Yoga is great for Runners!

Let me tell you a little about my Yoga practise.

yoga, yoga, yoga...

yoga, yoga, yoga...

For many years I wanted to do yoga, as like many men i couldn't even touch my toes. But it wasn't until i started track sprinting that I realised that the inflexibility of my back, hips, hip flexors and hamstrings was actually preventing me from striding out and sprinting properly and therefore slowing me down. This was all the motivation I needed to get started, and so i did. 
That was about 12 years ago and I was fortunate enough to have a great (Ashtanga) teacher who taught me well, so that I soon understood that yoga was about strength & support, creating space and lengthening, not simply stretching as I, like many believed.

Over the next 3 years practising twice per week, I learned and realised that yoga was the best adjunct to running i could have possibly asked for as the release through the back, hips & legs, and overall core strength I gained literally released the brakes that bound my running allowing me to propel my body further and faster.

Since then, yoga has been a constant companion of mine, albeit somewhat spasmodically at times ( kids will do that!), but more recently I have returned to a twice weekly practise and am loving the benefits I am feeling not just with running but my daily movements, clearer head and calmer mind.

For runners specifically, yoga will help to strengthen your core, your hips, thighs & glutes, whilst also improving your stability, balance & range of motion; all the important elements of good runners. Great for recovery too as yoga lengthens (loosens) your tight bits, giving the tight, sore muscles (& fascia) that elasticity & energy back that is so crucial to being an efficient runner.

Here's a link to a great article that talks a bit more about how well Yoga fits into a runner's life.

Yes, yoga is an ancient practise that crosses many facets of our existence from the physical to the spiritual and can take many forms with lots of lovely Sanskrit names that can be quite confusing. Ashtanga, Iyengar, Vinyasa, Hatha, Flow, Power , Shadow, Hot....??

Recently I have been practising yoga at my wife's studio in St.Kilda, UP ATHLETIC located right on St.Kilda Beach. Whilst the location itself is hard to beat, the session is run by our yoga guru Dylan who describes his classes as; 

"a dynamic flow based yoga incorporating elements of Tai chi and mindfulness"

Like Dylan himself this is very understated, as this is a strong practise that sometimes has elements of kung fu thrown in. Essentially it's a pretty amazing experience that you must try.

As I know the Owner at Up Athletic pretty well, I have squeezed an exclusive deal out of her for you guys, my Run Well runners.

You can join our yoga classes  for $35 per week, (normally cost $22 casually for non-members) for up to 3 classes. Class times are;
6 AM TUESDAY,
7 PM THURSDAY, 
9 AM SUNDAY. 

This exclusive deal will also include my FRIDAY morning running session, 6 AM at the TAN, if you don't already come to that.

Trust me, sign up for the 6 weeks ( $210) and I personally guarantee you will be feeling amazing and running better by the end.

If you have any questions or queries, don't hesitate to email me or Up Athletic.

As always Run Well, see you on the track or the mat soon!

6 reasons why you should run the Melbourne Marathon this year!

Preparing to run the 42.195 kms to finish a marathon takes four to five months of dedicated training, a significant time commitment that alters your schedule, lifestyle, sleeping and eating habits. Such preparations also require sacrifice and support from your loved ones.

Melbourne Marathon, what a sight.

Melbourne Marathon, what a sight.

The Melbourne Marathon has become the biggest marathon in Australia with a record 6218 completing the course in 2012 and more than 35,000 entries across the four accompanying events – The Half Marathon, 10km Run and the Asics 5.7km run and 3km walk events. And best of all, you get to finish by running a lap across the hallowed turf of the iconic MCG!

Here's 6 great reasons to run the Melbourne marathon this year;

1. It will change your life. You will be tested and challenged, not only in training but mostly in the race itself. 42.2 kms is not easy for anyone.

2. There's still 21 weeks to go. Thus giving you plenty of time to prepare well & perform well!  Your typical marathon training program is 16-20 weeks, so what are you waiting for?

3. You've talked about it for ages, now it's time to just do it! 

4. Tick that Bucket list before you turn 40, or 50 or whatever!  

5. Because runners live longer, are happier & have more sex*! 

6. Goal Setting Reaps Rewards. Running a marathon doesn't just happen. You need to commit, be motivated, set a plan, and stick to it in order to achieve your goal. Thus the sense of achievement & reward once you've completed your marathon is greater than many others due to the greater sacrifice and effort you've put in along the way.

And here's 52 more reasons to run the marathon just in case you need more convincing!

Need more inspiration?

Seriously, you won't regret it, & it will without doubt change your life. For the good, & for the better!  

And when you do decide to do the marathon, then please plan & prepare early & well to ensure that your experience is a good one. If you need help with a training program to ensure you make it to the start line and finish line in good shape, I can help you.

All marathons are hard, however the hardest marathon you will ever run is the one you are least prepared for!  

Be a Finsiher!

Be a Finsiher!

Want to know more?

Go on, what's stopping you?

Sub 2 hour marathon.... what are you doing this weekend?

I've just finished reading the book, "Two Hours : the Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon"  by Ed Caesar. This book is fascinating and compelling as it takes the reader on a journey into the lives of elite marathoners as he traces the history of the marathon as well as the science, physiology and psychology of running. I particularly enjoy reading about these super humans and learning of their lives, for I am forever astounded when contemplating what it must take to run that fast for that long. 

WR : 2:02:57

WR : 2:02:57

To put it into perspective, or in normal terms; I can run a sub 3 hr marathon at about 4 min 15 s per km or slightly quicker, which puts me into a small % of finishers in a marathon field. And all of us, regardless of our own marathon pace has a sense of what that pace feels like, for that long. However, when considering the pace that elite marathoners run, which is currently 2:55 per km (world record pace), I can run 1 km at this pace ( flat out & only just), but cannot run 2 km at this pace. And these guys run this pace for 42.2km. It truly is incredible, almost unbelievable and seemingly super human.

Kipchoge, The Olympic champion with a PR of 2:03:05.

Kipchoge, The Olympic champion with a PR of 2:03:05.

Much has been written recently about this quest as the two major footwear players in marathoning, Adidas and Nike are jostling for bragging rights as they drive the push & put up the cash to break the 2 hour barrier. In fact, each has released their own sub 2 hour shoe that will carry the successful runner to this ultimate glory. Nike will be first to the chase, as they have pulled together a team of elite (Nike sponsored) athletes to have a crack at it this weekend.

Naturally, and perhaps unfortunately the worlds best marathoners are split between the two major sponsors, with Adidas boasting the three recent record setters including the current world record holder, Denis Kimetto (Berlin 2014 2:02:57), Wilson Kipsang (2:03:23) and Patrick Makau (2:03:38) whilst Nike have the current Olympic champion and second fastest time holder (Kipchoge, London 2017 in 2:03:05) amongst others.Adidas boasting the three most recent record setters including the current world record holder, (Denis Kimetto, Berlin 2014 2:02:57) whilst Nike have the current Olympic champion and third fastest time holder (Kipchoge, 2:03:05) amongst others.

To bring you up to speed with the Nike lead Breaking2 project, click here.

And in fairness, if you'd like to check out Adidas sub 2 shoe, click here.

Nike pacers in Monza 

Nike pacers in Monza 

It is somewhat reminiscent of the race to break the Four Minute Mile, in 1953/54 when the two major players, Roger Bannister & our own John Landy were running their own projects on opposite sides of the globe, battling to be the first man to break the 4 minute barrier. What each man lacked were pacers to carry them fast enough & far enough through their race at the required pace, before they could launch their final assault into the final lap. No-one could come anywhere near Landy in Australia which left him hanging agonisingly close, whilst Bannister set-up the perfect controlled time trial ( not a sanctioned race) to have his pacer take him as far as he could before he too could only manage a 4:02. Whilst he didn't reach the mark then, he did however find the belief, and he eventually broke it the following year in a proper race. Landy soon followed and further trimmed the mark when he came to Europe where the competition was strong enough to push him to his limits & find the extra yards. This complete story is one of the best running books I have ever read, which I highly recommend; The Perfect Mile, Neale Bascomb.

Whilst many will debate the philosophical correctness of such a bold attempt in a totally controlled environment as opposed to a legal race, the process of the project or experiment itself is a fascinating insight into the depths of exercise science, physiology, and the physical limits of these incredible athletes to follow and observe. And whilst I don't believe the 2 hour barrier will be broken this weekend, like Roger & John in 1952, the belief and impetus will be in motion for it to be possible. Clearly, now the once unfathomable feat is in sight and it is not longer a case of 'if' but rather 'when' this will happen.

If you have nothing better to do this weekend, tune in and see how it unfolds for yourself. With only 23 weeks until our own Melbourne Marathon, what better way to kick start your own sub ?? project!

Tune in at 1:45 pm tomorrow!  

Tune in at 1:45 pm tomorrow!  

For more on the Breaking2 Project, including live video of the attempt from Monza, Italy, click here.

Less than 26 weeks til the 2017 Melbourne Marathon

" For curious reasons, we do care and it does matter. Twenty-six miles and 365 yards is not just a distance. it has become a metaphor. Nobody finds the marathon easy - even professionals, especially professionals. The distance is democratic that way. Everyone who runs a marathon is running against his or her limits. Everyone is forced to manage a certain amount of pain and to recruit hidden reserves. Whatever one's talent or preparation, nobody runs an easy marathon. Mutai's prayer at the start line is not to win, but to finish it. "
-  TWO HOURS, Ed Caesar

With only 26 weeks to go, and one thing is for sure;
Whilst there are no easy marathons, you can bet that the better prepared you are the better your race experience will be.
And so, the time is now to get your personalised program underway, and be well prepared for your Melbourne Marathon on Sunday October 15, 2017 !

It is often said that the hardest part of the marathon is getting through the training, getting to the start line. I couldn't agree more with that statement. That doesn't mean go easy in your training, quite the opposite. That means your training program and how you complete it is vital to your success. This is where many get it wrong, resulting in becoming a non finisher or even worse a non starter. It is very important you get this right from the start.

The objective of a good personalised program is; 

1. Get you to the start line in one piece. This means well prepared, with a race plan, and injury free.

2. Allow you to the finish the race well, elated, and more than a bit tired!

3. Meet your realistic goal race time or perhaps better it.



At Run Well, we can help you to have a successful marathon experience, whether it's you're a First Time  Marathoner, or you are training for a personal best.

If you're Thinking about running the Marathon this year, but are unsure what it takes, here's a brief outline of what you can expect.

Enquire here for your free program assessment, or to ask how we can help you to BE A FINISHER in 2017.

Running Training : it's all neurologic!

There are essentially just two types of running; training & racing. And the only difference between these two, is your pace or intensity. 

If you're not running with good form at all times, you're training your body to do something different.

If you're not running with good form at all times, you're training your body to do something different.

What I mean when I say this is:

With racing we are typically asking our body to perform at the highest level of intensity, with a high level of focus or concentration on every aspect of our running and running form. This we do to maximise our performance for the race.

But what do we do differently in training, when the pace or intensity varies so much?

Training comes in all different shapes & sizes; Recovery, Intervals, Pace, Tempo, Threshold, Steady State, Long Runs.

In training the only difference should be the intensity, and as a result cadence (but only slightly). The mental focus on running form should be just the same.

Here’s another way of looking at it, that most runners will understand.

There is good running form, and poor running form.

Good Running Form = tall posture, strong trunk, high foot/knee pick up, high cadence, yet smooth, light & easy. Good running form sounds like tap, tap, tap, tap. You get what I mean.

Poor Running Form = bent over posture, low hips, collapsing into knees, low feet that drag, slow cadence, bumpy, heavy, hard. Goes more like thud…, thud…, thud….

Whatever your run, your form may be better or worse depending on many factors. If we consider this on a linear scale, and as a runner you will sit somewhere along that scale at any given moment as you run. Most of us will start a run at the better end of the scale ( best form) and often move backwards as the run progresses as our strength is challenged and fatigues takes its toll ( poorer form).

Unless you’re Mo Farah, you’re probably not always at the far right (best) end of the scale, but you still should always be working towards that goal. By that I mean regardless of the type of run, hence the pace/intensity of your run or what stage of your run, you must always focus on good running form, thus aiming to strengthen the neural pathways, and associated muscles that produce good running form. For it is good running form, that produces efficient running that when combined with strength & power means you run fast!

You must always practise good running form always, regardless of your run.

Mo Farah, doesn't get much better!

Mo Farah, doesn't get much better!

This sounds like a lot of work I agree, but the consequence of not doing this is the bigger problem.

As the body responds to it’s environment always ( i.e. how we train it), if you spend time running or allowing yourself to run with anything less than good form (poor form), you are teaching or training your body/muscles to run this way ( poorly).

Now that is clearly counterproductive, and you just simply cannot afford to be doing that, if you want to become a better runner, or remain a good runner, or even get the most out of your training.

So what of slower runs; steady pace long runs, recovery runs and easy runs.

Our body is a dynamic organism in that it is constantly adapting and responding to it’s environment. In this way, we are the product of what we do, or how we keep or train our bodies. Thus running training provides a stimulus that results in stronger, fitter muscles with better condition for running due to accompanying physiologic changes.

But when we train for running, and we achieve stronger, fitter leg muscles there is a higher force that provides this change that must be considered. And this is the brain & nervous system.

When we train to get stronger, we are actually stimulating the nervous system to build a stronger neural connection or pathway to those muscles (and supportive structures & mechanisms) required for that activity (running), and thus adaptation towards greater power/strength & physiologic conditioning can be achieved in those muscle functions.

Not only that, for we are also training the body and in particular, your posture & legs to move in a specific & deliberate manner, and in doing so developing your motor pathways. This of course is also known as your running gait (or form) and very important for running efficiency.

The important point to understand and remember is that this is happening on every run. It is after all neurologic, always.

So in effect, we are not (just) training muscles, but training your nervous system to produce stronger signals, of greater intensity that result in stronger motor patterns and a stronger muscle response. So the effect of this stronger neural pathway, is a stronger, fitter muscular system that produces a stronger response that results in more efficient & more powerful running. This is what makes you faster!

And so, training your body to run, and Run Well means we must practise good running form on every step, of every run, regardless of the type of running session we perform, be it training or racing.

The question you must ask yourself is;

When I am running, when I am training, am I running with my best form, or am I doing something else?

Who is running with better form?

Who is running with better form?

 

If you find during a running session that your form has gone, then you must slow down or stop, get it back together, and then continue with good form. Otherwise you're being counter-productive.

For maximum results & performance, you must always focus first on Running Well.

Run Well! Improve your Running Technique & Efficiency in 5 weeks!

There's pretty much only two ways to get better with your running.

Effective training will make you stronger & better conditioned, thus allowing you to run further & faster.  The other way is to to run with greater efficiency to allow you to get the most out of every stride by maximising your energy output and ensuring you waste as little of your available energy as possible.

In fact whilst both are important, it is your running technique & efficiency that is the vital factor in  improving your running performance. Good running form will ensure you get the most out of every training run, and thus every race, whilst reducing your risk of injury.

Whilst I can help you with both of these elements of running training, one presents a much greater challenge than the other. 

Good running form is critical to improving your performance.

Good running form is critical to improving your performance.

 

Learning to run with greater efficiency, otherwise known as your running technique takes precise tuition, understanding, & practise.  

Whether you're a 5km weekend warrior or a seasoned marathoner, if you've never been taught how to run properly, there is a chance you are not maximising your running potential,and potentially increasing your risk of injury.

We can teach you the fundamental principals behind sound, effective and efficient running technique and over time you will see it pay dividends in your performance and recovery, not to mention the enjoyment you get out of your running.

Run Well are offering their unique 5 week Running Technique Clinic to you in late March 2017. 

We have designed & developed this unique teaching clinic over many years, & have coached over 100 runners in this method. 

'RUN BETTER, STRONGER & FASTER' IN  5 weeks & YOU will learn;  

  • the fundamental running drills that will allow you to develop stronger, more efficient motor patterns

  • retraining your foot strike for maximum recoil

  • the importance of knee drive

  • glute activation & stride power

  • cadence & arm swing

  • finally, how to run smooth, light & easy...and then fast!

This course involves hands on coaching, individual feedback, take home notes & homework. 

You will complete the course with the knowledge & understanding of how to continue to become better, stronger & faster with every run. 

 

Here's all the details you need;

WHEN:  Starts SATURDAY 25th March. 

5 x consecutive Saturday mornings ( except EASTER SAT)  from 7:30am  for an 60-75 mins. No issues with dark nights!

WHERE: PEANUT FARM OVAL, Spenser St/Chaucer St, St. Kilda. 

CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO MAP OF PEANUT FARM RESERVE

COST : $250 

 

How to secure your place ( numbers limited):

Sign up online ( YOU WILL NEED TO LOGIN FIRST) - click here to book via our website 

Transfer 50% deposit or pay in full by bank transfer to;

BSB: 062 562

ACC: 00620980

If you have any further queries or questions please send us an email here.

We look forward to running... really running, with you!

Remember, numbers are limited, so please get in touch now to secure your place.  

As always, Run Well!  

 

 

2017 : Resolve to Run

The New Year typically brings new resolutions, new plans, and new goals. 

as IN all aspects of life, if we fail to plan, we often plan to fail; whether we mean to or not!. However, if we set out with a proper plan to achieve a goal, more often than not we will succeed. this is critical in running.

It's simple, just RUN!

It's simple, just RUN!

Eg. When i considered running my first marathon several years ago, I was so motivated by the fear of failure that my goal was to read, learn and practise as much as I could about the subject, As a result, I planned & prepared well and finished well with a 3:07, exceeding my initial expectations. My second attempt was learn more, put that into practise (better training methods) in order to break 3 hrs and I did. And my third was for a better time again in order to qualify for the NY marathon & run a PB along the way, and happily I succeeded again.

I planned well in advance for each of these, and prepared well on every occasion, achieving these goals as a result. Not only that, but I also picked up more PBs over the shorter distances along the way.

This is not about my running ability at all, whatever it or yours may be but about achieving your best and performing to your potential. Which brings me to talk about one of the things I love about running, and that is that there are no short cuts. The more effort you put in with your training and preparation, the greater the reward in performance you will get in return.  These rules for running are very simple and there’s just no other way. No short cuts.

Your running results are purely based on how well you plan, commit, train & prepare. Look after those factors, and the results will look after themselves.

WITH THAT IN MIND, WHAT ARE YOUR RUNNING GOALS FOR 2017, AND HOW WILL YOU ACHIEVE THEM?

HERE"S SOME TIPS;

  • Set up your goals at the start of the year.  Are you going to run further, run faster, or just make new running friends. Are you aiming to run your first marathon or Half Marathon, or aiming for a PB in any particular event. Are you planning to run an event for the first time?
  • Be specific with your goals and make them meaningful! You'll be more likely to commit and be accountable. Make them real, write them down, tell someone.
  • Make it challenging but realistic.
  • Put a plan in place to achieve your goals. (Fail to plan & you plan to fail). Allow enough time to prepare appropriately; This means plan, train, taper, race, recover. Repeat.
  • Plan your year around your ultimate Goal Race/s.  You can enter lots of races/events but pick those you wish to do your best in and aim for these with the appropriate amount of preparation, and tapering, followed by recovery. The other races races are part of training & race training for that specific goal race/s. 
  • Commit to a program. A program will keep you motivated, accountable and on track to your goal. A personalised program is specifically designed with your goals & needs in mind and is custom designed to fit you.  Make sure your program is designed to meet your needs & your goals, to give you every chance to achieve your goals & perform to your potential.
  • Schedule it! Put into your calendar regular group runs, training sessions (we meet every FRI 6:15AM@TAN), and regular race meets that will keep you motivated. This will help you reach your goal by tracking progress, and by keeping your training intensity up. Regular racing is the best form of race preparation & training. Having said that, remember that not all races will produce your best result and should be approached accordingly. Keep your focus on your Goal Races, the rest is training!

 

Start Now. Just RUN!

 

In case you're wondering, here’s my running goals for 2017, and what my suggested race calendar looks like.

  1. Run more trails & trail races, aiming for one per month, starting JAN.
  2. Do more DRILLS SESSIONS, at least once per week.
  3. Go one better than last year in the GOR Half Marathon.
  4. Defend my Harrietville Half title in OCT, with a PB.
  5. Help my Run Well buddies run sub 3 hr at MM2017.
  6. Plan to take a Run Well group to Tokyo Marathon, Feb 2018

 

How does your Running calendar look ?

Your best reference is the Australian Running Calendar

https://www.runningcalendar.com.au/calendar/2017/

Here's some events to get you thinking and planning...?

JAN

15th - Two Bays 28/56

FEB

25 – Rollercoaster 43/21.5/10

http://www.rollercoasterrun.com/wp/

MAR

11-13 Tassie Trail Fest 44/22/21/14/2k dash for cash

http://www.tassietrailfest.com.au/

11 - Six Foot Track 45( one day but not this year…)

http://www.sixfoot.com/

18 – Sharpy’s Beer Run 21/10

http://trailology.com.au/events/

24-26 – Buffalo Stampede 10-75

http://www.buffalostampede.com.au/

APRIL

1 - Run The Rock, Hanging Rock

http://events.solemotive.com/run-the-rock/

9 – Run 4 Kids 14.6

http://www.runforthekids.com.au/

30 - Great Train Race Puffing Billy 13.5 ( fast, tough!)

http://puffingbilly.com.au/en/events-and-dining/gtr/

MAY

14 - Mothers Day Classic 4/8

http://www.mothersdayclassic.com.au/event-info/event-locations-map/melbourne/

20/21 – GOR Running Festival 23/45

http://greatoceanroadrunfest.com.au/2017-event-dates/

JUN

24- Surf Coast Trail Marathon 42+/22

http://www.surfcoasttrailmarathon.com.au/

JUL

30 – Run Melbourne HM 5/10/21.1

http://events.solemotive.com/run-melbourne-about/

AUG

27 – Wonderland 36?/20 ( Definitely be back again!)

http://www.wonderlandrun.com.au/

SEP

2 - Costal Classic (NSW) 29.1

http://coastalclassic.com.au/the-course/

OCT

1 – Harrietville Half  21.1

15 – Melb Marathon 42.2/21.1/10

http://melbournemarathon.com.au/

FEB 2018

TOKYO MARATHON???

http://www.marathon.tokyo/en/

The Biggest Street Party in the World; 2016 New York Marathon

You've heard about it, read about it and talked about it for ages; but it's not until you actually take the epic trip, gather at the start line and take off onto the Verazanno Bridge towards Brooklyn that you start to get a sense of what it's all about. They call it the biggest street party in the world, as an estimated crowd of 1 million excited supporters line the streets along the entire 42.195 kms through the five boroughs of New York. From the start way down at Staten Island all the way to Central Park, Manhattan, you feel like you're running through the middle of a massive street festival, as the thousands upon thousands of wildly cheering spectators and supporters, that includes bands, DJ's, & marching bands cheer you through every step of the way.

This incredible event is most certainly an unforgettable experience. From the time we landed in New York, and made our way towards Central Park two days before the race for our last pre-race run, there was a palpable buzz that gripped the city. Runners from all over the globe have descended upon NY for this huge event, which has become the biggest marathon in the world, and for good reason sits atop many a runners' bucket list!

Our team of six 'Run Well' athletes came together months ago as we individually & collectively trained towards this common goal. Now the time was here and we were all suitably nervous and excited, as we gathered for the buses very early on race morning to transport us out to Staten Island for the start.

Moving 51,000 athletes out to the starting area, which happens to be an island some 40 odd kms away from the finish line is on hell of a logistical feat, and this operation was performed seamlessly and without so much as a complaint from anyone. It is a huge credit to the organisers just how well run this event is from registration, to lead up, race-pack pick up, getting to the start, to the finish and beyond was impeccable.

Finally, and all of a sudden you're at the starting line, and the gun goes off, and you're off and running. Before you know it you are one of the mass of runners that decorates this stunning suspension bridge on your way through the five boroughs of New York. You are immediately reminded of how big this event is as despite starting from the front wave there is nothing but a sea of magnificent colour and bobbing heads as far as you can see heading to the crest of the 2 mile long Verrazano Bridge that takes you from Staten Island over to Brooklyn. As we reach the peak, your eyes are drawn to the left and far off in the distance the majestic skyline of downtown Manhattan sits proudly in the far off distance. Shit, it looks a long way away.

Just a few minutes later and you're into the streets and into the party zone. Welcome to Brooklyn, the home of the most excited, loud and proud supporters you will ever see. It's not hard to feel a bit like a rockstar or in local terms a premiership player in the grand final parade as you squeeze your way through the miles of cheering masses. It's pretty bloody exciting and uplifting as we seem to float along the course with little effort.

This is the marathon you run for the pure enjoyment of the crowd; the streets and the scenic tour of New York through it's five boroughs. There is heck of a lot of runners out there ( some 51,000 on this occasion) and people everywhere so naturally it can feel a little crowded early on.  Hence it's important to stay relaxed during these busy, early stages which is also a good thing as it will allow you to enjoy the atmosphere of the crowd at the same time as preventing you going out too hard. 

There's no doubt that the crowds lining your run with give you an added boost along the way, but remember to stay relaxed and cruise along at your desired pace through the middle stages & enjoy the atmosphere, the rock bands, the DJs, the full ensemble, the high school brass band, the fans and their entertaining signs. This is no more evident than when exiting the long Queensboro Bridge that transports you from Queens across to Manhattan Island and down onto First Avenue. The absolute roar of the crowd can be heard well before you can see them, as you descend from the bridge, and finally emerge from the lower deck turning into a wall of the loudest cheering supporters that must be 10 deep. This is nothing but exhilarating and the perfect trigger to get you going into the fastest part of the course along First Avenue between 25 and 32 km, and certainly one of the most memorable crowd spots, particularly when you spot your loved ones leading the chorus.

But sure enough, no matter what, like all marathons, the last 10 and in particular the last 5 kms are very tough. And in this case quite hilly too! Thankfully the crowds around Central Park are bursting once more and if they could they would pick you up and carry you. Despite feeling like you have nothing left but what it takes just to run, each & every effort you make to acknowledge them here will be rewarded 10 fold with a mighty cheer that will lift you around the final stages of Central Park to the finish line.

If you're thinking of running the greatest marathon of them all in New York, here's a few tips to consider;

1. Don't worry about your PB, this is not the course for that. This is a deceptively hilly course, not a fast course. Of course the thousands of other runners may hold you up a bit, and the brutal travel time getting to NY, and subsequent jet lag/recovery to get to NY  will no doubt also take it's toll.  And then there's the 4am get up for a 10am start!

Now that's out of the way, you can focus on this. Just run & enjoy.

2. Wear your name on your shirt for non stop personal support.

3. Interact with the crowd, and they will give it back to you in spades!

4. Wear your medal out that night for further adulation.

The real reward of course is that you get to spend the next few days or week in NYC to recover, relax and party!

My highlights ( recommendations) post marathon are;

1. Dumplings & Beer at Joe's Shanghai ( 24 W 56th), straight after the finish line. Well, straight after meaning once you can get yourself moving again, had some fluids, get warm, and hobble a couple of miles out of the course that is. But well worth it.

2. Beers & IV drip rehydration in your hotel room. Taking no chances to ensure recovery & some good nights out to follow.

3. Team celebratory dinner - Mexican, & margheritas at Tacombi (Bleeker Street) - always a winning combination.

4. Russian & Turkish Baths - since 1892, this place is the real deal. Nothing fancy here just cold cold pools, and hot hot saunas, and burly Russian men in trunks offering you massages. Yeah, slightly terrifying but unforgettable. I'd recommend the oak leaf treatment for a real experience. Excellent for recovery, but maybe wait a couple of days!

And finally, if you're considering running the NY marathon next year, like any marathon, make sure you are well prepared so that you can perform well & enjoy the experience. Any marathon, but even more so an overseas event is a big investment of not only your time, but money. Don't forget the most important ingredient, and that is an effective training program that will get you there in one piece, with a race plan, and ready to run!

Run Well Marathon Training can help you achieve your dream of running a marathon. If you want to know more, click here.