New York City Marathon Tips

Sound advice on how to navigate the race course.

For a larger view of this chart, see the pdf.    

Getting In

The application deadline for the New York City Marathon is March 15, and the odds of drawing an entry in the generallottery are brutal: about one in six ( you can gain automatic entry (and often coaching help, training plans, partners, and VIP transport to the start)by raising $2,500 and up for one of 80-plus charities, including Team in Training, the Lance ArmstrongFoundation, and Team for Kids. Or redirect to one of these other top marathons: Chicago (October 10;, Twin Cities (October 3;, Philadelphia (November 21;, St. George Marathon, St.George, Utah (October 2;, Portland(October 10;, or the Nike Women'sMarathon, San Francisco (October 17;

MILE 0: Take energy bars and a sports drink to the starting line. The wait is so long, you'll get hungry.

MILE 1 2: Start slow. Really slow. If you charge up and down the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, it will haunt you later.

MILE 3: Bring a bottle. You need 4 to 6 ounces of salty fluid every 5K or so, but the first stations can be congested.

MILE 6: Soak up the great crowd support along Fourth Avenue. This is the essence of New York.

MILE 8: When there's no center divide, run in the middle of the road. It's flatter.

MILE 9 11: Bed-Stuy and South Williamsburg can be quiet. The slight downhill will keep you moving, as will the bands in North Williamsburg.

MILE 13: The midpoint is a few steps from Queens, but treat Mile 20 as the real halfway.

MILE 15: The Queensboro Bridge is the most challenging hill on the course. Keep your heart rate in check, take in the view, and don't hammer the downhill.

MILE 16.5: Play the First Avenue crowd for energy: Pump your fists, smile for the cameras. Just don't start sprinting yet, or stop for autographs.

MILE 18: Gel station! Eat one. You'll need the boost.

MILE 20: The Bronx: The real work starts here. Trust your training.

MILE 23: Stay positive: The long climb up Fifth Avenue breaks champions; it won't break you.

MILE 24 25: Power through the hills in Central Park, and run tangents on the many curves.

MILE 26.2: No matter how you really feel, raise your arms at the finish. You deserve it.

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