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05 October 2022 Jes Woods
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Hello, marathoners! Coach Jes here, Nike Running Coach in NYC. In addition to coaching runners for Nike for the last 7 years, I am also a founder and coach for Brooklyn Track Club and coach hundreds of runners across the country (and globe!) for Chaski Endurance Collective. Personally, I started off as a sprinter and triple jumper, and have transitioned to the world of ultra marathons while dabbling in every distance in between.

We are in the thick of Fall Marathon Season with Berlin and London already behind us, Chicago coming up this weekend, and NYC to look forward to in a few short weeks. Hopefully the below marathon training tips aren’t coming too little too late, so soak them in while you’re sipping on your next Cheribundi.

3 quick tips as you’re approaching the end of your marathon training cycle:


It's your last chance to practice fueling on your long runs.

There's no shortage of things you can practice on your long runs, but one of the most important is fueling- before and during (and after but we'll save that topic for another day). What to eat the night before and morning of is definitely a trial and error experiment because every body is different. While there are some general rules of thumb, it still comes down to practicing what works for *you*. So respect your next long run and take the time to plan out and test your night before meal and morning of quick energy breakfast.

During the long run itself, practice what fuel you think you’ll be using on race day and how often you need to consume it. Does your marathon have water and hydrating drinks along the course? Water and energy chews? Whatever it is, know what will be available and either practice with that or practice carrying your own hydration and gels/chomps/waffles.


Cramming is not a thing

Life, sickness, work, and bumps and bruises happen, which is why training plans are fluid. There's no one way to train for a marathon, so while it's easier said than done, try not to dwell on the runs or workouts that *didn't* happen. I am certainly guilty of panic training and trying to shoehorn in some last minute fitness because I regretted missing a workout (or 10). I can promise with utmost certainty and confidence that arriving at the starting line slightly undertrained yet healthy is 10 out of 10 times better than arriving at the starting line exhausted and broken from last minute cramming training.

Running consistently, with gradual build ups and recovery weeks is what will protect you from injury versus wild swings in mileage (cramming in last minute workouts and miles). We are getting too close to the marathon now (NYC specifically) for any wild and abrupt changes to your training.

Know the difference between being tired, being in pain, and just being over it.

This last bullet point is inspired by my co-coach, Coach Percell, at Nike Long Run. We are in the meat and potatoes portion of marathon training (if you're training for New York) which means 18-20 mile long runs, longer speed and tempo workouts, and a potential 22 miler on deck, so the lines are starting to get blurry between: am I tired, am I in pain, or am I just over it and don't feel like running today?

We would never ask you to push through pain and Finish Line Physical Therapy has taught me a few questions to ask when trying to decide- should I push through this discomfort right now?

  1. Does the pain stay the same or get worse as the run continues? If it gets worse as the milage increases, shut it down.
  2. Is the pain or discomfort greater than a 2-3 out of 10 on the pain scale? If the pain is a sharp 6 out of 10, shut it down.

Otherwise, be honest with yourself and how you're feeling because the training is going to get hard right now. And we're going to need you to trust your coaches and push through the getting hard right now. If you're tired and over it yet still push through right now, that's how real change is going to happen.


Thanks to our contributing trainer, Jes Woods.

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