Marathon Training: 12 Week Countdown

This past Saturday marked the three month countdown until the New York City Marathon on November 5th. With the race approaching quickly, it’s now time to kick it in gear with my training program. I started a marathon plan that will help me build up to a long distance race pace along with strength training to support my runs. Incorporating a variety of running workouts like speed work, interval training and long distance is the best way to cover all bases and be fully prepared for race day.

Running Schedule

To properly prepare for the 26.2 miles, I will be running at least three times a week to sustain my endurance throughout the race. My goal is to run between 3 – 4 miles on Tuesday mornings, 6 – 8 miles on Thursday night and my longest distance run on Saturday morning between 12 – 20 miles. I also like choosing running paths that offer inclines to prepare for all racing conditions. Staying consistent with these runs will be crucial to my success when race day comes around.

Strength Training

In addition to this mileage plan, I also incorporated strength training into my routine to support my body during long distance runs. On Tuesday mornings I added leg and core exercises to my routine after my short run which helps me warm up for these exercises. These workouts include squats, lunges, leg press, planks and a variety of ab workouts. I also rotate my routine each week to switch up my muscle groups used.

Sprint and Interval Running

Aside from running long distances, I started adding in sprints to work my short twitch muscle group in my legs. Adding this workout to my routine will strengthen other muscle groups to provide the  support needed during race day. I prefer doing interval training on a track so I can clearly measure out my sprints with the markers. I also like adding sprints towards the end of a distance runs to push my body and prepare for race conditions.


  1. Jim August 10, 2017 / 12:56 am

    woo hoo! you can do it!!! 🙂

    • urbanmile August 10, 2017 / 1:00 am

      Thank you!! 🙂

      • Jim August 10, 2017 / 1:02 am

        I use you for inspiration. I figure if you can keep running then I can keeping pushing to rebuild my walking endurance. 🙂

  2. chape August 10, 2017 / 5:30 am

    Good luck! You got this!!

    • urbanmile August 10, 2017 / 11:17 am

      Thank you!!

  3. Angela August 10, 2017 / 8:13 am

    I cant wait to see how your training goes! You’ve got this!!

    • urbanmile August 10, 2017 / 11:18 am

      Thank you! Much appreciated 😊

  4. Roy McCarthy August 10, 2017 / 9:11 pm

    Hey Carissa, looking forward to following your progress. That’s reasonably heavy mileage 13 weeks out – what sort of weekly mileage are you planning to peak at?

    I applaud the cross training and speed work, though I hope you don’t risk injury by pushing your body too hard on the track. But I’m sure I’d have been a better runner had I done more all-round work rather than just plodding the miles.

    • urbanmile August 16, 2017 / 7:27 pm

      Hi Roy! Thanks for your insight I’ll be creating weekly recaps of my training I would love to hear your thoughts throughout the training process!

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