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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18 thoughts on “Running Goals for 2016”
Running NYC sounds like it would be perfect for you! Sending ALL the best vibes to make it happen this year ❤ And my running goals mostly relate to pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I feel like I've fallen into a pretty comfortable groove with running as far as distance and pace go, so this year I'd really like to focus on getting faster and running further. Eep.
Thank you 🙂
You are SUCH a champ. I’m so impressed by your drive! I miss running, but I messed up my knee and before I could fix it I got pregnant… and then i got pregnant again. Maybe some day!
Hey Alyssa! I just came across your blog and have been loving it as a fellow gf runner 🙂 NYC 2015 was my first full marathon and it was incredible. Yoga was the best cross training for me, but definitely don’t forget to include hill training as much as you can. The bridges are rough!! I actually did a whole post on this if you’re interested: http://mygfboston.com/2015/12/10/post-marathon-thoughts-what-i-would-do-differently-next-time/
I’m hoping to run another marathon in the fall and break 4 hours–and I’m also hoping to PR my 5k. It’s so easy to forget about shorter distance races when you’re focused on marathoning! Good luck with your goals–I look forward to reading more!
Thanks, I’ll definitely check out that post!
How exciting! You’ve really put a lot of thought into this, and I’m sure that will help you be successful down the road.
There are as many marathon training plans as there are marathoners, and for first timers it really does take a leap of faith to pick a plan because you have no way of knowing what will work for you in something you’ve never done before. It sounds like you are really in tune with what has and hasn’t worked for you so far and are good at listening to your body, so just go with your gut. Remember that you will already be taking on way more than you’re used to, so I would choose a plan that doesn’t throw a ton of difficulty at you and just focuses more on a smart build-up that will help you get to that start AND finish line healthy. There will always be other marathons to focus on improving your performance and shooting for a goal time, but you only get one first, so focus more on making it an enjoyable experience. Can’t wait to follow your training!
Thanks for such great advice, Hanna. I’m following yours closely too 🙂
My biggest running goal is to break 2 hours in the half marathon sometime this year! And the goal of PR’ing in a short distance race is a GREAT goal, because those are my most difficult races.
That is a great goal, it was mine until NYCM came along…
That’s super exciting. I actually ran the NYCM as my first marathon and loved it. The crowd and energy really carried me through! I think you have good goals for this year and I cannot wait to follow your blog as you reach them!
Tips for a marathon training plan would be to hire a coach. Then it takes all the guesswork out of it and you don’t have to stress so much. 🙂 It’s been a game-changer for me. Good luck!
These are some serious goals! You are totally make them happen! I would love to run NYC and will probably throw my name in when everything opens later this month. I’ve had success with Hal Higdon’s plans because you can easily adapt them based on your needs. I will be at WDW this weekend too and running the marathon on Sunday. Good luck with your races this weekend 🙂
Thanks, it was awesome. Hope yours went well!
My race goal is my first marathon this May. I don’t have a trusted plan yet because this is my first go and I am following my coach’s training plan/advice. I usually crosstrain once a week on the elliptical and bike. The only thing I can say is do some mobility and core exercises to prevent injury (most important thing!) Good luck!
Yay! These are great goals! I don’t run, but I probably need to put together a list of goals for lifting! :]
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