7 Dos and Don'ts for running your best NYCM
Here are some friendly reminders, with reoccuring themes, to help you set (and have) your best time at the New York City Marthon.
- Do: Warm-Up - Spending a couple of hours in the cold isn’t the best way to start a race. Make sure to do a warm up starting with 10mins of dynamic stretches for both legs and arms. This will loosen you up and help raise your core temperature. 10mins of light jogging (in a short circle if you have to) with a couple of short, quick strides. Lining up in the corrals starts 45mins to 1hr before the gun, so start your warm-up 1hr ½ before the scheduled start. It’s not ideal, but it will help ease the transition from being sedentary to running up a steep hill a mile long in the cold and wind. Bonus: also helps with aiding your digestive tract before the race goes off.
- Don’t: Get Antsy – At the start of the race going over the Verrazano Bridge it’s easy to get frustrated with the crowds and want to start surging around them, weaving in and out, speeding up and down. Don’t bother. Think of the first mile as a continuation of your warm-up and stay as steady and comfortable as long as possible.
- Do: Hold Back - The marathon is an exercise in patience for the first 18 to 20 miles. There should be a sensation of holding back your fitness until you’re in the Bronx. Once you started the turn south heading into Harlem and eventually Central Park, the sensation should have turned into ‘picking it up’ or pushing your fitness to the limit to make your time goals.
- Don’t: Pick it Up - When you’re feeling excellent in Brooklyn or coming off the 59th St. Bridge into Manhattan and running up 1st Ave. You’ll regret it in the Bronx and Harlem.
- Do: Anticipate – Fueling needs and situations. Taking in energy during the race is crucial, so don’t be caught off-guard about when you’ll need it and the delayed reaction of seeing a benefit once you do. Running at marathon pace puts distress on the digestive system and although your body quickly absorbs smart fueling choices, there is usually a 10-15min window of time before you realize the benefits. If you’re planning on picking it up once you get into Harlem, take your energy gel as you’re going into the Bronx.
- Don’t: Lose - Your rhythm. By spreading out your fuel intake and anticipating the delayed reaction to absorption, you will help to maintain a constant rhythm. Even pacing throughout the marathon is ideal, but a fluctuation in perceived effort is a reality. Smooth out your rhythm as much as possible.
- Do: Remain Economical – You may already know about the many hills along the marathon route, but there’s even more rhythm-busting 90 degree turns. Recognize this costly combination of hills and turns by remembering to stay economical. Cropping your stride slightly while easing into an increased turnover can help you through the bumps and curves. Not neglecting the arms is also beneficial. Helps create torque accessing the power in your core.