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

Tip of the Week: Injury Prevention

Top 10 Tips for Injury Prevention

10 – Follow the training schedule and avoid OVERTRAINING. 

  • There is a fine line between OVER-training (doing TOO much and at too hard of an effort) and UNDER-training (doing TOO little). That small margin could be the difference between pain-free training and an injury.


9 – Get a GAIT ANALYSIS to understand your movement patterns & limitations.

  • Understanding the ins and outs of your unique running form will give you a more comprehensive understanding of the global movement patterns that could be limiting your strength, mobility and flexibility, and ultimately preventing you from achieving your peak performance.
  • A FREE “Peak Performance Analysis” is available to ALL TFK participants compliments of Finish Line Physical Therapy. Contact Coach Michael Conlon for further details.



  • Cross training is any form of exercise outside of running. It allows us to add volume and frequency to our training in a safe and effective manner. Running is a high-impact exercise that involves repetitive motion over a long period of time. By implementing other forms of cardiovascular exercise, we can improve our strength, flexibility and endurance without the added stress of running alone.
  • Here are a few popular examples of cross training: yoga, Pilates, swimming, cycling, CrossFit, etc


7 – Incorporate STRENGTH TRAINING 2x/week, emphasizing your lower extremity and core.

  • Regular strength training helps you stay healthy and become a faster, more efficient runner.
  • The best strengthening exercises: are three-dimensional, multi-joint; focus on the FULL body and are running-specific. Check out the “strength” workouts in your weekly TFK emails.


6 – Stretch in a DYNAMIC, THREE-DIMENSIONAL manner.

  • Functional, dynamic stretching is a more active and specific way to loosen up your body before a workout, expedite recovery post-workout and improve flexibility and joint mobility.
  • A good place to start is with a lunge matrix stretch to assess areas of the body that feel limited or restricted. From there, key in on specific stretches or movements to address areas that need it.


5 – Perform SELF-MYOFASCIAL release before and after workouts.

  • Self-myofascial work provides relief from muscle pain & soreness; increases flexibility & strength; accelerates recovery; and releases knots, trigger points and adhesions that can result from training.
  • Roll before and after exercise for BEST results; implement breathing techniques for relaxation.
  • Check out four rolling techniques at


4 – Compression is KEY.

  • Post-exercise compression can be utilized to expedite recovery. Whether it be calf sleeves, full compression tights or the state of the art NORMATEC Compression Sleeves (, compression is one of the most effective methods to enhance recovery, especially after those hard efforts (repetition, tempo or long workouts).


3 – HYDRATE early and often.

  • Water is crucial for your body to achieve optimal function. Water brings nutrition to your cells, helps you digest & metabolize food, and regulates your blood volume & pressure.
  • How much should you drink? 6 x body weight = # of ounces of water/day
  • Instead of sugary electrolyte replacement drinks (i.e. Gatorade), replace the salt you lose during a workout by adding a ¼ tsp. of celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt for every quart of water. To give it a bit of natural flavor, squeeze in some fresh lemon or orange juice.


2 – Introduce VARIATION to help avoid repetitive stresses.

  • Alternate and/or change your running shoes frequently; ensure you are in the most appropriate shoe for your foot and body type; vary running surfaces; change your running route; adjust the type of workout; and incorporate cross-training on non-running days.


1 – LISTEN to your body.

  • You are the only one that knows exactly what you are feeling. You are the best judge of whether or not you should RUN or REST. Be smart! If there is any doubt as to whether you should run, choose the more conservative route: complete rest or (pain-free) cross training.
  • Additionally, the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill is a great option to continue running while recovering from an injury—without the added stress on your body. Finish Line PT has one! Visit com/services/alterg-anti-gravity-treadmill for more info.
  • Not sure how long to cross train for? When done in place of running, simply cross train for the same amount of time you were scheduled to run.



Tip of the Week: What’s Your Pace?

When it comes to endurance training, pacing is one of the most important concepts that we need to learn as long distance runners. Most runners underestimate the importance of easy runs and complete their easy and long runs at a pace that is TOO fast. Many runners, specifically “new” runners, either make the assumption that every long run has to be completed at their goal marathon pace or don’t have the experience to know what their goals are or what their pace should be for a given workout, be it easy, marathon pace, tempo, long run, etc.

Last week, we asked everyone at practice, or on your own, to complete a 5K race at a 5K effort (HARD effort at 2:2 to 1:1 breathing pattern). We completed this 5K to create a baseline of every runner’s current fitness level, regardless of experience. Now that you have a recent “race” under your belt you can utilize the following “pace calculator” to determine your current training paces and learn a little more about your individual pacing. We can even utilize the calculator to determine equivalent race performances for the time you entered. This information is great for measuring your fitness and setting goals in upcoming races based on previous performances.

Here’s how to use the Run Smart Calculator:

1- Go to:
2- Enter distance- 5K
3- Enter your 5K finish time- click “Calculate”
4- Record the following times:

* Race Pace Tab: 5K Pace/mile
* Training Tab: Pace/mile
* Easy Pace
* Marathon Pace
* Threshold (Tempo)
* Equivalent” Tab… Note the following:
* Estimated Half Marathon
* Estimated Marathon

**NOTE: Most running experts agree that your EASY pace is approximately 60-90 seconds slower/mile than your estimated marathon pace (this can vary based on the duration of your workout). It is recommended that you add 60-90 seconds to your estimated marathon pace to determine your easy (long run) pace.