Chicago Marathon 2023 Training Week 1

Spring is here and that means I’m getting ready to kick off my training for the Chicago Marathon!

I’m still in the base-building phase for a few more weeks, but my coach is beginning to ramp up the miles in prep for marathon training to really kick off. We haven’t settled on goals just yet for Chicago 2023, but I’m really hoping to PR! This will be my 6th marathon, and first world majors.

So without much more let’s jump into how training went!

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Quick Highlights

Video Recap

Prefer a video? Here’s my YouTube recap from the week. If you like it, please like and subscribe to my channel – I appreciate the support!

YouTube video

Weekly Miles

This week my miles increased to 36, with my long run topping out at 12 miles. Here’s how my weekly runs broke down:


Tuesday was an easy 6 mile run that I was able to do outside! It’s finally starting to warm up here so it was nice to be able to take a break from the treadmill and get outside. One thing I have been struggling with when I do go outside is learning how to pace myself again, so that’s something I’ll keep working on over the next few weeks.


Wednesday used to be my strength training day, but since switching to a 2 day program I’ve added on some easy miles and recovery. I did 3 miles easy and then followed it up with a 30 minute total body foam roll class on Tempo.


Thursday’s workout was a speed workout that I thought was going to be so easy when I looked at it, but ended up being the perfect challenge. It was a slow warmup with some strides, then looked like a fast 1 mile, rest for 3 minutes, fast for 3 miles, rest for 3 min, another fast mile, then cooldown to 7 miles.

I think the hardest part of this run was staying in my pace zones, despite me mentally just wanting to speed up to get it over with. I’m glad that I stuck to the plan because as I wrapped up the 3rd mile and began the last fast mile, my legs were getting really sore and I was feeling the previous reps.

For this run I did it on the treadmill so I could control the speed and used a Bec’s marathon prep class on my Peloton tread for it.


Another easy 6 mile run, this time on the tread. I took this one indoors to take advantage of having childcare and just kept it at an easy effort, still focusing on pacing.


I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t dreading Sunday’s long run. The miles weren’t as intimidating to me as the 40 mph gusty winds and rain were. But if there were ever conditions to mimic Chicago, this was probably the best.

Over my long run I had a chance to reflect on training (and a lot of other things in 2 hours) and realized just how different training is now as I’m a mom versus years ago when I’d try to train for races and mentally couldn’t do it. Long runs were so boring and I struggled so much getting through them, but now it’s so easy.

I’m not sure if it’s because since becoming a mom I really cherish quiet time, and really appreciate when I have time to pause and think. Or maybe it’s the years of practice and just getting used to long runs. Or now that I’m running slow and easy I find there just isn’t as much pressure on me as there used to be (or at least it feels that way!)

Either way, they’ve become a highlight of my week and something I look forward to!

Strength Training

This week I started a new strength program called MAPS Resistance. There’s a few different programs in it (a body weight, dumbbells or gym equipment) and I’m doing the dumbbell one. I’m really enjoying it so far and it’s been a good addition to my routine – it’s not too long, but it’s also super effective and total body.

I did these two workouts with a 1 mile warmup beforehand, and then finished the workouts with a diastasis recti core workout.

Other Things

Speaking of diastasis recti, I got some great news from my doctor this week! I had been referred a few months ago to possibly have surgery to correct my diastasis recti and after speaking to the surgeon, it doesn’t seem like it’s totally necessary at this point.

What initially caused the consultation was some extreme pain I’d randomly have that my OB thought was related to it, but over the past few months, it seems to have gone away. At my consult the surgeon didn’t seem to think the DR was causing it so cleared me to continue training and working out and no surgery needed at this point. What a relief!

I had been so nervous about this because it could’ve essentially made me miss training for quite a while and possibly miss Chicago, so this is very exciting for me! I’m still being super careful and continuing to focus on strength training and doing my PT and corrective work so hopefully that’ll help me continue healing.

Final Thoughts

So far Chicago Marathon training is off to a great start! I’m feeling strong, motivated and excited for what’s to come. This week I was able to stay consistent and push myself when needed, so all in all it was a great week of training!


  • Ali Van Straten

    Ali Van Straten is the founder and journalist of Champagne and Coffee Stains. She is a Peloton expert, certified running coach and certified nutrition coach. Champagne and Coffee Stains provides information and resources on Peloton Interactive, running and recipes.

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  1. I love your video recap – just subscribed to your YouTube channel!

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