Preparing For The NYC Marathon

Hi everyone, Cesar here chiming in on marathon training prep! While the NYC Marathon is still more than 20 weeks away, many runners are starting to ponder how they will be preparing for their big race in November.

If this is your first marathon, I strongly suggest follow a training plan. Why you ask? Training for a marathon is unlike any race you may have done previously. Training for a half marathon is no where close to training for a full marathon. I highly encourage runners not to try to β€œwing it” with your training. I’ve seen people do this and it results in injury and none of us want that!

With so many training plan options out there today, choosing how to prepare for a marathon can be almost as daunting as running the 26.2 miles! Doing a simple google search for “Marathon Training Plans” will give you several results, all of which will cost you nothing to follow them. On the other extreme, organizations suchs as New York Road Runners offer comprehensive plans with different features that can add up and cost you a pretty penny. Since your race fee is so high, opting for one of these may not make sense for you.

So what is runner to do? Every runner will be different on how they will approach this however I wanted to suggest a couple of things that you should ensure are included in your training.

Remember It Is Your Plan! There are alot of plans out on the internet that are very generic in nature. They will tell you to run the mileage but once again, every runner is different. Some may need more time to build up their mileage than others. If this is your first marathon, ask yourself and be honest with yourself if jumping to 26.2 miles will be a big jump for you. If so, be mindful of these generic plans and how quickly they outline your jump in mileage. Also make sure that the paces prescribed in these generic plans make sense for you. If you need help figuring out what pace you should be training at, you can drop me an email at my contacts below!

Build the Base First! While everyone is eager to get race day ready, it is extemely important not to progress your mileage too fast. Make sure that your plan has you building a base of miles first before you jump into higher mileage or jump into drastic speed work. Your first 3-4 weeks of your plan should include building your base. your runs should be around 4-7 miles and not much longer. Also these miles should be done at an easy conversation pace and no where near your race pace. Adding in some strength training and core work at your gym will also help prepare your legs for the demands of increased mileage which will come soon!

Once Your Base Is Built It’s Time To Build Mileage This part of the plan is inevitable. To run 26.2 miles, you need to train for 26.2 miles. However this is the area where many people risk injury. It’s not a smart practice to jump from 6 mile long runs to 15 mile long runs. That’s where injuries occur and exhaustion can set in because your body just isn’t used to that increased mileage. A good rule of thumb is to increase your weekly volume by 10%. If your plan has you jumping more than 10% to a new long run, maybe it time to think twice about that plan.

Also something to note, based on how many weeks you are training, try to maximize your longest run between 20-22 miles. This is where the longer plan (ie 18-20 weeks) is prefereable. There are a lot of plans that max out their longest long run at 18 miles. That’s 8 miles more that you are asking your body to give you without knowing how it will respond. With that being said, be mindful of trying to rush your training to get to a 20-22 mile long run. Getting there should be a gradual process that progresses along the lines of what I previously recommended of adding 10% each week.

Don’t forget speed work and hills! Speed work may not be for everyone but if you are looking to run a certain time then don’t skimp on the speed work. Long intervals such as 1200 meter repeats and mile repeats are perfect speed drills to implement when training for a marathon.

Unlike speed work, for the TCS NYC Marathon, hill work should definitely be part of your training! There are 5 bridges to overcome on this 26.2 mile trek in addition to other hills (more on those at a later date). Make sure that your training plan implements hill repeats thru out! If you live in the NYC area, I strongly suggest working out on any and all of the bridges that are part of the course.

  • Pace is a critical part of your training! I’ve seen so many plans that just detail the mileage to be done on a daily basis with no mention at all as to pace. Some experiences runners may know the paces they need to run during their training but not every runner will know! Your plan should be descriptive as to what your pace should be on a daily basis especially if you are looking to run under a certain time. Long runs should be done at a vey relaxed pace or how some call it, a conversation pace. Speed workouts should be done at a much faster pace but not necessarily all out. Then of course for those who are looking to run under a certain time, there is the ever popular “marathon pace”. This is the pace that you will need to average to hit your desired time. Some of your runs should be run at marathon pace but it shouldn’t be all of them. I’ve seen people train at marathon pace all the time and that type of training is not sustainable over the course of 16-20 weeks. On some of your runs, your plan should include portions of your runs where you work up to marathon pace and hold it.
  • Somewhat related to this is working on achieving negative splits on york long runs. For those unfamiliar with the term, negative splits is when the second half of your run is faster than your first half. Training your body for this will help you overcome “the wall” which usually hits in the second half of a marathon.
  •  In closing, there are ALOT of things clearly to consider when choosing a plan but it is worth your time to research and ensure some of these are addressed by your training plan. After all, it’s your race, and you want to run YOUR time!

    If you are still unsure about which plan to choose or if you are unsure about the paces your training runs should be at, you can always drop me a line at wearenycrc@gmail.com and I would be glad to assist!

    Additionally contact me about personalizing a plan as well based on your needs! Good luck to all marathoners and their training!!!

    Cesar

     

     

    Upcoming WE ARE NYC RC Runs!

    Happy hump day to everyone out there! The sun hasn’t come out in New York city that much the last few days but that doesn’t keep this group from running. So many of our members continue to post their “rainy days” run since they keep gaining their motivation to run in the rain from the group itself! Another benefit of being part of a running community like ours!

    With that being said, here are some of our upcoming group runs that you all can partake in to keep that motivation going! Hope to see you at one of these!

    Club Members At Last Weekend’s 5th Avenue Mile!

    WEEKLY GROUP RUN IN CENTRAL PARK! (all paces are welcomed!)

    β€’ WHAT- Weekly group run (5-6 miles)

    β€’ WHERE- Central Park – Meet At NYRR Run Center (320 West 57th street, NY, NY)

    β€’ WHEN – Thursday, September 13, 2018.

    β€’ TIME-Meet up at 6:00pm, leaving run center at 6:15pm

    Taken at the last workout led by club member Tobias

    5 Mile Run & HIIT Training!

    β€’ WHAT- 5 mile Central Park Loop/HIIT workout 10 mins of high intensity interval training, followed by a one mile run to a location in central park. Repeat 5 times for a total of 5 miles and 50 mins of HIIT. Led by one of our club runners Tobias!

    β€’ WHERE- Central Park – Meet At NYRR Run Center (320 West 57th street, NY, NY)

    β€’ WHEN – Saturday, September 15, 2018.

    β€’ TIME-Meet up at 8:00am at Run Center

    Members at the NYRR 15 Mile training series! 18 Mile one coming up this Sunday!

    NYRR NYC MARATHON TRAINING–18 MILE RUN!

    β€’ WHAT- 18 mile training run. While this is a NYRR run, you can run this together w/ a club member! After all, it is an 18 mile run!

    β€’ WHERE- Central Park – Meet by 102nd transfers on East side by softball field 8.

    β€’ WHEN – Sunday, September 16, 2018.

    β€’ TIME-Meet up at 6:30am, run time 7:00am!

    Weekend Recap & This Week’s Group Run!

    Happy Monday to all the runners out there reading this!

    Hope there were lot of miles crushed this past weekend! Over at We Are NYC Running club, we were most definitely crushing miles and keeping busy and we didn’t let the extreme weather keep us away!

    Picture of our club members speaking w/ potential members at the NYRR Club Fair! (Photo by Micheal Anderson)

     

    Before we crushed those miles, a number of club members came out to help represent the club at the NYRR Club Fair on Friday afternoon! Several runners in search of a club got a chance to come to the fair to see what a handful of club had to offer. We Are NYC RC was of course in attendance not just giving out valuable info but also healthy vinegar shots, complimentary electrolytes and of course some delicious bite size cupcakes. Several “would be” members walked away happy hopefully with a favorable first impression of the club!

    Group run in Greenpoint before 12 miles thru Queens & Manhattan!

    On Saturday, despite a mid morning downpour, 12 “marathoners in training” crushed 10-12 milles thru the Queens portion of the NYC Marathon route over the Pulaski and Queensboro bridges. Runners continued on 1st ave in Manhattan and turned around at various points between 80th and 110th streets based on the mileage they needed to tackle that day. Although the skies opened towards the end of the run, everyone got their long runs in and were eager to tackle that route again. To view the route taken see, route description here.

    Heat Warriors at the NYRR Manhattan 7 Mile!Β 

    On Sunday, even though it was bone dry out, the mercury was soaring early in the morning! With temps in the mid 90’s several of our runners crushed the NYRR Manhattan 7mile. For those that did, they were awarded with a personal record as this was the first time the race was run!

    Looking ahead to this week, we will have our Midweek Central Park Group Run on Wednesday (8/8) this week. Details below and hope to see you all there!

    • WHAT- Weekly group run in the park (5-6 miles)
    • WHERE- Meeting at NYRR Run Center (320 West 57th street, New York, NY 10019)
    • WHEN – Wednesday, August 8, 2018
    • TIME- Meet at Run Center at 6pm / depart for run at 6:15pm
    • OTHER INFO- Lockers are available at the run center. No lock is required as lockers are smart lockers. Please bring your own water. Run should be over by 7:45pm

    As always we encourage and welcome all runners as this run is open to all! All paces are welcome so come on out and join us!

    Saturday’s Queens Group Run – Route & Info!

    QB Brdge

    The 59th street bridge, one of two bridges we will cross on Saturday morning!

    Such a busy day today in running world as folks selected their baggage and transportation options today for the NYC Marathon. Our club also had a group run tonight in Central Park even in the hot and humid weather!

    Speaking of the NYC Marathon, as posted earlier this week, we will be having a group run that will go over two of the bridges that are part of the marathon – the Pulaski Bridge and the Queensborough Bridge! As always ALL RUNNERS are welcomed!

    Going into this run, I wanted to point out some things regarding the Queens training run on Saturday!

    United NYC Half Trial Run

    Group run was crushed prior to United NYC Half in the rain!

    *Run happens rain or shine! If you remember the United NYC trial run the weather doesn’t get worse than that and we had the run!

    *Start time is 7am and I plan on leaving at 7am (lol) – give yourself ample time to get there. Driving is definitely an option if you can drive as there is plenty of side street parking around there and we start and finish at the same location. G train is close by via the Greenpoint Ave Station. If you are running behind, please reach out to me and we can wait if you are within 10-15 minutes.

    *Bring hydration and nutrition. This is a scheduled 10-12 mile run so please stay hydrated! Stores are along the route if your choose to duck into one but keep in mind your pace group may not want to wait lol

    *Have some cash and or a debit card handy to grab some food after the run at a local eatery – Slick Willy’s – they are opening early just for us!

    *Heres an important one- Since the streets thru Queens can be tricky, I am asking that we stay in no more than 2 groups until we make it to the Queensboro bridge. Once we are on the bridge if anyone wants to deviate from the group, the Manhattan stretch is simple and you should be familiar with the queens portion on the way back since it’s the same route as we did going into Manhattan.

    Speaking of the streets in Queens, here are the turn by turn instructions on the route that we will be taking!

    • Meet up on the corner Mcguiness Blvd & Greenpoint Avenue at 7am. The G train stops a block and a half away at the Greenpoint Avenue station
    • Head north on Mcguiness blvd and across the Pulaski Bridge running straight until it turns into 11th street. From here we will very slightly off the marathon trail.
    • Make a right on 44th drive and go straight until you see the Citigroup building.
    • Make a slight left onto Hunter Street. Take Hunter st. straight until you 42nd road. Cross over 42nd road and go slightly left onto 28th street.
    • Take 28th street straight one block and then cross under the Queens Plaza over pass.
    • Once on the other side of Queens Plaza make a left when you get to the Queensborough Bridge Greenway. This should be a bike path.
    • Cross Crescent street and pick up the Queensborough Bridge Path
    • Continue over the Queensborough bridge
    • You will come off the bridge onto 60th street. Make a right on 60th street.
    • Go one block on 60th street to 1st avenue and make a left.
    • The suggested distance up 1st Avenue is up until 82nd street. if you want to go further you may. Once you have reached your required distance, turnaround and do the course in reverse.
    • Head back down 1st avenue.
    • Right onto 60th street
    • One block to 59th street bridge and cross over.
    • Take Bridge Greenway to 28th street and make a right crossing under QueensPlaza
    • Continue onto 28th street and make a slight right onto Hunter St.
    • Take Hunter St and make a slight right onto 44th drive
    • Take 44th drive to 11st street and make a left.
    • Continue straight on 11th straight over the Pulaski Bridge and finish at Green point Avenue!

    Once we are all done, I am suggested a post race meal is at Slick Wilys (179 Meserole Street) which is a block and half away from where we finish. We can hydrate and fuel up with some good food there!

    If anyone has any questions, you can comment below or email me on wearenycrc@gmail.com !

    BK Half Trial Run

    Some runners at the conclusion of our BK Half Marathon training run, weeks before the actual race!

     

    Well It Is Official..

    After 4 years of entering the lottery and hearing nothing back, yesterday I got the message I had been waiting for. I finally got accepted to run the TCS New York City Marathon! Yes, I eventually got into this race because I ran 9 races last year and volunteered for one through the New York Road Runners “9+1” program. Yes, I had a hunch that I was running this race this coming November. But there is nothing in the world like absolute confirmation. I was very worried since I ran my 9th race for them last October and had not heard anything since then. I was sure that they would keep their word but hey, you never know right? I can put to rest any doubts on this. God willing I can stay healthy and complete this race. As a runner, its been something I have wanted to do my entire life! While I need the time to train for it, I also wish November was already here!

    Before I start my training for the marathon, I do have plenty of races still to complete. the competitive side of me will want to go all out during these other races but I have to remember that this will be a long road of preparation for November. There will be so much planning and training that will go into this. I know I will need the assistance and patience of my family along the way to deal with long training runs and crazy thoughts as I go thru this. But I can’t wait to see how this all has turns out.

    Is anyone else about to run their first full marathon this year? If so, is it NYC or is it another? For those who have run marathons before, do you remember your first? Any great stories? Do share in the comments below!

    Have a great week everyone!!