New York City Marathon Training Plan
Training for a marathon is no simple feat. Whether it’s the TCS NYC Marathon or one of many other races around the world, ASICS America wants to provide you with the training tools to make your marathon experience a successful and enjoyable one. Luckily we have ASICS America’s Coaching Consultant and head coach for the ASICS Mammoth Track Club Andrew Kastor to share insider tips on marathon training.
Running a marathon is all about preparation. According to Coach Kastor’s favorite quote,
"The will to win is nothing without the will to prepare." – New York City Marathon Champion Juma Ikangaa
Or, as Kastor puts it, “It means following the training plan, getting in the prescribed workouts, eating well, and getting adequate rest. The basic premise is to plan early and save yourself some stress leading up to a workout or race.”
To help you prepare for your next marathon, we’ve compiled Coach Kastor’s top marathon training tips and shared the basics of his 12-week marathon training guide that you can download and use for your next big race. We’ve also indicated where you can use the MyASICS app to make the guide even more customized to your age, gender, specific race and goal marathon pace.
Coach Kastor’s Marathon Training Tips:
- Train on the right surface
Coach Kastor explains that during most of your training, it’s important to run on a surface that is similar to the one that you will encounter on race day. This surface is typically pavement, which causes the mid-sole of your shoe to breakdown, so make sure to replace your training shoes every 250-300 miles if training mainly on pavement.
- Mix up your surfaces
Change up your surfaces (dirt or trail) during mid-week training sessions to diffuse the impact on your body. Running on grass, wet sand, dirt trails or tracks will activate and strengthen different muscles, helping prevent injury and fatigue. Also train for hills to practice running down them softly, which reduces the impact on your body.
- Train at a variety of speeds
Focus most of your marathon training at a comfortable, steady pace, but add quick, short distance strides (gentle sprints) into your various sessions. Incorporating strides improves speed development, muscular power, stride length and flexibility, helping to keep you injury free.
- Test your performance to reach your goal
Calculate your goal marathon race pace with MyASICS and evaluate if this pace is too difficult to maintain during your Goal Marathon Race Pace Runs (GMRP). Your pace should be comfortable, so if you can’t maintain this pace, add 10-15 seconds per mile the next week to your GMRP run and reevaluate your goal pace for the marathon.
- Eat and drink like you would on race day
Practice drinking the same fluids (electrolyte-replacement drinks), gels, blocks or beans that you will be taking on race day to teach your body to process and digest comfortably before race day. You should also try eating the exact meal that you will ingest the morning of the race during your final runs.
- Break in your race day shoes
Log 50-100 miles in your race day shoes prior to running the marathon. Train in your planned race day shoe/sock combination during the last few weeks leading up to your race. This will help ensure that you have happy feet for all 26.2 miles!
- Get out of your sweaty clothes
Sitting around in your sweaty clothes tends to rapidly cool down your body and causes your muscles to tighten or seize up, leading to injuries. Slip into some post-workout gear to keep you dry and injury free.
- Make time and arrangements to adequately recover
Massage therapy, cool baths, sleep and nutrition are critical to helping your body rebuild itself during your rigorous marathon training schedule. If you don’t have the budget for professional massages, soaking in cool (50-55 degree) water for 10-15 minutes and then elevating will help reduce inflammation and speed the recovery any damaged tissues.
- Mentally prepare yourself for race day
If you’ve been keeping a training log, revisit it to remind yourself of the dedication and hard work you’ve put forth to come this far. Knowing how much you have prepared will boost your confidence going into the race.
- Make the most out of last days leading up to race
Rest, relax, eat well, stay hydrated, sleep, and participate in activities that help you take your mind of the big task ahead.
Do you have a marathon training tip that has worked best for you?