New York City Marathon Training

So remember a while ago when I told you I got into the New York Marathon this year?

NYC marathon

Well now that I’m back from vacation, reality has set in and I realized it’s only 21 weeks away.

home alone gif


I need to get my butt in gear and start training. First thing I started doing was researching training plans. There are so many different training plans that you can find online but I couldn’t find a single plan that suited my needs. So I combined a couple of plans into my own unique plan. When making my training plan I considered:


As I started looking through the plans, I noticed almost all of them had one thing in common, the longest run that you complete is 20 miles (32km). When I saw that, I almost fainted. So I’ll have to run 10km longer than I have ever run before ON race day. I thought the golden rule of running was never do anything new on race day!

I looked into this further and there is actually a lot of reasoning for the 20 mile mark. When training, it’s important to balance preparedness with injury risk. Running past the 20 mile mark doesn’t increase aerobic capacity that much but does increase injury risk. I have a pretty long history of injuries so I know I don’t want to push it too far. However, the idea of showing up on race day having only ran 20 miles gives me a mild huge panic attack.


Ultimately, I’ve decided to run to 22 miles. I feel for my mental preparedness I need to go a little further than 20 miles. Of course, we will see how my training goes and that could change.

Rest Days:

Training plans differ on the number of running days from 3-6. I knew for myself 5-6 days of running is too much. I feel comfortable running 4 days a week. That also gives me a chance to do some other things that I enjoy like strength training & yoga.



Speed/Hill Training:

A lot of beginner marathon training plans that I read didn’t include any speed or hill training. For me, I want to ensure that I am used to running hills as New York is a hilly course. And I would definitely like to work on my speed so including some interval training is important to me. For interval training I decided to give the Yasso method a try.

Planned Races:

I had already signed up for two half marathons before I got into the New York marathon.Therefore, I had to incorporate those into my training plan and ensure that I allow a bit of a recovery period after each race before increasing my mileage further.

So with all these factors in mind and the multiple marathon plans laid out in front of me, I came up with this training plan:

*Note all distances are in miles. Yes, I am Canadian so the metric system would make more sense. But for me, it’s a mental thing, 20 miles seems like less than 32km.*

new york marathon training program

I’ll be updating my training progress every week so follow along to see how I do on my road to New York.

What training programs have you used for runs? What’s your favourite type of run – long, tempo, hills, other?


11 thoughts on “New York City Marathon Training

  1. You can do it!! You are going to have an amazing run and I love how prepared you are!! I love all of your training plans! Fabulous! I’ve been liking tempo runs lately!! XOXO!!! Have a fabulous day!!

  2. YOU CAN DO THIS! I can’t wait to read about your training, especially hill training. It is something that I need to work on before I do any serious races (anything more than a 5k), because the hills really slow down my times.

    Today, over by me, is TWIT Thursday and a TABATA RECAP! Come check out both of my posts!

    I would love to run a marathon.. I think I’m going to add it to my bucket list.. but, Man.. I really need to figure out how to not let hills KICK MY BUTT!

  3. I’m SOOOO ridiculously excited (and jealous) you’re doing the NYC Marathon!! I did the half in March and DREAM about doing the full some day! I think I’ll try entering the lottery next year!!!

    I used the NYRR training plan for the half and LOVED it!!! It helped me shave almost 15 minutes off my previous half time. It’s paid (29 bucks) BUT is completely catered to you after you answer some questions about yourself, your running history, current run status etc… THEN, as you begin training and entering your progress, it adjusts your training and goal times. It’s seriously AMAZING and well worth the money!!! Plus, because you’re running one of their races they’ll talk about the course and the city and the race (including history and interesting facts!)

    Anyway…. definitely something to look at!

    Good luck with your training and I look forward to following along! I just signed up for another half in September so I’m going to start training myself soon 🙂

  4. Looks like a good plan. My friend Laura got in too this year. NYC was my first marathon in 2011. I entered on a whim with friends. The entire race is a blur. Enjoy your training!

  5. How exciting! I like your plan, both in mileage and rest. 🙂

    I’ve always used Higdon plans; they’ve gotten me past the finish line, for sure. Regarding the 20 miles and “I have 10K left!”: it’s all about mental preparedness. I’m planning on doing 22-23 milers in my marathon training, but different plans for different peeps!

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