My 14-Week Marathon Training Plan

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EDIT: Please see the revised version of my training plan here: That’s Not Enough Running: My Marathon Training Plan, Revised

Welcome to my life. All I talk about now is marathon training.

Marathon training this. Marathon training that. Hey, by the way! Did you know I’m training for the New York City Marathon?

Sorry, I’m not sorry. What can I say? My world revolves around running (more so than usual now) and finishing my training program and the race successfully means a lot to me, so it’s going to affect almost every aspect of my life.

Speaking of my training program, I’ve been talking a lot about that over the past few weeks too, but I haven’t shared it with you all yet until now.

You can take a look at it above. It’s briefly based off of the free beginner marathon training plan on NYYR.org. I tweaked it to work for my own personality as a runner and since I wrote about my decision to cut back to 14 weeks and just 3 days of running per week, I’ve made a few more tweaks to it.

The biggest change was that I added in a option for a fourth day of running. Tuesdays will typically be for cross training in the pool or on the bike, but if my legs feel up to it I might opt for an easy run instead. It’s all going to be based on how my body feels. That’s the number one strategy I’m implementing for this whole training period.

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A recap of my tempo workout on Monday.

As I mentioned before, almost every aspect of my life will be affected by the fact that I am now in marathon training mode. The two most important being my sleep and my diet. Below are a few guidelines I set up for myself during training. I know I won’t be able to follow them perfectly, but it’s my goal to do the best I can so that I can be as prepared as possible on race day.

My Marathon Training Goals:

– Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.

– Make time for naps on long run days.

– Make time for extra sleep whenever possible.

– Foam roll on all run days.

– Stretch every night before bed.

– Increase the amount of fruits and veggies in my diet.

My aim for the race is simply to finish injury free. Since this is my first marathon ever I do not have a time goal and I will be training based on effort and heart rate rather than pace. As I get close to race day and I have a good sense of where my pace should be, I may create a pace plan for race day, but until then my training will primarily focus on effort.

Are you training for a marathon too? Or do you hope to train for and race one somewhere down the line? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!

P.S. Thanks to everyone who has sent me kind words of encouragement over the past few weeks! It really means a lot to me and that’s what keeps me going when the going gets tough!

P.P.S. You can still vote for me in the Runner’s World Cover Contest 😉 Thanks for your support!

5 comments
  1. You’re pretty darn fast! I think my mile PR was like 10:45 minute or something. Wow, you certainly motivate me to run better! What do you fuel yourself with nowadays? I heard a while back that you went to a conference where a guest speaker you look up to said that grains weren’t at all that great. Do you still fuel with carbs?

    By the way, don’t ever give up that marathon training! I love hearing about your runs more than ANYTHING else!

    1. Thanks, Linda! And yes, I most definitely fuel with carbs! They are essential!! And I still use grains as a source for carbs. I’ll try and do another follow up post about that because what I ultimately found was that a no grain diet doesn’t work for me (I wrote a little bit about that here) but I try not to overdo it with bread and processed grains and aim to include more carbs from sources that are more nutrient dense like fruits and veggies instead! Whole foods are the best way to go!

  2. What a great plan! I can’t do back to back running too often either, this has some great variety and still seems very manageable. I love the idea of training for effort not time, especially for your first marathon. Good luck!! Looking forward to reading about your journey!

  3. Hi! Your plan sounds awesome, so I tried to plug it into my schedule… and it got all wonky. Any tips for unusual schedules? I work 12+h shifts as a nurse and, I’ll be honest, I can almost guarantee I won’t run after work… The problem lies when I work Fri-Sun and that’s three straight days of no time/daylight/energy to run after work, so it messes with the schedule big time. Other days I can just sort of alternate the runs to fit. I work a bi-weekly schedule of Mon-Tues, off Wed-Thur, work Fri-Sun, alternate the next week, repeat… I was trying to just put some runs back to back and put the yoga and rest and cross-training days on work days, but it still didn’t look quite balanced. Any thoughts you have would be very helpful! Thank you!

    1. Hi Jessica! Sounds like you have a pretty crazy schedule. The first thing that came to mind when reading your comment was Hal Higdon’s training plan that requires just three runs per week (http://www.halhigdon.com/training/51151/Marathon-Marathon-3-Training-Program). It sounds like this may be something you want to look into as it might be easier for you to rearrange to fit with your schedule. If you’re still really feeling frustrated with fitting it all in, it might be worth it to consult a coach for a custom training plan — coaching is always worth it but I think it would be especially so in your case. Feel free to email me (katie@hungry-runner.com) if you’d like to chat more about it 🙂

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