TCS NYC Marathon Countdown: 18 weeks | Goals

Exactly 123 days till the New York City Marathon – which puts us just under 18 weeks of training, freaking out, training, icing, rolling, training, panicking, oh and running.

Since I completed the New Jersey Marathon in May, I’ve been counting down to counting down. The last two months of recovery, were not retrospectively the smartest use of my 8 weeks, but more on that later.

Leading up to training, I narrowed down on a plan, new shoes, started a playlist and most importantly, determined goals.

When running my first marathon, I decided to have a secret time goal, that I wouldn’t tell a single soul. Having a time goal on a first long distance race is definitely not recommended, just because there is no control measure over what a runner can or cannot meet, let alone, beat. So that’s why mine was a secret.

Did I reach it? Nope. Did it matter? Not even a little bit.

Aside from time goals, I like to set goals you can’t count. For New Jersey, those were –

  • DONT BE A HERO/IN PAIN – Make sure every mile is work, but not torture. Going into New Jersey I was nursing an overuse injury on my calf, so I was forewarned to go easy. NEWS FLASH – there is no “easy” in marathon, so to that me meant – never push yourself to the point of pain.
  • LAST MILE IS FASTER THAN FIRST MILE – This not only allowed me to make sure I started out super easy (10:35) but also allowed my brain to spend 4.5 hours committing to a sub 10 minute mile, therefore preserving anything I had left, and getting super excited. My last mile split was 9:58.
  • HAVE FUN – I know, it sounds like the most insane statement to have fun running 26.2 long miles, but if you’re not enjoying it, you’ve wasted the last 4 months of training, and more importantly a perfectly decent Saturday morning. As runners, we choose to run. We made that choice. Complaining, sulking and worse of all — not enjoying yourself — does nobody any good. The 4+ months of training are the work, the marathon is the reward ( (C) Liz Demcsak)

For this year’s big, huge, mega-important race, the New York City Marathon, my goals are similar. My time goal exists, because now I know what I’m working with, but it’s also the perfect mix of challenging, manageable and exciting.

You may have caught on that I’ll be using the Hansons Marathon Method for my training. This plan focuses on running smart instead of just running long. Against traditional marathon training plans, the “long run” isn’t the focal point of training.

The running week consists of 6 days of running, including tempo, strength, speed, easy and recovery runs.

Below are the time goals associated with those runs, aligned with your marathon goal pace:

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Hansons Marathon Method | Runners World 

So, I’m aiming for anything in the 4:30-:40 family, that means my tempo runs, the most challenging time pace because it’s faster and for a longer period of time, will be about 10:18.

Hansons Marathon Method is no joke, and I’m excited because I’m terrified, which is exactly how I felt at the starting line in New Jersey, so I know it’s a good thing.

So, to wrap – my goals for New York City Marathon are:

  1. TIME GOAL: 4:30-4:45. This range covers everything from “OMG I’m an olympian” to “Ok, that’s fine!” to “What can I learn for next time.” Also, even if I finish this race is 6,7, or 8 hours, I’ll be so proud. A 6 minute mile and a 12 minute mile is the same distance.
  2. SOAK IN EVERY SECOND: Not many people walk away from a year running a marathon, and I’ll have done two. This one is especially important to me, in my home city, with my best friend and goes without saying – a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s huge for me to be present and soak in every scene, ever sign, every bridge, every hill, all of it.
  3.  LAST MILE IS FASTER THAN FIRST MILE – This was a huge confidence booster for me, and I think I’ll carry this goal with me through ever big race.

I’m kicking off Hansons Marathon Method today with a prescribed Easy 3 Miles. Going to soak these miles in too, since I know they won’t feel easy for too much longer.



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