How to Train For The New York City Marathon

How to Train For The New York City Marathon

How to Train For The New York City Marathon

Written By: SportsShoes have caught up with Steve Vernon, coach and manager of Team New Balance Manchester, and New Balance long-distance athlete Jonny Mellor to get their advice on how to best prepare for the New York City marathon and on what mistakes to avoid in the last few weeks before the marathon.

Steve Vernon and Jonny Mellor met runner Matt Marchant for a training session to train with Matt for his first New York City marathon. There’s a lot that Matt can do wrong but there’s also a lot that Matt can do right to make sure his preparation is perfect for the New York Marathon. To replicate the conditions runners face in New York, Steve has put together a training session focusing on training at your PB marathon pace.


800m warm-up jog & warm-up drills

4× loops on a 1-kilometre flat road loop at your PB marathon pace

8× 30-second Hill Strides

  • Uphill: Go 80% of maximum for 30 seconds; stride faster than your marathon pace with a focus on good technique
  • Downhill: Slow jog back down

2km warm down

We started the training with a short warm-up on the track and some warm-up drills. We normally do that to get all the muscles not only warm but activated and ready to do some faster pace running. We’re going to do four kilometres on a 1-kilometre road loop and Matt is going to run that at his PB marathon pace. To finish off we then do some thirty-second hill strides.

This training session replicates a mini New York City marathon with some faster pace flat running to start with and then go on to the hills – and that’s exactly what will happen in New York with 20 miles on the flat and then there’s the last six miles in Central Park with the hills. This session is giving you the variety you need in New York, and the hill strides are going to fatigue the legs a little bit getting you ready for the hills of Central Park.


DON’T EXPERIMENT. You should have now decided what shoes and socks you are going to wear and what you are going to eat on race day. It is no use experimenting with two to three days to go and trying something new that you saw on Instagram or Twitter. It is best to stick to what works for you. You have to have a plan that’s right for you and you need to stick to that plan.

DON’T ADD EXTRA TRAINING SESSIONS. Another common mistake in the final preparation is going out and just doing that one extra training session: This is not often required. In the final two weeks you should be tapering, you should be getting your glycogen stores in the muscles as high as possible so you have plenty of energy for marathon day, but also not trying to gain that extra bit of fitness. There is nothing to be gained with two weeks to go.

If you have had a small injury leading into the marathon, don’t try to do too much in the build up to race-day. This can happen to a lot of people – a lot of people can get niggles along the way and it’s important to not try and do more training now in those final few weeks because of the miss training they have had before.

STICK TO YOUR PLAN ON RACE-DAY. Once you’ve got a plan in place and you decided what pace you’re going to run in the marathon, you really need to stick to that and be patient. People often feel good at halfway and start to push on but if you’ve trained to a certain pace it’s best to stick to that and get yourself at least through 20 miles before trying to push on.

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