16 Week Marathon Training Plan

Are you planning on running a marathon?  Me too!  I’ve technically turned my 16 week training plan into an 18 week one, so I’ve already started two weeks ago.  However, technically the plan I’m following starts today.  How exciting!

Queens 10k NYC

Not only that, but in 15 weeks and 6 days time, I’ll have completed my first marathon.  How scary is that!

Get the plan right!

You all know my mantra – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  Training success is all about the plan.  It’s step 1 on your journey, and there is a wealth of great information out there on how to get started.    I always recommend the Hal Higdon programs – they’re free, easy to follow and effective.  I used this for my half marathon training earlier this year.

Another great starting point is fellrnr.com and their amazing marathon training plan guide – it compares a LOT of online, free plans and gives recommendations on which is right for you.  It’s a wonderful resource for new and experienced runners!

Normally I spend a lot of time planning out my training and making a spreadsheet for races and training runs, colour coded and updated with training paces and comments as the weeks go on.  This time, I’ve opted for something a little different – don’t get me wrong, I LOVE me a good spreadsheet, but I’ve been so busy in work recently that I haven’t had much time to focus on devising the perfect plan.  I therefore opted for a ready-made plan using the NYRR Virtual Trainer program.

NYRR Virtual Trainer 

NYRR Virtual Trainer is a personalized 16 week marathon training plan with an online system to track your progress.  You start by adding your goals, your current race paces, your current mileage and ability – and the website will pop out a personalized plan for you.  There are a few tiers of training plans, so you can choose between a conservative plan for your first marathon, right up to a more challenging plan if you’re trying to BQ (Boston Qualify).  There’s an option for everyone!

16 week marathon training plan
My personalized plan – just looking at it brings me out in a cold sweat

You can see my mileage above, but the virtual plan online has much more data than what I’ve shown here – it gives expected paces, types of run (easy run, regular run, intervals etc), and it also recalculates targets based on the run data you input as the program progresses.

I’m interested to see how my projected finish time changes over the plan, this morning I was targeting 5 hours and 30 minutes, but I had a slow run tonight in the crazy humidity and it’s set my expected finish time back to almost 6 hours!  The most important thing is finishing, though, so I’m going to keep following the given paces on the plan as this should be the best way to avoid injury.

marathon training plan
A sneak peak of my personalized 16 week marathon training plan


110 days to go

I am very excited to for this plan!  There is a small fee for access to the virtual trainer, but so far I think it’s great value for money for the wealth of metrics and personalized targets that the plan provides.  I find it incredibly intimidating, especially as it’s more mileage than I currently do and I’ve had all these damn injuries to deal with.  However, I feel like I’m ready for this, and ready to give it my all.

I can’t wait to share my progress!  If you want to follow along, you’ll find me mostly on Instagram and Strava.

Here we go!  110 days till marathon!

Pam x 


Couch to 5k review and my first 5k experience! GUEST POST

I’m sure you all remember Sarah and her great post about starting the C25k program earlier this year.  Well, she’s only gone and finished it, and run THREE 5k races already!  I can’t wait to hear her couch to 5k review, so take it away Sarah! 


I’m back! Thanks so much to Pam again for letting me share my story here. I hope it helps even one of you reading to get hooked like me (spoiler alert!)

You guys, it’s been such a long time since I posted here about my first ever run I can’t quite believe how much has happened in that time. Are you ready for a rundown of 8 weeks in one go? Let’s get into it then.

Continue reading

Home Stretch: My Final Half Marathon Training Update

Lose It For Science

Guys, it’s nearly here!  The More/Shape Women’s Half Marathon takes place this coming Sunday, and I’m on the last week of my training plan.  I’m feeling nervous for the race, despite all my training I still don’t feel like I’ve done enough to run 13.1 miles.

Training for a half marathon: How did we get here?

Let’s check out the training schedule:

training for a half marathon

Continue reading

Half marathon training update – Run, volunteer, repeat

It’s half marathon training update time!  I have now completed 8 weeks of my training plan, and this week I’m making quite a few changes.  First things first though, let’s talk about the past 2 weeks of training!

How about those long runs? 

I’m now at the stage where my long runs are starting to get significantly longer than what I’ve been doing in the past – in the past 2 weeks I’ve done a 7 mile and an 8 mile run, both with very different outcomes.

7 miles of hell 

My 7 mile run was in Palisades Park in New Jersey, a great place to run becuase it’s mainly shaded but still boasts great views of the NYC skyline and George Washington bridge.  I used to run 3 or 4 miles on this route regularly in the summer, taking advantage of the rolling hills as good practice for Central Park runs.

Continue reading

Half way to half marathon! Training update

Half marathon training update time!  I’ve just reached the end of week 6, which means I’m half way through my training plan already!  I have 6 weeks left before the More/Shape half marathon in Central Park, and I’ve hit the point where the long runs really start stacking up the miles.  Time to really get serious about this!

Photo from NYRR.com
Photo from NYRR.com

Continue reading

Training Update: Watch fails and Spartan effort

Lose it for science training update

It’s training update time!  Another week of half marathon training in the bag, I’m now starting week 6.  By the end of this week I’ll be half way through my training!  It’s been a week of mixed success, I’ve been working out consistently and eating much better, but I’m still not quite reaching the targets that I set myself at the start of this process.  So, what have I been up to this week?

Spartan workout – AROO AROO AROO

This weekend brought a free workout organized by Reebok Spartan Race, which consisted of a high-impact body weight workout in an empty parking lot in 27F / -3C temperatures.  I was layered up to the max, with long sleeve tee, short sleeve tee, another short sleeve tee, sweater and jacket!  Hat, gloves and 2 pairs of trousers finished off the look, and what a look it was.  I looked like the Michelin man!

I wasn't lying... a parking lot workout in 27F temps. Crazy people!
I wasn’t lying… a parking lot workout in 27F temps. Crazy people!

Continue reading