Coach Vanessa

Welcome to our Road Runners Club of America certified coach, Vanessa Junkin! Vanessa is an accomplished runner from the area and is a part of our local running group, the Eastern Shore Running Club .

Vanessa is developing plans for you, to help you through your 16 week journey towards the finish line! Feel free to ask any questions and be sure to check out our Facebook Discussion Group, where we will also be posting group runs in the City and County!

The Facebook Discussion Group can be found HERE.

Full Marathon Training Plans

Are you interested in running a marathon? Vanessa recommends that your total weekly mileage averages at least 15-plus miles per week before the start of the 16-week plan. If your mileage is lower, you may want to consider the half marathon for this year and the full marathon for next year.

Beginner Marathon Training Plan

Vanessa is also excited to be running the Salisbury Marathon this spring. She has been running for about 14 years and this will be her tenth marathon. Since she has gotten slower over time, she’s created a higher-mileage plan that also includes interval work. She is sharing the plan she’s written for herself, but don’t use this plan unless you have been regularly running 30-plus-mile weeks. You have a high likelihood of getting injured if you bump up the mileage too quickly.

Vanessa’s Personal Marathon Training Plan

Half Marathon Training Plans

Vanessa has created two training plans for the half marathon. The beginner plan is for people planning to run their first half marathon or for people who want a three-day-per-week running plan to fit into their schedule. Vanessa recommends that your total weekly mileage averages at least 10-plus miles per week before the start of the 14-week plan. If your mileage is lower, you may want to consider the 5K for this year and aim for the half marathon next year.

Beginner Half Marathon Training Plan

The intermediate plan is for people who have already run a half marathon and who are consistently running at least 15 miles per week before the start of the 14-week plan. This plan also includes some tempo and interval work to help you get faster.

Intermediate Half Marathon Training Plan

Tips and Notes from Vanessa

A training plan is a guide. You do not have to follow a plan to the tee. If a different day works better for you, do your run on that day. However, do not put two tough days next to each other (for example, a faster run and then a long run). If you miss a run, don’t beat yourself up over it. It’s your running as a whole over the 16 weeks that will make a difference, not a run or two.

I have written these plans around the Eastern Shore Running Club group runs, which are Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 6 p.m. We meet at Ben’s Red Swings at the Salisbury City Park, and runners of all paces are welcome and encouraged to run with us. The regular route is 3.2 miles, and I stay with the slowest-paced runner. (This has been updated; our route changed back to the spring/summer/early fall location after daylight saving time began.)

If you are running to finish — without a specific time goal — you do not have to do speed work (known as long intervals), but I have added in optional interval work as we get a little bit higher in mileage. If you’ve regularly been running 20-22 miles a week or more, I’d recommend adding on 2-3 conversation pace miles for each week.

Running is the most important thing you need to do to become a stronger runner, so I haven’t included specific cross-training on the plans, but if you have something you like, feel free to do it. But if you are going to do a hard cross-training workout, don’t do it the day before or of your long run, or the same day as a tough run, for example.

Remember to run about 80 percent of your miles at an easy conversation pace — a pace at which you could have a conversation.

Hydration is so important, even when it’s cold outside.

You can use long runs to see what kind of on-the-run nutrition, hydration and clothing works for you. Don’t do anything new on race day.

More About Vanessa

Vanessa Junkin is a Road Runners Club of America Level 1 certified coach. She is the secretary of the Eastern Shore Running Club and initiated and leads weekly group runs with the club. Vanessa is passionate about making everyone feel welcome in our local running community and about helping instill a love of running in others.

Vanessa has been running for about 14 years and has worked her way up to completing nine marathons — in seven states — and a 50K. Originally from the western shore, Vanessa made Salisbury her home after graduating from Salisbury University in 2011. She writes about her running on her blog, She Runs by the Seashore.