Long Runs 

  •  Runners often ask me, “How long should my long run be?” 
  • If it takes you longer than five hours to run between 20 and 26.2 miles, more harm than good may result from your long runs. Running for longer five hours would be equivalent to an elite marathoner running 40-50 miles, which is not something even the pros do. 
  • Keep in mind that with proper training you can run up to 50% farther than you have ever ran. 

Sports Psychology: Self-efficacy 
Strive for self-efficacy, the belief that you can accomplish a task you want to achieved, in the following ways: 

  • Think about a successful race from your past. Runners who think about past triumphs more likely succeed. 
  • Surround yourself with people of similar ability with marathon experience. If someone like you can complete a marathon, then so can you. 
  • Verbally tell yourself you can achieve your marathon goal. Saying it helps make it real.Develop a support system of friends/family to help support you in your goal. When others believe in you it helps you to do the same. 
  •  Source: Carron, A. & Eys, M. (2012). Group Dynamics in Sport (4th ed.). Morgantown, WV: 
  • Fitness Information Technology. 

Sports Psychology: Overcoming negative self talk. 

  •  Designate trigger words to stop negative thoughts. 
  • Example: Remember the word “patience” if you lack progress. 
  • Source: Williams, J.M. (2010). Applied Sport Psychology: Personal Growth to Peak Performance (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill 

Rest & Prep 

  • Be sure to sleep well throughout your race week, particularly two nights before your race as it most directly race day performance. 
  •  If you miss out on some sleep the night before your race because of nerves or excitement, don’t worry it won’t hurt your performance. 
  • Set out your clothes, race number, nutrition, shoes, water, and prep breakfast the night before the race. You might forget something or feel rushed the morning of your race. 

Have fun! 

  • Stay relaxed and positive. 
  • Trust in your training and remember that to have fun. 
  • Smile for the camera when you cross the finish line! 


Coach Hammond

Coach Patrick Hammond earned his Masters Degree in Sports and Performance Psychology from the University of the Rockies. He is a USA Track and Field Level 1 certified coach. As a runner in college he competed at Western Kentucky University, where he helped his team win a Division IA Cross Country Sun Belt Conference Championship.

With the NYC Marathon right around the bend, it’s only natural to feel a little nervous about your race. The tips below ease such anxiety. 


  • If you plan on buying new shoes before the your race, make sure you do so at least five weeks in advance. 
  • Most shoes last 400-500 miles. 
  • If you’re unsure about mileage, then check for soreness on the outer edge of your feet and/or aches around the ankles as it may indicate you need a new shoe. 
  • If you live in New York City, check out JackRabbit Sports for help from staff that really knows they’re shoes. 


  • Implement nutrition into long runs before your race. 
  • Some nutrition may upset your stomach or work better/worse than others. Figure out your body’s preferences weeks in advance. 
  • Practice your race day routine several times before the day of the race. Doing so will help you to be more mentally prepared for the race and less anxious. 
  • Sign up for a 10K race or longer, to practice in a real race setting. 

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