How They Train!

Tiffany Roddenberry - April 2013


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How many years have you been running?

  • When I started running five years ago, it was just exercise to me. I didn’t care about pace or mileage. So it’s only been in the last two to three years I’ve really started training “seriously”—like increasing mileage and varying my runs (e.g., doing tempo runs, hill work, or long runs at an actual long running pace). And most of my PRs have come in the last two years.

Lifetime personal records

  • Mile – 6:17
  • 5K – 21:29
  • 10K – 45:23
  • 15K – 1:10:45
  • Half Marathon – 1:44:03
  • 30K – 2:32:01
  • Marathon – 3:51:42

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?

  • I typically run about 35-40 miles a week with a high of 60 miles and a low of 22.

What does your typical week of running look like?

  • Monday: 4-5 easy or Rest
  • Tuesday: 5-6 miles; 3 of these miles are often intervals ranging from 400 meters to 1 mile repeats       
  • Wednesday: 5-10 miles
  • Thursday: 5-8 miles with some at tempo pace or hill repeats
  • Friday: 4-5 easy or Rest
  • Saturday: Race or 8-10 miles. In my last marathon training cycle, some weeks I would do the 8-10 miles at marathon pace based on a Hal Higdon plan. 
  • Sunday: Long run of 12-16 miles; up to 20 miles during marathon training.

I like to increase mileage in the fall and winter months and much prefer racing in the colder months.

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

  • Because of my current job situation (I have a one-year job in Atlanta but still call Tallahassee home and travel to Tallahassee often), I’m focused on improving my times in races shorter than the marathon, including the 10K, 15K, and half-marathon. My marathons thus far have been mostly awful, so my longer-term goal is to turn out a decent marathon time within the next two years.

What injuries have hampered your training over the past year? 

  • Plantar fasciitis caused mostly by wearing high heels to work (and also letting those high heels wear down to nubs), and on occasion, shin splints.

What type of running shoes do you prefer?

  • Brooks Adrenalines are by far my favorite.

Do you use weight training?

  •  No, but I always aim to start again.  I generally felt a lot better when I did weight training, especially core work, two to three times a week.

Do you stretch? 

  • I stretch when something is bothering me.  So most often this means stretching my calves, Achilles tendons, hamstrings, and hip flexors.

What are your favorite running routes?

  • Old Centerville Road/Sunny Hill Plantation Road, the Tom Brown Park trails, and Southwood.  I love Southwood because I can run there at 10 p.m. at night, feel reasonably safe, and encounter very little traffic.   

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

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

  • Higher mileage worked for me.  My body really responded when I got into the 50-60 miles per week range a few times.  I think doing some harder long runs and marathon-pace runs helped a lot, too.  Even though I produced no great marathon time out of my last marathon training cycle and I did no interval work, I got PRs in the 5K, 12K, and 30K off that higher mileage.