Berlin Marathon Training Week #10 Day 1 Putting in Mileage

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperature: Mostly sunny, 88 degrees

Type of Run: Medium easy

Length: 9.11 miles

Type of route: some flat areas, gradual inclines and declines with two tough hill climbs and one hill descent

Time: 1 hour, 7 minutes, 23 seconds

Pace per mile: 7:24

Average heart rate: 142

Reason for Run: This run is meant to add to the weekly mileage total. It’s what I call a medium-easy run. It’s done at an easy and comfortable pace but because it’s nine miles it’s not completely easy, hence medium-easy. A run like this helps maintain endurance.

How did I feel? Decent. I have training legs, meaning my legs are fatigued. When they’re fatigued, they sometimes feel heavy. Of course, they’re no heavier than they’ve been in actuality but they can feel like heavy columns. When they feel heavy, it feels like I’m plodding along like some kind of work ox or mule. I partially exaggerate. Like I’ve written before, this is all part of training. As a runner, you deal with it. Period. Fortunately, after this week, I’ll be dialing it back the next few weeks as a I prep for a half-marathon in the middle of the desert in the middle of the night! More on that fun race later.

Running With You,


Berlin Marathon Training Week #9 Day 4 A Rosy Tempo Run

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperature: Mostly sunny, 83 degrees with roughly 40% humidity

Type of Run: Tempo

Length: 7.95 miles

Type of route: gradual inclines and declines with one hill climb and one hill descent…most of the run was done on the famous Rose Bowl 5k loop.

Time: 49 minutes, 52 seconds

Pace per mile: 6:16

Average heart rate: 157

The Rose Bowl has a section of road around it just for runners! It’s about a 5k in length. Stay in the painted section though because cyclists often come flying by at high speeds as do cars.  

Reason for Run: A tempo run is a great way to get ready for a race. It’s a run done at what the experts call a “comfortably hard” pace. There probably is some debate at what exactly comfortably hard is. I believe it to be a pace that pushes you but it’s not quite race pace for a 5k, 10k or half marathon. You want to be running hard but with the feeling that you could go faster, if that makes sense. A tempo run builds physical and mental strength as well as endurance and speed. If you want to run long and fast then a tempo run can mimic that.

How did I feel? Fine. Last week, I had a great tempo run at the same distance with roughly the same temperature. But that was last week. This week is this week. Time-wise I was slower but I felt my effort was solid. My mile splits were in my desired range of 6:00 to 6:20 except for the last mile which included the tough Rosemont Drive climb so, of course, it’d be slower.

Running With You,


Berlin Marathon Training Week #6 Day 5 Back to Normalcy

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperature: Mostly sunny, 79 degrees with 50% humidity

Type of Run: Semi-long

Length: 10.26 miles + 5 sprint strides

Type of route: Gradual inclines and declines with four hill climbs and four hill descents

Time: 1 hour, 12 minutes, 13 seconds

Pace per mile: 7:03

Average heart rate: 145

Reason for Run: This was the weekly semi-long run. As my training progresses, this run will increase to a max of 13 to 14 miles. Semi-long runs should be run faster than long runs but not nearly as fast as tempo runs. The goal is to build endurance. Sprint strides help improve leg turnover, running efficiency and speed.

How did I feel? Good. I ran at a comfortable pace. I felt in control which was good because warmer temperatures and higher humidity levels can have a major effect on your runs. The route is not easy with four hill climbs on the streets. Running hills is a great way to build leg strength because you’re forcing your muscles to work harder. This was a good workout before a challenging interval session tomorrow which I’m sure you’ll be excited to read about.

Running With You,


Berlin Marathon Training Week #5 Day 6 A Speedy Day

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperature: Sunny, 85 degrees

Type of Run: Interval/Speed

Length: 4.54 miles (5 x 400m; 1-mile, 5 x 300m; 1200m; 5 x 200m)

Type of route: 400-meter oval track

Time: 23 minutes, 39 seconds (1:17, 1:16, 1:16, 1:16, 1:15; 5:35; :56, :55, :56, :55, :55; 4:11; :36, :35, :35, :36, :34)

Pace per mile: 5:13

Average heart rate: 156

Reason for Run: This was an interval workout designed to improve speed endurance as well as running efficiency and economy.

How did I feel? Good. The warm weather didn’t really bother me today. I was pleased with my pacing and consistency. My mile time and time for the 1200-meter rep were faster than I expected. This is good because I think it means I’m getting stronger handling longer interval reps. This wraps up my 5th week of formal marathon training. It’s also the second straight week I’ve run more than 50 miles. I have 2 to 3 days of travel next week which will cause me to make some slight adjustments in the training. I plan to write more columns about running soon along with keeping this training log. I hope you’ve gotten some insight with the training log about how people like myself prepare for marathons.

Berlin Marathon Training Week #5 Day 5 A Run Home

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperature: Sunny, 84 degrees

Type of Run: Medium-long

Length: 11 miles

Type of route: Gradual inclines and declines with four small hill climbs

Time: 1 hour, 17 minutes, 58 seconds

Pace per mile: 7:05

Average heart rate: 146

Reason for Run: This was a medium-long run intended to build endurance and boost weekly mileage.

How did I feel? Good even though I was a little tired. This was my first run back home in two weeks. It’s nice to be back and run in familiar territory. The past two weeks I’ve been running in flat areas. Pasadena has some good hill climbs so it was nice to run hills again and build leg strength. The temperature was warm so I made sure to wear my camelbak so I could drink water. I also took it easy due to the warm weather so I wouldn’t get fatigued quickly.