Countdown to Training 

In just a few short weeks I will begin training for the TCS New York City marathon.  (Eek!)

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous.  For starters, this is going to be my very first full marathon.  (squeal!)

And if you know anything about the NYC marathon course, you know that it’s not an easy course.  It includes some pretty massive bridges.  In fact, there are FIVE bridges throughout the course of the marathon.  FIVE!!!!  

Count them with me….

  1. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
  2. The Pulaski bridge
  3. The Queensboro bridge
  4. The Willis Avenue bridge
  5. The Madison Avenue bridge.NYC Marathon Bridge

Of course, it was not my intention to make the NYC marathon my first marathon.  If you remember correctly, I was slotted to run the Spacecoast marathon (an extremely flat and fast course) back in 2013, but a fall down the stairs spoiled my training plans just four weeks shy of my first 20 mile training run.  And since I was preggo last year when I miraculously got picked on my first try from the lotto, there was absolutely no way I could have attempted another marathon in time to pop my cherry before NYC.  So here I am.

Let’s take a look at my training plan, shall we.

NYC Training Plan 6-14

I’m using a modified version of Hal Higdon’s intermediate marathon training plan. Essentially, I’ve just switched my days around a little bit from the original plan.  Since my husband travels predominately Tuesday through Friday, I decided Mondays should be a run day instead of a cross train day to capitalize on his availability in the early mornings.  I’ll plan to run Tues, Wed and Fridays with the double BOB, but I’ll most likely have the option to run solo on Sat for my long runs.  I really can’t imagine taking the kids with me for anything longer than 8 miles.  That’s just unimaginable to me right now.

If push comes to shove (which is bound to happen with two young kiddos and a husband who travels for work), I’ll cut one of the weekday runs out of the plan, but I don’t intend to skip out or cheat any of my long runs.  Consistency will be key with them.

Speaking of long runs, which builds from 8 miles in the first week to a maximum of 20 miles, I’ve planned to incorporate them around my Saturday Moms Run This Town group runs. There are a few other moms who will be training for the Disney marathon, so I’m hoping to catch up to a couple of them to break up  the monotony that comes with running alone.

Pace runs will be on Fridays.  

Since I brought up pace, I’m going on the record right now to say that my goal for this race is simply to finish.  I do have a desired pace (9:30) that I will be training to maintain for the majority of the race, but I’m not aiming for a certain finish time.  Five bridges and lots of site seeing equals a very relaxed pace for this first time marathoner.  Just look at the course and all the tourist attractions that I’ll be running through.  



I’ll take advice from my fellow marathoners and simply aim to enjoy every step of the way. No pressure, just enjoying the journey. Unofficially, my desired finish time would be under 4:30 – that averages out around a 10:17 pace, which I think is very feasible. Target Split TimesBut like I said, I’m training to finish – preferably upright and with a smile on my face.

Looking over my plans, I think I’ve covered most of the preparations as best I can.  I’m not planning to use a running coach this time, simply for financial reasons, and because I think I have planned out a great training program on my own. (online resources are plentiful)  The hardest part for me is going to be the training.  The marathon will be the easy part…… right?

I dare you to train for a marathon

Marathon quote

What tips do you have for me going into training?  

Are you forced to train with your kids?  

How do you manage your kids on the run?  

What is one of your favorite marathon quotes?

Hey there! Thanks for stopping by my little space on the web. I'm Haley. I’m a digital marketer & social media strategist, a running coach, compulsive movie quoter, wannabe photographer, Capricorn, and a slightly sarcastic, ultra chatty extrovert living in Tampa with my awesome family. I love spending my time helping folks find their best self through fitness, health and wellness. I strive to help you live your best life, and enjoy the journey. Sometimes I write. It’s rarely worth reading, but I like to put it out there anyways.

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11 thoughts on “Countdown to Training ”

  1. I’m so excited for you! I ran NYCM last fall after waiting 4 years in the lottery. It was marathon #8 for me and yes, it got tough for me at the Willis Ave bridge, but it’s SUCH a great race. You’ll be fine! Relax and savor the experience. The crowd support is wonderful and there’s nothing like that finish in CP.

  2. So excited for you! I think you’re going in to this with a great mindset. I have to say you are pretty amazing to be doing all your midweek runs pushing a double bob…that’s seriously impressive!! Your long runs will seem so much easier after that, even though the distance will be farther. When I first started running after having kids, I was pushing a double, but lucky for me, if I wake up early enough, I can get my run in before they wake up and my husband stays with them….so I do that. Occasionally I’ll take them with me and they love it. We’ll head out in the morning and I’ll bring their breakfast so they can eat while I run. I also put on music for them to listen to. They’re only good for about 30-45 minutes though and then they get antsy.

    My favorite marathon quote is: It’s a journey, not a destination.

    1. Thanks Julia. I wish I had the option to run before the kids awake up. But it’s not in the cards for me right now. Breakfast on the go sounds like what I’ll prob do for my two. And my daughter always requests Taylor Swift on the run. She controls the music. lol
      Thanks for the tips.

  3. Ahhh, memories…. Reading your post reminded me of all my excitement leading up to training. I have to tell you, it actually went by pretty darn fast. Take it one week at a time, don’t look farther ahead than that. It really helps to not freak out over mileage. Also, if you miss a run here and there, it will not be the end of the world. Just don’t miss the long runs! I’m going to follow along on your training and cheer you on from here. And you have the right attitude… Just plan to finish and enjoy it all. That’s what I did and I don’t have any regrets. So excited for you!!

  4. How exciting, it’s your first 26.2! I’m also doing NYC, it’s my dream race. I started training last month.
    The Higdon plan is a good one. I use Galloway, as I’ve used it since 2012.
    If you get in the miles, you will be good to go. It all becomes a mental game, so train that as well. Our bodies are capable of so much, and you will feel so many emotions when you cross that finish line. 🙂
    We should try to meet up while we are waiting for the start!

    1. Thanks Shannon. I’m super excited!! I debated using the Galloway method. But eventually Hal’s plan suited me best.
      I’d love to meet up before the start. I don’t know anyone running (well enough) so that’s be really nice.

  5. Soooo sooo excited for you! Feel free to email me if you have any questions. I forgot if I sent this to you already (or you may have already read it).. Gunar has run the NYCM 36 times – his website is great! If you email with questions he is very good about answering.

    1. 36 times!!! That’s awesome!!! Thanks for the offer. I’ll definitely keep this info for later. Who knows what questions I’ll have. Thanks for sharing Jen.

  6. Exciting! I’ve run 4 half marathons, and am not sure I could commit to the full. I am so impressed with people who are able to put in the training – and to do it with 2 kids, wow! I can’t imagine, but I don’t have kids yet, so one day I’m sure I will understand 😉

    Looking forward to hearing how your training goes.

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