2013 Race Director Update #6 – March 31 (5 weeks until The New Jersey Marathon Weekend)

IMPORTANT Race Day Travel, Transportation and Parking Information

Race Day Parking at Monmouth Park:

Please join us in our efforts to: reduce race day traffic congestion, reduce auto pollution, make race day commuting as easy and stress free as possible, please: carpool, arrive early or take the Special NJM train!

Please note: The half marathon and relay will start at 6:45 am.  DO NOT PLAN TO ARRIVE AT MONMOUTH PARK AFTER 5:45 am for these races, if you will be arriving by motor vehicle!

We will have several new parking lots available this year, and we will be parking in multiple lots simultaneously. It will be very important for you to pay attention to the directions on the sign boards and especially to the traffic control officers as you approach the Park, in order to keep the traffic flowing.  Here’s an overview of the parking at Monmouth Park this year. (Please note: $1 parking fees will be collected upon exit from most lots.)

Arrival times:

4:30 am to 5:00 am (arrive during this time and you will be directed to preferred parking). Preferred Parking (Lot 1), will be inside the Park gates and will be directly beside the starting corrals!!!  This lot will hold over 1,200 cars and will be closed either when full or at 5:00 am, whichever comes first. You will not find another race with more convenient parking than in this lot!

5:00 am to 5:45 am (Half, Relay & Full Marathon) We will be filling the other lots (Lots 2 through 10) around the Park during this time, which will be increasingly distant from the start line.  Plan ahead as the main traffic volume will likely occur during these times.

After 5:45 am (Half Marathon and Relay) Do not plan to arrive at Monmouth Park after 5:45 am as traffic volume could force you to miss your start time.  Please remember, if you don’t start with the half marathon corrals you will be Disqualified (DQ’d).

5:45 am to 6:25 am (Full Marathon only) You will be directed to Lots 2 through 10, as traffic dictates.

After 6:25 am (Full Marathon only) You will be directed to either Lot 3 or Lots 5 through 9 as access roads to Lots 1, 2, 3 and 10 will be closed to get ready for the half marathon and relay start at 6:45 am.

 Special Needs Parking: Please show your official government credentials to the traffic control officers to be directed to parking in Lot 1 prior to 5 am if that lot has not yet reached capacity, or in Lot 2 prior to 6:25 am.  There will be designated spaces in each Lot. After 6:25 am, access to the spaces in these two lots will be closed.

Drop-off Area: There will be a designated drop-off area. Dropping off at any location other than in the designated area will be prohibited. This location will be added to the Monmouth Park Transportation and Parking Map soon.

Race Day Parking Near the Finish Area:

There is parking near the finish area for over 1,500 cars, in paid lots, and also some free parking on the streets and in municipal Lot G.  The available lots are shown here for your planning purposes.  While we will have free race day shuttle busing back to Monmouth Park, there will be an unavoidable delay in the start of the return busing (see the schedule below).  Therefore, people in corrals A and B of the Half Marathon and Half Relay who wish to leave prior to the start of the shuttle busing may want to be dropped off at Monmouth Park and the car parked in one of the lots around the finish area (but not in Lot G).  Please note: Departure from these lots will be via Rt. 36 north through Sea Bright only.

Important: In order to reach the parking near the finish area there are two choices: 1) drop off athletes early near the start, then proceed to the finish area along Rt. 36 heading east (this road goes down to one lane heading east just after Monmouth Park).  Access to the finish area from this direction will end at approximately 7:15 am due to road closure,  or 2) Spectators and Volunteers can take Garden State Parkway Exits: 117, 114 (less direct) or 109 and local roads heading east to connect with Rt. 36 no further south than in Sea Bright. Access to the finish area from north of Long Branch, on Rt. 36 heading south, will not be closed at any time due to runner/walker/wheelchair traffic on race day.

Race Day Free Shuttle Bus Schedule:

  • 6:45 am to 7:00 am ONLY – Monmouth Park to Relay Transition Area (for 2nd teammate)
  • 7:45 am to 9:30 am – Relay Transition Area to Finish Area (for 1st teammate)
  • 7:00 am to 9:30 am – Monmouth Park to Finish Area (for spectators & volunteers – not handicapped* equipped – Please note: The Finish area drop off point is in a new location this year, near Parking Lot G, on Union Ave. at about mile 9.7. Access to the finish line may be restricted from this location until about 10:20 am).
  • *10:15 am to 4:30 pm – Finish Area to/from Monmouth Park (athletes, spectators & volunteers – not handicapped equipped. The pick-up/drop off point will be in front of the Ocean Place Resort & Spa on Ocean Blvd.)

* The race course blocks access to roads to/from Monmouth Park for a while once the races begin.  Half marathoners will feel the most impact until about 10:30 am.  At 10:00 am buses will begin loading, by start time corral order only, for the return trip to Monmouth Park.  During that time there will be plenty to do at our Finish Line Festival.  For example:

5 popular bands at: Rooney,s, our main stage, the Ocean Place Resort and in Pier Village! Awards ceremonies for the Half & Relay and the Full Marathon  (times to be announced). NY/NJ Challenge Medals will be available at the Timing and Awards Tent for pick-up. Various types of additional entertainers will be around to amuse and entertain you throughout the area.
       
Fun gifts and special prizes will be raffled off every half hour (must be present to win). Don’t miss out! Food vendors will be available as well as a wide variety of great area bars and restaurants. Official NJ Marathon & Long Branch Half Marathon branded merchandise will be available. Photos, flowers, race mementos, finisher medal engraving, etc. will be available to make your day very special.
We hope that you will join us to celebrate your special accomplishment AND Cinco de Mayo.  Enjoy!

 

Race Day Special New Jersey Marathon Train Schedule:

Station & Departure Time

Penn Station New York – 5:00 am

Newark Penn Station – 5:14 am

Rahway – 5:28 am

Matawan – 5:49 am

Middletown – 5:57 am

Arrive at Monmouth Park 6:06 am

Please note: The train schedule will NOT appear on any published NJ Transit schedule. It is a special train for The New Jersey Marathon and associated races, and is available only for our athletes, their supporters, and our volunteers. Pre-purchased tickets are REQUIRED!  Click here to purchase $10, one way tickets, which will be mailed to you.

Important: 1) Plan to be at the train station 10 minutes prior to the listed time for that station. The train will not stop at any station if there are no passengers visible. Therefore, it may run ahead of the schedule listed above on May 5th. 2) Bicycles are not allowed on this train as Monmouth Park Station does not have a raised platform. 3) This is a one-way train. 4) To return home, you must use one of the normally scheduled trains that depart from Long Branch Station (walking distance from the finish line) which departs at six minutes past every hour. (10:06, 11:06, etc.)  Please note: The northbound train at 9:06 am will not depart because of the race. Click here to view the NJ Transit train schedule.

Best wishes during your training and on race day,

Joe Gigas, Executive Race Director

2013 Race Director Update #5 – Mar. 24 (6 weeks to The New Jersey Marathon Weekend)

 Timing & Scoring:

You must start in the correct time slot: Half & Relay = 6:45 am; Full = 8:00 am;   If you line-up and start at the wrong time (in the wrong race), you will be Disqualified (DQ’d). Please don’t let that happen!

All events will be timed and scored using computer chip technology.  Please do not wear any old timing chips from other races! Your times will be recorded as you cross the mats at the start line, on the course and at the finish line.  Your elapsed time will be measured from the time your chip crosses the start line and the finish line (except for those in Corral A).  There is no advantage to be gained by being in a corral other than the one for your expected finish time, as we are NOT using gun time for any corral other than A.

Every Corral A assignment will be verified by the race staff.   There will be no assignment into corral A without a verified finish time on a USATF certified course within the last three years and which meets all of our race criteria.

All other corrals will be spot verified.  If any verification fails, that person will be assigned to the last corral.  In addition, any estimated finish time which is faster than expected corral A times will be reviewed and may be assigned to the last corral if not verifiable (close to world record pace or faster – yes people have entered estimated finish times faster than the current world records).

For the Half and Full Marathons, your timing chip is securely attached to your Bib. Do not fold the Bib or crimp the transponder since this may cause a malfunction and your finish results will not be recorded.  Please wear it on top of your outermost garment to ensure a proper read at each mat, and so you can easily find your pictures on MarathonFoto.com.

For Relay participants, your timing chip is attached to a strap that needs to be attached to you while on the course, and must be handed off inside the Transition area, and turned-in at the Finish!  Please wear the strap on the outside of your outermost garment to ensure a proper read at each mat, and so you can easily find your pictures on MarathonFoto.com.  Each of you will be wearing two bibs pinned to your shirts.  Please see RD Update #4 for details.

Please note: Any estimated finish times which are slower than the maximum posted finish times will be contacted and may be refused entry into our race.  We have contacted about two dozen people in that category and will be reaching out to the few who have not yet responded, in order to clear up any mistakes during registration.  Please respond to our emails and phone calls if contacted by us before improper registrations are cancelled!  In many cases it is just a result of an error during your registration and can easily be corrected.

There is a cut-off time at the 5 mile mark.  Those slower than the maximum finish time pace will have walked almost 5 miles only to  be asked to leave the course without a medal or finisher’s certificate!  We sincerely hope that will not happen, and ask for your cooperation in responding to our emails and phone calls as we would rather discuss alternative races instead of denying an entry.

Registration Confirmation & Packet Pick Up:

If you registered either directly from Active.com or by clicking the “Register Now!” button on our website to get to Active.com, please go to our website and click on the ”Confirm Registration” button, enter your name, and click on “search”. If you registered via our private registration channel, please click on the private registration confirmation link which was sent to you, or to the charity through which you registered (ask your charity about verifying your registration).

NO Registrations on Race Day!:

IF we haven’t sold out a particular race by the close of on-line registrations on April 28th, we will offer in-person registrations during the Expo hours (Full and Half ONLY – we will not create any new Relay Teams during the Expo – however team member changes to an existing team will be available during the Expo). If you haven’t registered by the close of the Expo on Saturday, you will not be racing with us on Sunday!  Our timing and scoring database is finalized at the close of registration and so is our Emergency Management database.  This data is then given to both groups and entered into their systems.

Race Packet Pick-up:

Race packets will be available for pick-up at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, NJ only. We do not mail race packets.  However, if you are unable to pick up your race packet during the Expo hours you have two choices: 1) you may choose to send a Proxy (e.g., a relative or friend) to pick it up for you during the Expo hours, or 2) If you don’t have a proxy, you can hire a proxy ($25.00) who will pick up your race packet for you, and have it available for you on race day morning.  Click here for the Proxy Pick-up Service form

Special NJ Transit Train to the Start Line:

In conjunction with our Green Initiative, in order to reduce traffic and parking delays on race day morning, and to provide convenient transportation for our participants, we will again provide a train from NYC Penn Station on race day morning.

Please note: this train will require $10 pre-purchased tickets in order to board.  No tickets will be sold at the stations or on the train. This train will not appear on any NJ Transit schedule as it is a private train, hired by The New Jersey Marathon.  The schedule will be finalized on our website very soon. We expect the train to leave NY Penn Station at about 5 am on Sunday, May 5th, and will arrive at Monmouth Park by about 6:05 am.  This train will also be stopping at: Penn Station (Newark), Rahway, Matawan and Middletown in New Jersey before arriving at Monmouth Park.  Click here for details and to purchase tickets.

Very Important Registration Document:

Every registered participant as of April 5th will be sent an important message about three weeks prior to race day, via the email address which they entered during registration.  For participants who register after April 5th, the email will be sent within a few days after the close of on-line registration (which will close no later than on April 28th).  This email will contain the Registration Confirmation and Waiver Form which includes registration information, which you should verify, as well as your Bib #. YOU, OR YOUR PROXY, WILL NEED THIS SIGNED ORIGINAL DOCUMENT, along with a photo ID (copy if by proxy), to pick up your race packet. Details are available at:  Packet Pickup Information.

Please note: Participants are required to complete the Emergency Information on the reverse-side of their Bibs, in ball-point pen!  It is much easier to do so prior to race day (you should pin your Bib to your shirt prior to race day). Those using the Proxy Pick-up Service should remember to fill it out prior to pinning on your Bib.

Tune-up Training Run on the courses:

Please mark your calendar for another New Jersey Marathon sponsored tune-up training run on Sunday, April 14 (three weeks prior to race day).  We will have a 10 miler (8 am start) and a 20 miler (7 am start) “Last Long Training Run”, on parts of the course.  We will start in Pier Village, in waves of about 10-15 people.  Please note: the roads will not be closed, so be sure to run against the traffic and obey all traffic lights and signs. The course will be well marked at each turn, with self-service fluid stations (Gatorade, water, GU) at key locations, or approximately at 3 mile intervals. Light refreshments will be on hand afterwards.

Please “Join” our event on Facebook at:  Events on Facebook.  We need a headcount to finalize our planning so please let us know that you’ll be training with us on that day by clicking on “Join” for the event. Clicking “Like” does not confirm attendance.  For safety reasons we must limit the total number of people training with us that day to the first 600 who “Join”. Don’t miss out!  It’s a great way to train with others of similar pace, experience parts of the courses in preparation for race day, and IT’S FREE!!!

To review all previous Race Director Event Updates please go to the following link: View RD Updates.

Best wishes during your training and on race day,

Joe Gigas, Executive Race Director

2013 Race Director Update #4 – Mar. 17 (7 weeks to The New Jersey Marathon)

Tune-up Training Run (on parts of the courses):

Mark your calendar for another New Jersey Marathon sponsored tune-up training run on Sunday, April 14 (three weeks prior to race day).  We will have a 10 miler (8 am start) or 20 miler (7 am start) “Last Long Training Run”, on parts of the course.  We will start in Pier Village, in waves of about 10-15 people at a time.  Please Note: the roads will not be closed, so be sure to run against the traffic and obey all traffic lights and signs. There will be self-serve fluids around the course.

Please “Join” our event on Facebook, the “Last Long Training Run“. We need to get a headcount to finalize our planning so please let us know if you’ll be training with us on that day, by clicking on “Join” for the event. We expect between 400 and 600 people to train with us on that day, so please let us know if you’ll be joining us.

The 2-Person Half Marathon Relay:

At Packet Pick-up at the Health & Fitness Expo (Friday May 3rd and Saturday May 4th):

The team Captain or the teammate may go directly to Packet Pick-up with the Registration Confirmation Page and photo ID. Please announce your Bib # and Team Name, and give the Registration Confirmation Page and the photo ID to the volunteer to review prior to receiving the complete packet for both team members. You will not be able to pick up the race packet for your team unless you have the proper paperwork!  Please review the “Packet Pickup Info” on our website prior to visiting the Expo in order to make this process as easy as possible.

Relay – Race Day:

Please wear your Bib # on the front of your t-shirt, and a second bib with “RELAY” on the back of your shirt. You will be provided sixteen safety pins to use in attaching these two bibs on each person.  Please note: the bottom of your bib will have a tear off portion to be attached to your gear-drop bag (if applicable).  It should be removed, even if you are not dropping off your bag on race day. Please review the Gear Drop instructions in Race Director Update #3 if you are planning to drop off a bag.

Parking for Relay:

– The first runner/walker on a team should either park, or be dropped off, at Monmouth Park prior to 5:45 am.

– The second runner/walker on a team may wish either to park, or be dropped off, at Monmouth Park and utilize the shuttle bus to the Transition Area.  The shuttle buses will leave between 6:45 am and 7 am. After that time you must find your own way to the Transition Area.

– For the second runner/walker there is also limited parking near the Transition Area, on the southern end of Seaview Ave. in Monmouth Beach. Since that parking area is limited, it is advisable for most people to park at Monmouth Park.

At the Relay Transition (Griffin Park in Monmouth Beach):

When arriving at the Transition Area, the first runner/walker should remove the belt with the bib and timing chip and the second runner/walker should put it on.  That will be the hand-off.  Once the strap is securely in place, the second runner/walker may exit the transition area to begin their portion of the race.

Race Support Staff will be on site at the Transition Area for directions. Please adhere to all directions from the Staff.

There will be buses near the Transition to shuttle the first team members to the finish area between 7:15 am and 9:00 am.

Port-a-Johns and water will be located in the Transition Area, along with a tent.

Please plan your Relay carefully for the best experience!

Other things to note about the Relay:

Two Finishers’ medals will be given to the second runner/walker after turning in the timing belt at the finish line.

 

Race Day Parking:

Parking at Monmouth Park:

Our best travel advice on race day morning is: carpool, arrive very early or take the train!!!

Please note: The half marathon and relay will start at 6:45 am.  DO NOT PLAN TO ARRIVE AT MONMOUTH PARK AFTER 5:45 am for these races, if you will be arriving by motor vehicle!

We will have several new parking lots available to us starting this year, and we will be parking in many of the lots simultaneously, which means that it will be very important for you to pay attention to the directions on the sign boards as you approach the Park and especially to the traffic control officers, in order to keep the traffic flowing.  Here’s an overview of the parking at Monmouth Park this year. (Please note: parking fees will be collected upon exit from most lots this year)

Arrival times:

4:30 am to 5:00 am (arrive during this time and you will be directed to preferred parking).

Preferred Parking (Lot 1), will be inside the Park gates and will be directly beside the starting corrals!!!  This lot will hold over 1,100 cars and will be closed either when full or at 5:00 am, whichever comes first. You will not find another race with more convenient parking than in this lot!

5:00 am to 5:45 am (Half, Relay & Full Marathon)

We will be filling the other lots (Lots 2 through 10) around the Park during this time, which will be increasingly distant from the start line.  Plan ahead as the main traffic volume will likely occur during these times.

After 5:45 am (Half Marathon and Relay) – Don’t even try it!!

After 6:25 am (Full Marathon only)

You will be parked in either lot 3 or some of our new lots (Lots 5 through 9) as access roads to Lots 1, 2, 3 and 10 will be closed to get ready for the half marathon and relay start at 6:45 am.

Special Needs Parking: Please show your official credentials to gain access to handicapped parking in Lot 1 prior to 5 am, if that lot has not yet reached capacity, or in Lot 2 prior to 6:25 am.  There will be designated spaces set aside in each Lot.

Drop-off Area: There will be a designated drop-off area. Dropping off at any location other than in the designated area will be prohibited as it will cause delays for everyone else, as has happened in previous years! This location will be added to the Monmouth Park Transportation and Parking Map soon.

Parking at the Relay Transition Area:

There is parking for about 50 cars near the transition area in Monmouth Beach, on the southern end of Seaview Ave.  Since that parking area is limited, it is advisable for most people to park at Monmouth Park.

Parking near the Finish Area:

There are a number of private parking lots (parking fees will be charged by the various vendors) around the finish area which the race doesn’t manage.  Parking in one of these lots may allow quick departure after your race. Please note: the only departure route available until after approximately 10:30 am is to the north, via Rt. 36.  All roads in the finish area which cross our courses will start to reopen to traffic after that time. Here’s an overview of parking near the finish line.

There will be updates to the parking and drop-off information referenced above over the next few weeks, including the parking fees at the various Lots in Monmouth Park.

As some of you know, traffic delays have occurred in previous years, and some delays are unavoidable when 12,000+ people converge on one roadway at the same time.  This year’s plan can only be successful if: athletes arrive early, carpool as much as possible, follow the parking and drop-off instructions, or take the Special New Jersey Marathon Train from NYC, (with several New Jersey stops). Please note: This train is not free this year. A $10 one way ticket is required to board this train.  Tickets MUST be pre-purchased, and will not be available from NJ Transit.  Click here to purchase tickets.

Best wishes during your training and on race day,

Joe Gigas, Executive Race Director

Running helps me to feel strong and in shape, but …. is it better to be Skinny or Strong?

‎Rebecca posted the following comment and question on our Facebook page recently:

“… I just wanted to write in and say how much all of you inspire me! Reading your posts are so much fun and give me so much great info.. I have had something on my mind and I just wanted some words of wisdom. It’s the idea of being skinny or strong. I know it may sound crazy but I battle with it all the time. I guess being an over weight kid really left a mark on me! Running helps me to feel strong and in shape. Often if the number on the scale is too high ( in my mind) I feel better knowing that the number on the road, meaning the amount of miles I run is also high so it’s better to be strong then to be “skinny.” Right? ;-)”

What an important question!  Many people struggle with this same question in several different forms!  Thank you for asking Rebecca!

Oh Rebecca, I know that you’re not alone in that feeling as I encounter it often with people I coach. I always give them the same advice knowing that it’s hard for them to follow, and that is; stop using the scale!  Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for a scale, but in my opinion that’s likely at both extremes of the weight spectrum, including very fit competitive athletes, as some suffer from the opposite problem that many others deal with, and that is they lose weight too easily and become underweight (for them) and weak.

I admit that I’ve never had to deal with being overweight, and so I can only tell you what I’ve learned from coaching lots of people over the years as well as training myself for a number of different sports.

The way to find your “best weight” is in monitoring how you feel and how you respond to your training to meet the goals you’ve set for yourself.  I think that using a simple measure is most beneficial .  I suggest that some students buy clothing which is heading in the direction that they want to go with their weight (either a slightly larger or slightly smaller size) and put it/them on every week to see how it’s going. When those clothes fit comfortable, and training hasn’t suffered, try a new outfit at a slightly smaller or larger size and repeat the process until  something changes in motivation, endurance, speed, etc. At that point listen to your body and perhaps back off a bit. Now that I think of it, that’s a coaching concept that could likely get me lots of students, if I had time to train more that is! I’m seeing an ad which says, Train with me and buy new clothing of your choice regularly as part of your training plan! Hummmm  …., but I digress!

One of the best ways to monitor how training is going is to keep a running journal in order to help find that ideal training weight, write in it honestly, review it every week or two and listen to your body for guidance.  You can learn how to listen to your body and to understand what it’s telling you on your own, but it takes awhile for some people to tune  in properly.

Now, as to your direct question re: is it better to be strong or skinny, I’d say that since you’re not likely making a living from the prize money you win racing (a very large percentage of the people racing with us are not making a living racing for prize money, even our Champions), I would submit that it’s better to be Strong and Healthy then it is to be Skinny.  Less weight can mean faster times, up to a point, but skinny does NOT necessarily equate to being either strong or healthy!

The lifestyle you have chosen (including being an endurance athlete) is one which only a very small percentage of the population is able and willing to follow.  The mental strength you’ve developed, although you may have been referring to your physical strength, enables you to accomplish amazing things.  Please forget that number in your head and concentrate on your health and racing goals (those are the more important numbers).  You are likely far down the road to robust health, and having a number on a scale to guide you further does not likely provide an additional benefit.  Did you know that making adjustments based on the number on a scale can be counterproductive to your training if done improperly?  As you likely know, training has its ups and downs, and so does your weight.  The weight of most serious athletes varies a bit depending on their training and racing schedule, and the times in between, and so may yours.

I say throw that scale out and concentrate on how you feel, how your training is going, and how tight those test clothes are.  But if you must count something, here are a couple of good choices: 1) Download an app that helps you count total calories in and calories expended each day.  2) Measure your resting heart rate and blood pressure often and write those numbers in you journal, or graph both of them to see trends easier (I’m a numbers junkie).  You may be amazed by how much useful info you’ll have to go along with your training journal.  It’s a bit of work at first, as is most anything new, but once you get used to it, it doesn’t take much time.

“Live Strong” may be a bit tarnished as a motto right now, but it’s true. I don’t recall ever seeing, “Live Skinny” as a motto though!

As you can see, I’m on a mission to get rid of standard weight scales for most athletes.  Feel great, train and race well, listen to your body, and be both mentally and physically healthy. That’s where the magic is!  No traditional scale required for you Rebecca!  That’s so yesterday in your life now. Live Strong and Healthy! – Joe

Fueling Your Body During Training*

I don’t know if I can do this…

Eight weeks to go. Many of you will say “I’m Type A, “ and clearly, the phrase “I don’t know if I can do this” may not be in your vocabulary when it comes to training for your race. However there may be moments when circumstances of the day (stress, weather, work, family) may interrupt your pre-planned training schedule. Well, Type A or not, life is going to happen, and you will find a way to do this.

There is an art for training for a race. All the literature, all the training books, all the internet resources will provide some guidance and you could say there is a science to training the right way for you to finish this race. But there is an art to making it work for your circumstances.

You can’t run on fumes.

Your car doesn’t run on an empty tank of gas, so why do you think your body is any different. The body stores glycogen in muscles and in the liver, and it is used with oxygen to create energy. But that system doesn’t fully kick in when your foot hits the ground as you take off for training. More immediately, your body uses glucose stored in your blood (anaerobic-glycolytic system). As your breathing rate increases and you continue running for more than 5 minutes, the energy production systems switch to an increased demand on the aerobic system (oxygen and glycogen). As you continue to push the distance and intensity of your run, the by-products of this system start to back up in your blood stream (Blood/Lactate Threshold), and you can’t get enough oxygen to continue to make energy. A condition more affectionately called “hitting the wall.”
So here are a couple of important points:

(1) Gradual increases in training make your lungs more efficient at bringing the oxygen into the aerobic system so you can use stored glycogen. This will fuel you for longer periods of time.

(2) Taking in some type of simple carbs or carb/amino/electrolytes during your run, replenishes your blood glucose levels. This can bolster the balance between anaerobic-glycolitic and aerobic energy production systems.

(3) There are many ways to “hit the wall,” and some are a lot less graceful than others. Sian Welch and Wendy Ingraham are two athletes that immediately come to mind. In 1997 with less than 100 feet to go in the Kona Ironman, both contestants went down and made a painful looking crawl to battle for 4th and 5th places. Their bodies were completely depleted of any fuel. As a more relate-able example, in my first ever 20 mile training run, I was equipped with 32 ounces of Gatorade and a couple of granola bars. That resulted in a hamstring strain at mile 16, and my marathon training went to an immediate taper and recover mode. Save yourself the drama and learn how to fuel your body appropriately.

There are several variables that affect how many calories you burn per mile when running. Factors include one’s weight (including muscle vs. fat ratios), running environment (incline, wind, etc.) and intensity of running pace. The internet is chock full of calorie counters to help you set a customize-able program, but here are some basics. These general recommendations are based on a run of 45 minutes or longer:

(1) Eat 400 – 800 Calories about two to four hours before you exercise. This “snack” should be a balance high in carbohydrates, low in fat, and moderate amount of protein.

(2) Consume 120 – 240 Calories per hour of running/activity. This will replenish your essential blood glucose levels. Stick to foods that are high in simple carbohydrates and easily digest-able. Drink at least 8 oz of water with any food consumed during exercise. This is one of the more tricky aspects of fueling your body during longer runs. Since the blood is diverted toward your muscles, your digestive system is strained. Don’t make refueling more difficult than it already is. Energy gels are popular, but so are pretzels, bananas and even baked potatoes. See what works for you as you train during the next two months.

(3) Fluid intake should match fluid loss. Weigh yourself before a run, and then weigh yourself after your run. For every pound of weight lost, you should take in an extra 12 – 24 oz gradually during the day. During your runs, you should consume between 5-12oz every 15 minutes of exercise. (Don’t forget to factor in extra fluids when you take in your carbs.) Fluids may also contain electrolytes and carbs to help replenish your body. It is recommended to have 100 – 110 mg of sodium and 38mg of potassium. There are various sports drinks and juices that fit the bill, but it has to work for you. Consider what the race will have available on the course, and see if those are options that work for you. During training, you may choose to have supplies placed accordingly on your runs.

(4) After your run, it is recommended to have 100 – 400 Calories immediately (and no more than 30 minutes) to stimulate glycogen recovery. This snack should be primarily carbohydrate with some protein.

(5) Last, but not least, you should have a full meal within two hours of completing your run. The ratio of 3:1 carbs to protein will begin the process of replenishing glycogen and rebuild muscle tissue… And don’t forget about taking in enough fluids (see #3 above).

So there is your science lesson for today. Use the next month or so to figure out what foods and drinks work best for your body. All digestive systems are not created equal, so your training runs are the perfect time to sort out what works best for you. Don’t forget to check The New Jersey Marathon Home Page to view the page about your specific race to see what products will be available on the course and where, if any.  If you try those during your training and they don’t agree with your body, you may need to get creative and carry things with you. That can add another dimension to your training.

The take home lesson: training for a marathon or half marathon can be challenging enough with everything else that life throws at you. Fueling correctly before, during, and after your runs, is a variable within your control… and doing it properly can make the experience a great success. Who knows, it may even change how you look at nutrition overall.

Christine M. Scarano PT, DPT, CKTP
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner

ChristineScaranoDPT@WilsonCenter.com

* Much of the information referenced in this blog post can be found in: March 2010 Issue: Marathon Fueling — Runners Need Proper Nutrition and Hydration for the 26.2-Mile Stretch
By Janice H. Dada, MPH, RD, CSSD, CDE, CHES 
Today’s Dietitian
Vol. 12 No. 3 P. 36

2013 Race Director Update #3 – Mar. 10 (8 weeks to The New Jersey Marathon Weekend)

Useful race day information prior to the start of your race with us on May 5th

 

The Start:

You must start in the correct time slot for your race:

Half Marathon Wheelchairs – Corral AA starts at 6:45 am;

Half Marathon & Relay – Corral A starts at 6:46 am, and is followed by each of the other corrals, with one minute separation intervals between them.  Each corral will be held at the start line until the starter signals the start for that particular corral.

Full Marathon Wheelchairs Corral AA – due to course rerouting in 2013, this division has been cancelled;

Full Marathon – Corral A starts at 8:00 am, and is followed by each of the other corrals, with one minute separation intervals between them.  Each corral will be held at the start line until the starter signals the start for that particular corral.

Important: If you start in the wrong time slot (with the wrong race), you will be Disqualified (DQ’d).

Corrals:

Our desire to provide a consistently good start experience for everyone has led us to a corral start system, which is ordered by expected finish time.

To gain access to a particular corral you must show your bib number for that particular race to the attendant, along with a corral assignment for that particular corral, or one in front of the corral you wish to enter.  What that means is that while you may move back to a corral behind the one assigned, you may not move forward to an earlier corral than you were assigned.  We appreciate your help in keeping this a stress free process.

The corrals are meant to keep athletes of similar paces grouped together.  Remember there is no time penalty to being in any corral (except for competitive runners in the open divisions, as they are timed via gun time, not chip time. They will start in corral A). Please note: for everyone else your start time will begin only when your bib (with the timing strip on it) crosses the start line, thereby ensuring a fair start no matter which corral you are in.  Please do not try to defeat the intent of the corral system which was put it in place to help maintain an orderly and safe start experience for everyone!

If everyone follows the intent of the corrals; faster racers will not be impeded, slower racers will not be jostled, tripping accidents will not likely occur, and everyone’s race day start experience will be better.

Corrals will begin loading at 6:25 am for the half marathon/relay, and at 7:40 am for the full marathon.

Finally, NO BIB = NO ENTRY into any corral, or onto the race course!  There will not be a bandit corral!  Please spread the word.

 

Please Note: Participants are required to complete the Emergency Information on the reverse-side of their Bibs using a waterproof pen! Please fill it out before race day and it will be one less thing to think about!  It’s for your safety that we require this information to be filled out.  If it’s not needed during your race, no one will see the information, however if an EMT is needed, that information could be extremely important in providing the proper assistance in a timely manner.

Gear Drop-off on Race Day:

We will have trucks parked a short walk from the Start line to store your gear and then transport it to the Finish Area for you (a number of people were confused last year and went back to Monmouth Park expecting to find their gear bags still there). Please note: The location of the Gear Drop-off trucks will be changed for 2013. I will be sending you a start area map before race day so that you can become familiar with the location of everything there. These maps will also be available at the “Info” booth at the Health and Fitness Expo on Friday and Saturday, and will also be available during the “Special New Jersey Marathon Train” ride, and at the Proxy Packet Pick-up Service location on race day morning.

Gear-Drop System: Prior to arriving at Monmouth Park, please attach the gear tag, which will come from the bottom of your Bib, to the draw stings of your gear bag which will be 16″ x 18″ x 4″ and must not be stuffed beyond those dimensions. Once in the Gear-Drop area at Monmouth Park, simply go to the truck for your particular race (Half/Relay or Full) and look for the truck handling your bib #.  Please note: The gear bags will be clear this year to allow Homeland Security to check bags more easily, which means quicker and safer.

Very Important!!!

We will accept ONLY the clear race day gear bag which we will provide to you at race packet pick-up. If you bring other bags to gear drop you may have to carry them during your race!!

Please do not leave valuables in the checked bags. We cannot be responsible for lost car keys, cell phones, little black books, money, etc.

What else will be available at the start area?

– There will be a hydration station (water), so make sure that you top of your hydration (don’t wait for race day morning to begin your hydration though)!

– There will be food stands around the start area for everyone who wants to purchase something while awaiting the start of the races.  They will be providing: coffee, bananas, bagels, breakfast items, etc. for purchase by athletes and those other important people: their supporters and our volunteers.

– There will be plenty of porta-johns in the vicinity of the start corrals (but not too close), and bathrooms inside the grandstand area building (where the Expo was the previous day).

– If the weather doesn’t cooperate as nicely as it did in 2011 and 2012, shelter for many will be available inside the Grandstand building, and under the overhang on the track side of the building.  Please be aware that it is your responsibility to get into your corral on time, if you are in the building. Corrals will begin loading at 6:25 am for the half marathon and relay and again at 7:40 am for the full marathon.

– Shuttle buses will be available to: the Transition area (see next week’s Race Director Update, #4, for details.) and to the bus station which this year is about a half mile from the Finish Area. (A future Race Director Update will provide details about this new location for 2013).

– And of course there will be music at the start – Lots of Bruce and Bon Jovi for sure!

Here’s a brief summary of pre-start items:

Fill out the back of your bib and pin it to your shirt the night before, be on-time for your race (expect traffic delays if planning to arrive after 5 am), drop a gear bag at the truck assigned if you want something at the finish, hydrate, use the porta-johns or bathrooms, load into the assigned corral prior to race start, smile, and have a great day!!!  It’s really simple.  Don’t let the details above worry you!  Read it in sections and ask questions on our Facebook page or Blog as needed. If confused on race day, just ask, as help will be close by.

 

Best wishes during your training and on race day,

Joe Gigas, Executive Race Director

2013 Race Director Update #2 – Mar. 3 (9 weeks until The New Jersey Marathon Weekend)

On Course facts:

 Course status update: Our Half Marathon/Relay course has been sent to the USATF for Certification, and we expect the certification to take place this month.  Please note: there have been changes to the 2012 course route in Oceanport (the first five plus miles) as well as a couple of minor tweaks in Long Branch, which are not storm related.

Our Full Marathon course, which shares approximately the first 11.5 miles with the Half/Relay course, is almost complete (we are awaiting final approval from one town council, which should happen during the week March 4th).  In addition to the changes in Oceanport and the minor tweaks in Long Branch mentioned above, there will be a tweak in Deal and major reroutes in Loch Arbour, Asbury Park and Ocean Grove.  Of these the largest changes will be in Asbury Park and Ocean Grove.  Unfortunately we WILL NOT be racing on the Asbury Park Boardwalk and thru the covered portion (the Arcade) this year.  That reroute will cause us to enter Ocean Grove via a foot bridge over Wesley Lake, instead of via the more direct land route between Asbury Park and Ocean Grove.  Additional distance will be added in Ocean Grove to make up the lost mileage in Oceanport and Asbury Park.  We expect that portions of our 2012 course through Loch Arbour, Asbury Park and Ocean Grove will return in 2014!

We are very fortunate to have eight very supportive communities which host our courses!  It is not possible to describe fully the tremendous support each of these communities has provided in moving forward during these difficult months!  We are very grateful to them for caring about these events! Without their help we would have to cancel the event in 2013!

We will publish preliminary course maps as soon at the certifiers have completed a “preliminary certification”, hopefully in March, and we will publish the final course maps as soon as the final, “Official Certification” as occurred and the paperwork has been completed.

Fluid Stations: I am pleased to report that we will again be using Gatorade-Endurance Formula (lemon-lime flavor) at each of our Fluid Stations, with Gatorade served first and water second at each station. Most Fluid Stations will be less than 1.5 miles apart and will be staffed by many service organizations and charity volunteers. The first three fluid stations will be on both sides of the race course, so there is no need to cross to the opposite side for fluids.  These dual sided fluid stations are staggered so that the middle of the course is not blocked by participants trying to take in hydration.  There will also be trash bins near each fluid station for your use.  Please use them for Energy Gel tops and packs, banana/orange peels, cups, general garbage, etc.  Please help us to keep our neighborhoods and course as clean as possible during the races by using the trash bins as often as possible.

Energy Gels: GU energy gels (vanilla bean and jet blackberry) will be at multiple locations between miles 13 and 22. Please be prepared to carry your own favorite gel packs (the ones that you have been training with), if GU is not the brand which you’ve been using. You are of course welcome to the GU in any case, but you may be jeopardizing your race if you use anything which you haven’t tested during your training. We will have over 7,000 GU energy gels on the course to service our Full Marathon participants.

Bananas: Located on the course between miles 13 and 22 are a good source of potassium.

Toilets: We will again provide portable toilets at the Start & Finish areas, as well as along the course. On the course they will be located at, or very near, each Fluid Station. Please do not relieve yourself on private or public property! Local Police will be called if anyone is observed doing so.  This is UNACCEPTABLE Behavior which reflects badly on us all and our sport.

Clocks & Mile Markers:  We will have timing clocks throughout the courses, large mile markers at every mile and B-Tag timing mats at the Start, Finish and at multiple locations on the courses.  During the first 11 miles of the Half Marathon & Relay and the Full Marathon there will be two sets of mile markers along the course.  The two courses share the same route during those first 11.5 miles, and the mile markers will be marked “Half” and “Full”.

On Course Safety: I know that many of you train with music and headphones. The organizing committee strongly recommends that you leave your headphones at home, for safety reasons, as you need to be aware of your surroundings, your fellow runners (who may be passing) and the possibility of emergency and race vehicles and even errant traffic on the course (we work hard to ensure that traffic will not get onto the race courses but it only takes one careless motorist to cause a potentially dangerous situation).

Safety Flag Warning System: The Safety Flag Warning System will be used to communicate race status to all participants, volunteers and race staff with respect to weather and safety conditions.

There will be a simple flag color system.

  • Green Flag – Everything is Normal.
  • Yellow Flag – Heat index is at a point that runners/walkers should slow down and drink plenty of water.
  • Red Flag – Either dangerously hot weather exists and runners and walkers should slow down and take plenty of water, or lightning or tornado(s) are reported in the area and runners and walkers should take cover at the closest shelter until the course is reopened.  Timing of the event has stopped and no awards will be given out at this time.
  • Black Flag – Race has been canceled due to extreme weather or an on course emergency has occurred and all participants need to leave the course/seek shelter immediately.

We hope to always have the Green Flag flying over the entire length of our courses, but should the need arise; we are dedicated to communicating race status and safety warnings to each of you in a timely, effective manner.

These safety warning flags will be located near each fluid station, so please keep an eye out for them.  In addition, fluid station personnel will also be reminding you of the flag colors whenever a dangerous condition exists, and they may also be directing you to the nearest shelter for your own safety.  Please do not ignore these warnings! Dangerous conditions are very unusual during our race, so please remember to pay attention to them as you approach each fluid station.

On Course Entertainment: as in previous years, there will be bands and DJs, etc. at appropriate places along the courses, for the enjoyment of the athletes, spectators and volunteers. Please note that we are restricted by noise ordinances in several prime locations, and along with some rerouting this year, (some permanent and some temporary), we will alter some of our previous entertainment locations.

We will publish: course maps with fluid station locations and turn by turn directions, the locations of fluids/GU/bananas, etc. and a list of the entertainers and locations as soon as possible after the courses are 100% complete.

BTW – I was at a half marathon today with our Street Team where one of the runners stopped by our Gatorade table for a drink and to share a story with me.  He told me that he had joined us for one of our previous Hot Chocolate Training Runs, and along the course two homeowners saw his group coming down the street and yelled out to them to thank the runners for returning to train and race here at The Shore. Those homeowners reminded him and the others that it was important that we continue to support the area as it continues to recover from Super-storm Sandy.  In addition, the heartfelt comments from the residents inspired this runner to register later that day in order to show his support for the area.  Residents and runners supporting and inspiring each other!  It doesn’t get much better than that for a Race Director!!

Some of you may not have thought of your participation in our event as helping to Restore the Shore; however the millions of dollars of economic impact which our event will produce for these communities and charities is very much needed, and much appreciated.  If you’d like to do even more, here’s how: Spend an extra night in a local hotel, have a great meal at a local restaurant, shop in the local shops, etc.  That’s part of “Run, Rebuild, Restore”, our plan to continue to help this part of the Shore!  Thank you for your support!

Best wishes during your training and on race day,

Joe Gigas, Executive Race Director