Amani Toomer, the former wide receiver who helped the New York Giants to victory in the 2008 Super Bowl, has taken up a new sport. He’s currently training for the November 7 New York City Marathon. Toomer became interested in running during the Giants Draft Day 5K race a few years ago. It turned into a focus after he retired from the NFL.
Running isn’t enough, though. Toomer wants his efforts to count for something greater. So he got in touch with the New York Road Runners’s Youth Programs, which promote fitness among kids, and agreed to run the NYC Marathon this year by starting dead last. The objective: to pass as many runners as he can, with his sponsor, Timex, offering to donate $1 to the charity for every runner he passes. There will be about 45,000 runners total. Toomer’s target time: 4 hrs. and 26 min., to beat Lynn Swann’s 4 hrs. and 27 min. when this other former NFL player ran the marathon 17 years ago.
The biggest difference between training for a marathon and training for the NFL? “No two-a-days and no 250-lb. linebackers trying to take my head off!” says Toomer. Here are his top ten training tips for marathon novices.