57 pm

That running calculator is awesome! And welcome to the wonderful world of oatmeal….banana is a definite necessity
Clare @ Fitting It All In recently posted..Sunday Afternoon &amp Reader’s Request

32 Caitlin (EatFeats) October 19, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Yeah I’m with you on the oatmeal. I don’t usually like it, but sometimes I get the most random craving for it.

I also don’t eat bananas, so maybe that’s the problem!
Caitlin (EatFeats) recently posted..The deepest South I’ve ever been

33 Stephanie October 19, 2010 at 2:09 pm

I LOVE that bowl. My selection of dishes is so boring. I have to go shopping I think!

I think that it’s awesome that you are training for another marathon. I have yet to do my first, but look forward to the day when I would have the strength and energy to do 2 back to back. Good for you!

34 Amy October 19, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Your training plan looks great. I think it makes sense to just make sure you’re still in marathon shape – I’m sure you’ll rock Palm Beach!
Amy recently posted..saturday best

35 Lily @ Rabbit Food Runner October 19, 2010 at 2:26 pm

I’m excited to read about your training for the new marathon, sounds like you have a solid plan!

I’ve never tried cottage cheese in oats, I don’t think I’d like it much either. Cute bowl btw!
Lily @ Rabbit Food Runner recently posted..Pumpkin Everything

36 Jessica @ The Process of Healing October 19, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Sweetening the oats will make them SO MUCH better!
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37 Brenna (fabuleuxdestin) October 19, 2010 at 3:16 pm

never as good without the banana!!!
Brenna (fabuleuxdestin) recently posted..impossible n’est pas francais

38 Marci October 19, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Hi Meghann, I am running my first 13.1 on December 5 but I am scared like crazy! Running and I are hot/cold. I am sure you will be great!
For hot oatmeal, I used to not like it either. I know you don’t like bananas, but Ashley at has great recipes too. She mashes the banana and adds it to the pot to cook and you don’t taste it like when it’s sliced. Not sure how bad your aversion is! But the banana texture is needed or something to take its place for texture, not sweetness in my opinion.
I also like it thicker with less water than some recipes say, so you have to experiment with that!
Marci recently posted..Pasta Party for Two

39 Meghann October 19, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Thanks! I’ll check her site out.

It’s not the texture with bananas, it’s everything about it. Even the smell makes me nauseous. Someone could be peeling a banana in the hallway on the other side of the building and I’ll smell it and I immediately want to gag. I accidentally had a bite of banana bread once and had to make a run to the bathroom to let it all come back out. It’s not pretty.

40 Lacey @ Lake Life October 19, 2010 at 7:16 pm

So are you really allergic or do you just not like bananas?
Lacey @ Lake Life recently posted..Fortune Tellers

41 melinda October 19, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Hi. I really like your calendar. How did you make that?

42 Rachel Wilkerson October 19, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Love the bowl!

Also, if you don’t like oatmeal, I say, switch over to grits!!
Rachel Wilkerson recently posted..Lessons from an October Weekend

43 katie October 19, 2010 at 6:45 pm

good luck with your training
katie recently posted..COUNTDOWNS

44 Lacey @ Lake Life October 19, 2010 at 7:14 pm

It sounds like you have a sort of a Goldilocks relationship with cottage cheese! One time it’s not cheesy enough, the next time it’s too cheesy. I look forward to seeing if it ever becomes “just right”. 🙂

45 mary October 19, 2010 at 9:09 pm

I think I’m going to use the mcmillan calculator for the next training plan that I do 🙂

Good luck on your next marathon you’ll be great!
mary recently posted..Starting over

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