Training Week 10: Hard Workouts Keep You Honest

You can guess your way through a multiple-choice quiz, run a 5k on a whim, or "look" like a runner in a fancy new outfit, but you can't lie to the marathon.

Without the proper training, the marathon has the potential to chew up and spit a person out. (Sure, people run marathons from time to time without training, but it sure isn't good for the body!)

Saturday's fast finish long run was one of those "honest" workouts: 7 miles at my endurance pace followed by 7 miles at a hard effort; pushing me to run a negative split. Greg McMillan describes the FFLR like so:
"These are called fast finish long runs and they really help fix the fade that can occur in the marathon. In the fast finish long run, you run the first half of the run at your normal long run pace but then over the second half of the run, you begin to pick up the pace so that the last 30 minutes to one hour is at a hard effort." Greg McMillan in You (Only Faster)
The fast finish long run is a great strengthening exercise for my self-control and an honest check for my pacing skills.

A photo posted by Amy W (@creativeaim87) on

I'm turning over a new leaf for this race. In past marathons, I have taken off too fast and then ran the last part of the race on fumes (and a whole lot of heart).

So far it's worked, but that approach is likely going to catch up to me one day — as a DNF. While I'm not totally in love with those FF-LR's, I know I need to do a lot more of them.

Self-control — in running and in everyday life — is a "muscle" that needs to be strengthened through practice and prayer!
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 TIMOTHY 1:7 ESV
On a little side-note!

NuttZo sent me some awesome ambassador gear this week that I need to share with you. Our toddler turned 3 recently and he still thinks every package that comes in the mail is for him :) Poor guy, this one is for mom!

And, yes, it does require some "self-control" for me to stop eating this stuff! Their Crunchy Peanut Butter is delicious and I prefer to eat it straight off the spoon!

Use my ambassador discount code (will-20) to get 20% off your next NuttZo purchase!


Fargo Marathon Training Week 10:

03/07 Monday - Recovery Run: 7.11 mi, 01:07, 09:21 pace. Still stiff from Saturday's long run! Running on the snow/ice takes a little extra out of my legs. In the icy patches I felt like a hamster stuck on a wheel. Thank God our snow is MELTING today!!! The little ones and I spent the entire morning outside in the sun :) Strength: 6 x 1:00 minute planks - on extended arms, then on elbows, front, side, side.

03/08 Tuesday - Speed Intervals w/ Duallie Stroller: 5 mi, 00:43. Decided to sleep through my morning workout after a rough night with a fussy baby. Ended up being a bad decision... A windy and cool run with the double stroller should teach me to wake up on time from now on! I hope the lesson has been learned :) 5 x 1k intervals @ 8:22/mile pace, 8:25, 8:02, 8:17, 8:03

03/09 Wednesday -  Strength Training.

03/10 Thursday - Tempo Run: 6.01 mi, 00:49. WU, 5 miles @ 7:59/mile avg, CD. Felt like I didn't have much "umpf" this morning. I could be more motivated and wake up at 5 to sneak in a little pre-run breakfast... but I'm not THAT motivated!

03/11 Friday - Easy-Effort: 3.25 mi, 00:30 @ 09:08 avg pace. Took the dog with today. He stayed at my parents' farm while we were in Colorado and has plumped up in the course of 2 weeks! Time to get him running again :)

03/12 Saturday - Fast Finish Long Run: 14.01 mi, 01:53. Practicing the whole negative splits thing... and I need plenty of practice. First 7 miles @ 8:30 average (normal long run pace for me) and last 7 @ 7:40 average (hard-effort). The last few miles were hard but great pacing practice.

03/13 Sunday - Off.

Total Mileage: 35.38 miles

What workout has challenged you the most this week?
Are you a crunchy or smooth nut butter person?!

Linking up with Fitness Health & Happiness


  1. Wow, that fast finish long run sounds very challenging! Kudos to you!

    1. Thanks, Sarah! The FFLR's are a great workout :)

  2. Congrats on getting through that tough long run! Since I ran a marathon on 3/5, my runs have all been at an easy pace until yesterday when I picked up the pace in the last 2 miles of my 5 mile run. How fun to get the Nutzo box!

    1. Congrats on your recent marathon, Tina! I will have to head over to your blog to look for a recap :) The NuttZo box was awesome - their nut butter is my favorite.


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