Wow, it was not easy to get up this morning, but I registered for Steamboat Marathon, and am committed to training for it! I know my workout plan, and I have to stay on track. I told myself “at least put on my running clothes,” and as expected, that did the trick. Next baby steps – shoes on and out the door.  I finally got myself to the treadmill at Old Town Hot Springs –in Steamboat it’s a little tricky to run outside in the cold, on the snow, at 5:30 a.m.! As always required for the extra push, I started my sweet running playlist. It was smooth running from there on, and well worth it!

I’ll admit this is not my first rodeo. In 2014 I ran the Steamboat Marathon 10k, and I competed in several triathlons including the Half Ironman 70.3 in my hometown of Puerto Rico. I’m the Fitness Director at Old Town Hot Springs, and a Coach in our Triathlon Club. I’m excited that Old Town Hot Springs is the Official Coach Sponsor for the 2015 Steamboat Marathon! My coach keeps me motivated and on track. I hope we can do the same for you!

Establishing a Training Plan

If you are running a marathon for the first time, and don’t have access to a coach, I like Hal Higdon’s Training Plans on  Looks like you have to pay for training plans, but a plan will keep you on track, motivated, and disciplined.

If you don’t have access to a coach or training plan, I suggest you start by getting to know yourself as a runner. Are you more comfortable on a treadmill, or do you prefer running outside?  What gear do you like to wear and bring? Test yourself on a treadmill with a heart rate monitor. Learn your pace. To start training, build up a good 3-mile base for your first week, then up to four, and so on.

Your first week could look something like this: Monday – running-specific strength training, Tuesday – 3 miles, Wednesday – 3 miles with intervals, Thursday – 3 miles with some running-specific strength training, Friday – off, Saturday 3 miles, and Sunday – step it up to 4 miles. That’s a total of 16 miles.

Then, in your second week of training, try: Monday – running-specific strength training, Tuesday – 3 miles with intervals, Wednesday – 4 miles, Thursday – 3 miles with some running-specific strength training, Friday – off, Saturday 3 miles, and Sunday – step it up to 5 miles. That’s up to 18 miles.

Now, back to knowing yourself and your pace. As an example, if your 5k pace is an 8-minute mile, your 3-mile runs will go as follows: Your first mile will be a warm up at an 8:30 mile pace, your second mile will be at your 5k pace, and 3rd mile will be back to the 8:30 mile pace. Monitor yourself throughout that run, and see how you feel during the next 24 hours.

As noted, include running-specific strength training exercises twice a week for 30 minutes – not to coincide with an interval day or longer weekend runs. One exercise you could try is a 1-leg squat. Make sure your knee stays between your first and second toe. Do about 16 reps on each leg, twice. Check out our tweets for more suggestions.  And before your workout, consider some active stretching. This could include swing legs (swing each leg forward and back about 10-15 times), 10 grapevines to the right and left, and 20 butt-kicks running forward.

Remember to hydrate, and in the next weeks start thinking about race nutrition. More on that later.

Woo-hoo, training is ON! You got this!

If you need any help or have some questions, please contact me at

Guest Blogger: Marietta Roberts