Whippet Wisdom: NYC Marathon Mental Prep

A Wisdom piece back in late July discussed race strategy for Team Champs – course specifics on navigating turns, hills, tangents, etc. For the next week-and-a-half, think about your NYC Marathon race strategy during the easy miles of your recovery runs/ easy bike rides/ stretch and foam rolling sessions/ riding on the subway to work, etc. Saturday’s Manhattan run will feature the final 10 miles of the course which provides an added benefit to this race strategy implementation. As we said back in July, you can only achieve success if you envision success.

Captain’s note: this weekend’s Manhattan run will begin at 8:30AM and will stay at that time from now until the Spring

The NYC Marathon is a much longer course with its own nuances so rather than focus on a mile-by-mile planning, think about the race in the bigger sections. One suggestion is to break up the race into eight 5K segments instead of 26 individual miles. While not equidistant segments, these may be helpful as well: Verrazano Bridge, long straightaway of 4th Ave Brooklyn, Atlantic Terminal/ North Brooklyn, Queens/ Queensborough Bridge, long straightaway of 1st Ave Manhattan, solitude of the Bronx (except for the Whippets cheering station!), 5th Ave Manhattan, Central Park/ the finish.

As for goal finish time, go into the race with three goals: good, better, best. “Good” represents a time which you feel confident in achieving based on your training. “Better” is a time which begs you to come for it; while the time is not easily achieved and will take some work. “Best” is a stretch time which might only happen under perfect conditions but still possible. For most people, I recommend these times be no more than 10-15 minutes apart. For example, good of 3:40, better of 3:35, best of 3:30. While the difference does not seem like much, we all know that 5 minutes is eternity in a marathon so, while the range is large, it is reasonable. Each of these times should be plugged into the calculator so you are mentally prepared when you see those times at the given checkpoints.

To increase your chances of success on race day, it’s best to find a partner or two. We created this google doc survey to fill out your race day goals. Matt will be collecting data and emailing folks with similar goals starting in wave/ corral locations within proximity to each other to encourage people to work together in the first part of the race and people to look for as the race progresses.

Additionally, on Wednesday, October 26, fellow Whippet Russ Stram has offered his acupuncture/ physical therapy space – RunnerClinicNYC – to the team for a NYC Marathon Strategy Session. The evening will feature a timeline presentation lead by the coaches with commentary by panelists Henrietta Aitken, Megan Jones, David Roeske and Russ as we discuss everything from pre-race planning, race day logistics, course description and race strategy to run the most successful NYC Marathon possible. We’ll also answer any questions you have regarding these topics while also providing an opportunity to chat with fellow teammates. Info can be found here: http://www.meetup.com/dashing-whippets/events/234762937/

As always, we’re here to help so let us know if you have any questions. Have a great week!
Chris 40

More about Chris Forti

Chris grew up just outside of Boston where he competed at the high school and collegiate level. In Boston, he coached athletes with varying objectives - from youth to high school to adults - and went so far as to marry his favorite athlete. He joined the Whippets in 2013 and is excited to be coaching for this highly motivated group. He works at siggi's yogurt in New York City as a demand planner and can be found playing "catch the red laser dot" with his favorite kitty, post-run. He calls himself "40" because "Forti" is evidently too many typeface characters to handle and can be found on Facebook, Twitter (@chris40runs), and Instagram (@chris40runs)

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