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So You Want to Run the NYC Marathon? Here's Where to Start

Photo: Brooklyn Running Co.
Photo: Brooklyn Running Co.

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Welcome to Workout Wednesday: every hump-day, we'll be rounding up some of the city's hottest fitness trends and studios.

Have you heard about the crazy-long race that 50,000-ish people are running this weekend? Chances are you probably know someone running the TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 2nd, and it probably feels like she just decided to start running one day and—all of a sudden—she can complete 26.2 miles in under five hours. But it definitely took more than just a few pavement-pounding sessions to get to this stage—and it's a stage that anybody can work towards.

"The biggest concern with running a marathon is getting through the training cycle and getting to the starting line healthy," Matthew Rosetti, co-founder of Brooklyn Running Co., explained to Racked. Here, he breaks down the most essential things to know before you start gearing up for the 2015 race.

Find your motivation.
"This is a huge commitment, and it can be a very selfish pursuit. It takes a lot away from your personal life, whether you're in a relationship or you have kids, or even just if you're single and you have friends. Do a little bit of soul searching as to what your motivation is, and know the level of commitment that's involved."

Get the right guidance—whether that's a coach or just a solid plan.
"Find good guidance, because all the things you think you know about the sport are probably misguided, to a degree ... I really believe you need a coach is because the deeper you get into a training cycle, the more irrational you get—what you think is appropriate is usually destructive. You need something with perspective who can look in with clarity and give you guidance. At the very least, you should have a well-constructed plan."


Photo: Driely S. for Racked

The most important gear is your footwear.
"A running shoe is not a cure-all. It's not going to keep you from getting injured, and it's not going to heal an injury—but it's a great place to start. You need to be in the right footwear that's appropriate for the way your body moves, your biomechanics, your gait. You need to do this in person—sit down and get fitted by a specialty running store, wherever that may be ... Layering in the right tech and apparel and all that is fine, but the right shoe is essential."

It's more than just running.
"Know that it's not just running and mileage, there are a lot of complimentary things that you have to layer in around that ... Biking, running in water, and rowing are three fantastic cross training options. Also, Pure Barre classes build strength and stability in your core and hips."

Keep it simple when it comes to eating—and remember your portions.
"You don't have to hire a nutritionist, that's ridiculous—but eat basic food groups, eat healthy, eat natural and organic. Don't buy into the extreme carb-loading, don't buy into the extreme carb depletions. If it sounds like a fad diet, it likely is and it's likely a little goofy.

"What we see when a lot folks start to train for half and full marathons is that they actually gain weight, which is so completely counter-intuitive. And I think it's because some overeat—they say 'I'm training so hard, I can eat whatever I want,' and they start to consume way more calories than they would otherwise and then they're burning, putting on a little weight. Running a marathon is not carte blanche to start eating whatever you want or as much as you want."


Photo: Driely S. for Racked

Cases of Gatorade? Not necessary.
"During the run, if and when you eat really depends on the distance. If you're running less than an hour, you don't need any nutrition. I see people popping goos and energy gels and drinking sports drinks going out for a run, and it's really not necessary—your body has extra fat storage and sugar or fuel storage that is well sufficient for an hour up to two hours of exercise, generally speaking."

Expect all sorts of changes in your body.
"Expect aches and pains. You're often going to feel sore and creaky, but that's okay. [Running] is going to contribute to lean muscle mass, which is kind of the trend these days. You will burn fat, you will shed pounds for the simple fact that as you run, your body will become more efficient because it wants to carry less poundage as you go. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy: the more you run, the more you shed pounds."

· Brooklyn Running Co. [Official Site]
· Workout Wednesday [Racked NY]
· Running's Not an Exclusive Club at Brooklyn Running Co. [Racked NY]