Pace. Pace. Pace.

Now that marathon season is in full force it is time to take an honest approach to how you are going to pace your marathon. There are going to be many factors that you need to take into account leading up to race day but being honest to yourself is going to set you up for success both in this race and everyone after.

Let us take a few into account without actually mentioning paces…

  • Weather

  • Injuries

  • Travel

  • Work

  • Course - Elevation

  • Life

  • Race Development

  • Nutrition

  • Training Plan

Now all of these factors are important, some more than others; some you can control and others are out of your control and that is okay. What you need to do is be honest (<-- key word here) about how each one may affect your pacing strategy or how maybe it already has.

So now you have made it to race day, how are you planning to run (pace) your race? Most research articles that look at marathon pacing strategies all have the same conclusion, the more even pacing you have throughout the race the faster you run. If you look at most world records they are set with a negative split of the race, this is true from elite runners to recreational runners.

To set the pacing, for example, if you are looking to run a 3:30 min marathon (8:00 min/mile) you should start the first 5k around 8:00-8:10 min/mile pace. This will give you time to get out of the crowds, stay healthy, find your space, get your legs moving and the most important not let the adrenaline ruin your race from the get go and save that energy for when you need it 3hrs later. The next 18-20 miles is just a mental toughness game; get your fluids in, take your nutrition (just like you practiced), and trust your training. The last 5k-10k will all depend on your race experience and how you feel in that moment. 

In this current example, if you have been running the race on pace you will be about 20s behind your goal (behind from your first 5k) and your instinct will be to try and make it up in 2-3 miles. Do not try that, it will zap all your remaining energy and leave you hurting for the last 5k. All you need to do is take 3-5 seconds off each mile for the remaining 6 miles and you will have just ran a sub 3:30. The marathon is a big race but break it down into small goals and you will start checking them off one at a time.

The last thing is to make sure you have an accurate and honest predicted time, use your training to help you gauge and create reachable goals for the race. If you run an 18 miler and were a consistent 8:15 min/mile pace through the first 15 miles then blew up for the last 3 miles you might want to adjust your goal pace to 8:30 min/mile. If during the same 18 mile race your friend started at 7:45 min/mile pace then dropped to a 8:15 min/mile pace and died but hit the 8:00 min/mile pace average they wanted, spend the next few weeks working on locking in the 8:00 min/mile pace from the get go to lock it in.

Andy Wegman


How much do MILES matter...




In this blog we will dive deeper into the realm of mileage and why they do not (or maybe do) matter...


How many miles is enough miles for me is always a question that gets thrown around. Some people run 20 miles or less, some 40, and some aim for 70+ miles a week. The key is how you feel running them. You are going to have a hell of a time training for a marathon on 20 miles a week but if you always get injured trying to get to 70 miles then clearly that should be avoided as well.


This is where I will argue that it is not the total mileage that you run that matters but the time and pace(s) you complete them in. In a couple of previous blogs I have listed the types of runs available and how they should be paced depending on your level.


Instead of looking at the previous week and being like “my goal was 40 miles and I ran 42, therefore I succeeded,” what you really need to look at first are the types of runs completed, paces ran, how you felt, then mileage. The WHY behind this is that 40 miles can look completely different week to week.


If your goal is an 8 min/mi pace in a marathon and your furthest run that week was 12 miles at 8 min/mi pace than you DID NOT have a long run in your week. That type of run would be called a tempo run, a long run would be like 15 miles around 9 min/mile pace. Here’s where it gets tricky.


Example 1:

  • 15 miles at 9 min pace = Long Run

  • 5 miles at 9 min pace = Long Run

  • 10 miles at 9 min pace = Long Run  Total Mileage: 30      Average Pace: 9 min/mi pace

Example 2:

  • 15 miles at 9 min pace = Long Run

  • 5 miles at 9:30 min pace = Easy Run

  • 10 miles at 8:15 min pace = Tempo Run Total Mileage: 30  Average Pace: 9 min/mi pace


The distinguishing factor here was not the miles ran but the PACE you ran them at. You have to differentiate pacing, miles and types of run, they ARE NOT the same. Labeling a run is important so that you can keep track, but no one said that miles were what determined the label.


So as you continue to plan out your weeks (decades) of running make sure that pacing has an equal (or greater) emphasis than miles ran when you determine the why behind it.


*OBVIOUSLY monitoring your weekly mileage is extremely important and you should always do so. I wanted to present a scenario where maybe why and how you are monitoring them is misguided*

Andy Wegman M.S.ATC

Programming 101

“Think long term, your goal race should always be the race after your next race”


Designing your program can become a daunting task with all the resources out there trying push a certain philosophy onto your laps. Here are my top 3 considerations you must have when attempting this build:


  1. What is YOUR schedule
  2. What race are you training for
  3. How well do you actually want to run this race


  1. Your schedule is going to be the sole determinant in what plan you make/choose to use. 

Keep It Stupidly Simple. If you only have 3 days available to run make your program for 3 days (not recommended for marathon training), and if you have 7 days available program for 7 (not recommended for life training). Do not set yourself up to fail before you leave the blocks.


For example: If you are training for a 10k on a 4 day a week program and after the race is over you feel great and like you could be faster, then try 5 days for your next plan. BUT do not start with 5 days then bonk out halfway through because your schedule is too busy to complete the runs.


2.   What type of race are you training for.

If you are training for a 5k and it is your first race or first time running you do not need to go on a 10 mile run. What you should have is some walk/jog or walk/run build ups throughout the program to work on your speed and comfortability to run for longer time periods.


Now if you are training for a marathon that 10 mile run will be on the short end and you need to have at least a 4 day per week plan. You need to have variability in your weekly workouts to prevent staleness and a long run of up to 18 miles or so. [see: Running Menu Blog]


3.    How well do you actually want to run this race… in other terms, What Are Your Goals?!

I think this is a trickier subject because it can be perceived that something is better or worse than that other thing you are doing. It would be very challenging, for example, to excel in dance, weightlifting, and running all at the same time. But that is not to say that they don’t compliment each other well in a program. In fact you might reach your best results when you are doing all of the above.


The trickier part comes with having to do less of some for the benefit of the others. Doing a hard dance class the night before a hard running workout might leave that running workout less than par. Now which one should be your focus? That would depend on if you are training for a 5k at the end of the month or a dance recital. Same thing applies to a weight lifting competition. You may have to sacrifice some running workouts in order to save energy for the competition and the workouts needed before hand.


All I am trying to say is make sure you know your goal(s), then take a deep breath and go out and get them.


Andy Wegman


Brooklyn Half Marathon



About 1 week left until the Brooklyn Half Marathon and whether it is your 1st or 7th attempt the work has been put in. For better or worse you will toe the starting line at 7am and give it your best.


A couple tips to take into account right now…

  1. Practice your hydration – if you need a specific drink, BRING IT, don’t trust the courses Gatorade on your delicate stomach
  2. Practice your morning nutrition – make sure you do a couple practice runs on the nutrition you plan on having on race day morning
  3. Practice your race nutrition – make sure you try a couple of those Science in Sport Gels ;-), or whatever you use, to confirm that your stomach can handle the fuel





What is your race plan? Let’s Keep It Simple Superstar…


The first 10k or so in the park is beautiful and the cheer squads are out in full force, this tends to get people out of their paces and into something unsustainable for the long haul. Races are rarely won in the beginning but are frequently lost.


Know your goal race pace, the one your trained for (or didn’t train for… its okay the next race is around the corner) and whether you need a wristband to keep track or can do it in your head it is important to plan it out.


Scenario 1: You go out at 7:45min/mile pace but your goal is 8:00min/mile pace…

Your first instinct is to say “I feel great, let’s see if I can maintain this pace.” Nope, hold your horses and get back to 8:00min/mile pace. Re-assess later in race (miles 7+) to see if you have the fitness to increase pace. Note: if you decide that 8:00min/mile pace is good through the finish line you just raced 15seconds faster than your goal…


Scenario 2: You go out at 8:15min/mile pace but your goal is 8:00min/mile pace…

Your first instinct is to say “Crap! Now I need to run a 7:45min mile for mile 2 to make up.” Nope, speed up bit to get you back to your 8:00min/mile pace and get that groove back. Re-assess later in the race (mile 7+) to see when you can bring the pace slightly faster than 8:00min/mile pace. Note: 15seconds over 6 miles is 7:57min/mile pace, you have plenty of time to make up time…








The best way to attack this, most likely, will be to gauge your inner RPE. RATE of PERCIEVED EXERETION.  This is a scale on 1-5 where 1 is like your warmup and 5 is going to be that last mile you just ran to set that PR, congrats…


Miles 1-7 should be like a 3/5 -  challenging but you know you could dominate a mile or two if you needed to (you do not need to at this moment though)


Miles 7-10 should be like a 4/5 -  obviously you have run at least a 10k already but you have at least a 5k to go. So, you should have another gear left here or trouble is a brewing. It is flat, downhill, and open; again, don’t let your pace trend down (or too far down) yet.


Miles 10-13.1 should build to a 5/5 – at the 10 mile mark you have a choice, continue at current pace and hit the PR or if the body still feels like a 4/5 you can take off a couple seconds and shoot for that bigger PR. The choice is yours, just make that choice then continuing to monitor your perceived output for the rest of the race.


Now enjoy those fans cheering you on as you cruise down the boardwalk leading you to finish the race that you started.



Red Hook Crit

Definitely the race I look forward to the most during the year. Not many races (anywhere) allow you to attempt a 4 lap 1.25km race course with 180 degree hairpin turns and multiple ‘S’ corners throughout each loop.

For all intent and purposes it is a 5K just like any 5K is, 5,000 meters is 5,000 meters so the distance you are covering does not change. The fun part becomes all the turns and how it affects your pace.

Now normally as a runner you are moving in a very linear (straightforward) direction at almost all times of any race. Very few races have any other components of movement in it, this 5K contains both acceleration, deceleration and change of direction in it through each turn.

In my previous blog I listed different types of running workouts and by choosing this race you have added in one more… Multidirectional

These components are a completely different skill set and something most runners lack so building them up over the course of a few workouts will greatly improve your time. Through each turn you will be slowing down as you enter it (deceleration), going through the turn (change of direction), and then speeding up out of it (acceleration). 

It is easy to add these components into your training plan, all you have to do is spend 5 minutes after your run or workout and complete these following workouts…

Figure 8 Running:

Find two trees or objects and run a figure 8 in between them, always making sure you are going clockwise around one tree and counterclockwise around the other tree, always accelerating out of the turn.

Think of these like mini speed workouts, shoot for 5 reps of :30 seconds, you can alter of course on your ability but to start less is more.

Shuttle Runs:

Find two trees or objects and run back in forth between them, do not circle around them, just stop then cut back and run towards the other tree and repeat, accelerating out of each turn

NOTE: always make sure to cut facing the same direction in order to work both right and left sides of body

Think of these like mini speed workouts, shoot for 5 reps of :30 seconds, you can alter of course based on your ability but to start less is more.

Andy wegman



Chafing… A runners worst enemy.

As most runners today know there are a few things that are uncomfortable to run with, one that is also unpleasant to talk about it chafing. It is probably one of the last things you want to happen during a race, workout of even your every day run. Chafing is not comfortable and it always happens in the worst of places. Here we will look deep into chafing, why its caused, where it happens and how to help prevent it!

What is chafing… 

Chafing is irritation of the skin caused by friction, from either other body parts or an article of clothing you may be wearing. There are a few different areas of the body were chafing usually occurs including, inner thigh, groin, waist band, rib cage (sports bra), nipple or arm pit. Sometimes you wont even realize you chafed until that post run show comes and all of a sudden your skin feels like its on fire from the lightest sprinkle of water.

Here are a few key tips to help you prevent this awfulness from happening in the first place. 

Pick the right clothing - first off it has to fit, something to tight can dig into your skin especially something like a sports bra or running belt. 

  • Seems and tags are also no good, they tend to be points of friction.
  • Compression shorts tend to help when it comes to the inner thigh chafing as it will help create a barrier from skin to skin contact. 
  • Should I wear cotton clothing? Nope. 
    • Moisture wicking clothing is best, as moist or wet clothes are hot spots for chafing to occur

Protect and Cover - Yup I'm taking about those nipples, I would recommend covering them up, Nip Guards, Band Aids, Tape, whatever you want to use but trust me this is one of the more uncomfortable spots for this to happen.

Lubricate - there are products out there like BodyGlides, Vaseline, or any petroleum based products that will help prevent chafing. Apply these greasy lubricants to prone chafing areas before your runs. ChapStick is a small but common solution to any mid run chafing problem. 

Hydrate - drinking minimizes the salt concentration in sweat, salt creates a sand paper feeling, sand paper - skin, that doesn't sound good. 

Make sure to treat any chafed areas, especially if the begin to bleed at all. Most of the time chafing comes as a result of being physically active you are likely sweating or in a sense “getting dirty”. You want to clean these irritated areas shortly after any activity and treat them as open wounds. Wash gently to not further irritate the area, pat dry, do not rub, that wouldn't feel to good. I would also recommend putting some type of over the counter ointment to get those chafed areas healed up quickly so you can get out there to rock your next activity without pain. 

Good Luck out there. 

Greg Laraia, ATC


The Running Menu

The Running Menu:

Why are you running tomorrow? Whether you are in the midst of marathon training or have a 5k coming up soon it is important to know why you are running and what you are looking to get out of each run.

“An Investment In Knowledge Pays the Best Interest”

  • Ben Franklin

What are your goals for each run you are doing…?

  • Speed
  • Strength
  • Hills
  • Tempo
  • Long
  • Easy (Recovery)

To know the WHY behind each run is going to allow you to fully buy in and commit to each part of your program...

  • Speed: at 8:00m/mile pace or faster, can’t get under… run shorter distances ;) put some work in
  • Strength: more volume then speed, faster than tempo pace but should be able to maintain an easy jog between each effort
  • Hills: They are in your race so they need to be in your runs
  • Tempo: ½ marathon or marathon pace usually, practice, practice, practice (shouldn’t be challenging)
  • Long Runs: 2-3hr max, %25 of your weekly volume, based of off cumulative (weekly) fatigue
  • Easy (Recovery): the most important part of your marathon (or any) training, builds your base and may be upto %50 of your total miles (yes %50) DO NOT SKIP THESE

These are just the beginning outlines as you build up your program for your next race. Even if you do not “program” and just run races whenever it is still important to have a why behind each run.

Stay tuned for the next posts which will dive into each run and give you more of a feel of how to plan ahead.

Andy Wegman MS, ATC