New York City Marathon 2019 – best tips and advice from Will & Max

We were proud to support Will and Max in this year’s race – by the numbers it was the world’s largest marathon with a total of 53,627 finishers.

Both champs completed the NYC race in 4:27:06. We were supporting them both along the way and flew out to New York to meet them at mile 8, 19 and 22.

They both took this challenge in aid of the National Autistic Society and we have donated £872 towards this great cause. They have done incredibly well and raised almost £5k in total!

The next marathon is set for November 1, 2020 and will be the race’s 50thanniversary. Are you a dedicated runner and considering running in the ‘Big Apple’ race, but don’t know what to expect? 

Well, we have you covered! We have interviewed Will and Max and collected the best pieces of advice on how to survive in this challenging yet remarkable experience.

New York City Marathon - best tips and advice from Will & Max

Guys, where would you advise to stay for all runners out there, who’re planning to participate in next year’s run?

As you can imagine, the city of New York is always busy but with the influx of an extra 52,000 people visiting for the marathon, the hotels are very busy. To keep to a budget, we would advise to book very far ahead or book one of the many hostels they have in the city. Alternatively, you can team up with a few of your pals and book out an AirBnB apartment (this allows you to have your own space).

Location is important, closer to the centre of Manhattan is expensive but saves cost of transport and less distance after to get home after the marathon (trust me you will thank me later).

What to expect from a first NYC marathon?

THE NOISE – You cannot describe the feeling of being cheered on continuously for 4+ hours. It is an incredibly unique feeling which lifts you at your lowest and helps you around the 26.2 miles. However, don’t underestimate how overwhelming it can be. We both made a playlist for the exact time we were planning to run, but we were only able to listen to 2 songs as the crowds were so loud.

THE PLAN – Always have a plan of attack. We trained at a particular pace for the whole year and executed this pace for the whole race. Not faster. Not slower. A constant pace feels familiar and fills you with confidence in an otherwise unusual day. Carry the confidence that you CAN run at this pace and you can complete the race.

THE RACE – Running through the 5 boroughs of New York and hearing people cheer you on whilst you take in the beautiful scenery is breath-taking. An experience that we will never forget. A good mindset to have is that you have trained very hard for this, all year, and now the day has come for you to complete your victory lap around one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

What are your pre-race tips and what things you would advise to do the day before the marathon?

Remember the importance of nutrition, load up on carbohydrates to ensure your glycogen stores are at maximum capacity because that will power you through the first 90 minutes of your run. Don’t do anything to exerting, make sure to relax and enjoy yourself. Most importantly prepare your mind for the next day. You can do this by mentally visualising yourself grinding through the pain and crossing the line.

One of the questions concerning all runners out there – what to wear?

Don’t wear anything different. Wear your favourite running gear. A lightweight t-shirt or vest, sport shorts, a pair of running socks (help protect your feet) and most importantly a good pair of running shoes. Remember that you have a long term to plan this so make sure you try different pieces of clothing when training and wear what is comfortable as you will be running for a long time.

Marathon pacing advice – at what pace should you start the marathon and how to maintain the pace?

It is very hard to pace yourself with thousands of people surrounding you, lots of cheering and the excitement of crushing your first marathon pulsing through your veins. Having a running app open in your phone can give you live updates in your headphones on your pacing (as frequently as every half mile). This helps to ensure you are not setting off at a pace too fast or too slow. Free apps such as Strava, Nike running club or mapmyrun offer these services.

Refuelling plan – how to keep hydrated during the marathon?

Every mile there is water stations consisting of many volunteers handing either water or Gatorade. Taking on water is essential for temperature regulation and hydration to help regulate muscle contraction. We both alternated between water and Gatorade ensuring we were hydrated and got enough sugar and salts through-out the race. Interestingly, it is very difficult to run and drink at the same time and it took many splashes to the face until we got the hang of it much to the comedy of the crowd.

How to use your energy wisely during the race?

As a true endurance race the very nature explains how you should attack the race. Be consistent with your intent and effort. Never give up and make peace in your mind that you can continue to keep plugging away at the task until the very end. Never let your mind off the goal.

Your post-race advice?

Ensure that you replace your depleted glycogen stores with high carbohydrate foods (banana or granola bars) and follow it up with a good serving of protein post-race to help start the recovery process. Make sure to keep sipping water and plan a good hearty restaurant to order your celebratory meal. We were super hungry but when our meal was served it was immediately clear our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. Embarrassingly we could only muster half of our meals.

Other advice from you that people should know before signing up to run?

DO IT – don’t hesitate to sign up to a marathon, it will be the best decision you will ever make. To take part in an event which brings together a whole country and celebrates a massive feat of human endeavour is a once lifetime opportunity. Set a goal, work towards it, and smash it!

New York City Marathon - best tips and advice from Will and Max

Whether you’re training for the marathon or hope to enter it one day, we’ve collected the marathon training tips from Will and Max in order to help you get ready for this remarkable run. Have a read, click here.

You can support Max and Will by donating for a great cause here:

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