Losing Weight While Training for a Marathon

By Susan LaDuke
on April 04, 2017
With 0 comments

How to Lose Weight While Marathon Training

It's a very common myth. People know that running is a great way to lose weight. Over the years we have been inspired by before and after images of people who have lost tremendous amounts of weight after taking on running. We cheer them on as we see the image of them crossing the finish line of some race. We cheer because we all know what a tremendous accomplishment it is to cross the finish line of any race of any distance. And we are especially inspired when that distance is a marathon. 

There is an incredible amount of respect for the time and dedication it takes to train for a marathon and make it to the starting line injury free and still married (or in that significant relationship). It is understandable then, that we truly have respect for those who begin that process bearing excessive weight and shifting from a sedentary life to one in constant motion. 

But what about the average runner who needs to lose significantly less weight than these amazing individuals? What about those who need to lose say-15 to 25 lbs? Is it possible to do that and train for a marathon? Especially if that person has been a habitual runner for an extended time. 

So, how do you lose weight and train for a marathon? Let's take a look.

Marathon Training

Taking on the marathon requires you to first and foremost set a regular running schedule that will allow you to keep up with your scheduled training runs. Decide which days of the weeks you will run, what kind of run you will run on that day, and what distances those runs will be. Also, decide if you are a morning, afternoon or evening runner. Planning the time of day you will run will help you set aside dedicated time for those runs. 

There are plenty of great resources out there to find a training program that works best for you. 

Hal Higdon has a great training program that is designed for every runner from novice to advanced runners. He has even developed an app that you can add to allow you to have your training plan right there on your phone! I have used his training program for 2 of my marathons. It is very simple and easy to follow. This program is free, which makes it a great program if you are trying the marathon for the first time. 

Runner's World has training plans that are broken down into finishing time goals. These plans can be delivered in a couple of ways and they range in price from $9.99 for a plan you can print and refer to, to a plan that sends you daily reminders to any device for $19.99. There is also a plan to track your runs for $2.99 a month. 

Women's Running has one that is designed just for women. A pdf version of the plan is available for quick download and easy access. 

A quick google search will help you find many more. You can do anything from a do-it-yourself to purchasing some coaching if you want to go that route. Either way you go, find the plan that works for the type of runner you are. 

I'm a very injury prone runner and have found that if I do a 5 day running plan it is  guaranteed I will get an injury during the training and may or may not make it to race day. I have dropped out of a few races due to injury. Others I have shown up to the start line with the injury and deeply regretted it. Those are the longest runs of your life. Guaranteed. 

I ran across an article by Amby Burfoot in Runner's world in 2004 titled The Less-is-More Marathon plan. Based on research from the Furman Institute of Scientific Running and Training (FIRST), they designed a Train Less, Run Faster program. This sounded like a dream to me, so I printed off the program and gave it a try. It has only 3 days of running, plus 2 cross training, which was much easier on my body. I did finish with an improved time on my first half (15 minutes faster to be exact) and without injury. 

This prompted me to purchase Run Less, Run Faster which has a much more detailed plan that I found even better success with. Following that specific plan, I shaved almost 30 minutes off a previous half time. This plan was successful as it spared me the extra runs that were so risky for me as a runner. 

I am excited that so many options are available to runners now. When I started running marathons, they weren't available. That said, find a plan that works with your schedule, and fits your needs as a runner, and stick to it. 

Next time: How to Get the Eating Part Right

 (If you are wondering about the cool magnets holding the bib on my running dress, go here to find out more!)

Are You Boston Bound?

By Susan LaDuke
on January 24, 2016
With 0 comments


Are you hoping to qualify for Boston this year? For many runners, Boston represents the pinnacle bucket list run. The mere act of earning a qualifying time is something to be admired and earns bragging rights. Not sure you could muster a QT (qualifying time) ? Maybe its time to set some tiered goals that will ultimately lead to you earning that Boston QT. 

I don't believe in resolutions, I like to do goals. I have found the best way to achieve the goals I have for myself is to set stepping stone goals that are achievable, realistic, and keep me motivated all year. For example, you might decide to run a 5k every month of the year until June, then you want to run a 10k each month until you wrap up your year with a half marathon. 

Maybe your Boston isn't really Boston. Maybe your pinnacle run this year is a half marathon. It might be a 10k in under an hour. The mountain you climb is yours and yours alone. Whatever it is, attack your goal in manageable steps.

Set smaller goals that help you achieve the big goal.

Set your goal time

If Boston is your goal, then you have to see what you need to do to qualify. So go straight to the source. Boston qualifying time

Clean up your diet

If you have been using marathon training as an excuse to eat more, stop. Many runners training for marathons are surprised to discover they didn't lose any weight while training for a marathon. Despite the thought that burning the calories on those long runs, what you put in your body afterwards is very important. Food is fuel people. Recovery food is super fuel. 

Cut processed foods from your diet. Eat orange, yellow, red and green vegetables. Eat food from cold water. Eat grass fed beef. Enjoys eggs, nuts, and dairy. Enjoy several fruit servings a day. 

Cross train

Cross training is important for your recovery process. Taking a break from running allows for muscle recovery, which is vital for training for an event like a marathon. The mileage can really take its toll on your body, and your chances for injury increase. Training your muscles with a different demand will build them up in different places, providing balance. 

Find a training plan and stick with it

Find a training plan that has a variety of types of runs to not only strengthen your ability to run over a long stretch, but also helps improve your ability to run those miles at a faster pace. Give yourself plenty of time to train. If you are starting from couch mode, you will need to build up a base of miles for weeks before you begin any training plan. If you have a respectable mileage base, then you can set your training out to begin 12-16 weeks out. Don't allow yourself to skip training runs. Believe me, they do stack up against you. Without the mileage on the muscles, they will quit on you race day. 

Strengthen your core

A strong core helps hold your form together. Using weights to help create long, lean muscles versus large bulky muscles is key. Include stretching and foam rollers to keep yourself injury free. 

Choose the right race

With the increased popularity of running, marathons have popped up all over the world. There are many races that are Boston qualifiers. Races can be identified with many adjectives,downhill, flat, and fast. Qualifying races are often themed, scenic, or for a great charity. Take your time, and search out a race that will be worth your time and will make the event itself enjoyable. 

Here is a very comprehensive calendar of races that are Boston qualifiers

Best of luck!




The Haunted Half- A party Run you shouldn't miss!

By Susan LaDuke
on October 05, 2015
With 0 comments

Skirting The Run is proud to announce The Haunted Half and 5k.
This is Utah's  party run. Come for a haunting good time.
The details are as follows: Costume contest, All down hill scenic course, sweet SWAG, Amazing Medals for Everyone, Kids friendly activities and much more!!
For all those who are interested in running, use the promo code SkirtTheRun for a 15% off coupon. 
For further info take a look at our website. www.hauntedhalf.com
Run. Indulge. Party!

Racedots: Where have you been all my life?

By Susan LaDuke
on September 20, 2015
With 0 comments

Every once in a while pure genius appears in the most simple form. For me, the most recent brush with genius has come in a little colorful magnet.

Racedots are the idea that runners have been waiting to finally appear. Created by a cyclists who was done with watching his very expensive cycling jerseys ruined by the safety pins required to keep his race bibs in place and in full view.


Racedots are two magnets shaped to fit together and stay in place no matter what you are doing while wearing them. The front is a colorful button with a magnet with a small protruding piece on the back. The back of racedots is a donut shaped magnet, and this is the perfection in the system. They snap together and they don't slide or pull apart.  



I decided to give racedots a try and wore them while I running the Big Cottonwood Canyon Half Marathon Cottonwood, Utah. I had just purchased a new Nuu-Muu exercise dress and no way was I going to stick pens in that.

These strong little magnets love to stick together and at first, I found myself struggling a little to get them on the front. When I pulled the two pieces apart to line up my bib they would fly together like long lost lovers after a long separation. After a few trials and errors I figured out how far apart I needed to keep them to prevent them snapping together prematurely. Once I figured that out, putting them on the dress was easy!



The racedots gave me no trouble during the run. I didn't even notice them. I chose to place them over my right leg on the skirt of the dress. Wearing the Nuu-Muu gave me a chance to  place the bib somewhere besides in the center of my stomach. I tend to drag my arm across the bib during a run and it is annoying. So, this time I was able to put it on my leg where my arms wouldn't brush it. Perfect.

I did stop frequently to take advantage of the port-a-potties along the way. Only twice did my racedots stick together during the process. Easy enough to fix, I just pulled them apart and went on my way. It wasn't difficult to get them apart, so I don't consider it a downside to the racedots.

Given an option between racedots or pins, I will take the racedots anytime. Knowing that I had not put holes in my new exercise dress put my mind at ease. They were easy to put on, they stayed in place, and I didn't even notice them during the run.

 At $19.99, racedots are a worthwhile investment.


What I Love: A Runner's Favorite Things

By Susan LaDuke
on August 31, 2015
With 0 comments

I am so excited to share our new fall items with you. The new colors make me think of the warmth of the sun and the cooler evenings that makes autumn so wonderful!

I have new items from 3 of our product lines to share with you.



The fall Nuu-Muu colors did not disappoint! They are vibrant, and warm and promise to melt right into your current run wardrobe!


Purrfect is just that. The perfect warm jewel tone that belongs in the fall. The floral pattern reminds us that you can be feminine and still kick butt out on your runs! The best part? There is a mini version...



Little girls are sugar and spice and everything nice. And Sugarplum  is the perfect pattern for every little girl. Whether they are on the playground, or in the classroom, they will be ready for anything!



Who doesn't love red? And this red is hot! It's flirty and fun and everything we love about our Nuu-Muus!

And, there is a mini version!





I love this rich color!  It is the perfect shade of teal, not too green.  It looks great with gold, purple, brown, black, and even red!



Gray is the perfect neutral! You can wear just about any color with gray. You could try pastels or bold jewel tones, which makes this Ruu a must have in any running wardrobe!



Motivate Wraps

Momentum has added three great new colors and we have them! Coral, neon green and yellow! Which color speaks to you?




I am so excited about this find! I know we have all spent lots of money on running apparel to pause when we go to pin a race number on it! The fear of holes in our precious apparel is very real! But racedots are a solution to that! They are a magnetic positioning system for your race bib. Just snap them on,  position your bib and no more fears of holes!


Stay tuned because there will be many new items this season that I am so excited to bring you! 

Yoga Poses for Runners That You Should Try

By Susan LaDuke
on August 07, 2015
With 0 comments

Yoga for Runners?

If you are a runner and you aren't doing yoga as part of your weekly routine, you might want to reconsider.

Injuries are a runner's nemesis. But anyone who has run for any length of time knows they are also part of the gig. If you run, you will have injuries. Injury prevention becomes a lesson learned methodology. If we overtrain, we get injuries, so we learn to take breaks, ease our mileage up and cross train. If we don't stretch we find our muscles stay tight and pull against one another causing injuries that take time (weeks sometimes) to recover.

As we age, our flexibility naturally diminishes. I have had my share of running injuries in my 34 years of running. I have learned how to prevent many of them. Suddenly I am riddled with plantar faciitis, old Achilles injuries, and hamstring tweaks. It was time to acknowledge that despite the fact that I feel 35, my body is 48 and just not as young, and flexible as it used to be.  I decided it was finally time to look at yoga as a means of easing some of my ailments. After some research, these are some poses recommended for runners to help with running efficiency and injury prevention.

Since I am not a yoga expert (a yogi) I have included both images of the poses and a video that will walk you through the poses to ensure you are performing each move correctly.

Like any  exercise you undertake, don't attempt without clearance from your doctor. Follow the steps and adhere to the cautions you receive. Even though it is low impact, injuries can occur if improper technique is used.


8 Poses to Try:



Downward Dog:


  (photo credit: © Fizkes, Dreamstime.com)


This pose is a standing, mild inversion, stretching pose. Stretches and strengthens the whole body. Can help with back pain.  This pose is one of the first poses you will encounter when learning yoga. It is also a great transition pose so you will use it many times through a yoga routine. It is an easy pose to do and will stretch you out all over.  watch video now


Tree Pose: 

 (photo credit: © Samiramay, Dreamstime.com)

This pose is a balancing standing pose.  Strengthens legs, and tendons in the feet and improves balance. Balance is important to runners. As we encounter bumps, dips and uneven trails, we struggle to keep our balance, our center of gravity upright to prevent lurching forward and finding ourselves sprawled out on the pavement (trust me when I say this is something to seriously avoid). In addition, our bodies will try to correct and adjust our balance in these situations. These adjustments can cause injuries, a bad word to runners. This article from Active.com explains the importance of balance to runners.  watch video now


Triangle Pose:

 (photo credit: © Fizkes, Dreamstime.com)


This is a standing pose. It strengthens the legs, stretches the groins, hamstrings, and hips, and opens the chest and shoulders. Tight hamstrings can be a sideliner for any runner. Let's face it, we need our hamstrings to run. Pulled hamstrings are a very common injury that can wreck your training plans. Hamstring injuries can begin at work, while you are innocently sitting at your desk. Sitting at your desk, or spending lots of time driving or flying can cause your leg to sit in a shortened position with your knees bent.   watch video now


Forward Fold: 

(photo credit: © Fizkes, Dreamstime.com)

This pose is a forward bend pose. Stretches and lengthens the hamstrings. This article does a great job explaining how our hamstring issues begin and what we can do about it.  watch video now


Pyramid Pose:


    (photo credit: © Fizkes, Dreamstime.com)

This is a standing, bending forward pose. Stretches and strengthens the legs, especially the hamstrings.  watch video now


Half Lord of the Fishes Twist:

  (photo credit: © Fizkes, Dreamstime.com)

This is a seated twist pose. Opens the shoulders, neck and hips while stretching the spine. The hip is vital to every runner. Every stride requires your hip joint to pull forward. Every time you plant your foot, your hip feels it. Keeping that joint loose is vital to injury prevention.    watch video now


Hero Pose   

(photo credit: © Fizkes, Dreamstime.com)

 This is a seated pose. It stretches the thighs and ankles and improves posture. Warning on this pose: watch your knees. If you need to you can sit on a yoga block to ease any knee discomfort.  watch video now

Pigeon Pose:  

  (photo credit: © Fizkes, Dreamstime.com)

This pose is an excellent pose for opening up the hips. It helps increase the external range of motion in the hip socket, as well as lengthen the hip flexor. This is especially helpful in preventing Iliotibial Band Syndrome (IBS). Stretching exercises for the muscles on the outside of the hip in particular are important. The tensor fascia latae muscle is the muscle at the top of the IT band and if this is tight then it can cause the band to be tight increasing the friction on the side of the knee.

Using this pose, you can help increase flexibility in the hips.  watch video now

Try this Tasty Vegetarian Recipe: Garbanzo Beans Puttanesca

By Susan LaDuke
on April 06, 2015
With 0 comments

I don't consider myself a foodie. My kids are very picky and truthfully, I am not very adventurous in my food choices. This recipe is what I would consider comfort food! The polenta is so creamy and delicious. The puttanesca sauce is so tangy and flavorful that I ate until my belly hurt.

This is a meatless dish, so my husband was a bit disappointed in that. But now I am armed with a little more information than I had when I first prepared this dish. You see, one cup of garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) contains almost 12 grams of protein. This dish is loaded with vegetables and good fats. Plus, it is so pretty on the plate that I almost didn't want to eat it. I just wanted to take pictures of it!

The dish was quick which is a qualifier for me to even consider cooking it. The sauce would freeze well if you wanted to double it and sock some away for a night you need a quick meal. Qualifier number 2 for me when choosing a new recipe. The polenta probably won't freeze as well. I used quick polenta, so I didn't feel that was a huge downside to this recipe.

My kids wouldn't touch it, but my husband and I both loved it. Maybe your kids are a bit more adventurous than mine. Funny, my oldest loves sushi, especially if it has eel on it. Doesn't bat an eye at fish eggs, or seaweed. But, she wouldn't even consider this dish.

For the original recipe, check out Mountainmamacooks.com



1/2 cup polenta

2 cups water

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 tbsp. butter

2-3 tbsp. half and half

Note: I used instant polenta, and just followed the directions for preparation from the box. I did add the butter, cheese and half and half as the recipe called for.

Garbanzo Bean Puttanesca:

3 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 c. finely chopped onion

2-3 cloves finely minced garlic

1 (14 oz) can stewed tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano

1 (14 oz) can petite diced tomatoes

1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, quartered

2 tbsp. drained capers

1/2 tsp dried crushed basil

1/8 tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes (optional- I left this out for my kids)


1 (14 oz) can garbanzo beans (aka chick peas)


For the polenta:

1. in a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Slowly stir in polenta and salt. Bring back to a boil and then immediately turn to low and let polenta simmer about 30-40 minutes. Add a tablespoon or two of water if polenta gets too thick.

2. Off heat, stir in parmesan cheese, butter and half and half. Check for seasoning and add a pinch of salt if desired. Keep warm until ready to serve.

3. For puttanesca sauce:

4. In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until soft and lightly carmelized, about 5 minutes.

5. Add the kalamata olives and capers and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more.

6. Add both cans of tomatoes and simmer until the sauce is thickened and slightly reduced, about 20 minutes.

7. Add garbanzo beans, and adjust seasoning to taste.

8. Divide polenta between 4 plates and top with puttanesca sauce. Garnish with fresh basil if desired.



Serve with a salad and a glass of red wine.

File this one under delicious and quick!




Avocado and Feta Cheese Orzo Salad

By Susan LaDuke
on January 12, 2015
With 0 comments

I love anything that has feta, tomatoes and cucumbers all in one bowl! This tasty salad has orzo pasta and avocadoes to boot. It is fast, simple, tasty and light on the waist line.

To make this last for lunches for the week, I prepped a bowl of the orzo, pre-chopped the cucumbers, then whipped up a small container of the dressing. Each day I just layered the pasta, veggies, avocado and a little of the dressing in a container. Perfection!

This recipe is so easy, that in truth, even I couldn't mess it up! My kids ate several bowls of this when I made it for lunch. And that, my friends, makes it one of my all time favorite recipes!




The ingredients are simple and easy to find.

  • 3 to 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • ½ cup orzo, cooked
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, sliced
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup cubed feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • juice of 1 small lemon
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • Follow this link to the original recipe by diethood.com
  • Enjoy!




    Cranberry Pistachio Energy Bites

    By Susan LaDuke
    on August 11, 2014
    With 0 comments

    My girls are always very hungry after school. I am always looking for something to give them that is both sweet and good for them. I found this recipe from Gimme Some Oven (one of my favorite sites for great recipes). If I know one thing, it's if you find a good recipe, you should share it.


    This is me paying it forward. You're welcome.

    Cranberry Pistachio Energy Bites


  • 8 oz. (about 1 packed cup) chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. ground flax seeds or wheat germ
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats (dry, not cooked)
  • 1 cup shelled pistachio nuts
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips (optional)
  • Combine the dates, honey, chia seeds, flax seeds and salt in a food processor, and pulse until smooth and combined. You should be able to stir the mixture -- if it is too thick, add in another tablespoon or two of honey.

    Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, and stir in the oats, pistachios, dried cranberries, and white chocolate chips until evenly combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

    Once the mixture is cool (and easier to work with), use a spoon or cookie scoop to shape it into your desired size of energy balls. (Mine were about 1-inch in diameter.) Alternately, you can line a small baking pan with parchment paper, and press the mixture evenly into the pan, let it cool, and then cut into bars.

    Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. (Storing them in the refrigerator especially helps the energy bites hold their shape.)

  • Makes about 30 energy bites.


    Grilled Cilantro Chicken with Tomato and Avocado Salsa

    By Susan LaDuke
    on July 22, 2014
    With 0 comments

    I love to grill anything and everything. This recipe appeals to me on so many levels. I love cilantro. So much that I bought my own cilantro plant so I can have fresh cilantro whenever needed.

    With this recipe, it had me at "avocado". Avocados are not only tasty but loaded with lots of healthy tidbits. First of all, they contain over 30 g of healthy fats. They also have more potassium than a banana. They have lutein which is important for eye health. They also have the highest protein of any fruit.

    But we can't ignore the fact that the recipe is just plain tasty! And easy. Not to mention that it will be easy to make this ahead and put in the freezer for another day, saving prep time.

    This delicious recipe comes via Myrecipes.com



    Grilled Cilantro Chicken with Tomato and Avocado Salsa

    (image courtesy cherryonmysundae.com)

    What you need:                


    1 pound beefsteak tomatoes, quartered and seeded

    2 serrano chiles, thinly sliced

    1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

    1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

    2 1/2 tablespoons packed light or dark brown sugar

    1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

    4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

    1 tablespoon minced garlic

    2 teaspoons mustard seeds

    2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper

    2 teaspoons ground cumin

    1 teaspoon cayenne

    1/2 teaspoon turmeric

    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    2 firm-ripe avocados



    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    1/4 cup fresh lime juice

    1/2 cup chopped cilantro

    1 tablespoon ground cumin

    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    4 chicken breast halves with bone and skin (2 1/2 lbs. total)


    For the complete recipe Click here 



    - for freezer recipe, double the marinade recipe, mix the ingredients, dump in freezer bag with chicken and put in the freezer. When you want to serve it, just pull from the freezer and put in the fridge. The chicken will marinade while it thaws and will be ready to go. You will just have to prep the salsa.

    -allow the salsa to sit in the seasoning for at least an hour

    -use fresh cilantro for maximum flavor penetration


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