NJ Marathon Training + The First Three Weeks

Surprise! Actually, it’s a surprise I’m writing too. I’ve been meaning to pop in, and this day off/sick day is the perfect opportunity. The first three weeks of my training for the New Jersey Marathon (save $5  off the full/half/relay with the code 17njmBibRave) are complete. I thought I’d share how I’m training for the race, in case anyone is curious!


– Jeff Galloway intervals: Running using run/walk intervals has kept me running healthy for 7 months now. While it took some time to get used to, I do actually enjoy the intervals. On easy/super easy days, I run 60 seconds, walk 30 seconds. On medium-effort days or days when I’m doing more race pace running, I’ll run 1:30 or 2:00 and walk :30 seconds. This plays along with my next point…

– Heart rate based paces: I also have been using heart rate as an important piece of my training since June. It tells me how hard my heart is working, and helps me recover more quickly. I no longer come in dying from runs, and I don’t spend my days completely drained. I use the Garmin zones (which I set manually for my age/weight/activity level) and stay in certain zones for certain runs. Super easy runs are in zone 3 (135-155), easy runs are in the lower level of zone 4 (155-168), and moderate/hard runs are at the top edge of zone 4 and zone 5 (168+). This is especially helpful after hard days and when keeping it super easy during the first half of a long run. I always try to keep the first half at SEE, then bump it up to EE/moderate for the second half.

This was an easy effort (EE) run. Guess I took it a little too easy!

– November Project: NP is my one day a week I let myself run whatever pace, and I also get in strength training. Last training cycle I went almost every week. Right now I’m going every other week, due to work demands and other conflicts. I’m hoping after February I can go every week again!


– My own training plan: I loved working with a coach last fall, but when things got crazy with work, I felt bad for not following my plan completely. I feel that I’ve run long enough that I can make a decent plan on my own, especially since I’m not gunning for a certain time (but yes, a PR). I’m able to consider races I have planned, and switch runs around for work and boyfriend/friend time. I’m aiming for 5 running days a week, but I’ll be happy with 4 too.



So, how’s it going??

So far, not as planned. My first week involved last-minute changed travel plans, and a trip down the stairs on New Year’s Eve that left me in a lot of pain (before I started indulging, thank you :P). My second week involved a cancelled race, and therefore, skipped long run. The third week was an improvement

Week 1: 2 runs: 5.3 + 10 mi, 15.3 mi total (Tripped on my skirt fell down the stairs on my a$$ after 10 miles. So much pain.)


Week 2: 4 runs: 4.14 + 3.15 + 4.14  + 3 mi, 14.43 mi total (Disney Half Marathon CANCELED, but walked 13.6 miles that day)


Week 3: 

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 4 miles (treadmill) with hill intervals. 3 intervals at super easy effort (SEE), then three with hills at 2, 3, 4%.

Wednesday: 2 miles at November Project with strength training and stairs, 2 miles after.

Click for photo cred.

Thursday: It would have been a perfect day to run, so sad I couldn’t get out!

Friday: 3.75 miles with my roommate on the hills around our house!

Saturday: Off – I had planned to run, but was nervous about too much of a mileage leap between two weeks.

Sunday: 13.1 miles – the inaugural (and only) Cockeysville Disney World Half Marathon. Now I’ll feel like I “earned” my medal when it comes in the mail.

Medal shaped luggage tag, haha.
Medal shaped luggage tag, haha.

Weekly total: 24.85 miles <– much happier to be here, finally.

Total this training cycle: 54.58 miles

Despite only running 4 days this week, I feel much better after this week. I was legit worried about making it 13 miles, but it wasn’t an issue. Planning for 5 days and a 15 mile long run for week 4, hoping I can get it all in!

What’s one of your challenges of getting your runs in? 

How are you training for your next race?



3 thoughts on “NJ Marathon Training + The First Three Weeks

  1. I love that you did your own half marathon the week after the cancelled race! I was actually in Cockeysville yesterday at a bridal expo with my sister. Great job with your training so far! Its still early on so dont worry too much about those first 2 weeks:)


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