How They Train!

Amanda Hudson - November 2011


  • 34

How many years have you been running?

  • Five years

Lifetime personal records

  • Mile — 6:27
  • 5K — 22:09 (Doggie Dash 2011)
  • 10K — 45:56 (Springtime 2011)
  • Half Marathon — 1:41:43 (Tallahassee 2011)
  • Marathon — 3:39:52 (Snickers Albany 2010) I ran it four weeks after running the Tallahassee Marathon

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?

  • Between 20 – 45; in the fall and winter months I am usually training for the 30k or a marathon so I average around 40 – 45 a week; but in the summer months I like to run less and cycle more so I average between 20 – 30 a week.

What running events (sprints to ultra-distance) do you train for or what are your training goals?

  • This past year I have only trained for mid to long distance races and sprint triathlons.  I prefer mid to long distance races over shorter distance races.  My running goals are to run a marathon in the mid to low 3:30s and to qualify for the New York City Marathon with my half marathon.   That is my main focus right now.  In the next year, I would like to focus more on my shorter distance times.

What does your typical week of running look like?

  • Monday: Swim/weight training in the a.m. and run 5- 6 easy run or cycling 25–30 miles in the p.m.
  • Tuesday: Speed work at the FSU track (1 mile warm-up, 3 miles of speedwork, and 2 mile cool-down.)
  • Wednesday: Swim/weight training in the a.m. and run 5 – 7 easy in the p.m.
  • Thursday: Tempo run (6–8 miles) either at the Miccosukee Greenway or my neighborhood.
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday:  Cycling 35-60 miles in the a.m.
  • Sunday: Long run 10 – 20 miles.

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

  • In the cooler months, I train for mid- to long-distance races, so I run more. In the warmer months, I like to train for either a sprint duathlon or triathlon, so I try to run less and swim and cycle more.

Do you take recovery or down time?

  • I rest at least one day a week, and I typically will decrease my mileage at least one week out of the month if I am running training for a marathon.

Do you peak for certain races?

  • I typically try to peak for certain races out of the year, namely the Tallahassee Marathon/Half Marathon and Turkey Trot 15K.  This past winter my focus was the Boston Marathon.

How much sleep do you usually get at night?

  • 6–7 hours, which is not enough.

What injuries have hampered your training over the past year? 

  • When I first started distance running 2 years ago, I had IT Band Syndrome, but I found that daily stretching, using “The Stick”, and a foam roller helps alleviate the soreness.  I was having pain in my left quad so I went to the doctor and I found out that it was hip bursitis that was transferring the pain into my quad.  This has affected my training over the last month so I’ve had to rest and ice it a lot.

Do you take any dietary or medical supplements?

  • I take a multi-vitamin and iron.

What type of running shoes do you prefer?

  • I prefer neutral cushioning running shoes.  I love the Saucony Ride for daily training and distance running and the Nike Lunar Fly for shorter distance and triathlons. 

Do you race in a different type of running shoe?

  • I usually run in the same shoes I train in unless I am running in a short race.

Do you use weight training?

  •  Yes.  I try to train all muscles groups at least two times a week, but if I don’t have much time, I just focus on my arm and core muscles.  I use 10-15 lb. dumbbells and complete 3 sets of 12-15 reps of various arm, shoulder, back, and leg exercises including biceps curls, tricep overhead extensions, chest presses, standing shoulder presses, reverse flies, tricep kickbacks, squats, and lunges.  I also do modified push-ups, planks, and various exercise ball crunches.

Do you stretch? 

  • Yes, stretching is a must for me since my quads are always tight.  I use static stretching on a daily basis.  The “runners stretch”, lumbar rotation, knee to chest, hip flexors, standing side lunge, frog leg, and downward facing dog has proven to be the most helpful

What are your favorite running routes?

  • I love running at Forest Meadows and the Miccosukee Greenway.

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

  • I like to read Runners World and Greg McMillan running online.

What examples can you give of specific training methods?

  • I would say that long slow distance and track intervals have helped me the most.

What were the results?

  • Long slow distance running has greatly improved my endurance and track intervals increased my speed.  This past winter I had three PRs within two months in a half marathon, 5K and 10K.

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

  • My advice is to increase your miles slowly, take at least one or two rest days a week, try new things, and don’t feel bad if it doesn’t work for you.  I have found that what works for other runners (regular high mileage) doesn’t work for me.  I am a firm believer that cross training does help–swimming, cycling, or high intensity elliptical workouts.