As you read this, I’m en route to sunny Orlando, Florida to run the 10K and half marathon at Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend for the second year in a row! Kicking off the new year with these races got me thinking about setting some running goals for 2016, so I’m sharing those today.
Run the New York City Marathon
After qualifying through the New York Road Runners 9+1 program in 2015, my biggest running goal in 2016 is to cross the finish line at my “hometown” marathon. This will be my first marathon, and it’s been a dream of mine to run it since I first laced up and ran three miles in the spring of 2013, nearly three years ago. I spent much of last year working towards this goal, and if and when I am lucky enough to make it come November, I just know it will be the most amazing feeling. That said, there are a few things I need to do to make it happen…
Increase Monthly Mileage
In order to successfully run the marathon, I need to up my miles. For most of 2015, I averaged around 25 miles a week running 4-5 days. I plan to start increasing this in February, after I finish up the two half marathons I have in January and can focus more on training. I’m aiming to be at a consistent 5 days/30 miles per week by April, so I can build from there by increasing the long run throughout the summer and early autumn.
Run 4 Half Marathons
I’m running this weekend in Florida, and I’m signed up for the Fred Lebow Half Marathon on January 24th in Central Park. I also got into the New York City Half Marathon for the third year in a row, and will be running it in March. Ideally, I am going to stop racing anything but short distances until I’m well into marathon training, and I’d like to find a fourth half marathon to run at the point in my training plan when it makes the most sense, to gauge how I’m doing.
Craft a Training Plan
The common theme for all these goals is that they will need to fit into a marathon training plan. I’ve heard good things about the NYRR virtual trainer, the Hal Higdon program, and a few others, and I’m hoping I can cobble something together with the advice of November Project marathon veterans that will work for me. I’m injury prone so need to increase the mileage more slowly over a longer period of time than the typical plan allows for. I’m also hoping to find some training buddies who have similar goal paces.
PR in a Short Distance Race
The marathon is about going the distance, and that’s what I’ve been all about since I started running, never focusing much on time or pace. But I know that speedwork is crucial to getting to that finish line, and I’m going to continue my intervals as well as trying to get to November Project interval training more than my sporadic appearances this autumn. My current PR is 8:40/mile in a 4 mile race, and I’d love to get to 8:30/mile for that distance, or even lower if possible.
What’s your biggest running goal for 2016?
Any tips on crafting a good marathon training plan?
Cross training recommendations for a marathon?
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