NYCM Training Thoughts

me running

In 2013, I blogged about my training cycle for my first marathon, NYCM.  My first of two, and my best.  In the last two weeks, I’ve read every post I’ve written about the cycle.  Blogging is helpful that way that you can see exactly what you were thinking on some random Wednesday in September.

me running

After scouring old blog posts, I’ve concluded I’m a different runner and racer since then. First, I don’t run “as much” mileage as a few years ago.  Before NYCM the first time, I lived in Virginia, then Texas, and then moved to NJ just before the marathon (yes, all in 20 weeks LOL).

While spending most of the training cycle in Texas, I didn’t have a lot to do, was still relatively new to running, and ended up peaking at 100 miles.  Yes, a 100-mile week.  Just reading that now exhausts me!  With only 5 weeks to go, I can tell you a 100-mile week will not happen.  Realistically, I don’t know if it ever will again.

I’ve learned doing more speed work, races, and fewer miles has kept me healthier and just happier with running.  Running less miles, I have time to live my life without dedicating it to running.  Maybe I’ll never run my fastest that way, but running your fastest is useless if you are injured on race day.

Anyway, as I mentioned on Thursday, my only goal is to start and finish the marathon happy. I haven’t run a marathon in 3.5 years, and I’m not an expert or pro. I’m still a newbie in the distance.  While I don’t have a coach, working in run specialty I’m able to get advice from several knowledgeable people.

This training cycle I do know I’ll be doing a few different things:

  • Racing more: Back then, I just logged mileage in Texas and yes I “ran all of the miles,” my body was just stale and forgot how to run fast.  In the 20 weeks, I only ran 2 or 3 races.  In the next several weeks, I’ll be running 5ks most weekends.
  • Fewer miles: I might peak at 70ish.  Last week, I ran about 60.  70 isn’t a magic number, and I won’t feel bad if my highest mileage never gets there.
  • More Cross-Training/Core: I have more free time in the next 2 months (not because my husband is gone, but because my outside responsibilities have decreased as well…). Instead of being busy many mornings before work, it’s been cut down 2-3 mornings per week. I still plan to cross train (right now I’m enjoying hiking) once a week as well as taking a rest day once per week.  I’ve mentioned my core routine before, but I like the Nike Training Club App on cell phones. You can choose 15-60 minute workouts.

Two Key Races:

10/6 Crawlin’ Crab Half Marathon in Hampton, VA  I ran this last year, and it was hot. I’m hoping it won’t be as hot, but in any case, it will be good to see my family in Virginia and friends.

Crawlin Crab half marathon hampton

10/21 Atlantic City Half Marathon: I like the AC half marathon race series, and I believe they do a good job. I think this will provide me with a better idea of time goals. I know I won’t be in 1:22 half marathon shape by then, but I would like to see where I’m at to make better goals for New York.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. I’m not a seasoned marathoner and just thinking about the next 5 weeks both exhausts and excites me. I’ve run close to 50 half marathons and 2 marathons (neither of which I think are anywhere in my top 10 best races).  I am nervous but excited. I have been excited to run a marathon in a long time, which is why I haven’t.

Questions for you:

Have you run New York?  Did you like it?

Do you run your best with more or less miles? 

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  1. I’m running less this training cycle (Tucson 12/8) than ever before! But I’m using a coach and running more speed workouts! It seems to be working well! Good luck with NYCM!

  2. When I ran my first (and only) sub 3 hour marathon, my training cycle peaked at 76 miles per week. I averaged between 60 and 75 miles per week for the last 10 weeks. That was back in 2007, for the Hartford marathon. I was 45 years old.

    So as the voice of experience – you can do it! You are much faster than I ever was. 6:53’s – crush it!

    1. That’s awesome and congrats on breaking 3 hours. Breaking 3 hours isn’t my goal, though, and my goal is to start and finish the race healthy. NY is a tough course and I haven’t run a marathon in a long time.

  3. Hey there – I am about to start training for a marathon (my 4th) and to date have used generic plans online. Is there a online plan you would recommend? Happy to spend a bit but can’t afford a proper coach and probably don’t need it! Thanks and good luck with the next 5 weeks. I am in Australia and very jealous of you doing NYC

    1. I honestly don’t have a plan to recommend. Everyone adapts to running and training differently. I think the NYRR might have a few good ones online!

  4. I’m so excited for you!!! You’re going to rock it! Also, that’s one of the things I love about blogging- being able to go back and re-read different stages of life!

  5. I hadn’t thought about how your running approach changes over the years. Seems like you’re trying to run smarter, not farther (further?), and that makes a lot of sense! Good luck

  6. I’ve been reading forever and I remember you training for NYC in 2013 and running that 100 mile week. Then again, I also remember you swimming in college and joining the XC team for kicks. But now, you have a lot of running experience and confidence and also peace with whatever happens- because in that five years you have many good races, bad races, and other experiences that molded you into the runner you are now. I think it takes more confidence to step back and rest or do “just enough” without overdoing it. Training smart vs. training hard takes guts.

    The other sucky part that Clay and I were talking about earlier today is that even in your 30s, we can’t put our bodies through what say, a college kid, can. I remember the days of running in skipping the pre-hab, not getting enough sleep, not swapping my shoes out ASAP if they were wearing out, etc. At almost 33, the things I could get away with at 23 (or even into my late 20s) just aren’t going to happen again.

  7. I’m running the New York Marathon this year too. I have no time goals… maybe around 3:45 as that’s my normal marathon time range (this will be my 16th marathon). Just want to get another major ticked off 😀

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