Marathon Training Plan Month #1

As I mentioned in my June monthly recap, this was the first month of my training plan for the New York City Marathon on November 6. My plan, crafted for me by Laura at This Runner’s Recipes, will last for five months and bring me right up to the starting line. At the end of each month, I’ll write a recap of my training and include the highlights as well as what I want to work on in the following weeks. Hopefully it will be helpful both for me and anyone else looking to do a 5-month marathon training cycle!



Week 1: June 6 – June 12

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: 5.4 miles

Wednesday: Core Strength Workout

Thursday: 5.3 miles

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: 9 miles

Sunday: 4 very easy miles


The first week of my training plan was similar to the running I’d been doing on my own throughout the past few months, with mileage just under the 25 mile mark, a couple of weekday hourlong morning runs, a Saturday long run and a Sunday recovery run. The only difference was adding a short core strength workout on Wednesday, something I often neglect to squeeze in but do need to focus on as marathon training gets underway.



Central Park Reservoir in June




Week 2: June 13 – 19

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: 5.3 miles at an easy pace

Wednesday: Strength and core workout (15 minutes)

Thursday: 10 mile long run at 10:56/mile average pace

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: 5.2 mile fartlek (interval) workout

Sunday: 8 mile run at very easy 11:14/mile pace


This week was a little more intense. I woke up very early Thursday morning and did my long run then, struggling toward the end without proper hydration. I didn’t make the same mistake when I did my first interval workout Saturday morning before my friend Lauren’s wedding, or Sunday when my “recovery” run turned into a long and winding long-ish run. I’m discovering that runs less than 5 miles might not make a key part of my training, because even for recovery it takes 3-4 miles for me to really start to shake out. I knew I was an endurance runner rather than a speed demon.



West Point Hudson River view




Week 3: June 20 – 26

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: 5 miles

Wednesday: Core strength workout

Thursday: 5 miles

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: 9 miles @ 11:03/mile pace

Sunday: 6.3 miles @ 11:08/mile pace


I didn’t quite make it to the 10-mile mark for my long run this week, but the 9 I did felt good and I think it was better to drop back a mile before building to an 11-mile long run in Week 4 because I haven’t run more than 10 miles since the MORE Women’s Half Marathon more than two months ago. Again, the longer recovery run seemed to work for me. And I’ve started getting used to doing a routine of core exercises weekly, as well as one or two after a run and foam roll on the weekends.



Sneakers on the East River Esplanade





Week 4: June 27 – July 3

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: 5 miles

Wednesday: Core strength workout

Thursday: 11.1 miles @ 11:18/mile pace

Friday: 6 miles

Saturday: 5 miles

Sunday: 5 miles


This week was my highest mileage in months, and my long run went much better than the prior week. I’m feeling good and looking forward to the second month of training, with more dedicated interval and speed/hill workouts mixed in as well as an increasing long run. It starts today!




Fourth of July Garden






Have you ever run a marathon?


If so, did you use a training plan?


Optimal amount of time to train for a marathon?












© 2016 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.


7 thoughts on “Marathon Training Plan Month #1

  1. You are well on your way with training! I enjoy long recovery runs too. I’ve found they help me work through tightness. I will also be running NYC this fall and am about 6 ish weeks into a formal training plan since my goal race is Chicago. I think the more weeks the better that way you can ease into everything and work up to the mileage increase.


  2. I’ve run 2 marathons, but I didn’t follow plans that were written out; if I did one again, I probably would get a plan! It looks like your plan is going really well, and I love how you are really good at keeping the pace conservative on a long run.


    • I was worried about just striking out on my own for the marathon since I didn’t have plans for any halfs I’ve run and it’s a whole different kind of race, but I’m impressed you were able to do it smoothly!


  3. I just ran my first marathon a couple weeks ago. I kind of made up my own plan slowing increasing my long runs up to 22 miles before tapering. I only had 4 months and think you probably need 6 months to really prepare. Your plan looks awesome though keep running 4-5x/ week and keep your interval training in! I really needed more of that. Good luck 🙂


  4. You are doing so well at marathon training – so disciplined, strong, and consistent! I like to base marathon training off of how good of a base I’ve maintained over the past few months. This time I’ll probably train for 18 weeks, too much longer makes me feel a bit mentally burnt out I think!


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