NJ Marathon Training: Week 3

I’m writing these words on January 28th. The 2019 New Jersey Marathon is three months from today. Holy hell. So far training has been… interesting. It feels a bit more isolating compared to training for NYC. That was such a big part of my everyday life: I was in a Facebook group for other marathon runners using NYRR’s Virtual Trainer. NYRR was all over my social media with tips, talks, and strategies about the race. I would get advice from friends who had run it. And I live in the city in which it takes place – as race day grew closer, I could watch the area surrounding the finish line being built on my Central Park runs.

For NJ, I have one friend who signed up for it too, which is cool. But no social media groups or dozens of fellow NJ Marathon runners-in-training to trade stories with. It’s mostly just me and my plan. I run with the Harriers about twice a week, but even most of those workouts I run on my own.

This is all fine, just different! I guess every marathon training cycle has its unique characteristics.

img_1990 nj marathon training week 3

WEEK 3: January 21 – January 27

Monday I rested my legs and did my favorite upper body workout from Fitness Blender. I enjoy my running days, but I really do like my day(s) off, too. Partly because it means I can make coffee right away instead of waiting until after my run.

Tuesday I ran just 3.38 miles at 10:11 pace. Barely over a half hour. This is normally longer but it was two days after the Fred Lebow Half, and initially I was debating whether to even run at all. I think after the Brooklyn Half, I took two days off. This time, even though the prevailing wisdom is to take a few days off after a race (I have heard one day off for each mile of the race which I think is utterly insane), I actually felt fine by Tuesday morning. Still, I decided to keep it short and easy.

Wednesday I met up with the Harriers for a half marathon pace interval workout. I didn’t reach pace on all of them but considering I had just run an actual half marathon three days earlier, this was fine with me. Altogether, with the run there and back, I ran 8.17 miles. Running at pace is much harder to do on a dark morning at 6:30 am than on race day at 8 am – which is probably normal.

Thursday I only did an upper body workout (I tend to do the same workouts Mondays and Saturdays and switch up the Thursday one). I had planned on running as well. I’ve been taking Thursdays off in these “pre-training” weeks but want to start running six days a week. But the forecast on my weather app this morning called for rain, and I quote, “dangerously high winds.” I don’t mind rain, but dangerously high winds is another story. So I thought I’d just do some strength training and maybe get in a run later that day, which of course never happened. It’s fine.

Friday I joined the Harriers again for a tempo workout. This time we did some marathon pace intervals. I think I much prefer the longer intervals at pace – I’d rather go a longer distance at race pace than lots of quick bursts of speed. Total miles for today was 7.42.

Saturday I ran 8.16 miles at an easy 10:04 pace. I like to do medium-long runs on Saturday, which for me mean around 8 or 9 miles. I’ve been spending a lot of time in Central Park lately so for this run I ran down the Hudson River a few miles and back up. It was cold and probably even colder along the water. I still worked up a sweat.

Sunday is my favorite: long run day. I love doing long runs on Sundays. It’s also my “eat some extra snacks” day, which I greatly enjoy. I ran 13 miles at an easy 9:56 pace twice around the Central Park loop. I had actually intended to go even slower than this, maybe around 10:15 or 10:30, but it’s always harder to do that in CP for various reasons.


Some Noteworthy Things

I actually forgot to do my weekly squats & deadlifts workout this week, which I’ve been doing on Fridays after tempo runs. I think I forgot because I took headshots of a friend Friday afternoon, so my mind was preoccupied with getting set up for that. I ALSO forgot to do an upper body workout on Saturday – maybe because I also had an appointment that afternoon to have lunch with my aunt, and again, I just forgot because apparently my brain can only hold so much information at once. I decided not to stress too much about this and get back on track next week.

In food news, I bought a kind of rice I’d never had before and really like it! I usually buy plain old brown rice, but I saw this Gen-Ji-Mai multi-grain rice at H Mart, the Korean supermarket in my ‘hood, and it looked so good and was also super cheap ($7.99 for a 4.4 lb. bag). It’s great and makes chili taste even better.


After hearing about my swollen hands after the Fred Lebow Half, my dad offered to buy me a pair of waterproof cold weather gloves, which was very nice of him (he’s nice!). I settled on these gloves and tested them out on Friday morning. It wasn’t raining but it was 32 degrees so I figured I’d see how they did in those temps. They worked out, although I probably would still wear my mittens if it’s below 30.


Another new item I got to wear for the first time is yet ANOTHER belt. This is the third belt I’ve bought in the past six months, yet the first one that holds a water bottle. Yes, I have given in. I have purchased a water bottle belt. My first, ever.


It’s an Amphipod and I bought it at Paragon Sports when I bought my new pair of Brooks a few weeks ago (and I just noticed it’s $30 on Amphipod’s site whereas I paid $40 at Paragon, grr). The size took a little adjusting – and the straps are not easy to adjust – but I managed to keep it on throughout the run. I decided to tuck in my shirt as opposed to wearing it over the shirt. Removing the bottle and putting it back while running takes some getting used to, but I’m getting the hang of it.

I need to experiment with fuel a bit more for this training cycle. For Saturday’s run, I emptied one GU into the 16 oz. of water and shook it up. I tried taking a sip or two every mile. At the end, I had only taken in about 10 oz.

For Sunday’s run, I decided on two GUs in the water and liked the taste a lot better. I sipped only every two miles. After 13 miles, I still had only taken about 10 oz. of liquid. I just didn’t want any more than that.

I’m trying to drink more water on runs because the water fountains in Central Park are shut off for the winter, and I guess hydrating on runs is important or something. I also might want to wear this for the marathon instead of slowing down for water stops, something that definitely hindered my pace at NYC.


The belt was more of a hassle on Sunday when I wore different leggings. For some reason it wouldn’t stay down and kept rising up to my waist until I had the brilliant idea to fold the top of my leggings over the front part of the belt, and then it stayed put.

I’m only going to wear the belt on longer runs, probably just on the weekends. Anything under 8 miles, I don’t really need water. I don’t care what the experts say!

Onto week 4, which I have already started!

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