How They Train!

Nancy Stedman - April 2011


  • 49

How many years have you been running?

  • 6

Lifetime personal records

  • Mile – 6:27
  • 5K – 21:43
  • 10K – 46:08
  • 15K – 1:11:22
  • Half Marathon – 1:42:44
  • Marathon – 3:31:26
  • 50K – 4:24:54

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 depends on whether or not I am training for a specific race. I do not really train for about 8 weeks of the year, typically after the end of April or mid May.  During this lower volume period I will run about 25 to 33 miles per week.  Otherwise, mileage varies according to time until a long distance race anywhere between 40 and 60 miles per week. 

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

  • The primary distance I train for is the marathon.  Since my first in March 2007, I have managed to do 12 marathons plus the 50K at Torreya once.  The area 5K races are what I like to do for speed work, and rarely do I want to do more than a hard effort workout at these since they are not my primary goal race.  Also, I really enjoy the social aspect of the shorter races.

What does your typical week of running look like?

  • Monday: Non-run day. Spinning at 6:00 a.m., yoga in the evening.
  • Tuesday: Depending on how many shorter distance races I am doing, I may or may not do speedwork.  If not doing the speed workout, I usually go out for about a 7 mile run at 6:00 a.m.; spinning at 6:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday: An 8 mile run in the morning (6:30 or 7:00) and if I can’t manage that I may do two shorter runs that total between 9 & 12 miles for the day.  The shorter of the two (evening) will have some higher paced pick-ups in it.
  • Thursday: Spinning at 6:00 a.m.; 6 mile evening run with the last half at tempo pace.  In peak mileage weeks it’s a 10 mile run.
  • Friday: 4 or 5 miles easy.
  • Saturday: 5 to 8 miles.  A 5K race may be part of this.
  • Sunday: Long run day, which can be as short as 8 miles, occassionally 18 to 21 miles (3 of these before a marathon), usually 12 to 16 miles.

When not training I will run only about 4 days a week instead of 6, and my Sunday run will be 10 miles. I’m a lot lazier then.  My body needs a break from it.

Do you take recoery or down time?

  • I am a believer in the concept of periodization (taking a major time off for a period of the year), and also in tapering and recovery before and after a goal race. 

Do you peak for certain races?

  • I hope I peak for the marathons!  So far what I have done seems to be working in the right direction.  Every race is a learning experience.

How much sleep do you usually get at night?

  • Jay says I don’t get enough.  I often get about 6 to 7 hours.  I sleep better when my mileage is higher.  I’m a notorious insomniac much of the time otherwise.

What time of the day do you normally run?

  • Time of day depends on when I teach spinning and what time work appointments and other obligations require.  I try to keep it to early morning or late day.  Wednesday is often most flexible, so sometimes I can manage to do a mid day run then.

What injuries have hampered your training over the past year? 

  • I am fortunate to be able to say that I really had no injuries this past year except for a very minor tendonitis by my left ankle for a short time.  Yoga has really been a godsend in injury avoidance for me, and I recommend it.

Do you take any dietary or medical supplements?

  • I take glucosomine/condroitin and calcium citrate/vitamin D with dinner, vitamin C and an iron supplement before bed.

What type of running shoes do you prefer?

  • I just got my third and fourth pairs of Brooks Adrenaline.  They are a bit lighter than what I ran in before because my biomechanics no longer require the ultra heavy shoe I once needed.

  • I race 5Ks and 10Ks in Asics Dirt Diva shoes with rubber spikes on them.  I have done some runs recently (including Marine Corps Marathon) in a lightweight shoe with medial post by Reebok.  I found out that it was not a sufficient shoe for me to run a marathon in (ouch). 

Do you use weight training?

  •  I do some light weight training twice a week to keep my upper body strength (arms, torso, back) and hip abductors in check.  I’m not aspiring to be a body builder type — just want to keep myself in good balance physically.

Do you stretch? 

  • I stretch religously after every spinning class since I am the instructor.  I do some stretching after most runs.  My best stretch is the weekly yoga class.

What are your favorite running routes?

  • My favorite running routes are Old Centerville/Sunny Hill Plantation Road for long runs.  I often enjoy running north into Betton Hills or south into Myers Park & Indian Head areas.  These are wonderful neighborhoods to run in, and I am lucky to be between the two.  Miccosukee Greenway and Tom Brown/Piney Z are also favorites.

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

  • My favorite running resources I revisit time and again are How to Train For and Run Your Best Marathon by Gordon Bachoulis Bloch and Daniel’s Running Formula by Dr. Jack Daniels.  Running Times is the best magazine for serious runners, but I also enjoy Runners World and Running Journal.  Online- what marathoner doesn’t LOVE

How has your training changed over the years?

  • I have not been running many years (it took 15 months for me to get to 2 miles and 18 months to do a 5K, which I had to walk part of!) but I have been able to steadily build up my peak weekly mileage for marathon training.  40 miles per week used to take tremendous effort and now that is an easy training week for me; last year I was peaking at 50, and this year 60.  Added mileage seems to get easier as time goes on.  The evolution in being a runner has been a slowly increasing, steady process for me.  I think this has a lot to do with the fact that I had a hard time breathing when I started and really could not do anymore than about a third of a mile without having to walk.  I would rather be cautious and a little slower, than be faster and get injured, which would only set me back in the long run.

What specific taining methods do yu use that have produced results?

  • Long, easy paced distance is absolutely necessary for training for half marathon and up certainly, but I believe it is also beneficial in the shorter races (Lydiard!).  The longer I went, the better my times got.  Some speedwork is necessary I think; I like the 5K’s best for that but also have done fartleks in runs and, rarely, track intervals.  This methodology seems to be working well for me.  I think the spinning really has been a huge part of helping me get stronger and faster while not beating me up. 

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

  • Listen to your body.

  • Don’t overtrain.

  • Do some cross training.

  • Do what you enjoy.