The New York City Marathon is the most popular road race. Almost every runner has listed it as the “must do” race in his/her wish list. To know how popular this race is, “in 2012 an astonishing 98,000 runners applied to participate.” “Race registration closes just hours after opening.” Because of demand outstripping available slots, the race is restricted to 45,000 runners.
How to Secure a Place at New York City Marathon.
To secure a spot you can meet qualifying times, run for charity or buy a travel package. The other ways are to apply to the lottery or joining New York Road Runner (NYRR) club.
NYC Marathon Qualifying times for guaranteed entry.
To secure a guaranteed place, a runner must show proof of meeting the following qualifying times for marathon or half marathon. NB. There are different times for men and women. Standards are higher for men than for women. The times have been grouped according to age groups, age 18-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70+.
Source of data, NYC Marathon site.
Here are a few tips on how to beat these times and qualify for New York City Marathon.
1. Pick the right race to qualify
The first step is to choose a race that you will use to qualify. Some races have courses that are more challenging than others. If you pick a race that is hilly or well known for bad weather or even poorly organized, you are going to run a slow race and you will not meet the qualifying times. The best races are those with a flat course combined with perfect weather for running.
Some flat courses
- Steamtown marathon – not really flat but has steep down hills that will have you rolling right through this race and into NYC Marathon.
- Chicago Marathon – Has one of the flattest courses but has a history of bad weather interruptions.
- Baystate marathon
- Detroit marathon
- Walt Disney world marathon
2. Pick a Training Schedule
After picking your race you need to start training for it. Draw up a training schedule. A good marathon schedule is for 3 to 4 months. This will allow you to peak at the right time and not under train or over train.
The training program should be drawn up on a paper or on a computer spread sheet. t should have running days, speed works, long runs and rest days.
3. The right running shoe
Get a proper running shoes. A good running shoe is one designed to match your foot. See, How pick the right running shoe to match your feet. A good running shoe will go along way to assisting you run faster and further and prevent running injury. You will suffer a running injury if you use one of the following shoes for running:-
- Tennis shoes
- Basketball shoes
- Worn out running shoes
- Every day sneakers.
4. Don’t Forget Strength training
If you hope to run a race full of strength and speed you will need to build leg strength. Schedule time to visit a gym and do work outs targeted to the legs. Do squats to build the hamstrings and quads. Do calf raises if you want strong calf muscles. The exercises will also minimize running injuries to these areas.
5. Run Hills.
Since your game plan is race on a flat course, doing training on a hilly course will make race day seem like a walk in the park. Running hills will also give your legs running stamina, build strong lungs and heart.
6.Join a running club or race with friends.
Running can be a lonely pursuit, particularly when on a long run. One easy method to beat the boredom is to run in a pack of like minded runners. Some of the benefits of joining a running club are, you get tips from experienced runners and an opportunity to run in a group.
To get maximum benefit from running with others, make sure the person or people you plan to run with are at the same level of training as you. You will not want to be held up by a running partner who cannot keep up with you, and similarly you will not want the strain of running faster than you are comfortable with so as to keep up with a quicker partner.
One final thing on this point – running with others does not necessarily mean running with other people. Dogs make great running companions and are the partner of choice for many in training.
7. Stay hydrated
Studies have shown that being as little as 2 percent dehydrated can have a negative effect on your running performance. Being dehydrated can make you run slower and may make you feel sluggish and light-headed. You may also start to cramp. It is therefore important to make sure you take on enough fluids whenever you are out running.
8. Eat well.
Just like a racing car needs to be well fuelled, a runner needs to eat well to run well. A healthy diet for an active runner is one that is high in carbohydrates, low in fat, and sufficient but not excessive in protein. That translates to about 60 percent of your calories coming from carbohydrates, 25 percent from fat, and 15 percent from protein.
All the best as you try to qualify for new york city marathon!