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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Preparing for a Marathon

Comments (3)

I have several friends who are running in the upcoming NY Marathon on 11/5.  I sent one of them – who I just found out had hurt himself and won’t be running – the following hints.  Having run 8 marathons (including NY), I’m getting my pre-race drill honed pretty well.  Of course, these are “my hints” – if you are a runner you should feel free to ignore them and make up your own (or steal what you like.)

Starting Now

  1. Don’t do anything “out of the ordinary” in the last two weeks.
  2. Take it easy – any additional running will not increase your fitness.  I usually only run one day the week of a marathon.
  3. Don’t change your diet / don’t try to lose the last few pounds you want to lose.
  4. Eat “hard carbs” the week before – lots of bread / pasta / ice cream – whatever you want / like.
  5. Sleep a lot.  Tell everyone “hey – I’m running the NY Marathon – that’s why I’m sleeping until 11am on a Tuesday.”

The Week Before (Next Week – Amazing, Isn’t It!)

  1. Take it easy – little to no running.  Just rest – you are ready.
  2. Sleep a lot.
  3. Cut back on the booze if you drink (I can’t remember if you drink or not).
  4. Tell everyone you are running the NY Marathon – that’ll get you psyched up.
  5. If you feel sick or tired, that’s just hypochondria and is normal.  You are fine.  I always have “a major injury” three days before the marathon that magically disappears the day before.
  6. Drive the course on Saturday – it really helps me to drive the course the day before and get it in my mind.

The Day Of

  1. Go to sleep early the night before – even if you just end up lying in bed thinking about the race.
  2. Get up early – have whatever “breakfast” you like before a long run.
  3. Drink plenty of water, but don’t over do it.
  4. Pee a lot – you’ll be nervous – it’s normal.
  5. Let yourself be nervous and jittery.
  6. Dress warm for the start with clothes you don’t care about – just discard them on the course when you don’t need them.

During the Race

  1. If you are on the bottom of the bridge at the start, don’t run near the sides as everyone will be peeing over them.
  2. Have an awesome time.  You will really get excited and start getting in the groove when you hit Brooklyn.
  3. Don’t run over the 59th Street Bridge too fast.  If you feel great, take it easy.  I went over the bridge too fast and paid for it from mile 17 to 20 on 1st Ave.
  4. The Bronx will be depressing – after the mayhem on 1st Ave, you hit the wall at around 20 and everyone in the Bronx is just staring at you.  Just grind through it.
  5. The hill on 5th Ave feels like it goes on for ever.  It’s only two miles.  Let your brain go – you are almost finished.

For all of you out there running the NY Marathon, have a blast!

  • http://www.jessica-thoughts.blogspot.com Jessica Schallock

    It’s amazing how many of these suggestions apply to preparation for a musical performance! I’m getting ready to perform a piano concerto in two weeks, and aside from a few details (like #1 of During the Race :), your marathon preparation sounds exactly like concerto preparation.

  • http://www.powderfone.com Kelly Taylor

    And hints for spectators…..

    - get to your preplanned meeting spot(s) early, you will encounter 3-4 people deep throughout the busy parts of the course..sometimes it’s tough to even wave to your buddy/wife

    - bring with you: iPod, magazine and plenty of cash for starbucks in a backpack

    - you usually get a big sign to write on at the race expo, use this, the runner’s love it

    - cheer on other runners besides your buddy, it will make you feel really good

    - there are many free wifi networks around that you can use during down time…I hungout at Bryant Park after my wife got on the free buses taking her to the start, very pleasant way to spend an hour in the early morning

    Good Luck spectators…..

  • http://www.denverpost.com/technology Kimberly Johnson

    I’ll tell my cousins in the Bronx to go out and cheer. It can’t be anymore depressing than Staten Island.

    Too bad you’re running, the view of NYC from the 59th Street/Queensboro Bridge is great.

    Good Luck.

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