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Why I Love Pre-Marathon Training

Jun 15, 2016 | Running, Running Advice | 13 comments

The countdown is on. Training for New York City Marathon starts on June 27th according to Coach K and I couldn’t be more excited.

Tom and I have been doing our pre-season training over here in Portugal, working out daily either by playing tennis, or attending the local gym’s boxing and beach bootcamp workout classes. They are tough, especially in the heat but I’m enjoying the feeling of working hard, getting a sweat on and slowly but surely seeing my fitness levels return.

Boxing class Algarve

There are no set workouts to follow, you can run when you like, enjoying yourself whilst building a base before the hard work begins.

The start of a training cycle is full of anticipation, hope, and potential…

You start to plot the times and paces that you would like to run, schedule in your rest days, organise your double day workouts and evaluate what went well and not so well during previous training cycles.

Personally, I know that the three hard workouts a week works well for me, but this time I’m adding in fun, easy watch less run to my schedule. It’s these sorts of runs I’m enjoying at the moment – last week I ran with fellow blogger Guilia around Lower Mill Estate without any clue of our pace, just chatting as we ran. Those runs and their importance are often overlooked during a 16-18 week marathon training plan.

Running Lower Mill Estate

Before you commit to a training plan (and try to work out just how many of your long runs will need to be done on a Friday due to weddings and hen dos), it’s fun to read through other bloggers training schedules – part of me is a bit tempted to try the Hanson method although I know I couldn’t run 6 days a week and maintain the strength and flexibility programme that I know this cycle needs to include. Another part of me has thought about signing up with Runner’s Connect however Kerry’s coaching is tried and tested on me, plus he’s also running NYCM so our long runs can link up…did I mention he only charges me in coffees!

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 review

New kit is one of the best things pre-training cycle, and this pre-season I’m running in my New Balance Foam Fresh 1080s, Asics Gel-DS trainers and 361° trainers (reviews coming soon!)

There is so much excitement leading up to the start of training – now pass me the coloured pens so that I can colour co-ordinate my training plan!

Who else is starting a training cycle soon? Or have you just started one? 


  1. Jess

    I’ve just spontaneously signed up to a marathon in California! I’m moving to San Francisco in 2 weeks and will be initially unemployed so thought it would be a good way to keep me busy. There was only 12 weeks to go when I signed up so not quite as long as I’d like but hopefully it will be enough if I make the most of every session. Did you do a 12 week training cycle once? I’m sure I remember this but may be wrong! Looking forward to reading about your training!

    • charlotte

      EEK that is SO exciting! it’ll be like a long sightseeing run for you! I actually did a 10 week cycle for NYCM the first time round, you’ve got a great base so you’ll be fine! Cant wait to hear about SF – let me know if you want to me link you up with my friends that live there. SO jealous!

    • Cathryn

      Hi – I’m a Brit living just south of SF, we’ve been here about 6 years. If you need any help or info, please drop me a line (I’m @cathrynthebrit on twitter).

  2. Laura

    I’ve just started Chicago training… eek!

    • charlotte


  3. AndresM

    I’ll be starting Chicago training in 5 days!!!

    • charlotte

      Such an awesome race – I feel like I have unfinished business in Chicago!

  4. TaleOfTwoRuns

    I totally agree! I m running Athens in November and my 18 weeks start July 1st! I m on the same boat with vacation workouts and runs ? it is such an exciting time!

    • charlotte

      Good luck! I’d love to run Athens, feels like the home of the marathon!

  5. jackiethom

    I def share you’re love for training (and being color coded organized)! My issue is keeping to it through the training. Super easy to fall off the wagon or skip runs.

  6. bucketlisttummy

    I’m in the second week of training for my fall marathon in Savannah, and I LOVEd pre-training because I did so many new-to-me workouts and just let my body dictate whether it wanted to run (it didn’t) or walk, without the pressure. Now, though, things are a little more rigid.

  7. mrskatycampbell

    I’ve entered the Eden Project mara in October. I’ve done the half twice and it’s one of my fave events: so friendly, great tshirt and medal, all your supporters get into the Eden Project for free, and you get a pint and a pasty at the finish! My record with surviving mara training is poor though so we’ll see….week 1 is this week, eek!

  8. Triin

    Just signed in to run my first full marathon in September (SEB Tallinn Marathon in Estonia). I’m excited and at the same time totally clueless how to start training ?


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