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NYC Marathon Training Plan

July 27, 2011

I finally developed a solid NYC Marathon training plan at the beginning of July, though I’ve taken some time to get a few weeks of training under my belt, analyze last year’s log, and refine this year’s plan again. I think I am (finally) in a good place to share the plan and log with you!

You can find the link under my ‘Training‘ page to see what I’m up to each week, or click here to go directly to the google document: NYC Marathon Training 2011. 

I keep an old school handwritten log with a few more notes and scribbles and colors, but I also like to share my workouts online so the google doc feature works pretty nicely.

Structure of my Marathon Training Plan:

  • I have a loose structure, in that I have a goal weekly mileage to reach, and a goal long run to hit. You’ll see these columns in gray. These numbers are really more to keep me on track, building up mileage appropriately and gradually. I won’t stress if I am a few miles short, or a few miles over… just as long as I’m in the general ballpark.
  • I also plan to do one workout weekly with the CPTC team (likely road tempos/intervals on Thursdays). I definitely can’t guarantee I’ll make the workouts each week due to my schedule, but I will do my best to get in the workout another day on my own if need be. I’m also okay with going a week without a workout here and there.
  • Higher average mileage than 2010. Last year, I spent a few weeks around 45+ miles, peaking at 67 miles. I want to get in the 55-70 range much more consistently, and you’ll see I spend about two weeks at each mileage level before bumping up 5 miles to the next week, peaking at 75 miles the week of 10/9. That will be a fun week 🙂

Goals for my marathon training:

  • Break 3:00. I need to commit to this goal and stop being scared of putting it out there in case I fall short. I will get you, 3 hour barrier. Even if I run 2:59:59.99.
  • Remain healthy and injury free. I need to practice a bit of preventative medicine to keep healthy. That means taking my iron supplements (yum), calcium supplements, stretching and foam rolling, more regular core work to strengthen weak areas, etc. I am finally getting new orthotics next week (mine are about falling apart…) to ensure I minimize any injury risk.
  • HAVE FUN! Last year, everything was new and exciting and fun and fresh because it was my first marathon. I didn’t know what to do or expect which meant I learned something new just about every day, and I toed the line in anticipation, almost feeling invincible as a wide-eyed novice. This year, I am going to do everything possible to avoid boredom or dullness in my training. I still want it to feel like the first! I hope to be as excited and ‘fresh’ toeing the line this year as I did last year. That means running with friends, trying new routes, challenging myself, etc.

So there you have it. I certainly welcome thoughts and feedback on my plan, both positive or negative. How do you structure your marathon training? What are your goals?

10 Comments leave one →
  1. July 27, 2011 11:13 pm

    My “doable” goal is to break 4:00 (I could have done this last year if I hadn’t hit the wall like woah) and my “reach” goal is to BQ at 3:35. I’m following the “competitive marathoner” schedule from the NYC Marathon’s website. I’m hitting the mileage every week, but I’m clueless about extras like warm-ups (can mile 1 just count?), speedwork, etc. I’ve been good about incorporating yoga and a bit of foam rolling over the past month, and I’m hoping to also focus on strength training next month…

    Good luck with your plan! You can totally break 3:00. It’s just a few measly minutes, right? 😉

  2. July 28, 2011 12:00 am

    You are such a rockstar! I am sure you will easily break 3 and I can’t wait to see you do it in NYC this year 🙂 I will be somewhere behind you on the course… I started running by doing a marathon and I had no idea what I was doing at first then did some rookie mistakes like trying to do too many in a row for time and getting myself injured. This season is the first time I really have a solid base and have stepped up the training. I have seen large improvements so I am excited to what that will translate to especially with cooler weather because I actually really really hate running in the heat. Maybe if I can drag myself up early enough to the UES we can run together sometime 🙂

  3. July 28, 2011 8:10 am

    I’ve run eight marathons, and I toe the line each time thinking, “Am I really do this?? This is crazy!” So that feeling never really goes away, plus you have a lot of race experience in general so that certainly helps. I like that you have general mile goals with a few workouts planned…I think it’s better to have an overall idea of what you want to accomplish versus a hard and fast “I must run eight miles today!” kind of plan…we’re human and we need to make adjustments based on how we feel!

    I definitely think sub-3 is doable for you, and as long as the clock says 2:XX, you’re golden! I ran sub-3:20 by running 3:19:59….but that’s sub-3:20 so I’ll take it.

    Looking forward to doing some training runs with you!

  4. July 28, 2011 8:17 am

    This is a great marathon training plan, because it’s not so rigid that it doesn’t allow for some flexibility with your very busy schedule! Since you are my running expert, when I’m back to being able to run marathons, I’ll certainly reference this 🙂

    I’ve always used Hal Higdon’s plan (first beginners, then intermediate, and advance for the last one) but adjusted it according to what I feel is doable for me. I find it works pretty well, and I love the inspirational quotes on his website haha

  5. July 28, 2011 8:53 am

    this plan sounds great! i’ve done really loose plans in the past and this year it’s a little more structured, but i’m comfortable tweaking and being flexible with it. my goal for the NYCM this year (ahhh first time saying it IS scary, haha) is to hit 4:00. i think i can do, and i think i’ll have a better idea of whether it’s more of a doable goal or reach goal closer to september after i have a bit more mileage.

  6. July 28, 2011 9:12 am

    I like that your plan isn’t so rigid! I have a plan (made by the RC) but she always tells me “this is guide” and I try to remember that so I can be flexible and not get so married to a schedule. Mine has two harder efforts or “workouts” per week (sometimes its as “hard” as “run faster than recovery pace” so not technically a “workout”) and one long run. I typically run 5 days/week. I think if I tried 6, I would get injured. For my last marathon, my mileage topped out at 43 mpw (my highest ever) — I guess either not a high mileage runner or haven’t been at it long enough to get used to running that much.

    Hmmm….my marathon goal? Its a bit ballsy for me, but I’m trying to “own it/be it” so I don’t get scared of it (which I am somedays…ok most days). And I don’t want to “tell people” for feat that they’ll think I’m crazy. If you want to do the math, it would be a 13 min improvement from my last marathon.

  7. July 28, 2011 1:14 pm

    Hooray for training schedules! Just writing things down (or posting it on the blog) helps me to get in a “race-ready” state of mind. You are for sure going to break 3:00! Good luck at practice tonight – hopefully I’ll see you at Club Champs if not sooner 🙂

  8. July 28, 2011 7:51 pm

    that looks like a great plan! I have a feeling you’ll kill your goal and I’m excited for you. I like your other goals too – staying injury free is key to my plan as well and I am constantly thinking about it. Also jealous you’re running the Nike Women’s Half in San Fran – I really want to do it one year! Hope to see you soon 🙂


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