TNFECS Wisconsin Training Weeks 1-4: First Build Done!

On Sunday, I finished off my first 4 weeks of training for TNFECS Wisconsin.  That long crazy acronym stands for The North Face Endurance Challenge Series Wisconsin.  Or I could make an even more ridiculous acronym and call it TNFECSWI.  But I’ll spare you.  I’m training to do the 50 miler there on September 16th, 2017.  I’m also an ambassador for the race; you can read this post to learn more.


TNFECS Wisconsin Ambassador


These first four weeks of  TNFECS Wisconsin training focused on getting back into a training routine and developing speed.  I ran 6 days a week with an active recovery day on Thursdays where I did heated yoga.  Most weekends, I spent both Saturday and Sunday on the trail.  One of my goals for this phase was to test out different speed activities.  I focused a lot on hill repeats because I saw that was a weakness of mine late in the Ice Age 50 mile race.


Below is a super brief summary of weeks 1-4.  The number in blue was the planned mileage, the number below was the actual workout.  The final column is my total weekly mileage.  If you want to know more, just ask!  You can also follow me on Strava to see more.


Week 1


Mon 6/5 Tues 6/6 Weds 6/7 Thurs 6/8 Fri 6/9 Sat 6/10 Sun 6/11 Total

5.5mi + strides

backwards running

8 speed

8.9 miles

8×2 min

6 easy + strength

6.5 (Global

Running Day)


Massage +


6 + NP


Felt sick



Maple Lake


7.25, LFT

Cricket Hill




TNFECS Wisconsin Week 1 highlights 
  • Speed workout of 8×2 minutes:  I felt very strong which was a good confidence boost for me for the first speed of a new cycle.
  • For Global Running Day on Wednesday, June 7th, I met Kyle, Margaret and my brother Jon at Universal Sole for their Burgers and Beer run.  It was great to catch up with Margaret and Kyle, plus I was so happy that Jon joined us!
  • Cupping massage on Thursday loosened things up so I was feeling sickly Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • Saturday morning it was just Al and I out at Maple Lake.  I started super early so I could make it to Vegan Festival in the afternoon.

TNFECS Wisconsin Training Week 1-4 Trail selfie


Week 2


Mon 6/12 Tues 6/13 Weds 6/14 Thurs 6/15 Fri 6/16 Sat 6/17 Sun 6/18 Total

5.3 + strides + 2.7 Orangetheory

9 speed

8.75 “Al Repeats” +Cryotherapy

6 easy + strength

5.5 + class





6 + NP

7.87,  6×45 sec hill repeats


16.3, Maple Lake


9.3, H.P





TNFECS Wisconsin Week 2 highlights 
  • Felt much better Monday morning.  Ran easy and then went to OrangeTheory to test out one of their classes.  It was an interval class with ~15 minutes on the treadmill and then ~15 minutes of HIIT weight training on the floor.  There was also some rowing mixed in.

TNFECS Wisconsin training

  • On Tuesday, I met Al at Cricket Hill where he showed me his hill repeat loop.  It’s .3miles of up and down hill as fast as you can go.  I did 2×6 reps with 30 seconds rest between, 2 minutes between sets.  I LOVED it- that’s the kind of speed and hill workout that will prepare me well for the elevation change in TNFECS Wisconsin!
  • On Tuesday, I also tried out cryotherapy at Cryo Chicago.

Cryo Chicago Experience review + Giveaway

  • On Friday the 16th, I did some hill repeats on the bridge by Lake Shore Drive.  6×45 seconds.  As I was running up the hill two bikers were struggling to get up the hill, one of them shouted, “Damn girl, you’re flying!”  Made my day.  Enjoyed breakfast with the NP crew afterwards of course.
  • Sunday, I was in Highland Park for a bridal shower, so I just did some easy miles around town.


Week 3


Mon 6/19 Tues 6/20 Weds 6/21 Thurs 6/22 Fri 6/23 Sat 6/24 Sun 6/25 Total

5.15 + 3.75 mi at NP pop-up

9 speed

9 – 4 tempo


6 + strength

6 + EDGE





6 (hills) + NP

RAINY = 6 on treadmill + Core class at EDGE


18, Swallow Cliff



11.45, LFT






TNFECS Wisconsin Week 3 highlights 
  • On Monday, NP had a pop-up workout by the North Avenue Bridge.  It was so close that I couldn’t NOT go. (Sorry, double negative, cringe). We did a stair and bridge workout, so I counted it towards strength training.
  • Jon came to NP Track Tuesday!  My 4 mile tempo was: 7:13, 7:13, 7:09, 7:01.  Felt great!

TNFECS Wisconsin Training Weeks 1-4 Jon Track

  • Friday rained a lot.  Since I was in the office, I didn’t want to get rained on and then not shower.  I opted for treadmill and going to Core Class at EDGE instead of Novemeber Project.  I really miss my hugs.
  • On Saturday, I ran with Al and Miana at Swallow Cliff.  I discovered new single track there!
  • Sunday was Chicago Pride.  Instead of going trail running and dealing with the traffic, I chose to run with Kaitlyn on the path.  We hadn’t run together in MONTHS and I was so happy to see her!



Week 4


Mon 6/26 Tues 6/27 Weds 6/28 Thurs 6/29 Fri 6/30 Sat 7/1 Sun 7/2 Total

5.5 at NP pop-up

9 speed

9, 14 Hill repeats

8  + strength

8.3 at NP PR Day


Strength (Vegas) 

7 + NP

6.25 (Vegas)


15.25, Maple Lake


11.0 Maple Lake




TNFECS Wisconsin Week 4 highlights 
  • I was craving social time and hugs so instead of a rest day I went to the NP pop-up at North Ave Bridge again.  I kept it easy and modified some of the workouts.
TNFECS Wisconsin Training Weeks 1-4 NP popup raest day
Post workout goofiness
  • Added more intervals to the Cricket Hill workout.  Felt a bit harder, I think it’s just cumulative fatigue.
  • I was traveling for work to Las Vegas on Wednesday, so instead of going to EDGE I chose to stay local and go to November Project.  It was PR day, so I was able to get in hill work.
TNFECS Wisconsin Training Weeks 1-4 NP PR day
Planks all day
  • I ran along the strip on Friday when I was in Vegas.  I didn’t realize that there were so many pedestrian bridges to
  • On Saturday, I integrated speed into my long run.  I did 1 hour easy, then 2×20 minute tempos with ~8 minute jog between.  It felt GREAT.  The first tempo portion was sub 8s on multi-track, the second set was 8:30-8:45 on single track.  More and more of my long runs will incorporate sections of speed.
  • Sunday I was tired, so I was glad to have company on the trails.  Ran with Luc, Nancy and Charlotte.



TNFECS Wisconsin Training weeks 1-4


What’s next for TNFECS Wisconsin Training?

There are 75 days until race day.  The next block will focus on increasing volume (adding a double day on Wednesday) plus increasing elevation training.  Lots of hill repeats in my future.  I also enjoyed doing a tempo on the trail so I will incorporate that every 2-3 weeks.


Inspired to join in on the fun?  Click here to register for ANY distance of TNFECS Wisconsin.  They offer everything from a 5k to a 50 miler! Use code ECSAMBBM15 for 15% off any distance. 



Any one else training for TNFECS Wisconsin?  If not, then what do you have on your running/racing/life goal horizons?



Happy running,



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