Team All-American

Key Strategies for the New York City Marathon

The NYC Marathon is days away and here are some key strategies for making it across the finish line, then bragging about it on social media.

Time Goals for Your Race

Time goals are important for every race, from your first to your fastest. It is specific, measurable, and keeps you accountable. Because of the unpredictability of marathons, 2 out of 3 goals serve as backup plans and keep you motivated throughout the race.

1. Reach Goal. This goal is based on a recent time trial race, your training logs, and advice from your coach or trainer. It's the ideal and can be accomplished if everything goes well throughout the race.

2. Murphy’s Law Goal. A little slower goal, this one compensates for anything that may go wrong during the race.

3. Endurance Goal. This goal allows for multiple things to go wrong, but you still push yourself to finish in spite of the obstacles.


  • Consistency is the key to marathon pacing. You know slow miles at the beginning is better than faster at the beginning, but consistency across the board results in a better race and a better experience.
  • Armed with your timed goals, aim to run your marathon goal pace from start to end.
  • Run even splits.

Hydration and Fueling

  • Consistency is also the name of the game with hydration and fueling. No matter how great you feel and how much energy you take in from the crowds, keep hydrating and fueling at consistent levels. You’ll stay confident and see a better performance and result.

Feel Heavy at the Starting Line

Yep. That’s what I said. Feeling heavy at the starting line can mean you have properly carb loaded in the previous days leading up to the race. Even through the first few miles, “heaviness” means your glycogen levels are high enough to give you a good start and see you through a lot of the long haul, of course supplemented by water and fuel from throughout. Even the world’s leanest runners will feel heavy at the beginning of a marathon. Don’t let the heavy feeling discourage you; it might just be your advantage.

The Race Begins

When the Frank Sinatra music starts playing and you move through the start line, it can be really exciting, but remain relaxed, for the first mile is critical for pacing. If you let the energy and excitement overtake you, you will regret it for the rest of the race. Find it within yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually that you don’t run faster than your intended goal pace. Otherwise it will haunt you throughout the race, making for the most miserable day. Don’t ever start too fast, no matter what the crowd or the runners around you are doing.

Stay tuned for the next blog “Navigating the Course.”

Yours in training,

Coach Scott Fishman

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