Hi everyone! Welcome to the very first episode of Runs on Espresso. I’m your host/runner/coffee lover, Jenna. Today’s topics include figuring out a training plan, getting back into said training after being glutened, and what virtual races and challenges I’ve got on the calendar.

Let’s start with some background and this week’s training.

Last year I used a running coach for the first time, but I’ve been on my own since January. I was planning to run a marathon in January, but breaking my leg last June didn’t give me enough time to increase my mileage fast enough. So needless to say, I’ve been feeling quite indecisive on my goals and training plans for most of 2020.

In my last blog post I talked about how indecisive I’ve been feeling about training plans. You can read that post at runsonespresso.com if you’re interested. This week I wrote down my big, general goals. These aren’t SMART or specific, they are big picture. Now I need to drill those down to actionable steps and determine how to best tie them to training. I hope to work on that more this coming week

So what are my big goals?

  1. Increase speed (duh, who doesn’t want to get faster?)
  2. Increase long run distances
  3. Run more trails
  4. Increase strength
  5. Decrease weight and body fat percent
  6. Add more cross-training, specifically the indoor bike

So that is where I’m at for goals. I’d love to hear from you. What are your current goals and how do you plan to reach them? Send me an email at jenna@runsonespresso.com and let me know!

I had previously decided to try the Garmin Coaching with Greg McMillian. It’s adaptive, so the algorithm looks at your training runs and adjusts it to your current fitness level and goal race pace. I picked the 10k because I figured it was a suitable distance for summer. I don’t know where you are, but in Phoenix it’s 90 degrees when I go out at 5 am. I struggle in the heat so I’ve dropped my long run distances until it cools down a bit.

I’ve been using it for about 3 weeks and I like the variety of workouts. I started off at low miles compared to what I was doing. I like not having to think and it loads everything into my watch. It makes it super easy. I think it also makes me accountable to someone (or to a computer) and I’m more likely to work towards the goal. When it’s only myself with no race coming up I don’t feel the urgency to hit goal paces except in speed work. I think easy run? Ok, I’ll go easy and up going too easy. My only regret with the Coaching is, should I have chosen the half marathon distance?

Oh, and now I’m thinking of adding a virtual sprint duathlon. I recently bough an indoor bike and love it. I would do the duathlon October 3rd so I could start training this week and follow an 8 week plan. The distances are a 1 mile run, 12 mile ride, and 3.1 mile run. I’m up to 5 miles on the bike in about 21 minutes. I estimate it would take me 2ish hours to complete the duathlon. But if I do it, I need to change my training to include at least one day of blocks. I think I have a good handle on how to fit this in. I think. We will see when I try it out this week.

So what did I do this past week?

Sunday I stuck with weights. I wasn’t feeling well and didn’t want to push it. I‘ll give you a little more info about why I wasn’t feeling well in the food section.

Monday I attempted a progression run. I was feeling run down before I started and ended up calling it at 20 minutes. I was still pretty fatigued. But at least I tried. Wednesday I redeemed myself. I had another progression run and I hit goal paces. I almost didn’t hit the faster 10 minutes though. It was 86 degrees and I had to take two walk breaks in that last 10 minutes. I was getting too warm. Friday was an easy run. It called for 20 minutes at an easy pace and an optional additional 15 minutes. I woke up feeling crabby and not wanting to run. I got dressed and grumbled about running. Headed out the door and said I will do the 20 minutes but skip the optional 15. As I was running I was listening to the golden ratio podcast and I thought what would GR mom do? She would probably do the 15 optional minutes. I argued with myself a while longer and ultimately decided if i want to run an ultramarathon I need to put in the work, including running the optional minutes of the run. I do not regret doing those extra 15 minutes. Saturday I had speed work. It was 20 second strides at 177-187 cadence. It was another grumbly day but once I got out and going I felt better. I will admit that I walked during the recovery seconds instead of running and my cool down was a run/walk method. Either way I got out and did it.

I did all my strength training, core work, and plyo but my stretching fell short. I planned to do it Friday on my lunch break. I did about half the workout but my dog decided she needed to lay on me and would not leave me alone. I said I’d try later but never did. I also skipped yoga on Saturday. Definitely something I need to be better about.


Now, what am I doing all this training for? 

I’ve been doing the Aravaipa Insomniac Virtual series this summer. My next one will be Vertigo on August 15th. I hope to do the 20k (12.4 miles) on a trail. If 12 miles is looking a little out of reach, I’ll do the 10k (6.2 miles) option. I haven’t run double digits in a couple months. I’ve been hanging around 6-8 miles. No matter which distance I end at, it will be on a trail. Weekends are trail days.

And now, maybe adding a sprint duathlon. It will be a challenge to get in all the trail runs plus run/ride blocks for it. But I think I’m up for the challenge. The plan I’m looking at for the duathlon has one day of blocks and I can do that on a weekday before work instead of a weekend.

What upcoming races or challenges do you have coming up? I’d love to know! Email jenna@runsonespresso.com to let me know! 

I mentioned I didn’t run on Sunday because I wasn’t feeling well. I think I was glutened. I tried a new (to me) pizza place on the previous Thursday and must have had a tiny, tiny amount of cross-contamination. I ended up taking rest days on Friday and Saturday. So I came back slowly with only weights on Sunday and attempted to run on Monday. By Tuesday I was feeling much better and felt my energy level was back.

One big problem when I’m glutened? I become ravenous! I didn’t bother tracking food on Friday and Saturday. I ate everything. Sunday I started tracking again and have been going strong all week!

I started weighing in on Thursdays. Random, I know. I used to weigh on the weekends because I didn’t have to go to work. Now that I’m working from home and I don’t get up and workout on Thursdays, it makes a good day to weigh in. This week’s weigh in…. Ugh. Weight has gone up two weeks in a row. I’m trying to not let it get to me. I’m eating to fuel all the workouts I do. I’m getting stronger. I think I can see small changes in my body. My clothes are fitting better. Plus I ate with reckless abandon for 3-4 days and skipped exercise for a couple of days. I will keep up with my weekly weigh-ins and hope that eventually it starts going back down.

Ok, now it’s time for Coffee Corner. Although I don’t think it’s a good idea to bring sports back, I have to say I love watching the Coyotes in the playoffs! They beat Nashville in 4 games to make it to the next round. It’s been so freaking long since they have been in the playoffs. I hope they are still in so I can watch Coyotes playoff hockey on my birthday! 

Did I mention? I turn 40 this month. Its a weird feeling turning 40 during a pandemic. I don’t really know how I feel about this.

I’m not sure how I feel about the new Unsolved Mysteries on Netflix either. I like that they are really well done production wise and the intro. I kind of miss having multiple stories in one episode. THe new ones have one story per episode. I miss all of the paranormal stuff. And of course Robert Stack. Have you watched it? What do you think?

Oh, and for another blast from my past I started the new Babysitters Club on Netflix. I am really impressed with the production and acting. Those little girls are really good. It also feels very much like each book. I hope they do more! And I still wish I could pull off Claudia Kishi level style!

Ok, that’s all I have for you today. Let me know what you thought and what you want to hear about next week! You can email me at jenna@runsonespresso.com or find me on Instagram at runs_on_espresso. I know, hard to remember but someone else has runsonespresso.

Until then, I hope your runs are as strong as your coffee. 

Categories: Podcast


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.