Hamptons Marathon Training: Week 1

Well I’ve already strayed from my training plan.

Sorry, Coach Cane.

The way I’ll be receiving my training plans is through an online log Coach Cane has set up for me. He’ll plan my workouts one week at a time, which I like, as opposed to giving me an entire 16-week plan all at once.

When we met last week, he strongly encouraged me to communicate with him about everything, including how my body feels on runs, how my body feels when I don’t run and when I have conflicts with the training plan.

I am a big fan of communication.

Last night before bed, I hadn’t received my training plan yet.

So I woke up this morning and hit the East River path for 5 miles.

I felt…OK. Not great, to be honest. My legs were heavy and my allergies are continuing to give me trouble on the breathing front. But I loved the cool air and it’s always nice to start the day with a run as opposed to not starting it with a run.


So naturally I get back, I shower, I start getting ready, I stare at the zit that has made a home for itself between my eyes, and I sit down at my computer to see if there’s a training plan update.

There is.

I’m not that far off, luckily. Coach Cane wanted me to run six miles today, and I ran five.

I think we’ll be OK.

This is what the rest of the week entails, not including cross training:

WEDNESDAY: Easy 3 miles

THURSDAY: Six miles, focusing on pacing and even splits. Says Coach Cane: During the 3 miles out, maintain a comfortable, easy sustainable pace. Mark your time and without looking at your watch try to come back in the same amount of time. Listen to your body and its cues. (I’m excited for this. I like games.)

FRIDAY: Rest. (Translation: Eat birthday cake.)

SATURDAY: 12 miles. Says Coach Cane: First mile as warm up, next seven at half marathon goal pace + 1:15/mile, three miles at half marathon goal pace, last mile as cool down. (Confession: I don’t know what he means by + 1:15/mile. I guess I have to ask. Also, he did not mention if this run can be done hungover. I will probably not ask him that.)

SUNDAY: Easy 3 mile recovery jog in bridle path.

There’s my week. Lots of running.

Also, I’m wearing purple pants.

And now it’s time to kick start this Tuesday.

IF YOU’VE RUN A MARATHON, TELL ME: How strictly did you follow your training plan? Most people I talk to have said that they tried to stay flexible, but because my plan is coming from someone else I feel more obligated to follow it precisely. That makes me a little nervous.



0 Responses

  1. Long time reader, first time commenter:

    Just wanted to say that I find you and your sense of humor awfully entertaining. I’m excited to see how you do training for this full ‘thon as you share what you learn from the professionals with us readers!

    Happy early birthday!

  2. I like the idea of games, too, and second what Lizzy said.

    Also, I was working out with a trainer when I trained for the marathon last year and he wrote me out a plan. I followed it as best I could and when I couldn’t get a workout in didn’t stress that much.

  3. use it as a guide but listen to your body. And sometimes its all about what you have time to do. Thats why I like plans that say Monday 5-7 miles. So you try for 7 but if you don’t get there its okay!

  4. I think it’s a balance. While I think it’s important to maintain the majority of the structure of your training program, I also think it’s extremely important to listen to your body and work with what you’ve got that day. Usually if I’m scheduled for a speed workout but am really tired, I will go easy and do it the next day. But sometimes you might not be able to make up every single workout, and that’s okay. In the end, you’ll be so much better off for taking some time off than pushing too hard and getting hurt. Also, I think if you start to modify your plan every week, you and your coach might want to consider adjusting your plan in a way that works for you and allows you to fit in all the types of workouts you want to fit in.

  5. As far as total miles logged were concerned, I stuck to last year’s NYC marathon training plan pretty closely. I did move runs around a lot, though– ex. I was registered for the Grete’s Great Gallop half a week after I was supposed to do 13 miles, so I just switched those runs on the calendar. I’m glad most plans schedule the long runs for Saturdays– no WAY could I do double-digit ones before work in the morning!

  6. define “training plan.” The first marathon I did, I followed it WAY too closely and made sure to get every single run in even when I was in pain. Enter: stress fracture. Now I’m much more relaxed, utilize cross training and (mostly) stay injury free.

    ps can you fly me to nyc this weekend so I can join in the bday celebration? great. thanks.

  7. I was pretty strict with my training, but I did change up my workout days. So say I wanted to go out on Friday night (aka I might not get in that Saturday long run) then I would either run my long run on Friday morning or Sunday morning.

  8. cute pants! i am running 12 this weekend too! you have such a great training plan and supportive coach! stillll trying to wake up early in the mornings to do my runs then. maybe i am just a night runner? ahhh please keep inspiring me with your AM workouts 🙂 when i trained for my first marathon i didn’t follow the schedule for the shorter runs at all! so so bad! but i got in all of my long runs and it got me to the finish line. i want to be more diligent in training for #2! happy tues! xx.christine

  9. ali, you’re too cute. i see other commenters have already explained what the +1:15 means. i am running my first marathon in november (nyc!). i am going to try to stick to my training plan as closely as possible. i feel most productive and in control when i have rules to follow.

  10. I see they have already answered your question above! I, too, like games when I’m running. Makes me concentrate on something else. Like the negative split game. or see if I can get my pace below X… they work, most of the time! I also will be turning 26 this year…hmm now you have me thinking I should do another marathon.

  11. Well, I trained for my first marathon (NYC 08) pretty diligently. I missed runs here and there and did well. I didn’t train at all for the next 5 marathons, but I was consistently running/biking/swimming on and off anyway, just no ‘plan.’ I ran hungover a lot.
    My thoughts on the marathon = its 75% mental, 25% athletic.

  12. Love that you are sharing the plan from Coach Cane! Now we all get an insight on the pros ideas!!
    I agree with everyone about about what the +1:15. If your goal pace is 8:00/mile.. do those miles at 9:15!

  13. The beauty of having a coach to guide you is that he should be able to focus you. If you go online, or read the many books on marathon training, you can come up with a differeny plan every day (if not every hour). That can lead to distraction and confusion–should I do intervals today, or a tempo run, or a hill workout? Or should I rest altogether since I have to run long tomorrow? All of that mental gear-shifting can get draining and become counter-productive.

    When I read comments from elite runners about their upcoming or recent races, one remark, if they are feeling good about things, seems to be consistent: I had faith in my training. If you believe in your coach–and if you follow his lead–you’re well on your way. That said, any good coach will realize that few plans can be followed to the letter–due to illness, work stress, ghastly weather, whatever–and adjust things on the fly.

    Good luck!

  14. I’m about to run my first marathon in October, but I think you’re okay to stray from the plan for now – you’re still about 22 weeks out, which is WAY too long for any marathon plan. You should just be base building for now.

  15. Hey! I’m training for the hamptons too! I’m a little shocked that your coach has you doing 12 on sat but I guess its based on your fitness level at this point. I’ve found that you don’t have to stick to the plan as long as you’re consistent w running in general and building up your long run.

  16. I think he means, whatever your half-marathon minute-per-mile goal pace is, add 1:15 to that, and run at that pace for those seven miles. Just a guess 😛

    1. Yes, I agree. For example if your goal pace is 8:00, then you’d run those seven miles at a 9:15 pace.

      1. That’s definitely correct! 🙂 Also, totally ask about being hung over, hahaha. Try coconut water for fast rehydration if you feel woozy from the night before. I actually hate the taste of it, but admit it works.

        When is the big birthday?! YAY!

  17. good luck with the post birthday potential hangover 13 mile run… perhaps leftover birthday cake for breakfast will help? (I’m ALWAYS a fan of birthday cake the day after – makes the celebration last longer- though I admit I’ve never worked out immediately following……) You’ll rock it for sure tho! And then recover/celebrate with more cake…just sayin…

    and, i’m just going to say it – the fact that you fit into clothes from high school is super, super SUPER impressive!

  18. A training plan is a guide but your body and mind are the better guides. If something feels off or you are overly tired, don’t worry about straying from your plan. You are lucky to have a coach so he will help you figure out what is going on and adjust your training plan. Training is a commitment and it’s going to be hard; at the same time, make it fun! Maybe join a group for one of your easy runs or add in a spin class. If you keep it fun, you’ll do the training and run a great marathon! P.S Coach Cane coached me last year. I followed everything he said for the speed workouts and I achieved my marathon goal time!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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