Exciting news. It’s officially (since I’m writing this on Monday) two weeks out from the start of New York City Marathon training! NYCM is my goal race for this year. I don’t race marathon’s often, but I’m pretty excited to leave it all out on the streets of New York. I have some lofty goals, but I’m hoping that with an 18-week training cycle, I can hit them, and have an absolutely spectacular race.
My mom ran NYC a little over 10 years ago, and still claims it as being one of her favorite races. Pretty impressive since she’s run the Paris Marathon. But the same goes for all of my friends who have run through the five boroughs – there’s no race like it. The energy is incredible, the spirit, the excitement… there’s nothing like New York.
So today I am linking up with Sara from Lake Shore Runner for her Tried it Tuesday!
You may wonder why I constitute this post to be a “Tried it Tuesday”. Mainly because I try to create my own marathon plans. This will be my six marathon, but my third where I have focused on what works best for me. I followed a Hal Higdon training plan for my first marathon to the absolute T, and I was totally elated when I finished under 4 hours. For my second marathon, I thought I knew it all and raced completely undertrained, underprepared, and finished walking the last 6 miles injured. #NeverAgain
For my third marathon, Hartford, I again used a Hal Higdon plan but a more aggressive version. It focused on higher milage, but again only running 4 times a week. I had incorporated strength training, and while it was my first BQ (3:32:XX), I knew I could be a bit faster.
By the time my fourth marathon came around, Chicago in 2014, I started dabbling with what type of training made me feel best. I kept strength/cross training once a week, but focused on my weaknesses. My legs felt dead after 3+ hours of running. I needed to teach my body how to adapt. I started to run for longer on tired legs. And more importantly, I needed to adjust the pacing of my runs. I added in pace work, and for my long runs, I kept them roughly 30-45 seconds slower per mile than my marathon goal pace. I started running 40+ mile weeks consistently, truncating my long runs for Fridays and Saturdays.
Unlike Hartford where I ran 5 Tuesday, 10 Wednesday, 5 Thursday, 20 Saturday, for Chicago I ran 5 Tuesday, 5 Tempo Wednesday, 5 Thursday, 10 Friday, 20 Saturday. My body learned to work through the lactic acid buildup, and more importantly, it learned to run tired. I believe a big reason I stayed and still stay injury free is I no longer push myself on my runs when I am not focusing on pace. I see no reason to work harder to run 5 miles in 36 miles, than to run the same distance in 40. Added bonus being that again, my legs were adjusting to being worked for longer.
I raced a 3:18 in Chicago which was one of the best races I’ve had in a long time. Following the same principle with my half marathon, I dropped down from a PR of 1:36 to a 1:30 in 4 months.
So pretty much that was a super long winded way to say, I don’t follow a set training plan. I make my own. #IndependentWoman And I absolutely love it. It leaves me the flexibility to feel less confined, and also allows me to adapt to what works best for me.
So as we can see, my tentative training plan is as follows…
I will still be incorporating tempo workouts once a week. I also will be focusing on hills. I will not be running hill repeats (totally not disciplined enough, and would absolutely stop after like… one) but I will be focusing on running my mid week distance runs on a hillier course. I still want to keep a focus on cross training, as I think that too will help me in New York. One of the toughest aspects of my training plan will be the rest days. I always feel like I NEED to be doing something, but incorporating COMPLETE rest days into my plan really helps me relax and feel pressured to rest.
Like I said before, I do have some big goals, but I’m not ready to put them out there yet. I want to get a feel of how this summer training is going before I publicly post something.
So there you have it. In a mere 20 weeks (minus one day) I will be totally finished with this overly obsessive Excel spreadsheet. It’s about to get serious in here. : )
Have you or someone you known run New York?
Any tips for NYCM?? I will hopefully be staying in the city the night before so logistically it won’t be too tough (fingers crossed).
What’s your goal race this year? How long do you start training ahead of time? I usually focus on training 16 – 18 weeks out for a marathon. I usually keep a solid base, so it doesn’t seem like my training picks up until about 12 weeks out.