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Top 5 Race IQ Tips for the NYC Marathon

Who’s ready for Marathon Sunday??!!

Along with our friends at Tailwind Endurance, we were thrilled to welcome a packed house of eager marathoners for Race IQ: New York City Marathon to discuss the ins, outs and secrets to success at the TCS New York City Marathon.

Our panel of experts did not disappoint in dispensing all of the inside-scoop, nitty-gritty details to have your best race on November 2. Special thanks to Earl Walton for leading the panel, and to Liz Robbins, Jess Underhill and Mike Keohane for their expert advice, words of wisdom and encouragement.

Top 5 Race IQ Tips:

1- Prepare well in advance.
Make your race week checklist this weekend, and give yourself something to do every day leading up to marathon day. Not only does this help harness extra taper energy, but it also helps to ensure you don’t expend extra energy at the end of the week trying to pull together loose ends.

>> Check out Jess Underhill’s New York City Marathon Week To-Do List

2- Communicate.
Don’t be shy – or too cool. Talk to fellow runners, make friends, ask questions of people around you, answer questions when people ask you (if you know the answer, of course). And because there are 50,000 people running and the course can be crowded, communicate to your fellow runners to avoid collisions (yes, they happen!). For example, point when you’re moving through traffic to get to a water station or passing someone.

3- Take a tip from the pros: draft.
The course can be blustery even on a day with little wind. Conserve a bit of energy by tucking behind a pack of runners. Or find a few people who are running a similar pace, and take turns leading the pack. The key here is, take turns! Don’t leave it to everyone else to do the hard work!

4- Pace conservatively.
There’s no doubt about it: the NYC Marathon is a difficult course. Run the bridges based on effort, not on what your watch says (don’t even look at your watch on the bridges!). Harness your energy off the bridges – particularly the Verrazano and Queensboro Bridges. After you get off the Verrazano, you’ve got a nice long, flat stretch up 4th Avenue in Brooklyn. Off the Queensboro, you’ve got 1st Avenue. Your instinct will be to feed off the energy of the crowds in both of those sections – but hold back a bit. Brooklyn is early in the race – and even once you touch down in Manhattan, you still have 10 of the hardest miles of the course to go after that.

>> Check out the NYC Marathon course map and elevation map

5- Take a moment…
In the crazy mess and calamity of 50,000 runners milling around the athlete village, take a moment. Think…
– Think about why you signed up for this day…
– Think about the first workout that kicked off your season…
– Think about your body starting the journey in Staten Island, running down the 59th Street Bridge, entering Central Park, crossing the finish line…
Then close your eyes and do it again – it’s your day! Go out and there make it your best!

What was your favorite pieces of advice from the Race IQ (or best advice in general)? Leave it in the comments!

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