How They Train!

Adrianna Piekarewicz - June 2015


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Did you compete in high school cross country or track?

  • Yes- I ran both Cross-Country and Track at Maclay School from 7th grade until I graduated.

Did you compete in college cross country or track?

  • No- but still ran for fun around the Duke trails.

How many years have you been running?

  • Since 6th grade so 15 years

Lifetime personal records

  • 800 – 2:17
  • Mile – 5:13
  • 5K – 18:56
  • Half Marathon – 1:25:15
  • Marathon – 3:07

What running events do you train for or what are your training goals?

  • Right now I have the half marathon/marathon bug and really want to try and break 3 hours in the marathon. I just signed up for the Chicago Marathon in October so hopefully I will break three there J I also want to get some speed back and try to get in the low 18s in the 5k.

Consider your training over the past 6 months to one year.  How many miles a week do you typically run when not injured and consistently running?

  • Probably an average of 65-75 when marathon or half marathon training and closer to 50 when between seasons.

What does your typical week of running look like?

  • Monday:   Easy recovery run- 7-8 miles, plus Pure Barre  (Except every other week cross-train on elliptical for 60 minutes in substitute of the run.  If feeling beat up, take the whole day off) 
  • Tuesday:   Intervals- a standard workout in marathon training is 8×1000 with 2:30 min rest between 5k and10k pace- usually average around 9-10 miles with warmup and cooldown. Lift in the afternoon after work if I am feeling motivated J
  • Wednesday:   Easy recovery run- 6-8 miles
  • Thursday:   Steady run with some pickups or strides- 7-9 miles, plus pure barre
  • Friday:  Easy recovery run- 6-8 miles
  • Saturday:   Some sort of tempo- 4-8 miles between 10k pace and half marathon pace + lift
  • Sunday:   Long run- 10-20 miles depending on the time of year

How does your training vary over the course of a year?

  • I typically train for 1 or 2 big races per year if I am doing longer stuff like half and/or full marathons. With those longer races I do a lot of base mileage in the months prior, and then 3 months before the race date start with more intense training. After the race, I like to take a couple weeks off and just run by how I feel. I usually leave my watch at home during this time .

Do you take recovery or down time?

  • Yes- see above. Also, if I’m in a slump I try to listen to my body and change my workouts accordingly. Running by feel is my new motto.

Do you peak for certain races?

  • I like to peak for the big half or full marathon that I have chosen to train for- depends on the year. For example, this year I am going to try to peak for the Chicago Marathon in October.

How much sleep do you usually get at night?

  • I am a sleep snob and like to get 9-10 hours of sleep a night. On the weekends I can sleep up to 12 hours!

What time of day do you normally run?

  • Mornings- late mornings on the weekends

What injuries have hampered your training over the past year? 

  • I have dealt with a hamstring/upper glute issue that nobody could ever seem to figure out. I have found that strength training to strengthen my hamstrings (reverse hamstring curls on big swiss ball) and my glutes (squats/hip ups) have really helped with it. I still feel some pain in that area when I am in my peak mode of training, but it hasn’t hindered me from running anymore- knock on wood.

Do you take any dietary or medical supplements?

  • I take calcium twice a day plus a multivitamin once a day and iron once every few days.

What type of running shoes do you prefer?

  • Mizuno wave rider

Do you race in a different type of running shoe?

  •  I usually race in a lightweight trainer like the Adidas Boston or Saucony Fastwitch

Do you use weight training?

  • Yes since it has helped me with preventing running injuries and has helped me improve my speed that I have lost due to longer distance training. The main lifts include squats or Bulgarian squats and lunges for my glutes and hamstrings. I also try to do pull ups, push ups and abs to maintain upper body strength.

Do you stretch? 

  • Not enough! That should be my goal for this upcoming training phase.

What are your favorite running routes?

  • I love all the trails at Forest Meadows, Tom Brown and Miccosukee Greenway. Favorite running route of all time- the Duke Forest.

What running resources do you like that would benefit someone else?

  • I always check FloTrack and for inspiration on how fast everyone is running!

How has your training changed over the years?

  • In highschool I had much lower mileage and much higher intensity with more speed. I have changed to now enjoy more distance, and due to that, I tend to want to avoid speed workouts, which is where I now need the most work.

What examples can you give of specific training methods, and what were the results?

  • I think longer tempo runs and progressive long runs have been the most influential type of workouts for me in the past couple years. Being able to run at my marathon pace for the last 10 miles of a 20 miler is one of my toughest workouts, but also one that helps produces the most confidence.

What advice do you have for beginning or experienced runners to help them with their training?

  • I think the best advice I could give any runner is to not take it too seriously and remember to simply enjoy it. I went through a bad burnout stage after high school, and I think a lot of runners go through this when they hit plateaus. You have to focus on your love of the sport and have faith that the results will come. Run happy, live happy!