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So you want to run a marathon? How to get started

If 50,000 other people could run the NYC Marathon, why couldn't you?

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Pumped up from watching Sunday’s NYC Marathon and thinking you can conquer the course next year? The can-do attitude is a good start, but you're going to need some guidance – not to mention encouragement.

To get started, be as scientific as possible in your training, advises Josh "Speedy" Maio, head coach of the running program at Paragon Sportsin Manhattan: “Test, test, test and test again, eliminating as many variables as you can to achieve optimum results.” That includes figuring out what gear, clothing materials and food is for you. “You'll want to track your eating habits heading into, during and after your long runs so you know exactly what works for you and your body."

All that experimenting – sport is a science, after all – will help to get you race-ready not just in body, but also mind. "As you hone everything, this will help you relax a little bit because you know everything you are using and are doing for your race works," Maio says. "It's amazing what that little bit of stress relief can do for you.”

We asked Speedy to start the countdown to your training for the big event in 2015.

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3. Reasons to run with a group:

Distraction: "When you are training for a marathon, you can find yourself running a lot of miles alone, and those miles can get very tough. Having people to talk to and distract your brain from what your body has to do can make those miles just melt away without feeling half as grueling as they can."

Focus: "We all have speed, tempo and hill workouts to do during our training cycles, and these are all things we lament having to do. Nobody likes doing them, but having a group to battle through them with makes them much more bearable and, dare I say it, pleasant."

Accountability: "The group keeps you honest. You become accountabilibuddies that motivate, support and push you towards your ultimate goal."

2. Ways a specialty running store can help:

Expertise: "Our running specialists are involved in the NYC running community [and] can offer advice and recommendations from personal experience."

The right fit: "Most running footwear is separated into two categories: neutral and stability. Our running specialists are trained to help runners determine their gait before they choose the type of running shoes that best fits them."

1. Reason why NYC is a great place to train:

Variety: "NYC has so many places to run and pretty much every type of terrain you can think of: road, dirt, flat, hilly, track. You have both the road and bridle path in Central Park, the East River Track, Riverside Park, the West Side Highway Greenway, East River path out to Ward and Randall's islands, the [George Washington] Bridge to Palisades Park, over the Brooklyn Bridge to Prospect Park. I mean really, what more could you ask for?"

 
 
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