3 Mistakes I Made When Training for the NYC Marathon and How to Avoid Them




I could discuss the NYC Marathon forever.  The adrenaline, the endless training, the sense of accomplishments.  This post however, is for the nitty gritty.  The don't you evers, the never ever do this, and the why would you even attempt to's?

Lets begin:

1. Not Taking Rest Days After my Long Runs. 

The way training for any long distance running works for the most part, is you have three days of regular runs, and one long run that increases in mileage weekly, (along with some strength training).  Being a religious Jew resting on the Shabbos (Sabbath)  I used that as my day off.  Fridays are typically hectic which meant I wasn't going to do my long run then. 

new york city marathon

What that resulted in is that I'd do two runs in a row,  my long run and a shorter one the day after.   This did not give my body adequate time to rest and recover.  So halfway through my training, my calf began hurting, I was now a patient at Ortho Maryland, and officially had to do PT in order to fix my strained calf muscle.  I lost weeks of training, and the anxiety of being unsure I'd be able to actually make it to the race was petrifying.

What I Did:  Switched my schedule and ran one of my shorter runs on Saturday nights instead, took a full rest day after my long runs, and healed my leg with PT.

2. My Two Pairs of Headphones Didn't Work the Day of the Race:

Here I was, Miss Prepared, being ready in case of anything, even bringing a back up pair. I brought my air-pods but left my case at the Moxy Hotel we were staying at.   I assumed they'd still work and didn't want to run carrying anything extra, but they didn't.  The wired pair I brought?  Yeah, they were broken.  

What I Did:  Ran the race unplugged, high fiving every stranger I met along the way, grooved to all the people with bluetooth speakers blaring music on their stoops, and enjoyed one of the most unique and awesome days of my life.

What I Would do Next Time:  Triple check my wired headphones, bring my charging case with me, and maybe even go full extra and run the way I would the day of the race with the exact pair I was using.

3. Running when it was too hot:

I learned the hard way that looking up the weather and planning your runs accordingly is of the utmost importance.  One of my worst runs ever was when I ran a pace practically three minutes slower than my typical, because it was too hot and I wasn't used to it.  I was exhausted, red faced, and most of all discouraged.


What I Did:  Checked the weather weekly and planned my runs around the outdoor conditions .

What Else You Can Try:  The only way to get used to running in the heat is to start running in the heat.  Other options if it's too unbearable, are to use your treadmill or run in the evenings when it cools off (safety first guys).  You can also run in the early am (set your alarm), or my personal fave, on the boardwalk next to the ocean where the breeze can't be beat.


My Driven Day Planner and Printables made scheduling it all a breeze, and couldn't have even tackled something like a marathon without them.  Any questions you want to know before you begin training for your first race?  Leave a comment below!


See Below for Driven Day Resources for Planning Your Next Run:

What You Need to Run Four Miles Video

Our Planners

Driven Day Exercise Printable





Bravo to you for completing the marathon! I am in awe. My daughter is actually going for her 3rd team lifeline run in 2 weeks.

Esther January 19, 2023

Your blog, planners, & work ethic have empowered women to challenge themselves & grow in every area of their lives

Meira January 18, 2023

Hi Yehudis! Great question. I never set up my Garmin properly to count calories burned (wasn’t such a priority for me, I focused more on pace, etc..).

Rivka Weingot July 26, 2021

Hi there,

Love the posts !! Just a quick question- the pic you posted in the email says you ran approx 10 miles in approx 2 hours but it only burned 75 calories. Is that accurate, is that a mistake, did I misread or misunderstand something?

Thanks !!

Yehudis July 20, 2021

Such great questions! I’ll answer them both here. The C25K app has a paid version to train for a half marathon or full. I used that schedule and just flipped stuff around slightly keeping the overall premise. Highly recommend it and wouldn’t have been able to run without it.
A typical schedule would look like this:
Sun- 5-mile run
Monday- A strength training day for 30/45 minutes
Tuesday: Long run let’s say 8 miles the next week 9 etc… I would vary this based on weather etc… if there was a Jewish holiday coming up.
Wednesday: Rest Day
Thursday: 4-mile run
Friday: Strength training for 30/45 minutes
Saturday Night after the Sabbath: 6-mile run

A few other things: If life ever got super crazy kid got sick etc.. we were on vacation, I would skip the strength days personally if I ever had but the runs were my ride or die, and yes I did run while we were on vacation in New Jersey and it was hard but ended up being one of my favorite runs because it was somewhere new.
Navigating the Jewish holiday season which was right before the race required planning. I got up around 5 am for my longest run before the race so we would still have time to holiday prep before the evening.

Driven Day July 20, 2021

yes! more on the training days/scheduling, please! it can be hard to adapt a “standard” training plan to account for a secular career and Shabbos

Dina Michal July 20, 2021

Love these reminders! Could you post a sample running and rest weekly schedule, like which days you ran and which ones you rested?

Nechama July 20, 2021

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