Marathon Training by the Numbers + Goals

How inspiring was the NYC marathon on Sunday? My older daughter watched it with me and as Shalane pull ahead it was the first time she got really into a race- cheering and stressed out that she might lose first place!

I, like many of you, was crying along with her… especially after her injury just 9 months ago.  Wow!

It was the motivation I needed going into race week.  Normally I’m incredibly nervous but I’m oddly calm.  I feel like I did my best with the time I had, so let’s see what happens!

Of course, I’m wondering if I did enough to hit my goals after taking 6 weeks off this summer.  But it’s all good- I’m grateful to be running injury free and I’ll show up and focus on being in the moment and enjoying it.

On an ideal course, I’d like to go sub-3:20 and I feel like my training points to this, but as we know so well, anything can happen on race day.  And I’m not sure how the hilly profile will work out for my pacing plan.


The best way for me to boost my confidence is to reflect back on the training I did, so here we go…

Number of races done: 3 (half marathon, and the 5k and 10k at the RW festival)

Nothing especially confidence boosting about any of these, but I got race pace miles in the half and used the 5k/10k to run pace miles in my 20 miler.

Number of long runs done over 15 miles: 6, with race pace miles in 4 of them

This is fewer long runs than I’ve run in the past, but they were higher quality so let’s hope that helps.

Number of 20 milers: 2

Again, fewer than I would normally do.  One at a nice easy pace (9:11) and the other with race pace miles at 7:37 average with the RW 5k/10k in the middle.

Number of tempo runs: 11

These were a variety of race pace and faster than race pace miles.  This boosts my confidence a bit!

Number of miles run at or near race pace (7:30s): 86

I feel like that pace is drilled into my head and legs pretty well by now.

Number of track workouts (400m-800m range): 5

Most of these were in the beginning of training before the long runs picked up.  I did one 8 x 800m workout just a few weeks ago that felt strong.  I look forward to more short track workouts at some point soon when I’m not in marathon training.

Favorite confidence building workout: 18 long run with 10 at marathon pace

I’ve never done as many high quality long runs as I did this cycle.  In the past, I ran long runs easy and a few of them with a fast finish.  Fingers crossed that my legs liked this style of training!

Average mileage: skip

I’m scared to tally this up because it was so much lower than I wish it had been.  Mid September, I picked it up and kept it between 37-51 for the last 7 weeks before taper.

There was also a pool run once a week, sometimes twice to help boost the overall volume while preventing injury.

So what’s done is done… now all that is left is to show up ready to run my heart out and have a blast!

One last concern: weather!! The low Friday night is 26, getting up to the low 40s on race day… if most of the race is low 30s, how would you dress?

How do you boost your confidence before a race?

Do you visualize the course?

I’m linking up with  SuzRachelLora, and Debbie for Running Coaches Corner, and NicoleAnnmarieMichelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday and PattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run.






18 thoughts on “Marathon Training by the Numbers + Goals

  1. Ooh! That sounds incredibly chilly to me! Hope you find the perfect outfit to wear. I would probably end up overdressing, because I hate being cold. 🙁

    Trust in your training. I’m sure you’ll do great. I’m a big proponent of just enjoying the course. 😉
    Clarinda recently posted..October Report CardMy Profile

  2. I have run Richmond several times, and the weather sounds a lot like what we had last year. I ran in capri tights (I’m short so I rarely wear full length tights), a tank top, and a Nike dri-fit quarter zip. I took the long sleeved quarter zip off around mile 16-17 (tied it around my waist, my number was pinned on that). I threw away gloves around mile 5.

    Richmond has rolling hills, but I really don’t think of it as that hilly. Good luck! Cannot wait to hear your recap. I love Richmond (and am not running this year due to my own injury).

    • That is so helpful, Wendy! Thank you!! That is what I’m leaning toward as well in terms of clothing. And I’m glad to hear you say the hills aren’t that big of a deal! I am good at finding last minute things to get nervous about but just need to go have fun!
      Laura recently posted..Marathon Training by the Numbers + GoalsMy Profile

  3. I am so glad it is going to be clear on race day! I remember the climb up on mile 16ish last year and but mostly after that the course is pretty kind until the end. I hope you hit that goal! I am thinking tights, light gloves, and a long sleeve with a throwaway over it, but I am only running this half this time around. Even sunny I think it will feel cool – the humidity has dropped dramatically here the past few days. Good luck!
    Karen Bayne recently posted..The Big Day! Marathon #2My Profile

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Laura! I had a rough run this morning where race pace felt hard (just aimed to hit it for a few 3 minute segments) but I know that sometimes happens to me when tapering.
      I love hearing what you would wear! I hate being cold but do tend to overheat as well… back and forth between capris and shorts with compressions socks. We’ll see if temps change at all as we get closer to race day!
      Laura recently posted..Marathon Training by the Numbers + GoalsMy Profile

  4. You had such a great training cycle! I wouldn’t worry about the mileage, I think you got in so many quality workouts plus Im sure the pool running helped too! Cant wait to see how it goes for you!

  5. I have such a good feeling about this for you! I know that is weird but you have put up such strong numbers – both pacing and mileage – and I think your MIND is ready. I’m not surprised at all that you are calm. Either way and no matter what happens, you win.
    That said, I will be cheering for you and stalking social media for your results while in Las Vegas!!
    Go get it Laura!!…and please yell “f*uck yes!” as you finish 🙂
    Allie recently posted..The Rundown – Off to the Race(s)My Profile

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