Jillian’s Marathon Training, Diet, and Shakeology

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

Hi Everyone! 

My friend Jillian is running in the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 5th. She has agreed to give you all a glimpse into her marathon training and diet. I am thinking about doing a half or full marathon so I was super excited when she agreed to do a guest blog post! It also means you get to see a throwback picture of Jillian and I circa 2005 when we were on a dance team together. Where were my arm muscles? 😉

Hello Bender Fitness enthusiasts!  My name is Jillian, and I want to thank Melissa for giving me the opportunity to write a guest post on her blog!  I am currently training for my second marathon, which will take place in Pittsburgh on May 5.  I’m also a group fitness instructor and Independent Team Beachbody Coach (Beachbody is the company that sells popular workout programs like Insanity, P90x and TurboJam).  Melissa asked me to write a little about my marathon training and nutrition plan, so here I am – I hope you guys find this information useful!

I’ll start out with a little background of how I got where I am today.  Growing up, my after school activities were non-athletic.  I was a bit of a nerd in more than one way – I was on the mathletes team, reading Olympics team and I was drum major of the marching band.  I did go to a private dance school once/week, but it’s safe to say that I was studying a lot and not being active.  When I got to college, I started to take an interest in increasing my activity level, mainly to avoid the Freshman 15 J.  I would run on the treadmill and lift some weights, but it was never with any regularity.  It wasn’t until I moved to Pittsburgh for grad school that my passion for fitness really evolved.  A friend of mine asked me to take a yoga class with her at Carnegie Mellon.  Sure!  Why not?!  Well, don’t tell Melissa, but I HATED yoga!  I wanted to SWEAT and MOVE!  So here I was, with nine more punches left on my group fitness pass.  The next class I tried was Step Aerobics, and I’ll be the first to tell you – I was HOOKED!!  Over the next two years, I couldn’t get enough step aerobics!  I was still running a little and lifting weights too, but I just LOVED Step Aerobics.  It wasn’t long before I decided that I just HAD TO TEACH Step Aerobics, so I got trained by another step aerobics instructor, and the rest is history.  Fast forward about 7 years and I now teach Step Aerobics, boot camp classes, TurboKick, Hip Hop Hustle, Les Mills Bodypump and Beachody’s Insanity (my most recent addition to my repertoire).  I can’t get enough group fitness, and yes, I even learned to appreciate yoga eventually too!
About two and a half years ago, a friend of mine asked me to run a 10k with her.  I’m always up for a challenge, so happily agreed!  I never really “liked” running, but always loved that feeling of accomplishment you get when you finish a run and reach a goal.  After the 10k, I signed up for the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia, which is a 10 mile race.  I didn’t really have trouble training for that race, so I figure the next logical step was a marathon.  Right?  Seems logical…  Running a marathon had always been on my “bucket list” and it just felt like the right time.  I began training for my first marathon in June 2012.  I just wanted to get into the habit of running 4 times/week, with a long run (about 10 miles) on the weekend.  I started Hal Higdon’s Marathon training plan (a blend of Novice 1 and Novice 2) in July, and followed it to a ‘T’.  I had some good runs and some bad runs, but overall I felt ready for race day.  I also taught group fitness classes twice/week and worked in some Bodypump or P90x (both strength training) when I had the time.  I finished my first marathon with a time of 4 hours and 46 minutes.  It was a little slower than what I had trained for, but I finished and nothing can take away that feeling when you cross the finish line!  It took less than 8 hours for me to think about signing up for another marathon – I felt like I had unfinished business and wanted to work on my time.  Once I recovered from the Philly marathon, I signed up for the Pittsburgh marathon.  I kept the training schedule the same, but I added a weekly sprint workout to the schedule.  I also made the time to keep up with my cross training, instead of just fitting it in when I found the time.  This past weekend, I completed my longest run of my training plan (22 miles), and now it’s time to taper!
When most people think of marathon training, they think things like “carb-load”, “pizza”, “pasta” and “eat whatever you want”.  While that may work for some people, I didn’t want to completely abandon my “clean eating” habits.  I can confidently say that throughout two cycles of marathon training, I didn’t do any of those things.  I kept up with a high(er) protein and mostly clean diet, while increasing how much I was eating when my training called for it.  When I’m not training for a marathon, I tend to split up my calories so that 30% come from protein, 40% come from carbs and 30% come from healthy fats.  For the first half of the 18-week training plan, I can generally keep up with this breakdown, however, once the long runs start to creep over 13 miles, I try to increase my carb intake to 50% and drop my healthy fats down to 20%.  In the two days before a SUPER long run (18 miles or more), I might up the carbs to even 60%.  For me, my “carb-loading” or increasing my carb intake consists mainly of fruits and vegetables.  Through my entire training, I’ll have 2-3 cups of fruit salad with my lunch each day.  I LOVE fruit and can’t get enough of it.  I also LOVE squash – butternut squash and spaghetti squash have been my favorite things to eat when preparing for a long run.  If I need a carb boost the morning of a run, I’ll have dried fruit and/or cream of wheat.  Except for training runs over 16 or so miles, I don’t need to eat while running (only drink electrolyte water).  If I do need to eat while running, I’ll eat Clif Shot Bloks for sugar.  I liked having my electrolytes and sugars separate (rather than together as then come with Gatorade), so that I could drink a lot without getting the sugar. 
In general, I use Michi’s Ladder as a guide for my diet – trying to eat mostly things from tiers 1&2, some from 3 and avoid foods on tiers 4&5.
I don’t follow it perfectly, but I like to check in with it every once in a while to make sure I’m not getting off track.  I also like to plan my meals ahead, so that I’m not making last-minute decisions and reaching for things that might derail my whole training plan.  I like to eat small meals with lots of snacks so that I’m never overly full and never too hungry.  Other than fruits and veggies, I eat lean meats, fish, low fat dairy and whole grains.  However, the biggest asset to my diet through marathon training and weight loss programs has been Shakeology.   Shakeology is a Beachbody product that is so many things wrapped into one protein shake.  Shakeology can be a meal replacement or a protein shake, but it’s really a lot more.  For me, it has replaced my multivitamin, helped me get at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, helped me maintain a healthy weight, improved my digestion and increased my iron levels, giving me so much more energy!  It also made my hair and nails grow faster (and stronger)!  When I first started drinking Shakeology, I lost 5 pounds in 2 months by replacing my breakfast and continuing my workout schedule.  Although I haven’t experienced this myself, it has also been shown to assist people in lowering their cholesterol and blood pressure.   Some people don’t like the taste immediately, and that’s okay – it’s likely because it’s probably something your body isn’t used to, but in time, you start to crave it.  If you get the consistency right, it tastes like chocolate ice cream!  Each batch is quality tested and hand packed to protect the ingredients from altering due to machines.  Natural sweeteners keep you at a super low level on the glycemic index, reducing the likelihood of insulin levels rising making you crave more food, specifically sweets, eventually aiding in weight loss.
Watch this video to learn about all of the fantastic ingredients in Shakeology:
And this one to learn about physicians who support Shakeology:
Shakeology comes as whey protein or as a vegan shake using brown rice and pea protein.  The whey protein comes in chocolate and greenberry flavors and the vegan protein comes in chocolate and tropical strawberry flavors.
To learn more about Shakeology, ask about samples or how you can get discounts, you can contact me and in the meantime look over the information on this website:
I also run challenge groups to help people meet their health and fitness goals.  A challenge group is a 30, 60 or 90 day fitness challenge, run through a private Facebook group.  As a member of the group, you’ll have a place to check-in, share tips, exchange recipes and find motivation, all as a way to be held accountable so that you can meet your health and fitness goals.  Sometimes everyone in the group will be following the same workout program, but other times, we’re all doing something different.  Melissa’s workouts are GREAT for challenge groups!  My goal is to help people achieve their goals and enjoy a healthy, fulfilling life, whether it’s helping someone find workouts that fit into their schedules and/or nutrition plans that they like.  I hold people accountable to create a manageable path towards meeting their goals.
I would love to hear from anyone who is interested in learning more about Beachbody, Shakeology or becoming a coach themselves or anyone who has questions about training for a marathon.  If you have general questions about setting and meeting a health or fitness goal, please contact me also!  You can shoot me an email at jillian.tengood@gmail.com, find me on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/jillian.tengood) or hit me up on twitter @FitYaf!  Also, let Melissa know if you guys want to hear more about a specific part of my training!  Happy sweating!

4 thoughts on “Jillian’s Marathon Training, Diet, and Shakeology

  1. I am 24 years old and yet I have never really tried to undergo a fitness training program, not it even strict diet. However, it is still inspiring for me to see these people being able to succeed in losing weight. I don’t have much problem with weight but I want to tone my muscles. I guess I would also need a personal trainer.

  2. You are really doing great Jillian. Health and fitness training courses are really required these days to become fit and healthy. I am also working on my fitness from almost a year. Now I am preparing my mind to become a fitness instructor to help others in achieving their goals like you. Thanks for inspiring me.

  3. Quick fixes never last. We want you to commit to this program for 90 days. That said, most people feel greater and more consistent energy and a loss of carb cravings in 4 to 7 days. This means that exercise will become easier and more enjoyable, and THAT is the secret click here 90 day challenge

Leave a Reply to Antoine Lockhart Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *