Marathon Training with REAL Food

Hi everyone! Wow, this is exciting! Before I get into the good stuff let me introduce myself. I’m Kerri (Heather’s younger sister) and I recently graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and start my job as an RN sooo soon. I’ll be working with newborns and their mamas, I cannot wait!  AND, I am running my second marathon next weekend (omg!). I offered to write a blog post for Heather because right now she has a lot going on with her new job, new home, and upcoming trip (woah! stressful). I know she was itching to get something out there for you wonderful people, so I wanted to help!

Marathon Training with REAL Food - Heather Pavlik RDN

Heather + I after our first marathon

Marathon Training with REAL Food - Heather Pavlik RDN

In SF!

Okay that’s enough small talk, let’s take a look at my training and how I fuel before, during, and after my runs.

I base my meals on real, whole food ingredients and yes, I have totally noticed the benefits, booyahhhh! I want to show you what a typical week of training looks like for me.  

A Week in Training

Here is an example of my “peak” week from a couple weeks ago.

  • Monday: 5.5 miles easy + 30 mins lifting (Chest and Back) + 30 mins Ab class + 1 hr cardioboxing Marathon Training with REAL Food - Heather Pavlik RDN
  • Tuesday: 12 miles- 2 mile WU | 8 miles @ 8:30 pace | 2 mile CD
  • Wednesday: 6 miles easy + 1 hr cardioboxing
  • Thursday: 1 hour walk + 1 hr lifting (biceps+shoulders)
  • Friday: 22 miles- holy poop. This was my longest training run ever. I was scared. BUT so ready to tackle this hill in my training.

{GUYS. The best part was I had cold watermelon waiting for me in the car. Instant happiness becauseeee watermelon is my spirit animal.}

Marathon Training with REAL Food - Heather Pavlik RDN

  • Saturday: REST- thank heavens.
  • Sunday: 5 mile recovery run- best morning ever. Fall was absolutely in the air that morning.

How I Fuel My Runs

  • Early morning runs (holla at sunrise runs): Just water. Unless I am running 10+ miles.
  • Long runs (10+): Some examples of what I do.
    • Pre run: 1 banana, larabar, date energy bites, water
    • During: date energy bites, applesauce/fruit pouch, larabar, water
    • Post: huge breakfast with all the good stuff (#ALLthemeat)

Marathon Training with REAL Food - Heather Pavlik RDN

Marathon Training with REAL Food - Heather Pavlik RDN

Oh and I just wanted to add, running is hard. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Marathon training makes you tired, it wears you out, but it creates a strong you and you can push yourself beyond limits that once existed in your mind. So keep on trucking along. Run with your heart & you totally got this.

Woah, okay you are probably extremely ready to give me the boot. I just have so much to tell you and so little space. But, one last thing before I have to go…

5 Ways Real Food Fuel Benefits My Running

  1. No tummy troubles.  The bloating is gone and my belly remains happy the entire run.
  2. More stamina.  I can run longer without feeling totally fatigued and my endurance continues to improve each week.
  3. Increased energy levels. WHOOP. I love everythingggg. (I rarely drink caffeine so this is a bonus)
  4. Better sleep. Now this may be because I’m totally exhausted, but I think it’s a combination of both being wiped out and JERFing. Just eat real food folks. 
  5. Quick recovery time.  I swear this true. It’s incredible. After my 22 miler I was ready to run within a day or so with no issues.

Phew! I’m done for real now. Thank you lovely people for hanging in there with me and I hope you learned something!  I may not be Heather, but I’m close enough because we are basically twins. Love and miss ya sister. Wish me luck in my race and I’ll let you know how it goes. Fingers crossed!

Your watermelon-loving and wordy new friend,



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