marathon training: week zero

Welp, it’s time. After running my first marathon, almost running nycm, getting hurt, taking a month off, falling more in love with yoga, and slowly but surely finding my way back on the roads, tomorrow begins my 16 week journey to Eugene. This is the first time I’m actually going to stick to a plan. With hindsight, I realized that even though I snuck in some decently long runs before my first marathon (a 16 and 22 miler), my overall mileage was way too low. And when mile 20 rolled around during Wineglass, I was greeted with “the wall” that was more like “see, thiissss is what happens when you don’t train properly for a marathon.” 

My running plan is all thanks to Jason Fitzgerald, the guy behind Strength Running. I wanted his help because of his emphasis on (you guessed it!) strength training for runners. He ‘s also big into injury prevent (awesome), science and running theory (good for the brain), aaaand he’s a 2:39 marathoner. Clearly his tactics are working. (I used this personalized race plan.)


I only function because of duct tape


What I love about the plan is that it’s going to challenge the hell out of me. It’s not impossible, and it’s flexible. But… it’s hard. I’ll be forced to get in the habit of warming up and cooling down and doing routines that will help with injury prevention. I’ll be told when to do long runs (they happen every weekend, not only twice, Laur) and when to do speed work. My weekly mileage starts at 32 and peaks at 48, which I think is extremely doable. 

It goes without saying I’m a bit nervous though. First of all, I’ve never committed to something for 16 weeks. That’s long. (Way longer than, say, a marathon…) And secondly, I’m feeling all wimpy with this blustering, windy NYC weather. I usually love the cold, but realized that was in the context of being bundled up, next to a fire, or simply devoid of sweat on a subway platform. 20 degree winds smacking at your face is less than pleasant. Waiting for your garmin to get signal when it’s freezing out sucks. But…I’m hoping (and maybe assuming?) that I’ll get used to it. The longer days of sunlight will start kicking in, and it will have to get warmer. Or I’ll just toughen up.

Time, though, is what I’m scared about most. No longer can I slot 45 minutes in the morning for a run. (I literally hop out of bed, hop onto the streets, hop in the shower, and then hop on the subway.) Until the sun starts significantly setting later, I’ll be training in the morning. To make sure I properly warm up and cool down, do core, strength work, and stretch, I’ll be getting up a biiiiiiit earlier than I’m used to. Again, I hope I just get used to it. Or invent a way to add a few hours to the day.

But, I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t want to. This is a commitment I’m devoted to, and one that I’m incredibly excited about.  I’m so curious how legit training for a marathon will change me as an athlete. I think I have a lot of room to improve, and I’m hoping there’s some secret speed I haven’t unlocked yet. And…. maybe this is my ticket to reaching a new level in the running world.

So with that… sub 3:30 or bust. (!!!)


About Laura

marketing director at Possible. formerly at Greatist. Still running, finding zen, and searching for the perfect bloody mary.

Posted on January 7, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. If you find a way to add a few hours to the day, please share!

    I liked running in NYC in the middle of winter much more than summer/warmer months in general, but I had completely forgotten what it’s like to have to wait for the subway once the run’s over, or how long it takes to get a signal when surrounded by tall buildings! I’m glad I don’t have to deal with that anymore.

  2. 13 miles on Sunday??? I think that means we get to run extra long before cassoulet 😉

  3. I’m giving myself about 20 weeks to train before a half marathon since my injuries kept me out MUCH longer than you. But I too will be incorporating LOTS of warming up/cooling down, stretching, strength training and cross training. Always good to have a balanced schedule!

    It does seem overwhelming thinking 16 weeks = 4 months = incomprehensible amount of time to stick to a plan, but I just take it one week at a time, assess how the week went and then make sure next week’s plan will still be fine for my body. I’m sure you can do this, cant wait to read about how this plan goes! And keep some Rock Tape on hand for any flare ups 🙂

  4. YES! I knew that you could be faster than *just* a 3:35! I didn’t realize you only did 2 long runs before Wineglass?! WHAT?! And still ran that fast!! You are going to crush Eugene, my friend! So glad you are dreaming big and going for even bigger & faster goals!! I LOVE IT!!!

    • Haha I maaaay regret announcing that 3:30 goal. And yes…I only went on a few long runs which was a poor, poor decision. Can’t wait to hear all about nuun-ragnar/ your eugene training ! (:

  5. dude. you are going to CRUSH that goal. i just know it. you kicked some A at wineglass and now i think you see your potential. i was in awe when i was reading your easy runs at 7:45 pace in one of your posts last week. i hope i get to that place 🙂 i’m dreaming HUGE for a BQ too. hoping our house is full of SUCCESS!! xo

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