Three Keys To Any Training Plan

We’ve got a guest post today from my running coach Denny Krahe. Denny  is a Certified Athletic Trainer and Running Coach specializing in helping runners prevent common running injuries and experiencing the joy of running pain free. He also hosts  “Diz Runs Radio”

Denny Krahe Headshot

Officially getting into the workouts on your training plan for your next race is an exciting time.

You’re no longer running just to run, you’re running in the pursuit of a goal that is 16ish weeks away.

Whether you have downloaded a training plan online, are putting one together on your own, and have purchased a training plan from a good coach you now have a plan to help you get from where you are currently to where you want to be on race day.

So all you need to do is follow the training plan, right?

Not exactly…

3 Keys to a Successful Training Cycle

Honestly, is there anything in life that ends up being as simple as it sounds on paper?

I didn’t think so.

Here are 3 keys that I stress with all of the runners that I coach and that I stress in my upcoming book Be Ready on Race Day. I would strongly encourage you to keep these tips in mind as you dive into your training plan and start preparing for your race.

  • Your Plan is NOT Set in Stone

If I were only going to give you one tip to be successful in your training, this would be it!

Your plan is not set in stone. It is not gospel.

If you need to change something in your training plan because of factors beyond your control, that is fine.

The kids are going to need something that will screw up your plan for the day. You are going to have to go into work early/stay late which will cost you a run. The weather might take a turn and you might be too stubborn to even consider running on a treadmill.

(Maybe that last one is just me…)

The point is, at some point in your training cycle the odds are that something will pop up and conflict with your training plan.

No worries.

Be willing to adjust your plan as needed because I can almost guarantee that you’re going to need to.

  • No Single Run is “Do or Die”

When life happens and you’re forced to miss a workout, how do you react?

Whether you turn to hysterics, break down and cry, or give up on your training altogether I have news for you: the sun is going to come up tomorrow.

Meaning, when you miss a run life keeps going and you need to as well.

I promise you, if you only miss one run while you are training for your race, you will still be fully prepared for your race.

Think about it, how many miles are you going to put in between now and race day? Probably a few hundred? Do you really think that missing one run is going to undo all of the progress you’ll have made during this training cycle.


When you miss a run, let it go and move on because that run isn’t going to cost you a thing.

You know what will cost you? Missing a run and then trying to make up for it the next day and you end up with an injury.

Please, don’t make that mistake.

If you miss a run, do your best to simply brush it off and move on to the next day.

  • Listen to Your Body

Our bodies are amazing.

The things that your body allows you to do, the amount of information it processes every second of every day, and how it adapts to the demands that you place on it are astounding.

When something isn’t right, our bodies know about it right away.

And, for the most part, it does a great job of letting us know that something is going on that needs to be addressed.

We, however, tend to do a terrible job of listening to our bodies.

We may notice that there is something that doesn’t feel quite right, but since we are training for a race we keep grinding and try to ignore the pain.

Has that ever solved anything? I didn’t think so.

What happens instead is that the problem gets worse in order for us to accept that there is a problem and do something to try and fix it.

But here’s the thing: if you listen to what your body is telling you and act accordingly, you can often prevent it from getting worse while you continue running. When you wait until it gets bad enough that you have to address it, you will likely need to take time off for the body to do the necessary repair work.

Learning how to listen to your body and adjust your training appropriately is a skill that takes some time to learn, but it is invaluable if you plan to make running part of your life for many years to come.

Perfection is Impossible

In a perfect world you’d get your training plan, follow it to the letter, and nail your goals on race day.

This is, however, a far from perfect world in which we live.

As you begin your training plan to prepare for your race, remember that perfection is impossible.

You will not adhere to your plan perfectly.

So when life happens, and it will, keep these tips in mind as you continue to prepare for your race.


Weekly Wrap: 1/9-1/15

Yesterday was a Federal Holiday so please excuse the tardiness…The start of the year means new opportunites for us and this week we received word on two more excellent opportunities. First, we learned we were selected as Ambassadors for Wiivv. To be able to get Custom Fit 3D Printed Insoles from the comfort of home is technologically sophisticated and frankly, quite amazing.

Travis runs up to 2,000 miles a year and lives in work boots the rest of the time, so his feet could use a break from the daily grind. Wiivv insoles are designed to reduce plantar fasciitis pain, joint discomfort and general foot fatigue and help you #KeepGoing day and night. We look forward to working with Wiivv throughout the year.

We also recently received word that we will be representing Nuun as Ambassadors for a second year! We both have been using Nuun products for the better part of three years and have noticed a major improvement in our hydration when Nuun is included on a daily basis.


Not familiar with Nuun, that’s okay. It’s simply an electrolyte enhanced drink tablet designed for an on-the-go lifestyle. packed with electrolytes, light flavor, and made from clean ingredients, nuun is the perfect sports drink for any of the activities you do. Drop a nuun tablet into 16oz of water and you’re good to go.

The electrolytes found in nuun (sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium) will help alleviate cramps, help muscles function, communicate and burn energy efficiently.

So with that, lets get to our recap.

Jen: It was good to get a solid week of runs in last week leading up to vacation when the running might end up being a little bit lax. I’m not sure what our resort will have in the way of a gym/path outside, so the plan is to just do what I can, when I can.
Since my injury, I’ve switched things up a little and added in an extra rest day on Tuesdays. It doesn’t seem to be affecting my training at all and my body appreciates the extra day off before speed work on Wednesdays. During my long run on Saturday I started to feel the aches and pains that can only mean one thing…time for new shoes! The Brooks Ravennas I have been running in were way over their mileage and I was definitely starting to feel it.

Monday: 3 miles easy

Tuesday: Rest Day

Wednesday: 1 mile w/u, 3×1 mile with 400m recovery, 1 mile c/d

Thursday: 3 miles easy

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 7.5 miles

Sunday: Rest Day

– It’s been weird the last 7-10 days for me. We had company in town from the 8th – 10th and of course I always feel guilty leaving friends and family to get a run in so I missed some days. I did okay during the week until this past weekend when I developed a severe blister on my right foot during my long run. The blister urged me to take it easy for two days while it healed.

I have some new shoes arriving this week with just under 500 miles logged on my current shoes. Hopefully my new Wivv custom insoles arrive soon and I can start fresh in both! My messed up week finished as follows:

Monday: Skipped

Tuesday: 8 Miles @ 7:19 pace

Wednesday: 6 Miles @ 7:34 pace

Thursday: 9 Miles — 1 mile w/u, 4 miles marathon pace, 1 mile easy, 2 miles marathon pace, 1 mile c/d

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 9 Miles @ 8:27 pace

Sunday: Skipped

Linked with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap


Friday Five 2.0 1/13 – Dream Winter Vacations

Happy happy Friday! Is it just me or do the last few weeks/days leading up to a vacation seem to take forever to pass? That’s where we are right now. A week from tomorrow we’ll be headed to Punta Cana for a week of relaxing in the sun. There’s still a million things to do between now and then but there’s light at the end of the tunnel!

This week’s Friday Five is all about vacations! We live in a winter climate (although looking out the window and seeing grass in January, it seems a bit strange) so it’s fun to daydream about all the warm places to visit during the cold months. Here are five places we’d love to visit in the winter!

  1. Lake Placid, NY- This is one of our favorite places to visit. Neither of us ski or snowboard but Lake Placid offers a lot more than that. For those that do ski or snowboard there’s Whiteface mountain. There’s also a bobsled and luge experience, ice skating on the Olympic Oval, dog sled rides on Mirror Lake and an adorable downtown.dsc01307
  2. Hawaii- This one is pretty high on my bucket list of vacations. I’m not even sure where I’d want to begin. Maybe just island hop for a week?
  3. The Dominican- This obviously makes our list. Punta Cana looks gorgeous and the weather is shaping up to be perfect. We’re staying at an all inclusive resort but have some off site activities planned like zip-lining and snorkeling.
  4. Disney- Winter and spring seem to be the best time to visit Disney. You don’t have to deal with the Florida summer heat and park crowds are a little thinner. Almost all of our Disney trips have been during winter months and the temperature has been perfect!img_1763
  5. Alaska- I think this was one we mentioned the last time we talked about vacations. Travis lived in Denali for a summer when he was in college and always talks about what a great experience it was and is dying to get back sometime soon.senior-year-photos-024

Tell us, what’s the best vacation you’ve ever taken?

We’re linking with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0


Friday Five 2.0 1/6 — 2017 Goals

It’s that time of year again! Along with just about everyone, we’ve set some goals that we’d like to accomplish in the upcoming year.


Jen: for the most part I’ve decided on making general goals rather than specifics.

  1. Read More: reading is one of my favorite things to do and yet I never seem to find the time. My goal is to read at least one chapter of a book each night before bed. I’m starting off the year with Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. I’ve started a running list of books that I’d like to read on Good Reads, so I’ll happily take any suggestions you might have!
  2. Consistency: I’d like to do everything that I can to avoid injury again this year. So one of my goals (this actually might be my main goal for the year) is to be consistent- consistent with running, consistent with cross training and consistent with prehab and everything else that can keep my hip happy.
  3. PR in the half marathon and 5K distances: I’ve been working towards a 2:30 half for a while now and I’d like to keep chipping time off towards hitting that time. I’d also like to finally hit a sub-30 5K at some point this year!
  4. Fundraise $3,000 for Autism Speaks. Ok, this one is specific. I’d like to double what I was able to fundraise through Team Up! last year. In addition to our Piece By Piece 5K in June which is the main fundraising event for the both of us, I’ve got a few fun ideas in the works. I’m currently planning a paint and sip class as a fundraiser and am in contact with a local Zumba instructor about doing something with her as well.  Autism is a cause very close to our hearts so it is very important to me to raise as much as I can and bring as much awareness as I
  5. Run a full marathon: This is a carry over goal from last year. My hip injury prevented me from running Chicago last fall, so hopefully this is the year!



  1. Run 2,000 Miles: This is by far my toughest goal this year. I ran 1,916 miles in 2016 but I am having surgery this March and will out of commission for a minimum of 8 weeks. My mileage before and after surgery will have to be high.
  2. Increase Our Charity 5k Participation to 150 People: For that last two years we have had 131 and 132 participants. I would like to hit the 150 mark this year!
  3. Finish House Projects: Owning a home means a never ending to do list. This year one of my goals is to at least get semi caught up on some of the projects that have been sitting on the back burner- like staining the decks and the new fence.
  4. Grow My YouTube Channel: A while back I posted a series of YouTube videos on the Garmin VivoActive HR. I really enjoyed doing the videos and it’s something I’d like to explore a little further this year.
  5. Run a Sub 3:15 Marathon: I’m not sure if this one will be possible given that I’m having surgery, but I’d like to PR at the marathon distance. I’ll need to take 12 seconds off to hit 3:15, so we’ll see if I can make it happen!img_0150



We’re linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0!


Welcome to 2017…wait, what?

We would like to wish each and everyone reading this a Happy New Year! As you may have noticed, we have been pretty absent since November. This absence was partly by design and mostly because life has been kicking our butts.


No excuses, we need to be better. We want to be and we will be. Not just for our readers, but for us. We started this blog in the spring of 2015 as a project to work on as a couple. It’s a spot where we put down or thoughts, list out goals, talk about our struggles and mostly keep it real.

I wish we had some grand plan for 2017, but we don’t. What we do know is that we will both be members of the SLS3 Racing Team for 2017, we will be hosting our third charitable 5k in June and representing Autism Speaks at this year’s 40th  Chicago Marathon in October.

The rest of our race calendar for 2017 is nearly finished. You can check out the race calendar  page to see which races we’ll be attending throughout the year.

As always there are going to be some challenges ahead- Travis will be undergoing surgery at the end of March. Barring any unforeseen complications he should fully recovered and ready to go for Chicago training.

Also, we are eagerly awaiting the end of the month when we get to take our first vacation sans kids in over five years. We love our kiddos, but Mom and Dad need a quick recharge! We’re headed to the sunny Dominican Republic for a week with some good friends. We’ve got some fun excursions planned like snorkeling and zip lining. Can’t wait!

Over the last couple of weeks not only did we celebrate Christmas and New Years, but both of our kids birthdays as well! Parker turned five this year and Peyton turned two. We’re having a party for them this coming weekend, but here’s some photos from their birthday  celebrations at home. With having birthdays only a day a part, we make sure that each child gets their own celebration. For Parker we had a pizza picnic on the floor and Peyton was turned into a princess for the day complete with nails and a ball gown.

We are very much looking forward to what 2017 has to bring, and hope to connect with you all very soon!

Our 2016 Holiday Gift Ideas – and a Present to One Lucky Reader

Christmas is only ten days away, and while we think we are finished with our shopping there always seems to be one gift that we forget we needed to purchase and end up shopping at the last-minute.

Today we wanted to share some gift ideas for the runner in your life. Keep reading all the way through, we’ve got a giveaway from Holloway to share as well!

Stocking Stuffers:

Road ID– Every runner should have one of these. We seriously can’t recommend them enough! Customize it with a badge or two to match their personality. They even make ID’s that snap onto an Apple Watch and Fitbit or Garmin fitness trackers and watches.

Nuun- A tube or two of a favorite flavor makes the perfect stocking stuffer.

Buff– These are such versatile pieces! With 12 different ways to wear it, a Buff makes a great addition to any runner’s closet!

A Personalized Gift:

What better way to surprise a runner than to commemorate hitting a goal, or celebrating a year of accomplishments? This one can go a couple of different ways.

If you’re the crafty type here’s a fun idea that only takes a short time to make.

I made these last year using the bibs from all of the races that Travis ran in 2015. Rather than cutting up the actual bib I made photo copies and cut them to fit the letters. A couple of layers of mod podge and some dry time (they should at least dry over night, but preferably a couple of days so they’re not tacky feeling) and you’re done!

You can also find a ton of running related gifts online that can easily be personalized. Each year we have a tradition of getting a new ornament for our tree, and I had this one made to commemorate Travis’ (former) PR in Chicago last year.


One final awesome personalized gift idea is to get a race course print made with all the pertinent information to remember the day. These are designed well, hand-made and look great in any room in your house.  I know from experience these are a wonderful gift to receive and will help commemorate that special someone’s hard work and dedication.


New Gear: 

Some awesome new gear is always on someone’s wish list. Here are a few gift ideas we know we would (or have) loved.

Every runner wants a GPS watch. You still don’t need one to enjoy the sport and get healthy but they are nice and provide a ton of useful information. In our household, we would recommend the Garmin Vivoactive lineup of watches. The Vivoactive and the Vivoactive HR are perfect watches for those maybe looking to take their training to a new level. Although not the most expensive or the cheapest available, they are respectably priced and offer way more features than simply time and distance. Be sure to check out our YouTube videos on the Vivoactive HR if you have questions (click the link in our “Connect with Us” section).


When your special someone is logging a lot of miles over the course of 2017, they will need to take every opportunity to recover. May we suggest the best compression socks / sleeves available anywhere. The SLS3 Compression lineup is amazing, affordable and best of all they come in sizes to fit your legs and an array of colors to match your outfit!  IMG_1647

If you run in cold weather like we do, you need a jacket that you can layer and will provide a break from the elements, without weighing too much or being to bulky. Enter, the Raider Softshell Jacket by Holloway Sportswear. This lightweight and weather-resistant jacket will become a staple for all your outdoor activities no matter the time of year.



Our friends at Holloway Sportswear have offered us a Raider Softshell Jacket (the men’s version is here and the women’s is here) to give away to one of our readers! Keep it for yourself or give it as a gift, that’s up to you! Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment telling us one thing on your Christmas List
  2. Follow @hollowaysportswear on Instagram and leave a comment telling us you did
  3. Follow @taleof2halfs on Instagram and leave a comment telling us you did!

The giveaway will run through December 21 and we’ll update this post with the winner. Good luck!


Congratulations to Maggie for winning the Holloway Sports Raider Softshell Jacket!

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