Team All-American

Navigating the Course Part 2--Manhattan, 5th Avenue, Central Park, The Finish Line


Welcome to Manhattan! You’ve arrived at the top of the bridge, and you have a nice downhill run after an uphill climb on the bridge. If you think you felt a lot of energy in Brooklyn, just wait for what happens next. This will be one of the most spiritual experiences of your life. The crowd on 1st Avenue of New York City on marathon Sunday just gives me the chills thinking about it.

Do not make the rookie mistake of sprinting downhill from the bridge. Definitely do not make the mistake of running too fast up 1st Avenue, either. It kills more marathon dreams than any other portion of the race. I guarantee that if you run it too fast, it will come back to bite you.

You still have nearly 10 miles left to the finish line. Do not tell yourself this is the time to pick up the pace. Patience is a virtue. Stick to your pacing game plan no matter how excited and energized the New York City crowd on 1st Avenue makes you feel. It will make your pace feel easy. Trust your GPS.

If you have a favorite playlist this is the time to turn up the volume. When you get to Harlem and run through the Bronx, your energy will slow down significantly. Counter that energy with your favorite artists. Sing along! Do anything to get your head out of the immediate halt and crowd energy in a difficult phase of a difficult race. Now is the time to focus in. Lock in on your form and say your positive mantra over and over again, because this is a time that makes or breaks many people’s marathon experiences. Stay true to your pace because you still have a ways to go and an uphill around the corner. 

5th Avenue

If you feel like you’re really, really holding back again, do not speed up. Stay steady. You will have a long ways to go and a significant increase in incline here. It lasts for a long time at a hard time in a long race. The 5th Avenue crowds will pick up and that will help. However, the energy will get your heart pumping, so be very careful not to let that eat you up and spit you out like many of the people who will be quitting and slowing down right next to you. Hopefully, you didn’t let the crowds get the best of you at the start line and through Brooklyn and up 1st Avenue, so don’t let it screw up your race now.

Stay humble. Stay patient. Stay consistent.

Central Park

This is the time in the race where everyone suffers mentally, physically, and spiritually. And that’s OK. It’s a marathon, and it hurts. If you don’t say it’s tough, then you’re lying to yourself. It’s very tough. The great news in this race is that you have the greatest fans in the world in one of the biggest sporting events cheering for you. Most of the spectators are there to watch runners that they do not know, and that is you.

Outta the Park Toward the Finish Line

Give it all you have left, focus on form and your positive mantra.


Quick feet. Knees up. Core engaged. Arms pumping. Shoulders down. Head straight ahead.

Run as tall and relaxed as possible.

Now is the time to start talking to yourself even if the runner next to you thinks you’re nuts.

You can do this! You can do this! You can do this!

Yours in training,

Coach Scott Fishman

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