Marathon Training Update, 9/5/18

I’m a few weeks into marathon training and I realized I haven’t talked much about running here lately.  Since that’s the case, I wanted to share the training plan I’m using for my upcoming race, the wireless headphones I recently purchased that I’m now obsessed with, the sneakers I’ve sworn by for over a year now, and the Podcasts I listen to to pass the time.  So here goes…

Training Plan.

I’m currently training for the Honolulu Marathon, which will be on December 9th.  The Honolulu Marathon was my very first marathon, back in 2011, and I’m really looking forward to running it again now that I have 5 full marathons under my belt.  Most training plans are 16 weeks long and for all of my previous races I’ve used this Runner’s World training plan.  I absolutely love this plan but know I need to change things up a bit because I’ve gotten almost exactly the same time on my last 3 marathons.  Obviously that means something needs to change if I’m ever going to break my PR of 3:40.  I checked out a bunch of plans and finally decided to try out one of the Hal Higdon plans I’ve heard so many things about.  I needed a plan that was challenging but also doable with two young children at home and a husband that works very odd hours.  I’ll be honestly, any plan that has track-type speed workouts on it immediately makes me shut down and not want to even attempt it.  That’s why I think this Hal Higdon Intermediate 1 Plan looks good.  Only time will tell if I’m able to stick with it or not, but I’m going to give it my best.  I’ll have to do much of the training on the treadmill or with the double jogging stroller, so that may have an impact on the quality and length of my runs.  I’ll share periodic updates here to let you all know how it goes.


I recently bit the bullet and bought Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones.  I had wanted to try wireless headphones for a while and I’m so glad I finally gave them a shot.  These headphones stay in even better than the regular Bose SoundSport headphones that I used and loved for years (a great alternative if you don’t want to pay more for the wireless ones).  Both pairs are great because they never slip out even when you’re really sweaty and I like that you can control volume and skip songs without getting out your phone.  Yes, Bose headphones are expensive but I’ve tried cheap ones and they simply don’t perform as well if you’re a runner.

Running Shoes.

I’ve been wearing these New Balance shoes for about a year now and I just ordered my 3rd and 4th pairs.  Having true running shoes (very different from a “training” or “lifestyle” shoe) is critically important and I see a lot of novice runners make this mistake.  I like this pair for many reasons.  They are very light and not clunky, yet they provide a great amount of support if you like neutral running shoes (as opposed to shoes designed for stability or motion control).  They are also very affordable compared to most running shoes ($59.99-$69.99 compared to $100+ for most running shoes).  They also come in lots of pretty colors, which (silly as it is) is also important to me.  I’ve had this dark pink pair and this gray pair for a year but they are really worn down now so I just ordered this porcelain blue pair and this light pink pair.  I normally like to have 2 pairs of sneakers available so that I can alternate them or so I have a spare pair if one pair gets wet.  Oh and for sizing reference, I always size up half a size for New Balance running shoes (I’m an 8 everywhere but wear an 8.5 in New Balance).  


I often get asked what I do to pass the time when I’m running.  I used to only listen to music (I build playlists on iTunes) but started listening to Podcasts when I was training for the Kansas City Marathon in 2016.  My favorites are Young House Love Has a Podcast (funny husband and wife duo who talk about home decorating, renovating, DIY, and other things), Fohr Casts previously “A Drink with James” (this is a very informative one if you’re a blogger and want to learn about monetizing, Instagram strategy, trends, etc.), and I have recently gotten into NPR’s How I Built This (so far I’ve listened to the Kate Spade one, the lululemon one and the Wayfair one…it basically is the story of how the founders built the companies).  Podcasts are a great (and free) way to pass the time and I love listening to them while running!  It seriously makes the miles fly by.

What other running topics would you like me to cover here?  After my recent Instagram survey I have the following running/health topics on my list:

-workout outfits and gear
-what I eat on a normal day
-running tips
-how to start running as a beginner
-keeping kids happy in the jogging stroller

Any other requests just let me know!

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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

Find me on: Web | Instagram | Facebook

Leave a comment

  1. September 6, 2018 / 1:11 am

    The right pair of running shoes is critical! I see people making the same mistakes and it drives me nuts. I always recommend getting fitted for the correct shoe, it can make all of the difference.

  2. September 7, 2018 / 12:45 am

    Yes! It makes my knees hurt thinking about running in non-running shoes. My new shoes just got here today and I can't wait to run in them!

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