18 Weeks Out

So here I am, 18 weeks out from the New York City Marathon (NYCM) and its time to make a decision regarding my training. Will I shoot for the moon again, or take a more earth bound course? Mega miles, or miles and speed? The eternal debate in Sean’s world of running, and one I want to resolve, at least for this training cycle, today.


Here’s the state of play: Generally, I feel good. My body feels recovered from the Vermont shit show. I’ve gotten in some ok mileage. Not everything I hoped for, but not abysmal, either. I’m coming into this cycle in ok shape and uninjured, which is better than I can say for any other training cycle.


Now it’s decision time.


When I initially started roughing out my training plan for New York, I was hoping to use the Pftizinger 55-70 plan. But as time got closer, it has become apparent that running that kind of mileage just wasn’t realistic based on both my base fitness and overbooked life. So, reluctantly, I’ve decided to scale things back to the more reasonable, but still ambitious, up to 55 Pfitzinger plan. That plan starts this week. Some might say this is still too much (SMT?) but if Vermont taught me anything, its that I need more miles to run the type of marathon I want to run. Going with the up to 55 program should, hopefully, allow me to have enough recovery time to some some real speed work without risking injury.


Of course, NYCM isn’t my only event of the year. In between now and then I have the New York City Triathlon, and the Presidential Traverse, both of which are pretty daunting events of their own. Yet both are certainly open acts to the main event – a sub four hour marathon come November. I’ll be working in some specific work outs for those events as well, including biking, swimming and interminable stair climbing, but NYC is the goal, and running is the name of the game.


Curious to see how this works out? I will of course be tracking it all in the weekly totals posts. Stay tuned for updates on how many miles I’ve run and how many books I’ve read. You’ll be riveted, I’m sure.

15 thoughts on “18 Weeks Out

  1. 55 mpw sounds sane, though what’s the base/start mileage on that? I feel like you should run the base mileage on a plan for a month before starting the plan. Are you there? The other events seem troublesome, but…you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Mostly my thoughts are to follow the plan and not to skip a weekday and try to get the miles in elsewhere.

    • The program starts at 34 mpw… so yeah, no i haven’t been there for a month. But i’m still going to give it a go, because I am stupid.

      Following the plan is the plan. I’m not going to taper at all for the tri, but I think I will have to miss a long run for the traverse. That said, the Traverse is 18 plus miles, so it isn’t like I’ll be slacking.

  2. PS do you know that this thing is still called, “a final stand against bourgeois normalcy”? I laugh every time I see it. 🙂

    • Yes, getting to the starting line healthy is one of the challenges of marathon training!

      Good luck with your training, what program are you using?

      • I am not using a formal plan. I typically like to try to increase my long runs by two miles every other week, instead of doing a long run every week. It works better for me, and doesn’t break my body down as much. NYC will be my 23rd marathon, and I usually do multiple marathons each year, so my body stays in marathon shape. I like to run a Half Marathon a week to two weeks prior to a Full, as my last long training run. It’s worked for me so far.

      • Not sure how realistic it is given the number of runners, and all of the dodging and weaving we’ll have to do. Gunning for sub 3:40:00, is my A goal. How about you?

      • Great goal! My first goal is to break four hours (finally), if I’m feeling good late in the race, I might try to get closer to 3:55, but we’ll see how training goes. Good luck out there!

  3. Hey Sean — fellow Brooklyn runner here. Stumbled upon your BQ questionnaire, and subsequently your strava profile (I’m “following” you!). I’m also running the NYCM in November — it’ll be my first. I’m also using the Pfitz 18/55 plan. Crazy coincidence! Best of luck these next 18 weeks, and looking forward to following your progress.

    • Hey Ryan, I just followed you back on Strava. Looks like you’re a Prospect Park regular as well, but a bit faster than me! Do you run with NBR?

      • Yeah, I’m in the park most days. Love having that place as my backyard. I try to stick to the trails just inside the main loop. Got a stress fracture last year, and I’m convinced I just ran too many miles on the pavement.

        No, I don’t run with NBR. I’ve joined them for a couple of group runs. Same with PPTC. But never got around to joining a club.

        Let me know if you want to do a super slow recovery run together sometime!

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