About Laura

Holistic Health coach, RRCA certified running coach, RPM spin instructor, MSW and mom

Last week’s workouts

Happy Monday!

With the Newport Half behind me (and my first 17.5 miler) and no sign of the tendonitis returning, I am cautiously optimistic about slowly increasing mileage over these next 8 weeks.

This week was all about recovery and easy paced runs.  By Saturday, I added in some marathon pace miles and, other than the extra warm September weekend, I felt great.

Sunday: Newport Half marathon (17.8 miles)

Monday : 30 minute pool run + 20 minute swim

Tuesday: nice and easy 4 miles (probably 10ish ave)

Wednesday: 8 miles easy (8:31 ave)

Thursday: 40 minute spin + upper body/core strength

Friday: 6 easy miles, no watch

Saturday: 15 miles with 3, 3, 2 and 1 at marathon pace (7:30)

Splits were 9:54, 8:53, 8:20, (7:34, 7:28, 7:24) easy 1/2 mile 9:02 (7:19, 7:17, 7:16) easy 1/2 mile 8:18, (7:15, 7:18) easy cool down 8:48, 8:33 and final .75 at 7:34

15 miles at 8:01 ave

After a quick shower, we met friends for a 3 mile hike, which with 4 kids under 7, took us 3 hours with our lunch break! It was low impact and a fun way to spend the day, but I was so ready to crash that night!

This week, I am signed up for a 5k on Saturday but I’m realizing it’s going to be part of a training run instead of a race.  There’s also a kid’s run that morning, so I’m looking forward to a fun family day outside.  Hopefully the weather cools off a bit by then!

I feel a little crazy that I’m so indecisive about the half vs full marathon… I guess I’ve decided to pick up the training as if I were going to run the full and see how these next few long runs go.

Have you ever trained for a marathon without knowing for sure if you were doing it?

Do you take family hikes?

I’m linking up with Tricia and HoHo from The Weekly Wrap.

Racing progress takes time (lots of it)

Isn’t it crazy how we can take big chunks of time off our races in the beginning? It’s common to see jumps of 30 minutes off a half marathon or five minutes off a 5k as we settle into consistent running.  Results come quickly and are exciting and addicting.

And then we hit a plateau, and suddenly we see little to no progress.  It’s possible to continue to chip away at the time goals for new personal bests, but it takes time and lots of work.

I’m guilty of looking ahead, wanting to beat a certain time and see how much more I have in me.  I forget to stop and look back.  While I don’t have the most dramatic differences, it’s fun to remember how far I’ve come:

Half marathon (2001) 2:04:35 —> 1:33:33 (2017)

It took me a few years to break the 1:40 mark, and then another 4 years to break the 1:35 mark! There were babies breaking those years up, but it is definitely a process.

Marathon 3:44 (2011) —> 3:23 (2016)

I didn’t run the marathon until I had been a runner for ten years, so I had a solid base of fitness to draw from.

Ten Mile 1:31 (2009) —> 1:20 (2010) —> 1:10 (2016)

Big jump in just one year, from 2009-2010, and then six years chipping it down to 1:10.

10k  50:38 (2009) —> 42: 48 (2013)

5k  21:47 (2011) –>  20:01 (2013)

I don’t run many 5ks and 10ks, but when I trained specifically for them in 2013, I saw results. And then I haven’t been able to break that 20 minute mark since!

So here I am, coming on my 17th year of running!! And I hit personal bests in the ten mile, half marathon and full marathon over the last year.  It’s pretty amazing that you can continue to improve even into the late 30’s, isn’t it?

If you feel like your progress has slowed and you’ve hit that plateau, here are a few tweaks to try:

1) Look at your current training plan and make changes

What can you change? Generally, most runners improve with more overall volume (aerobic base or your ‘engine’), more race pace miles (specificity of training to your goals) or easier recovery days to better absorb the impact of your training.

2) Set small goals and train accordingly

Once you begin to plateau, it is no longer helpful to try to shave chunks like 10 or 20 minutes off.  You need to focus on 2-3 minutes off the marathon or 15 seconds off the 5k and build in your training runs to reflect those goals.

When you train for a 7:00 pace half marathon and run your tempo runs at 7:00 when your lactate threshold pace is actually 7:20, you start to train the wrong system – instead of improving LT, you begin to dip into the VO2 max training.  Likewise, if you train at marathon pace but you’re running LT, you are training the wrong energy system.  Train where you are currently at, and the progress will happen.

3) Do the little things

The foam rolling, runner specific strength training, a bit of yoga or flexibility training, naps and good fuel… all of those add up and can impact your training!

Personally, I know I would likely see improvements if I increased my volume but I have to walk a careful line to avoid injury so I may not see as much improvement as I would if I were running 60-70 mile weeks.

But it’s also about finding balance and doing what makes you happy.  I know I need a balance with my family life and I NEED my sleep so there is only so much I can do and I’m okay with that.

The key is to chip away slowly, trust the process, be patient and keep dreaming!

How far have you come in your training?

What small changes do you think would make a difference for you?

I’m linking up with  SuzRachelLora, and Debbie for Running Coaches Corner, and NicoleAnnmarieMichelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday.

Newport Liberty Half Marathon Recap

Happy Monday!

It was a busy racing weekend- my Instagram was buzzing with race recaps and long runs.  The fall racing season has begun in the northeast!

Unfortunately, after a string of cool mornings in the 50s and 60s, we had a really warm, humid day for racing.  It was low 70’s at the start with 90% humidity- ugh!

Some people seem to handle humidity well but I’ve learned the hard way (MANY times) that humidity is not my friend.  At this race last year, I tried to hold my goal pace and fell apart around mile 6.  I actually had to walk off and on until I finally recovered and finished stronger, but came in almost ten minutes behind my goal, at 1:42.  Ouch.

This year, as I woke up to the same humid conditions, I knew it was going to be rough and decided to hold marathon race pace instead.

The race: Newport Liberty is held in Jersey City, and has about 3,000 runners which I think is really the perfect size.  All of the logistics of parking and packet pick up are simple, and the race itself quickly spreads out so you aren’t trapped behind packs of runners as in larger races.

I began with a 2.25 warm up and was just barely breaking ten minute pace, which was my first sign that it was going to be tough to run well!

In the first mile, I got caught up in the adrenaline and ran the pace everyone around me was running… it felt good, but when I saw 6:57 (half marathon pace) I knew it was not the day for that kind of running.  I pulled back a bit, but my mile 4 that fast start was backfiring and I was questioning if I even wanted to finish the race.

Thankfully, the rough patch ended as I reminded myself running marathon pace would still make an excellent workout and there was no need to kill myself trying to run any faster!

So I settled into a much more comfortable pace and the second half was actually really enjoyable.

The course is really pretty, with many views of the NYC skyline.

Much of the second half is run through Liberty State park and along the boardwalk, and the final stretch is also along the water.  It’s also mostly flat, so one of these years when we get a nice cool day, it will make an amazing pr race!

I caught up to a friend of mine who was also running marathon pace (although her goal was 7:03!!) and we finished the last few miles together, picking it up a little for miles 12 and 13.

I followed it up with another 2 miles (9:30 ave) for 17.8 for the day.  With Richmond just 8 weeks away, I’m realizing it might still be possible to run the full.  I’d love to run it for a pr but that is all up in the air at this stage in training.  We’ll see how these next several weeks go!

Post run, this race always has giant bagels, bananas, Nutrigrain bars, and other small snack bags.  I ate most of the bagel as well as a protein bar I had brought with me and chatted with several other running friends that I ran into at the race, including Instagram friends Jess Runs Happy and Meretherunner14.

My husband and girls met me and we got lunch at a fun cafe, and then spent the afternoon playing, lounging and eating ice cream at Liberty State park. Such a great way to spend the day!


Was it humid where you are this weekend?

Next up:

Runner’s World Half Festival (Grand Slam!!)

Richmond Marathon – full or half

I’m linking up with Tricia and HoHo from The Weekly Wrap, and PattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run.


Training tips for a strong race finish + Last week’s workouts

Happy Wednesday!

We are finally solidly into the school routine.  I don’t feel like I have all that much time to myself (that preschool day is short!!) but it’s going well and good to be back on a schedule.

One question I get a lot from running clients is, how can I ensure that I feel good all the way through to the end of my run?

There are three things in training that can help a lot in those final miles on race day.

1.Run miles at race pace toward the end of a long run.

You don’t want to do this on every run, but if this is not your first half or full marathon, you can add in some miles at goal race pace toward the end of a long run when your legs are already tired.  Start with 2-3 and build to 5-6.  This teaches your body to dig deep and find that pace and hold on when you don’t want to.

Use race pace miles in every 2-3 long runs, with nice and easy long runs on the weeks in between.

2. Run the day before a long run.

This is also for intermediate to advanced runners.  Run 5-7 miles the day before a long run, with the option of a few of those miles near race pace.  The fatigue from this workout carries over into your long run the next day to help mimic how you feel in those final miles of the marathon.  Training on tired legs will help you both physically and mentally to be more prepared on race day.

If you are training for your first distance race, the goal should be to finish feeling good. The purpose of long runs for you is to build aerobic endurance (your ‘engine’) and spend time on your feet, but don’t worry about the paces.  It should be conversational pace.

3. Fast finish runs

Finally, finishing an easy run with strides or a short sprint can help with leg turnover and prepare you to pull out a faster gear on race day in the final stretch!

My workouts last week: So it’s race week with the Newport Liberty half on Sunday.  I have to admit, I was briefly considering the full in Richmond and working out an 8 week plan to get there… if I use this race for marathon race training and get in a total of 16-17 I could make it happen.  But so far the farthest I’ve run is 14.5 and I feel like I’d be showing up under-trained.  We’ll see how the next few weeks go!

Monday : 6 miles with 4 x 25 second strides (8:26 ave, strides at 6:00 ave)

Tuesday: 45 spin session + upper body strength (20 each of kb upper row, kb swing, TRX pull ups, TRX push ups x2)

Wednesday: 9 miles with 4 x 1 mile with 400m recovery jogs + 4 x 200m (2 warm up, then 6:37, 6:34, 6:26, 6:27 for the mile splits + 41, 41, 39, 39 for the 200m with 200m recoveries

Thursday: 55 minute pool running + easy walk

Friday: 5 easy, somewhat hilly miles with a friend + Iron ST workout

Saturday: Easy 8-9 miles with a client, plus running a bake sale in our front yard all afternoon!

I was exhausted Saturday night after being on my feet all day with the bake sale/ giant neighborhood play date + set up and tear down.  I slept in on Sunday and did nada. AND still took a giant nap!

I’m tapering a bit this week, running 5-6 miles with a little intensity and enjoying the cut back in training.


What are your thoughts on an 8 week marathon training plan? 

Have you found other training tactics that helped you finish a race feeling strong?

I’m linking up with Tricia and HoHo from The Weekly Wrap, SuzRachelLora, and Debbie for Running Coaches CornerPattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, NicoleAnnmarieMichelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday.

Training last week (2 weeks out from the half!)

Hi friends!

Thanks for the feedback as I begin to shift things on my many social media platforms.  As I said, this blog will remain, but it may be less consistent.

And for all that talk about how ‘mommy run fast’ doesn’t completely define me anymore, I have to admit I am falling back in love with running again and really enjoying my training right now!

I think I’ll always enjoy running- I just don’t want that to be my sole identity… you get it.

So on to the recap:

Monday : 7 miles with 4 at tempo (8:15, 7:44, 7:11, 7:12, 7:12, 7:12, and a cool down mile with my girls) — how’s that for consistent pacing?!

Tuesday: 45 spin session + upper body strength

Wednesday: 9 hilly, easy miles (8:29 ave)

Thursday: spin + lower body strength

Friday: 45 minute pool running

Saturday: 14.5 long run with 3 at tempo, 1 easy, 2 at tempo… for this one, I jogged a hilly route to the track about 4 miles away and did the tempo portion on the track and was so happy to nail it! I needed that confidence booster!  Splits: 9:32, 8:32, 9:07, 8:44, then tempo 7:12, 7:01, 6:43, easy 9:05, then tempo 6:57, 6:43, then easy home 8:18, 8:06, 8:21 and 9:21 up the final hill.

I ran this same workout in the spring with identical paces so I’m feeling back on track. Now to continue to make progress and get my mileage up just a bit!

Sunday: walked 5-6 miles all over NYC with my SIL and our girls… such a fun day, but I was exhausted by the end of the weekend!

I’m running the Newport Liberty Half in Jersey City in just a week and a half.  At this point, I don’t feel ready to all out “race” it but I plan to give a solid effort.  This is the race that was humid last year and I fell apart around mile 7-8 so if I can just feel good the entire time I’ll be happy!

Fall running means less flexibility with when I run, cooler temps (yay!) and Tues/Thurs cross training as my husband leaves extra early those mornings this fall.  What does fall change for you?

What race is coming up next for you?

Is there a workout you’ve done in the past that you like to repeat to compare your fitness?

I’m linking up with Tricia and HoHo from The Weekly Wrap, SuzRachelLora, and Debbie for Running Coaches CornerPattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, NicoleAnnmarieMichelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday.

Transitions + help with a new name

Hi friends!

I started this nearly blog 6 (!) years ago.  For several years, I wrote on a very consistent schedule 4 times a week, and I’ve slowly shifted to once or twice a week.  I am not ready to bring it to an end, but I do feel like it’s time to make some shifts and I wanted to share them:

  1. I’m struggling to feel like “mommyrunfast” defines me any longer. I actually really enjoyed my running break this summer, but felt like I was “supposed” to be running because that’s what I do.  Now I’m back to training for a half, but I want the flexibility to be whatever I need to be month to month, regardless of whether or not I’m running.
  2. I’m going to keep this blog but write when I can- no pressure to maintain any kind of regular routine.  I do still see myself running and racing and I want to have a place to chronicle races and training, so this will likely become that- back to what I started with, training logs and race recaps and occasionally maybe a few other random posts.
  3. I’m shifting more attention to my laurapeifer.com site, although I only blog there about 1-2 x per month, feel free to follow along!

I’m also going to be changing my instagram, twitter and Facebook pages to line up with Laura Peifer Wellness rather than Mommy Run Fast.

In my business, I’m focusing on programs to support athletes in their nutrition to determine how to best reach their goals.  My most recent post answers the question, which is more important? Fitness or nutrition?

As I said, I’m not going anywhere… this space will remain the “mommy run fast blog” and I’ll still be coaching runners and putting together running plans.  THANK YOU for reading and sticking with me over the years and for your comments and emails!

For the new name, I want to use my name yet feel like Laura Peifer is hard to spell! Any suggestions? LauraPeiferWellness? LauraPWellness? LauraP?

Or go with the name and not sweat it?




Week of training + Meal Planning

Happy Monday!

We’re down to our last full week of summer- with no camps or other exciting outings to fill our schedule, so wish we luck for a week of mama camp! I’m actually looking forward to it- we’ll do a little school shopping, get hair cuts, hopefully visit some new playgrounds/ splash pads and squeeze in a few final play dates.

It was a lower intensity week in training but the miles are creeping back up.  This is the first week over 30 miles since I took 6 weeks off, and so far, so good!  The Newport Liberty half is just a few weeks out.  It won’t be a “goal” race, but it will be good practice for some race pace miles as I build for Richmond.

Monday : 6.5 miles with 3 at tempo (8:14, 7:29, 7:11, 7:14, 7:08, 8:05 and final half at 7:28)

Tuesday: 45 pool run

Wednesday: 8 with a friend (8:35 ave)

Thursday: 5 easy (8:45 ave) + kick boxing class

Friday: 45 minute pool running

Saturday: 12 total miles (4 with a client, 7 with another client with a run/walk, 1 to wrap up)

Sunday: 1 hour stroller (nap) walk + 30 minute strength 


For the meal plan, I need to work in our abundance of cucumbers, tomatoes and basil.

Monday:  Grilled salmon + pesto quinoa salad

Tuesday: Roast chicken with cucumber tomato salad

Wednesday: Greek style chicken wraps with leftover chicken

Thursday: Egg sandwiches/ wraps

Friday: Homemade pizza with basil

Saturday: night out/ take out


When is your summer officially over?

What are your favorite uses for tomatoes, cucumbers or basil?


I’m linking up with Fitness and Food with Ilka and Angela, and Tricia and HoHo from The Weekly Wrap!




Have you ever hit a plateau in your running?

I really like to set goals and see improvement in my running.  A year ago, I thought I’d be getting ready to pr in a half or full marathon this fall but with the unexpected six weeks off this summer I’m realizing it’s not going to happen.

I’m slowly getting back to where I was in the spring, but I struggle when I don’t feel like I’m making any progress.  Have you been there?

Injury set back or not, it’s normal to hit a plateau now and then in your training.  I feel like I’m at that plateau right now.  Part of me is happy doing less training than a year ago and the other part wants to break through that plateau and hit new prs this year!

There are several reasons we can plateau and no longer see progress in our training:

  • over training … our bodies need solid recovery time to get stronger!
  • repeating the same kind of training over and over and expecting different results
  • inconsistent training OR progress, than setbacks, progress than setbacks
  • too few workouts or too many workouts with intensity

It’s not easy to find that sweet spot and get it right!

Summer training is especially tough to see progress as the heat and humidity make it difficult to hit the paces we otherwise would.

In the meantime, I really am enjoying the journey.  I’m happy to be back out there running and getting excited about the fall race season, even if they end up being some of my slowest race times!

Have you hit a plateau in your running?

What helped you break through?



Workouts from last week + Meal Planning

Happy Monday! How was your weekend?

I took the girls to my parent’s house to hang out and for a much needed girls night out. This pineapple mojito was amazing but my friends like to tease me that I can only handle a few sips of a drink.  It’s true- half of one is more than enough for me!

I also got to visit my great-grandma who recently took a turn for the worse.  I’m glad I was able to spend time with her, but it was sobering too.  Getting old is no fun.

Here were last week’s workouts and meal plan:

Monday : 30 minute pool run + 500 rep workout (50 push ups, 50 mountain climbers, 50 squats, 50 lunges, 50 burpees, 50 pull ups – split and I did these on the TRX- etc… this workout was no joke!)

Tuesday: 7 mile stroller run, easy pace (10+ ave)

My stroller buddy took to the roads with me when we were done for her own little run.

Wednesday: evening track workout: 6.5 miles with 2 mile warm up (8:32, 7:31) and 6 x 400m, 2 x 200m and 1 x 100m then a cool down

Thursday: recovery 45 minute pool run

Friday: 11 miles through a crazy rain storm- I was soaked!! I worked in a few nice hills (8:38 ave)

Saturday: short full body HIIT circuit at my mom’s (push ups, burpees, mountain climbers, lots of core, squat jumps, lunges, etc)


Our garden is finally going crazy so this week we have lots of cucumbers, tomatoes, red beets and greens to use up, plus my mom sent me home with a dozen ears of corn.

For the meal plan, I’m repeating some favorites from last week:

Monday:  Our anniversary night out!!

Tuesday: Corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes and something on the grill (chicken, maybe?)

Wednesday: Grilled salmon with Meals on the Run Protein Mashed Potatoes (this was also a huge hit last week!)

Thursday: Egg sandwiches/ wraps

Friday: Meals on the Run Shells with Bolognese sauce (This was a huge hit last week!!)

Saturday: night out/ pizza

There is still time to enter to win a race entry for the Runner’s World Festival in October!

Do you have great grandparents still living?

Did you get caught in the rain last week on a run?


I’m linking up with Fitness and Food with Ilka and Angela, and Tricia and HoHo from The Weekly Wrap!

I’m running the RW Festival races + giveaway and discount for you!

Happy Friday!

I’m excited to announce that I’m teaming up with Runner’s World again to be part of the Runner’s World crew at the RW Festival in October.  It’s a jam-packed weekend too good to miss!

This race weekend contains everything…

  • Trail run on Friday
  • 5k, 10k and kids run on Saturday
  • Half marathon on Sunday

You can run one, two, three or all four races! It’s worth making a weekend out of it.  On Friday, Altra puts on a trail running seminar, and after the trail run there is a “how to” Grand Slam seminar and then a book launch party for Bart Yasso.

After Saturday’s races, you can sign up for seminars on restorative yoga, how to “Run Forever” with Dr. Metzl, self defense, running while pregnant and more.  Before the pasta dinner, hang out with elite runners Ryan and Sara Hall for a Q&A.  (See the full schedule of events here).

Details: October 20-22, 2017 in Bethlehem, PA

If you’re not yet signed up, I also have one free entry to giveaway!

To enter: Leave a comment telling me which race you would want to run at the RW Festival.

Bonus entry: Tweet the above and comment again telling me you did.

If you don’t win, use code MOMMYRUNFASTER for a 10% discount on any race.  I’ll announce the winner next Thursday, August 24.

Hope to meet you there!!