NJ Marathon Training: Week 5

Hey look, another week where I waited until the end of the week to post the training summary for the week before! In fairness to myself, I did want to post the Cupid’s Chase 5K recap first, mostly so I could link to it from here. (Still haven’t gotten word about my trophy!)

This post is about week 5 of my 16-week training plan for the New Jersey Marathon. The first four weeks were the lightest part of the plan and mostly self-coached: running about 40 miles a week five days a week, speed and tempo workouts with my running club the New York Harriers.

Week 5 officially kicked off the Harriers’ 12-week marathon training plan. I’ll be running six days a week and slowly upping my mileage to 60-something at its peak. It’s both a specific and loosely-structured plan in that there are speed, tempo, and some long run interval workouts; but I choose how far to run on my three easy days a week. In doing so, I’m trying to make sure everything adds up to my weekly mileage goal.

I won’t put out all the nitty gritty for each workout, partly because it’s only available to team members, partly because the plan is tailored to me, specifically. If you’re interested in following a marathon training plan, I’d recommend finding one (or a coach) that takes your running history and abilities into consideration to make sure you’re training within a range that works for you.

With that, here’s what I did in week 5!

IMG_2380 NJ Marathon Training Week 5

(It’s not a UFO. Just a bird. Sorry.)

WEEK 5: February 4 – February 10

Monday is my day off from running and I always do both laundry and my favorite upper body workout from Fitness Blender. I love running but I also enjoy this day where I can rest my legs.

Tuesday I ran 8.60 miles at an easy 9:56 pace in Central Park. I’d meant to do 8 and added a bit at the end. I don’t do anything special on Tuesdays other than run easy.

Wednesday is speed work with the Harriers. I was supposed to do a bunch of 800s at half marathon pace but because I was careless (or tired) the night before, I programmed the workout into my phone incorrectly, only scheduling two repeats. What I thought was the third repeat was actually my cool down mile, so I wound up running a whole mile at HMP and when I realized what had happened I was too tired for any more speedwork. I just ran the rest of it easy. I screwed up. Even from the start, I felt really beat during this workout. Not a good one.

I followed it up with my weekly Fitness Blender squats & deadlifts workout that I normally do on Fridays, but I wanted to keep Friday easy so I did it today.

Thursday was an easy 6 miles at 9:56 pace in Central Park, coincidentally exactly the same pace as Tuesday. I’m definitely staying more around the 10:00 mark for my easy runs this season, and I’m liking it. I followed this with one of Fitness Blender’s easier upper body workouts.

Friday is normally a tempo workout, but I had a race the following day so I opted to take it easy, just running 2.39 miles at 10:08 pace through the race course in Riverside Park.

Saturday I did about half of an upper body workout as part of my warm up, and then ran a very frigid (and somewhat confusing) Cupid’s Chase 5K Manhattan. It was… something. Read my recap here.

Sunday is my favorite workout of the week: the long run! I ran 14.5 miles at a super relaxing 10:23 pace, doing two+ loops around Central Park on a cold, sunny morning. I also drank my entire 16 oz. bottle of water + 2 Gu’s. The whole thing! A great run.


Some Noteworthy Things

On Saturday afternoon, I attended the NYRR Millrose Games at The Armory for a few hours! This was the first time I’d ever done this and it was really cool. I joined several other Harrier women (some Harrier men showed up later) and we sat in the “cheap” seats and watched mostly high school and college kids compete. (Sorry to call them “kids” but I think once you turn 40, that’s the law.)

I had to get back home in the late afternoon to feed my dog and get dinner ready (eating is usually priority #1) so I missed the big races at the end, but it was still cool to watch competitive runners in action. We kept marveling at how fast they were – even the runners in last place were so much faster than I’ll ever be.


I had a great long run on Sunday! (See header photo for proof.) There was a time not long ago when I would not have run at all the day after a race. Even a 5K. These days, a 5K doesn’t take that much out of me. My legs felt a little tired later on Saturday, but they felt fine by Sunday morning, so out the door I went.

I’ve been wearing my water bottle belt on weekend runs, still trying to get used to carrying and drinking fluids on longer runs in preparation for the NJ Marathon. I’m still not 100% sure I’ll carry a water bottle with me for that race, but seeing at how much the water stops delayed me at the NYC Marathon, it might be worth it. I am getting a lot better at removing and putting it back in its pouch (the bottle sits on the back of the belt where I can’t see it).

I really have been trying to slow down on long runs, and this was probably my slowest one in a long time. But I felt great, and so strong at the end. I’m sure it also helped that I had downed 16 oz. of water mixed with two gels. I want to experiment a bit with other products to mix with water, but I do like my sweet dessert-flavored Gu.

Part of why I love long runs is I eat a little more on those days, especially bread products like muffins, corn bread, croissants, etc. I can’t have those things every day but once a week, hell to the yes. Lately, I’ve been loving corn bread with my home-cooked chili (mixed with a healthy portion of spinach and shaved parm). I was literally fantasizing about this meal during my 14.5 miles and I have to say, it did not disappoint.


(The corn bread is not homemade but from the fantastic Westside Market. I should learn how to make my own – but then that would mean I would have a lot of corn bread lying around my kitchen, which might not be a great thing if I want to continue fitting into my clothes.)

Hope everyone had a great week and let’s see if I can get Week 6 out sooner rather than later.

4 thoughts on “NJ Marathon Training: Week 5

  1. I love that you to got to go to the Armory for the meet. What a fun experience. Have you been to the Silver Moon Baker on Broadway? They have the most delicious baked goods and on Sundays (they have them on another day too, I just can’t remember) they have the most amazing breadsticks with brie and herbs backed inside them. I used to rush there after church because they sell out so quickly. Everything at that bakery is incredible!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have been meaning to go there because it’s not far from where I live and I walk past it all the time, but I generally only get one baked good thing a week and I usually just get it from Westside Market while I go grocery shopping because I’m so lazy I don’t feel like walking more than a block out of my way. 🙂 But one of these days I will go in there!

      Liked by 1 person

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