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John Honerkamp | Michael Conlon | Mary Arnold | Claire Shorenstein

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October 16th, 2018

Course Strategy Session | NYC Marathon

Highlights from our Course Strategy Session for the NYC Marathon






Days leading up to marathon (roughly 3 days before):

  • Include a few more carbs than normal in every meal and snack.
    • Carbs = grains, fruit, dairy. Do not eat to the point where you are overly stuffed
    • If you are sensitive to fiber (greens) reduce them 2-3 days out from the race.

Day before:

  • Have your biggest meal at lunch or an early dinner.
    • Do not go to bed full
    • Suggested dinner:
      • Vegetables and protein (3-4oz) optional
      • Go for mostly carbs and stay low on fiber

Race day:

  • Do not rely on food provided on race day. HAVE YOUR OWN FOOD that you have practiced running with/on!
  • 2-4 hours before the race you want to take in 300-500 calories
  • 1 hour before: banana or small carb intake
  • 5-10-minutes before: gel or sports drink


During the race:

  • DO NOT TAKE GELS/FUEL BY MILEAGE → miles are not run equally in minutes so go by time.
  • Fuel early and CONSISTENTLY
  • Take gels every 30-45’
  • 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour (some folks will go up to 90g)
    • 1 Gel = 25-20 grams. You want to take in 1 gel every 30’- 45’
      • Note: 1 gel an hour isn’t enough (unless you are very petite)
      • Note: gels tend to spill and you don’t get everything in, bring EXTRA gels
  • SALT: bring salt tablets if you tend to lose a lot of water during the race


Post race:

  • It is going to feel very hard to eat/you may not want to but you should start to replenish what you’ve burned off
  • Glycogen depleted, you’re dehydrated and salts have been lost 
  • Must get nutrition in within 30-60’ –> need to repair your muscles for recovery
    • Put an energy bar in your bag check and/or sports drinks with salts
    • Take in 15-25 grams of protein within in hour of your finish
    • Take in half your body weight (lbs) in grams of carbohydrate

                PRO TIP: Beer counts as carbs 🙂


  • Practice your nutrition and know what your body tolerates, avoid adding new things on race day!
  • Fluids, Salts & Carbs – start getting them in almost immediately when race begins




  • Stay warm and stay off feet before you enter the corral
    • 5-10 degrees colder and usually wet/damp
    • Bring warm throw-away clothes
    • Bring mylar blankets if you have them
    • Bring the NY Times – use newspaper to stop the wind – put in front of throw away shirt as barrier
      • Also great reading material 🙂
    • If you have circulation issues in your hands and feet put some vaseline on them before you put your gloves/socks on
    • Wear a pair of old shoes & bring extra socks; change into dry socks & your race shoes right before you start
  • In corral:
    • Active stretching and mobilization
    • Know what areas you need to focus on (quads, hip, calves, etc)




***DON’T GO OUT TOO FAST. Marathon pace should feel good – it’s holding that pace for 26.2 miles that is hard.***

  • “You can’t bank time”
    • DO NOT go fast early because you are feeling good, backfires in the second half. Stick to your pacing.
  • CONSISTENCY based on EFFORT (not on time – every mile is different)




  • Steepest mile is Mile 1 (Verrazano Bridge)
    • This means your first mile could be anywhere from 30-60+ seconds slower. This is okay becuase Mile #2 is downhill.
  • Mile 2-8 fairly flat
  • Mile 8 gets very crowded. You go from an avenue to a narrow street (Mile 8-9 may be a bit slower – that’s OK)
  • Mile 15-ish – 59th street bridge is the quietest mile on the course. This is the Mile split you might not want to look at your pace as there is a good chance it’s going to be a lot slower, maybe even your slowest mile. This is OK!
  • Bronx – 7 turns, a little over 1 mile.
  • First Avenue – “3 million people losing their mind” at the end of the bridge – be careful not to speed up too much from the energy of the crowds.
    • Pull it back.
  • Mile 20-23 – look out for banana peels & gatorade cups!
  • Mile 23 – slightest long-subtle hill
  • FINISH – slight uphill “because why not”. There will be meter markers counting down the last mile.
    • Finish Line Photo: ignore your watch – keep you hands up and run through the finish until someone tells you you’re done.
    • If you are picking up a bag from bag drop, be prepared for a slow, long walk.
    • Have a plan on where to meet after (be very specific, eg: Emerald Inn on W 72nd Street)




  • Have your family/friends go to an EXACT LOCATION (eg: 117th Street, Northeast side; runners right)
  • Finish Line Physical Therapy @ just before Mile 23 – power boosts, hugs, bullhorn, likely party poppers 🙂
  • Harlem Run @ Mile 22 – DJ, positive noise, hugs, high fives 🙂



You don’t need to be physically touching the pacers to stay with the pace group, okay to be 400M+ back.

Manual Split your miles:  51,000 people are trying to get signal, GPS is often off on pace & distance.

Headphones – best to keep one ear-bud out so you can be aware of your surrounding & fuel off of the energy of the day




John Honerkamp

Michael Conlon

Mary Arnold

Claire Shorenstein

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