My Exercise Plan Post Marathon

For a good part of 2023 and into the beginning of 2024, I was training for a marathon. I followed marathon expert Hal Higdon’s novice training plan from his Marathon book.

Training for that kind of monumental event took loads of time because I ran 4 days a week, one of them being a long run. I did my long runs on Fridays, gradually increasing mileage from 3 miles until I got up to 18 miles, which I completed twice before the marathon.

Since I’m such a slow runner, those long runs took up to 4 hours.

During part of my marathon training, I was also lifting weights with a personal trainer 1-2 times a week, for 30 minutes.

In February 2023, I only lifted weights once and also spent two weeks tapering down for the race. Tapering down means you run less and recover more leading up to race day.

I completed the marathon on March 2, 2024.

After the marathon, I gave myself a full week of no exercise to let my body rest and heal.

What’s Next?

Although I won’t rule out another marathon, I have no current plans to do one in the future.

Several of my girlfriends (Ali-Shaun & Rhonda among them), were encouraged by my running and have agreed to do a 10k (6 miles) at the annual Houston Half this October. I will run with them – maybe going for another half marathon.

But that’s months away, so what’s my plan for the meantime?

My Two Fitness Goals

I started thinking about what kind of exercise I wanted to do and what my goals are going forward.

My two main fitness goals are: 1) I want to work on my strength and muscle tone and, 2) do something “fun”.

Running was sooooo hard for me. I can say I enjoyed it, but dang, it was always really hard. Fun would be nice!

Running is a great workout, but it’s no substitute for strength training. As I’m approaching 50 and still have a young daughter and teenage son, I want to be healthy and strong for as long as possible. And when I’m even older, I don’t have to have problems bending, reaching, squatting, etc.

The vain part of me wants a body that looks good, but it’s not as important as it was in my 20 & 30s. Now, I think a lot about more my long term health and ability to thrive well into old age.

What Exercise Do I Like for Fun?

If exercise is fun, we’re more likely to stick to it.

I remembered the HIIT class I used to do on Monday at 9:45. It’s an hour class incorporating a step, high intensity bursts of cardio and full body weights. It’s a killer class, a great workout and the best part is that the 62 year old instructor, Colleen has an amazing personality and adds the perfect amount of instruction with personal anecdotes and also encouragement.

It’s super hard, but also fun!

makeup free!

I also used to do a Video Spin class that is another really hard workout, but so fun because you spin to the beat of the music, incorporate light hand weights, and the instructor Hardy plays the music videos on two large screens in the class. The lights are off and the room is illuminated by the videos. So fun! I always leave that class in such a good mood.

Another vote for fun!

Building Strength

Since I hadn’t spent much time lifting weights for the 6 months I was running, I wanted to dedicate more time to that.

I upped my weight training sessions with Matt, my personal trainer, to 45 minutes/twice a week. In the past, I’d only do 30 minutes.

My Weekly Exercise Schedule

So here’s my exercise plan now. I’m currently a few weeks in and starting to feel better already!

Monday – Cutting Edge HIIT Class (Colleen)

Tuesday – Weight Train 45 minutes with Matt

Wednesday – Cutting Edge HIIT Class (Eran)

Thursday – Weight Train 45 minutes with Matt

Friday – Walk / jog outside about 3 miles – so good for the soul (see my 10k steps a day post)

Saturday – Spin Class (Hardy)

Sunday – Rest

I won’t be able to do the Spin class on Saturday when my kids have sports. I was able to do it Easter weekend, since there were no sports. But, I’ll likely have to put Spin class on hold for a month until my daughter’s baseball season and my son’s track season ends.

I’ll be able to get back to Spin class in mid-May.

Also, I listen to my body and if I need to take a day off from a class or modify with lighter weights, I’ll do that.

Why I Workout with a Trainer

I have considered not training with my trainer, mostly because it’s an investment that adds up each month and I have to budget for it. But, there are several reasons I’ve decided to stick with him over the years.

1 | Knowing my fitness goals, he constructs workouts to help me reach them. I don’t have to think about what to do, I just do what he says. He counts for me (I lose track) or times me on his stopwatch and says when to stop/start each exercise.

2 | I get a much better workout than I would on my own. He pushes me to work harder than I ever would on my own. Also, there are exercises I would never do if he wasn’t telling me to do them.

TankShortsSocks Shoes

3 | He helps to ensure I don’t hurt myself while training.

4 | Having an appointment with Matt twice a week keeps me accountable and showing up for those sessions. I purposefully schedule my time with Matt for right after school drop off in the morning so I’m already out of the house and I go straight to his studio from the school.

5 | Matt has specialized knowledge in functional mobility so we also work on areas where my body is weak, out of balance, or injured.

6 | I want to support his small business. Matt has become a friend over the years and he has a wife (hi Katie!) and three young kids. He’s now on his own at a studio and I like knowing that my business is helping support his career.

Workout Tank, Shorts, Sneakers

TankShortsSocks Shoes

7 | I enjoy it. Matt’s good fun and we chat and laugh during our sessions.

8 | I can afford it. Like I mentioned, it’s something I budget for and take into account in my monthly spending. I consider it an investment in myself and well worth it. I have a post about ways I save money here.

There have been times over the years when I’ve paused my personal training. It’s been financial reasons and/or because that season of life was so busy that I couldn’t commit.

Having said all of this, you don’t NEED a personal trainer to get a great workout. I’ve lifted weights at home by myself or watched a YouTube channel workout and that’s been good too.

You Can Train Virtually with Matt

I was talking to Matt this week and he reminded me that he also trains clients virtually via FaceTime, so you don’t have to be in Houston to train with him. You don’t even need a home gym or weights, he can train you with just your own bodyweight!

I trained with him virtually in 2020 when the gyms were closed. Send him a DM if you’re interested or want more info!

Fitness Faves

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CRZ Leggings

I’ve been opting for my CRZ leggings lately because the weather is heating up. These are such a good quality high waist legging that feel buttery soft against your skin. Even though they’re lightweight, they’re still performance strength and squat proof.

CRZ Bike Shorts

I also like the bike shorts for running. They’re the most comfortable to me.

CRZ Sports Tank

And the CRZ Y-tank has a built in shelf bra.

Ankle Tab Socks

These are my athletic socks of choice with the little ankle tab that prevents any cuts or blisters.

Weights

If you’re looking for a good set of weight for home, these are the ones I have and recommend. I like how the handlebar is smaller for women’s hands and the hexagon shape keeps them from rolling around.

Gatorade Water Bottle

I never go to the gym without my Gatorade water bottle. It’s my preferred way to hydrate during my workouts.

New Treadmill

I’m still loving my new treadmill. It inclines, has cup holders and I can watch my ipad while I walk.

Bike

This cruiser bike is so fun! Jordan and I love to ride bikes together and this one is so pretty, with a functional basket and cup and phone holder. I’ll also bring a backback and ride to a nearby grocery store if I just need a couple of items. I use this lock to keep my bike safe while I’m inside.

Helmet

Safety first!

Thong Undies

Perfect breathable thong undies that disappear under your leggings. I size up to a Medium. If you prefer a non-thong, these undies are also no-show.

Gratitude Giveaway

Every month I give away $500 to a blog subscriber! Subscribe here to enter to win this month!

I’d love to hear what your exercise routine looks like. Let me know in the comments.

Have a fantastic day friend!

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Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!

5 Comments

  1. I love that you’ve added fun into the mix! I play tennis twice a week and while it’s a great workout it’s more for my mental health. I can’t think or worry about anything else while I’m playing and it’s social so I get to see friends. It’s a win win workout for me.

  2. I love that you’re lifting weights- so important for women! I do 3-4 strength/cardio small group classes a week at my gym and take walks on off days. I also love supporting a small business, and the people there have become my friends and work-from-home outlet! By the way, I’m reading Outlive by Dr. Peter Attia and I think you’d find it very interesting. Have a great day!

    1. I’m familiar with him, I’ve listened to him on some podcasts. I love to read, so I’ll have to add his book to my reading list. Thanks Jodi!

  3. I am 64 yrs young, I do an online Pilates class & after I do weights with @fitnessmomness & then hang on our inversion table. I’m petite so I want to keep my bones strong✅✅

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