Tips & tricks for the NYC Marathon
Are you running the NYC Marathon this year? Congrats! The NYC Marathon is one of the greatest marathons in the world, and it’s a remarkable experience you will never forget.
When the “City That Never Sleeps” gets ready for the marathon, make sure you know all of these NYC Marathon tips and tricks just in case. After all, you want to have the best experience before, during, and after the race that you can.
My Personal NYC Marathon Tips and Tricks
The NYC Marathon Expo
The race expo runs from November 3rd to November 5th at 10:00 AM. It will be located in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Halls 3B and 3E, at 11th Avenue and West 35th Street.
Locals will make sure to get there early to pick up their bibs and other things they need, so keep in mind it will get more crowded the closer it gets to race day.
If you’re traveling to New York, follow these NYC Marathon tips and tricks and cross the expo off your list first. Additionally, you want to make sure to stay off your feet the day before the race.
Here you can find all information about the NYC Marathon hours, the NYC Marathon expo vendors, and much more.
Sightseeing in NYC
I know, New York City is super exciting, but do yourself a favor and save the sightseeing for after the race. One of my NYC Marathon tips and tricks is to get enough rest beforehand. Stay off your feet as much as possible and enjoy your hotel relaxation to the fullest.
For the locals, I recommend enough rest and a stress-free week leading up to the race. Get good sleep days before the race—the night before the start isn’t as crucial as the nights leading up to it. We all want to be well-rested on race day to run our best marathon possible.
NYC Marathon Bus vs Ferry
The NYC Marathon offers transportation to the starting line in Staten Island. Every year runners are debating whether they should take the bus (From Manhattan or New Jersey) or the ferry (Downtown Manhattan). Friends of mine experienced both options and were fine either way. It depends on where you’re located and if you’re okay being on a crowded ferry and lines before getting to the start.
From the ferry terminal in Staten Island, there will be buses taking you to the start–which is a few minutes driving away. Folks coming from New Jersey, I can recommend taking the car or UBER.
I have done that last year and I got dropped off right at the start village, which was amazing. Just note that the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge will be closed to all traffic between 6:00 and 7:00 AM.
Whatever transportation you choose, the race organizer will make sure to get you to the start village on time – all three options are ideal.
The NYC Marathon start village
The NYC Marathon start village at Fort Wadsworth is impressive for its size, but it’s also cold. Remember, it’s November in NYC, so it can be freezing in the morning.
One of my NYC Marathon tips and tricks is to bring layers of clothes to keep you warm. You will be waiting outside for hours, so even a blanket will be necessary.
There will be coffee and water for the runners, but I recommend bringing your own breakfast which is absolutely allowed.
Read the NYC Marathon start village map just in case you’re meeting up with friends or want to be at a certain location. There’s plenty of time at the start village (wave one starts at 09:50 AM), which can be nerve-wracking.
Bring a book, an extra phone charger case, meditate, meet other runners and get ready for the big race. Getting ready also means warming up properly. You don’t want to start out on the Verrazano Bridge all rusty.
Do some static stretches, jog around and get ready to run 26.2 miles.
NYC Marathon Route
The NYC Marathon is a challenging and unique course. While tackling some bridges and hills, you will be surrounded by a wall of sound. Here is an NYC Marathon route map for you.
One of my NYC Marathon tips and tricks is to really know about the NYC Marathon course so that you’re able to pace yourself correctly. Write down the miles when you will hit an incline to know when during the race you will have to fuel yourself.
For more on the route, I have written a great NYC Marathon course strategy that explains almost every step of the race. It has been recently updated as well. Make sure to check it out.
Set Realistic goals
Because of its elevation, most runners say the NYC Marathon is not a course for obtaining a personal best record. Races like Berlin or Chicago, which are as flat as a pancake, have more suitable courses for PRs.
Since we’re talking about NYC Marathon tips and tricks, I think it’s important to point out that you’re setting the goals here. As long as you stay realistic about it, there’s nothing to worry about.
Trust your months of training and you will be just fine. To me, personally, it’s better sometimes to surprise yourself with great results than aiming too high and getting disappointed.
Nothing New on Race Day
This is an old one, but still super important. I see it all the time that runners tend to try out new stuff on race day. Why though? You have trained in specific shoes, socks, shorts, and you have kept your training a certain way.
The NYC marathon is not the time for experimenting with new things!
Don’t risk any inconveniences during the race due to new socks, a shirt that doesn’t fit, or a gel that your stomach doesn’t know. Nothing new on race day. Ever. Promise?
If you have any other tips and tricks for the NYC Marathon please leave them in the comments.
Enjoy your NYC Marathon this year. And be sure to check out my other resources on the NYC marathon.
Last Updated on 12. August 2022 by Sabrina Wieser
Sabrina Wieser is a running expert based in New York City and the founder of Runningbrina - She is a USATF Level 3 and IAAF Level 5 Endurance Certified Coach and experienced marathon runner. She completed over 35 long-distance races and helped over 200 clients to cross their personal finish line. Her expertise in enhancing running performance through training and nutrition has been recognized by many within the running community and different media outlets such as Huffington Post, the Dr Oz Show and adidas running.
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