Marathon Training






RACE DAY: 11.07.21

You’ve trained long and hard for the 26.2 miles to the marathon finish line.  Before you collect your medal in Central Park, merely getting to the start line in NYC can be a marathon in itself!

We asked our running shoe guru and multiple-time New York City marathoner, Brian Metzler, to share his top ten tips on how to make the most of your time once you arrive in The Big Apple.

1. Arrive Early 
The Big Apple has plenty to see and do, but there’s no need to take any of it in before your race. My best advice is to arrive Thursday evening or Friday morning in time to visit the New York City Marathon Expo (and get it out of the way before the massive crowds congregate on Friday evening and all-day Saturday) so you can rest up, do shakeout runs on Friday and Saturday and then rest up for the race.

Keep in mind that everything takes longer in New York, including getting from the airport to your hotel and to the expo (at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center) and back, so plan accordingly. Save any sightseeing for after the race or another trip to the city.

2. Don’t Dawdle at the Expo – Move through, move on
The expo is different this year, and rightly so. With the pandemic limitations, check in and get your bib number and move on. There will be a JackRabbit Expo Store for last minute marathon essentials. Even if you’re going to be in and out, take a water bottle with you and snack to keep hydrated and fueled. This is not the time to mess up!

3. Don’t Run in New Gear
If you buy anything new before the race, don’t wear it on race day. That goes for shoes, socks, shorts or a shirt or sports bra. If you haven’t worn something running yet, you don’t want to find out on race day that it fits awkwardly, chafes or just doesn’t make you feel as fast and free as possible. Wear the stuff you brought with you, if nothing else as a testament to all the training you did in that gear.

4. Organize Your Race Kit
Check the weather for the race and know exactly what you’re going to wear on race day the on Saturday morning. Lay it all out out on your hotel bed (and yes, take a pic for Instagram) and pin you race bib to your shirt. If you’ve forgotten socks or gels or safety pins, it’s better to figure out with enough time to run to the corner store.

If you have last-minute needs on Saturday, don’t go back to the madness of the expo! Assuming you’re staying in Manhattan, head to the New York Running Company powered by JackRabbit at 10 Columbus Circle adjacent to Central Park. The stores are stocked for race weekend and ready.

5. Run in Central Park
No matter where you are from or where you’re staying in New York, Central Park is a place to behold—especially for runners. When some New Yorker friends told me years ago that they ran in the park almost every day, I scoffed, knowing that I ran different trails every day of the week in my trail running paradise in Boulder, Colorado. But the first time I ran there, I completely understood the magical aura and cherished wonderland of the park. Yes, it’s one of the only places New Yorkers have to run freely, but aside from that, the park is huge.

Central Park has numerous routes, trails, features and sights and you can sense a methodical rhythm of locals and tourists alike enjoying their daily affirmation. On race weekend, you’ll see runners from all over the world doing pre-race shakeout runs and taking pictures at the finish line. Head out for a light jog, but don’t get too caught up in amazement.

NYC Marathon - Before the race


6. Eat Early
New York City revs up for dinner later than many cities, and it’s always crowded. Consider heading to dinner (or ordering room service) much earlier than you normally would (by 6 p.m. at the latest) so you have time to relax, rest, review the course map and allow your meal to digest before you fall asleep. Don’t eat anything spicy or potentially volatile to your system! Also, drink plenty of water before you go to bed and continue the moment you wake up.

Plan in advance where you’ll have breakfast and what you’ll eat, taking into consideration the calories you need and what your system will be comfortable digesting (including coffee or tea). Best advice: Eating a bagel, a banana or cereal stashed in the mini frig in your hotel room is much better than battling lines in the hotel coffee shop. If you’re planning on ordering room service, do it as early as possible.

7. Plan Your Morning
The toughest part of the New York City Marathon is getting to the start village adjacent to the starting line on Staten Island on race morning. Shuttle buses are an option (especially for some affiliated organizations and training groups) but you have to sign up in advance. If you plan on taking a cab, Uber/Lyft or subway to the tip of lower Manhattan, plan on starting the process early because there might be a long wait and you’ll still have to catch the Staten Island Ferry from the Whitehall Terminal.

Expect the journey from your hotel room to the starting line to take as much as 90 minutes, but hope for much less.

8. Dress Warmly
It’s typically chilly, often breezing and sometimes raining when you get to Staten Island. You’ll probably have at least two hours hanging around in the athlete’s village prior to getting into your starting corral, so either sign up in advance to transport your morning layers of clothes via the race’s gear bag service or dress with an extra layer that you consider disposable. (Consider an old, long-sleeve race T-shirt or a plastic garbage bag with holes cut out for your arms and head.)

Keep those extra layers as you head to your starting corral and wait to ditch them just before you start. (If it’s raining, keep the makeshift plastic bag on until you get to Brooklyn!)

9. Fuel Up and Hydrate
You should be sipping water (or an endurance sports drink) from the time you wake up and on your journey to the starting line. Consider consuming an energy gel or bar in the hour before you start. And if you’re going to need to use a porta-potty, get in line early. Word to the wise: Carry your own toilet paper tucked in your shorts just in case.

Keep sipping from that bottle until you get into your starting corral. If you need to pee, hold it until the first set of toilets you see after crossing the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge in Brooklyn.

10. Stay Positive
As you meander to your starting corral, you’re bound to get nervous and a bit out of your element. This is an important time to trust in your training, no matter how fit you think you are. Everybody around you trained as well as they could given their own life situations and everybody dealt with missed workouts, illness, work and family stress, fatigue and plenty of other variables.

As you’re about to embark on a monumental run up and over the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, give yourself an emotional high-five for embarking on this grand endeavor and making it to the starting line. You earned it!

Put a huge smile on your face and know that the ensuing 26.2 miles through New York’s five boroughs will be an experience of a lifetime, no matter how long it takes to get to the finish line in Central Park and how you feel along the way.

Have fun, run free and enjoy the journey!


Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.

He has run the New York City Marathon three times with lackluster results. But he considers each experience among his most memorable running experiences.

Fall Marathon Guide Interviews


Fall race Guide Header

Fall Marathons are back! For some runners, this will be the first marathon they’re running in at least 2 years. For others, this will be their very first marathon. Either way, we could all use a little refresher on what we need for the weeks leading up to the race vs. what we need for the big day.

So, we reached out to 3 runners of different levels of experience and asked them what gear they’re using for training, what they plan on using for race day, and what they think about their upcoming race.


Andrew L Fall Race Guide

Age? 27

Based in? New York, NY

Morning or evening runner? Evening (its so hard to get up early 😪)

Which fall race are you training for? Chicago AND New York

Will this be your first marathon? No, this will be my 6th and 7th!

Meal the night before? Italiano

Go-to hydration? Nuun

Go-to race day nutrition? GU ROCTANE BABYYY

Everyday shoe choice? ON Cloudstratus (2.0)

Race day shoe choice? Saucony Endorphin Pro 2.0

Something you can’t run without? MUSIC 🎶


Andrew is a 27 year old endurance athlete, living in New York City. Andrew works for our very own JackRabbit HQ, collaborating with his team on creating quality content for the Jackrabbit community about the latest and greatest endurance products from the top quality brands.

In his free time, Andrew enjoys all the unique opportunities the city has to offer, taking ferry rides at sunset on the Hudson River, going to museums, attending Broadway shows (he recommends Hadestown), picnics in Central Park, going to comedy shows in Greenwich village, and training with his track team (Brooklyn Track Club).

Andrew has run 5 marathons throughout his running career and will be running both Chicago and New York this fall. Andrew’s strategy this time around has been increasing his weekly average mileage throughout his training cycle. “At the peak of my cycle this time, I was running 70+ miles a week — totally changed my perspective on the importance of recovery and nutrition.”

Andrew’s reason for running is all about the mental health benefits that running provides. “It makes my day 10x better if I can get a run in. I feel more energetic, less stressed, and more willing to say yes to new opportunities if I feel I accomplished my running goal for the day.” Andrew also plans on eventually trying out ultramarathons and maybe a sprint IRONMAN at some point in his career.


Speed training shoe: Cloudflow 3.0
Long runs: Cloudstratus 3.0
What I never leave home without: Hydroflask 32oz 


Sarah Burgin

Age? 23

Based in? Denver, CO

Go-to hydration? Nuun

Go-to race day nutrition? Sour patch kids only!!!

Everyday shoe choice? New Balance 1080v11

Race day shoe choice? A newer pair of the New Balance 1080v11

Something you can’t run without? My Patagonia hat that I’ve had for years – also KT tape!!

Morning or evening runner? Morning always

Which fall race are you training for? Chicago AND New York

Will this be your first marathon? No, this will be my 3rd and 4th!

Meal the night before? Mexican ALWAYS!


Sarah is a 23 year old student, attending Denver University’s Sturm College of Law. Sarah is currently training for both NYC and Chicago. When she’s not buried deep in legal academia, she’s enjoying all the fantastic outdoor activities Colorado has to offer…running through Washington Park, competing in trail races, skiing down the world-class slopes in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, and attending Rockies games in Denver.

We had the chance to sit down with Sarah and pick her brain about her passion for running, the “why” behind her , her unique rituals, her favorite products she trains/races with, + more!

When we asked Sarah, why she runs, her answer was inspirational — “I’m running to create a world free of MS” — Sarah is currently raising money to help provide important services to people affected by MS and fund research projects looking to end MS for good. Sarah’s father has battled with MS for over 15 years, and she has seen how strong their community’s support has been, so she is taking up the torch to continue that support for the entire MS community. For anyone who would like to help her reach her fundraising goal, please visit her page on the National MS Society – here.


Race day shoes: New Balance 1080v11
Casual Gear: Nike Running Pants


Fall Race Guide Philip

Age: 37
Based in: Mackinac Island, Michigan
Which fall race are you training for: New York
Will this be your first marathon: YES
Your Goal Time?  My goal is 3 hr and 50min.   Ideally I would like to maintain a 9min/mile pace.
Go-to race day nutrition: Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel
Everyday shoe choice: Clifton 8
Race day shoe choice: Mach 4


Philip is a 37 year old endurance athlete & semi-retired nurse. Philip lives with his husband in Michigan on Mackinac Island, asmall island locate in Lake Huron. Philip and his husband own and operate a hotel on the island, where tourists come to enjoy over 70 miles of beautiful hiking trails trails. Mackinac is still a hidden gem, yet to be discovered by most, and has much to offer. The craziest part: there are NO cars allowed on the island. To get anywhere, you either walk or bike where you need to go, or take a ride on a horse-drawn carriage.

When Philip isn’t commuting by Ferry to the mainland for his nursing shifts, he is fully capitalizing on the opportunity to train for endurance races in what is arguable one of the most scene places in the entire Midwest.

Philip actually got into this year’s NYC Marathon through a bib giveaway contest Jackrabbit had in August. Philip, after accepting the prize and registering, Philip knew he had to get to work immediately on his training cycle. Luckily enough, he already had an Iron Man Race coming up in September, so his base was in good shape. Philip ran the Ironman 70.3 Michigan, located in Frankfort, MI. With that race, now under his belt, Philip turns to his first marathon this November with the confidence of having finished a race that very few have completed.

Philip’s passion for endurance sports comes form his desire to be a healthier, fitter version of his past self. Philip has already lost 35 pounds since his lifestyle change, and he is determined to keep improving and pushing forward. “Whenever I feel like giving up, I just remember the opportunities I was given and remember how I feel in that moment and to keep pushing.  I feel so good now and I don’t want to let that feeling go.”

Philip would also like to give a shoutout to his friend and coach, Jen Simons. She is an ultrarunner and has been a source of guidance and encouragement throughout the process for Philip.


Training Shoe: HOKA Mach 4
Go-to-Nutrition: Tailwind + Honey Stinger
Recovery Tool: Roll Recovery R8
Post-Race Footwear: Oofos Recovery Slide




Reviews Running Gear


Best shoes for marathons




Running the New York City Marathon? Here are 10 shoes to consider for running the rolling, 26.2-mile route through The Big Apple’s five boroughs.

We’ve broken them down between models with more less inherent stability and more inherent stability with the notion that even a lot of runners with neutral gait patterns need some extra support after running 20 miles on the roads.

There are dozens of additional models to consider than just the 10 listed here. You have to consider how fast you’re going to run and whether you’re going to race all-out, run just to finish or somewhere in between.

Remember, the most important criteria you need to consider when looking for your race-day shoes is how it matches your foot shape and gait style.


Nike Zoom X Vaporfly NEXT%, $250
6.6 oz. (men’s/unisex sizing) 8mm heel-toe offset (40mm/32mm)

The Nike Zoom X Vaporfly NEXT% is the current hot shoe in the marathon world, the one Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele wore en route to running 2:01:41 and just miss the world record at the 2019 Berlin Marathon. Nike took the learnings of its original Vaporfly 4% shoe and developed a new shoe with more rear-foot cushioning, a new hydrophobic upper, a lower heel-toe offset, a higher stack height and a more bulbous outsole geometry with better traction in the forefoot. The result is a slightly lighter, snappier and more stable shoe.

Adidas Adizero Adios 4, $140
7.8 oz. (men’s); 6.2 oz. (women’s) 10mm heel-toe offset (23mm/23mm for men’s; 25mm/25mm for women’s)

The Adidas Adizero Adios has been one of the world’s most popular—and one of the fastest—marathon shoes for years. Featuring a thin layer of energetic Boost midsole foam, it provides an electric ride with a low-to-the-ground feel. The upper has been updated in this edition with a more comfortable double-layer mesh construction that features a seamless toe box and just one midfoot overlay.

Hoka One One Carbon Rocket, $160
7.3 oz. (men’s/unisex shoe) 1mm heel-toe offset (28mm/27mm)

Hoka quietly released this lightweight, moderately cushioned model with a carbon-fiber plate last winter as a 5K to half marathon racer. It has softer foam directly under the foot and a more durable, energetic foam below the carbon-fiber plate. With a snug, athletic fit from its two-layer mesh upper and a low-to-the-ground feel for the ground from heel to toe, the Carbon Rocket feels light and fast the moment you slip it on.

Saucony Kinvara 10, $110
7.8 o.z. (men’s), 6.2 oz. (women’s) 4mm heel-toe offset (25mm/21mm)

If you’re looking for a soft and light shoe for racing with a low heel-toe offset, the updated Saucony Kinvara 10 could be the race-day shoe for you. It has a soft and light feel like its predecessors, but this year’s version is slightly firmer and more energetic thanks to a thin layer of springy Everun foam on top of the traditional softer layer of EVA that has been the trademark of this shoe for years. A new, lightweight engineered mesh upper offers better breathability and a more snug, locked-down fit.

Altra Escalante Racer, $140
6.8 o.z. (men’s), 5.7 oz. (women’s) 0mm heel-toe offset (22mm/22mm)

If you appreciate the zero-drop geometry and wider toe box of Altra shoes, then the Altra Escalante Racer will be a good one to consider for a marathon. The Racer feels low to the ground and responsive, with semi-soft/moderately firm midsole cushioning that offers energetic pop in every stride.

The balanced cushioning allows a runner’s foot to move entirely uninhibitedly from foot strike to toe off, but it will take some getting used to if you’ve been running in shoes with a higher heel-toe offset.


Hoka One One CarbonX, $180
8.8 oz. (men’s); 7.1 oz. (women’s) 5mm heel-toe offset (35mm/30mm)

Hoka made a splash with this carbon-fiber plate shoe when elite ultrarunner Jim Walmsley set a new world best for 50 miles (4:50:07) when this model debuted. Unlike the Nike shoes with stiff carbon plates, the Hoka One One Carbon X feels moderately soft and very stable, allowing a wider range of runners (and slower paces) to benefit from the propulsion provided by the carbon-fiber plate. It feels smooth and consistent running at faster speeds, but it takes a bit of getting used to before finding a rhythm and moderate paces.

Adidas Adizero Boston 8, $120
8.2 o.z. (men’s), 6.6 oz. (women’s) 10mm heel-toe offset (26mm/16mm)

The adidas Adizero Boston 8 is marathoning shoe that serves up both a very energetic, well-cushioned and inherently stable ride. The energy comes from a thick layer of Adidas’ extremely responsive Boost cushioning foam and a flexible, thermoplastic midfoot shank that helps optimally guide each stride to the toe-off phase, while foot-cradling plastic rails offer inherent stability. The updated outsole pattern on the Boston 8 provide more flexibility and traction on wet surfaces.

New Balance 1500v6, $125
8.6 o.z. (men’s), 6.6 oz. (women’s) 6mm heel-toe offset (23mm/17mm)

This low-to-the-ground model is a light-and-faster racer, but it also provides a bit of medial stability. The New Balance 1500v6 is an ideal shoe for runners who typically overpronate as well as runners with neutral gaits who need extra support in the latter miles of a race. The midsole is mostly made from light and responsive RevLite foam, although a firmer medial post and a plastic shank help provide surprisingly stability and arch support for such a lightweight shoe.

Brooks Ravenna 10, $110
9.6 o.z. (men’s), 7.6 oz. (women’s) 6mm heel-toe offset (23mm/17mm)

The Brooks Ravenna is a well-cushioned everyday trainer with modern stability-enhancing features. While it’s not pegged as a racing shoe, it can be a great choice for a committed, mid-pack runner or a first-timer because of its optimal blend of cushioning, protection and responsiveness. Plus, it’s lighter than most everyday stability shoes. It features Brooks’ new GuideRail technology, which keeps excessive pronation nicely in check.

ASICS GEL-Kayano 26, $160
11.1 ounces (men’s); 8.8 oz. (women’s) 10mm heel-toe offset (29m/19mm)

The latest edition of this popular stability shoe has been overhauled with an updated GEL cushioning capsule for better shock attenuation, lighter midsole foams in the heel for a springier ride and a contoured EVA sockliner for improved underfoot fit and feel.

The dual-density midsole in the ASICS GEL-Kayano offers ample cushioning, responsiveness and stability for the long haul, but it has a good amount of energetic pop for fast-paced running. The ride is extremely stable and secure, but not at the expense of being overly controlling or inflexible.