Fly through NYC’s Five Boroughs with Team for Kids!

Run the TCS New York City Marathon!

Sign up today to guarantee your spot to run in the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon with Team for Kids!

In doing so, you will help support more than 215,000 kids across the nation through free NYRR youth running programs while accomplishing your personal fitness goals! No matter your ability or experience, Team for Kids will give you all the support you need to finish strong. With unlimited access to our team of coaches, coached workouts in NYC, training plans, clinics, and VIP treatment on race day, Team for Kids has you covered!

To learn more, watch our Team for Kids TCS New York City Marathon video or email with questions. We’re here to answer any questions you have and would be thrilled to have you running with Team for Kids this year!

Already signed up with Team for Kids? Let your friends and family know by sharing our TFK Photos and tag #teamforkids in your posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to be added to our social hub.

Tip of the Week: What’s Your Race Plan?

After several months of training the time has come for you to determine just how long is it going to take you to run the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon. Whether your goal is to win or to simply finish the race on the same day you started, EVERYONE needs a race plan, regardless of pace or goals. It is extremely important that you look back at your training and be honest with yourself before choosing an arbitrary finish time based on how you thought or wanted your training to go. Pick a goal that is realistic and best reflects your current fitness level. Here are two options that you can utilize regardless of your experience or specific time goals.

Race Plan Options:
Option 1: EASY- That’s right, run the same EASY pace that you have been running every Saturday for the past few months. This is a great plan for first timers, or for those whose training didn’t go as well as expected. This pace is your comfort zone, you know it so well you can do it in your sleep. Treat race day like any other Saturday: a conversational paced run through the streets of Manhattan. This will ensure you achieve your ultimate goal: FINISH!!!

Option 2: Personal Record (PR)- You are an experienced runner, you started this season with a certain goal in mind and you are not going to let anything or anyone stand in your way on race day. Your training was flawless, and you have only one thing on your mind: PR! This option is perfect for those who have specific time goals.

Pacing Strategy:
Regardless of which race approach you choose, consistent pacing from start to finish is key. Instead of viewing the half marathon as 13.1 miles, let’s further simplify things and divide your race into three phases:

1) Phase 1- The Warm-Up: Consider miles 1-5 as your warm-up. Your goals during phase 1 are to establish your pace and, most importantly, make sure you DON’T go out too fast (the #1 mistake of the endurance athlete). During this phase it is recommended that you add a MINIMUM of 10 seconds/mile to your goal pace regardless if you choose option 1 or 2.

2) Phase 2- The Race: This is where your race begins. Your focus during miles 6-10 is goal pace. Your body is adequately warmed up, and it’s time to start thinking about that PR.

3) Phase 3- The Finish: It is at this point of the race that you want to run completely by feel. If you are feeling good and your race has gone as planned, you will find yourself running slightly faster than goal pace. There is no reason to hold back now. Go for it as you gradually increase the pace over the last 3.1 miles.

To help clarify the above, here is an example of a pacing plan:

Half Marathon Goal: 1:45 (8:01 pace/mile)

Miles 1-5:  8:11 pace (8:01-8:21)

To avoid going out too fast, add 10 seconds to your goal pace to determine your pace for the first 5 miles. Utilize  a +/- 10 second window to your goal time to ensure consistent pacing (8:01-8:11-8:21). Since the first 5 miles are considered your “warm-up,” it is more than ok if a few of your early miles are actually slower than 8:21/mile (i.e. crowds at the starting line, a much needed porta-potty stop, etc.).

Miles 6-10:  8:01 pace (7:51-8:11)

This is where the race begins and where you begin to focus on your goal half marathon pace (i.e. 8:01). Once again, utilize the +/- 10 second pacing window (7:51-8:01-8:11) to ensure consistent pacing from miles 6-10.

Miles 11-13.1
Run the last 3.1 miles (5K) completely by feel. If you are feeling good, gradually increase your pace over the last 3 miles. If everything goes according to plan, you will find yourself running slightly faster than goal pace during this phase.

+/- 10 second window? Why?  Well, the goal is consistent pacing throughout your race. It is nearly impossible to hit the same pace/mile for 13.1 miles, especially during a course like NYC (uphills, downhills, crowds, water stops, etc.). If you can stay within 10 seconds of your goal pace you are doing great job of being consistent. The more consistent you are with your effort level (i.e heart rate, respiration rate, etc.) the less energy you will waste and the better you will feel throughout your race.

TFK Alumni Training


New York Road Runners Team for Kids is thrilled to offer this free opportunity for our alumni to continue running with us. See details below to join us for our Thursday night TFK alumni weekly group run!

TFK Alumni Speed Series
Every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
The Columbus Circle Entrance at Central Park

Stay fit, have fun and build speed and strength with TFK! Coaches Asteria, Sid and Glen will alternate leading standalone speed workouts on Thursday nights for TFK alumni separate from other TFK event practices and training schedules. These workouts are not event specific and will positively benefit any runner training for all race distances, especially those planning a fall full or half-marathon. Interested runners should meet at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Columbus Circle Entrance at Central Park. Bag watch is not available at these sessions. Please note, unlike Open Run, this opportunity is exclusively for TFK alumni. Remember to check TFK social media for practice cancellations due to weather.

* Waiver: If you plan to participate in the TFK Alumni Speed Series, please complete the waiver linked here

We look forward to staying connected and continuing to run with our alumni at these exciting new sessions! If you have any questions, please contact us at

TFK Fundraising Tip: Social Media

Sample Ask
Step 1 – Event: Hi, My name is (your name) and I’m running the (your event) for the New York Road Runners charity Team For Kids.

Step 2 – Cause: Team for Kids runners like myself fundraise to support more than 215,000 kids across the country through free NYRR youth running programs, events, and resources.

Step 3 – Ask: Would you be so kind and make a donation to my campaign to support our youth?

Bring donations to life by quantifying your donor’s gifts
$5,000 – Supports a public school’s Young Runners team for a whole year
$1,000 – Produces a developmental track meet for 300 kids
$500 – Provides 50 kids with transportation to a weekend road race
$250 – Gifts 25 kids a cross country race experience
$50 – Purchases a pair of new running sneakers for a kid
$26.20 – Gives one of our Mighty Milers an entire year of running

See examples of social media posts below from Team for Kids runners. In these examples you can see the personal fundraising URL included in the profile for donors to easily access the fundraising page to make a donation.

TFK runner Benny Jones ran 30k on the 30th of last month and asked for $30 donations. His result was tremendous. He raised $1,510 for this three hour effort and soared past his fundraising goal!

TFK runner Christie promoted her bake sale via Twitter and thanked her donors publicly with virtual cupcakes:

TFK runner Kwasi asked friends and family to help him spread the word about his campaign.

TFK runner Mariana brought her donations to life by quantifying the amount in her ask:

TFK runner Ella incorporated photos from NYRR Youth Programs to bring the impact of the donation to life. These photos, stories, and quotes be found via the “Youth Program” category on our blog and you can use free photo collage applications to make an image like the one featured below.

Thanking your donors publicly on social media is a great way to attract new donors to your campaign. Especially tagging them on Facebook as your post will populate in more News Feeds. See examples below from TFK runners Molly and Craig.

craig instagram

For additional tips, visit our Fundraising Resource Page –

Tip of the Week: Hydration

It’s pretty much common knowledge that it’s important to drink water, and you now know, drinking water regularly becomes even more important when training for a marathon.  60-70% of our bodies are made up of water.  Water is extremely important for your body’s functioning:  it feeds your cells, helps you digest and metabolize food, as well as regulates your blood volume and blood pressure.  In order to keep your body running well and efficiently, you have to replenish the water that you lose through sweat, urine, respiration (breathing) and avoid dehydration, which can significantly affect a runner’s performance.

How do you know if you’re dehydrated?  Common signs include thirst, dry mouth, headache, feeling lightheaded, and dark-colored urine.  Signs of severe dehydration can include cramps, chills, and even disorientation.  So, what is the best way to prevent dehydration?  Easy- drink fluids.   Drink them before, during, and after exercise.

How much should you drink?  First, of course, you should be drinking water throughout the day.  A good rule of thumb, drink your body weight x .6 (in ounces) on a daily basis.  To hydrate before your run, make sure you drink 8 to 16 oz of water 1 to 2 hours before a run (or at least try 6 to 8 oz 15-30 minutes before your run).  However, during your long runs, you should also be replenishing the water that you’re losing – about 6 to 8 oz of fluid every 20 minutes during a long run.  But most importantly, drink when you’re thirsty!  Your body is well-tuned to regulate itself, and if you just drink when you’re thirsty, you can avoid underhydrating (leading to dehydration) and overhydrating (hyponatremia). We highly recommend that you carry your own water during your long runs so you don’t have to rely on water fountains, etc. while running. A few great options include water bottles, hydration belts, and Camelbaks. (PLEASE NOTE: Some marathons, including the TCS New York City Marathon, do not allow Camelbaks on race day due to security restrictions. Please check the event code of conduct for your race).


An important component of staying hydrated is making sure that you are keeping your electrolytes in balance.  Electrolytes are minerals in your body fluids and blood that contain things like salt and potassium.  They directly affect the amount of fluids in your body, and you lose them when you sweat.  When your electrolytes (salt) fall out of balance during long runs, you run into problems like dehydration and possibly muscle cramping (the jury is still out on this).  So, when you run longer than 90 minutes, you should make sure that you are replacing these electrolytes.  There are a couple of ways that you can do this.

1- Electrolyte replacement drinks.  These are things like Powerade and similar sports drinks.  These drinks are best while you are running, but not so good if you’re just sitting around the house.  They have a high glycemic index (lots of sugar), and your body will use it immediately – which is GREAT when you’re running, but not so great when sedentary.  Coconut water, nature’s sports drink, also has electrolyte replenishment capabilities without the sugar rush – which is great for pre- and post-run electrolytes. Here’s an alternative to sports drinks that you can utilize when you are not exercising:
16oz of water
1/8tbsp of Celtic Sea Salt (NOT table salt)
Squeeze a little lemon, lime, orange, mint, etc. for flavor. Enjoy.

2- Salt.  If you notice that you are a “salty sweater” – namely that your face, hat, clothes are grimy with salt when you complete your run, even when you are drinking sports drinks during your run, you should think about taking in additional salt.  Every hour or so, take in the contents of your garden-variety salt packet.  Make sure that you carry your salt packets in a little plastic baggie.  Otherwise, your sweat will disintegrate the packets.  If you find that you are still leaving a salt trail behind you after your long runs, try taking a packet every 45 minutes.  You can also use electrolyte replacement (salt pills) such as Salt Stick… take approximately 1 pill an hour (dependent on body size and sweat production, how much salt you lose- “Salty Sweater”).

Tip of the Week: Hills? What Hills?

Hill running is a type of repetition training. It involves intense, short workouts separated by relatively long recovery periods. Training on hills improves speed, muscle strength (power), cadence, foot strike, increases stride length, develops your cardiovascular system, and enhances your running economy. In short, hill running will make you a stronger, faster and a healthier runner (if done correctly of course).

Tips on Running Hills:

1. Shorten your stride so that your feet are close to the ground in order to minimize impact forces during the uphill and downhill.  Remember, we want to maintain a cadence of 90 spm (steps per minute).

2. Keep your feet pointing straight ahead, lead with your knees to utilize your core and hip flexors and maintain an upright posture (leaning forward from the ankles not your hips).

3. When running uphill, regardless whether it’s during a long run, a race or a workout, your goal is to maintain effort, NOT pace. Trying to maintain the pace you were running on the flat will leave you exhausted later in the workout or race. Efficiency is key for long distance running. The more consistent your pace, heart rate and breathing the more efficient and effective you will be.

4. If your breathing begins to quicken it means that you’re either going uphill too fast, over-striding or creating too much vertical displacement (bounding too far off the ground as you run).

5. Crest the hill. As you start approaching the top of the hill you will need to gradually increase your pace in order to maintain effort over the top of the hill as you start accelerating on the downhill.

6. The key to efficient downhill running is to stay in control. When you start running downhill, shorten your stride and let your turnover increase. When you feel in control, gradually lengthen your stride (avoid breaking).

Tip of the Week: Nutrition

Nutrition is one of the most important topics we will discuss this season. It is essential you “experiment” during your runs (especially your long runs) to learn what foods, liquids and supplements (gels, blocks, bars, etc.) work best for you before, during and after exercise. We are all unique individuals so what works best for your friend may not work best for you. Coach Jennifer Hessmer, covers the basics of nutrition for endurance athletes and the importance of nutrition and hydration before and during exercise in the handout linked here. Please review the handout so you can begin to learn more about the importance of sports nutrition and reach out to one of your coaches ASAP if you have any additional questions by emailing