10 Strategic Running Tips for Every Marathoner from 10 Strategic Running Tips for Every Marathoner

10 Strategic Running Tips for Every Marathoner

One of the most famous running events in the world – the New York City Marathon, which had a massive 51,388 runners in 2016 – is coming soon. No doubt that many amateur runners, especially those participating in it for a first time, are thinking about how they will cross the finish line. The following are tips from Dr. Karena Wu, a physical therapist and the owner of ActiveCare Physical Therapy in NYC and Mumba. Her guidelines will help first-time runners, longtime marathoners, and anyone in between, to prevent running injuries and gear the body for the marathon, not just the race.

Carbo-load, don’t fat load


During the last 3 days, make sure your calories emphasize carbs, which is what fuels you on race day.

Select the shoes and socks you’ll wear in the marathon


Test them with at least one run before the marathon to make sure you don’t blister.

Two days right before take a rest from running all together


The goal is to get your body rested to maximize its potential during the race. This is a struggle with which many new runners have a problem.

Warm up before your long run


Walk or a very light jog (slower than your pace) no more than 10 minutes long and finish with stretching.

Start loose


10-15 min before the start, get your muscles warmed up with gentle stretches, especially as you are herded to the start (include a light jog).

Start slow

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It’s ok to start a little slower in the first 2-3 miles to conserve your glycogen. Then pick up the pace to what you trained for.

Drink on the run


Practice refueling with sports drinks and gels that you know will be on the race course. Find out the distance between stations and practice drinking at the rate in between stations.


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With the energy of the start of the race and with thousands of people around you, you might go too hard too fast, so it’s better to stick to your game plan to know what works best for you. Stay on pace.



Mind games, that is. Sing a song to yourself.  It helps cover distance and time.

Motivate yourself


Around mile 23: Tell yourself what you’ve accomplished and that you will finish.  It helps you mentally to know that you can finish and that the pain is temporary.  You’ve put the work in and now you just have to finish that finish line.