How They Train!

Laura Reina - February 2018


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Did you compete in high school cross country or track?

  • No

How many years have you been running?

  • Approximately 15 years, but I started training more consistently only in the last ten years.

Lifetime personal records

  • I could have probably done better in my young age, but I did not run at the time … The times I like the most are my best 5K time is at the Run for the Cookies (2017) with 21:42, my best ½ marathon time is in Tallahassee (2016) with 1:45:18 , and my best marathon time is in Boston (2016) with 3:45:06. I am not sure I will ever improve on those. I can probably do a better job on my 10K (47:30) and 15K (1:12:16) times.

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

  • I try to stay trained at the level of a half marathon, so that it does not take too long if I decide to train for a marathon. So, my training has more emphasis on distance, but I try to have some speed work once a week, and follow the local schedule of 5K/10K events, which are nice and short!

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?

  • It varies a lot, from 20-25 up to 45 miles. I very rarely run more than that, even when I’m training for long distances.

What does your typical week of running look like?

  • Monday:  Rest
  • Tuesday: 3 miles of speed work (I love going to the FSU tracks, but most of the time I cannot, so I do it in my neighborhood)
  • Wednesday:  Easy 3-5 miles
  • Thursday:  Rest/cross training
  • Friday:  Tempo run (at half-marathon/marathon pace), 5-10 miles
  • Saturday:  Easy 3-5 miles (but sometimes there are 5K/10K, in which case I do less or push less on Friday)
  • Sunday:  Long run (12-20 miles, depending on what is coming up, easy/aerobic/marathon pace depending on the day)

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

  • Summers are my bottom low, unless I travel to a place that is less hot and humid than here. I really have a hard time performing well with heat and humidity! I pick up again in Fall and typically train for some long-distance event in Winter/Spring. I have to be very flexible and adjust a lot to my work and family schedule. I can go out running at any time, and run anywhere I happen to be. Having a training plan helps me a lot, since I know what I want to do that day, and I can always find a way to do it. Otherwise it would be much more effort to figure it out, and I will not probably find the right solution when I am too tired or too busy.

Do you take recovery or down time?

  • Yes, I need a day of rest after the weekly long runs, and I take at least a week off after marathons. I am also fine not running for a while when we travel and running would interfere with enjoying what we are doing. Running should not be a chore, nor something that ruins other important moments.

Do you peak for certain races?

  • For long-distance races I try to peak 3 weeks before the race.

How much sleep do you usually get at night?

  • I try to get at least 6-7 hours, but it doesn’t always work!

What time of day do you normally run?

  • I run almost any time I can. Recently it has been mainly evenings/nights on week days, sometimes even quite late if it is the only time I have. In Summer I try to switch to early mornings. On Sunday I like the early morning runs. If I can I love joining Imitation Adults!

What injuries have hampered your training over the past year? 

  • Nothing serious during the last year.  The year before I had a problem with my Achilles tendon, that bothered me for quite a while and still reminds me of its existence from time to time … but does not prevent me from running anymore. I keep it under control rotating shoes more carefully, using a little drop, not doing speed work uphill, and doing a lot of stretching.

Do you take any dietary or medical supplements?

  • No, I try to get what I need from food. So far so good.

What type of running shoes do you prefer?

  • I have been using Saucony Kinvara 7 for a few years. I may need to switch to a newer model at some point. I use them both for training and racing. I also have a pair of Hoka, which I mainly use for recovery/easy runs.

Do you race in a different type of running shoe?

  • No, always use my Kinvara 7.

Do you use weight training?

  • Not really. I have some weights at home, but I am not doing much.

Do you stretch? 

  • Yes, I have been doing more and more of it and I find it very beneficial. It helps me after difficult runs. But it also helps me keeping flexible and avoiding injuries. I stretch once/twice a day. I stretch arms and legs, the lower calves and the Achilles, then my back. Very basic and gentle. Sometimes some yoga helps too.

What are your favorite running routes?

  • I like trails, although they are not the best strategies to avoid injuries. Tallahassee has some amazing ones. I also like to explore neighborhoods.  Running around I mapped areas of town that I had not known before!

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

  • I have read some, and perused others. After a while they all say the same basic things. I learn much more by talking to other runners!

How has your training changed over the years?

  • In the span of 10-12 years during which I have been running I realize I learnt to listen much more to how I feel and what I can or cannot do, adjusting to it as needed. Also, I learnt more about the importance of having a training plan, and I started following one or the other. That helped a lot keeping a good level of training and avoiding injuries.

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

  • Keeping a consistent weekly mileage helped me improving my times on the long distance.
    Having just one interval session a week helped me increasing my speed on the short distances.
    Stretching helps me avoiding injuries and that is crucial.

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

  • I think the most important thing at all levels (if you are just trying to get out there and run for the first time as well as if you are trying to achieve your next record) is to have a human resource to support your efforts. With this respect, having a running community like the Gulf Winds is SO
    important! My advice is: reach out to them, talk to the people, run with them, learn from them. It’s worth a hundred books!