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Team Leader
Amy Freeze
Amy began running at age 8 with her father, and ran cross country and track growing up in Indiana. This will be her 7th marathon. Her first was in the snow.

Follow her on Twitter @AmyFreeze7

Check out her FreezeFront blog!

Technical Coach
Jay Holder
Jay has been running since he realized he was the least-coordinated person on the planet and couldn't possibly play a sport that involved a stick or a ball. He has run 5 marathons with a PR of 2:40:28, finishing in the top 100 of the 2012 Boston Marathon. He is proudest of his 2012 NYC Half-Marathon PR of 1:11:19.

Follow him on Twitter @JayHolder8K

Check out his blog, TheJauntingJournalist

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Teamabc7 Many members of the Eyewitness News Team have completed the NYC Marathon over the years - look for their stories and memorable accounts here on the blog. Meteorologist Amy Freeze and Eyewitness News Producer Jay Holder will lead our blog coverage, but we invite you to post comments, send in ideas and share your own marathon stories. Good luck in your 2012 ING NYC Marathon!  


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Training Talk: Catching up with American Record-Holder Deena Kastor

DeenakastorBy Jay Holder

Deena Kastor's come back to racing didn't go exactly as she had hoped.  Sunday's Los Angeles Rock and Roll Half Marathon was her first race since a back injury forced her out of the Olympic Trials in January. She wanted to run 1:12.  But, after taking an early lead, she ended up finishing second in 1:14:51. Before the race, we had a chance to catch up with the American record holder in the marathon and the 2004 Olympic Bronze medalist and talk about her long, successful career and what lies ahead.


Continue reading "Training Talk: Catching up with American Record-Holder Deena Kastor" »


Training Talk: Catching up with Olympian Ryan Hall

Ryan HallBy Jay Holder

Ryan Hall ran the fastest marathon ever run by an American clocking in at 2:04:58 in the 2011 Boston Marathon.  He followed it up with a second place finish at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston this past January.  However, at the Olympics, Hall had to pull out of the race at mile 9 with an injury.  Injury is also causing him to miss the ING New York City Marathon on November 4th.  But Hall still plans to be in New York on marathon weekend.  Thanks to his sponsor, Asics, The Team 7 Blog caught up with him to chat about his recovery, his plans for the future, training and whether he has really read Moby Dick and The Odyssey.

I know you were feeling pretty beat up after the Olympics. How are you feeling now?

I am feeling really good.  When I had another injury come up in training for the ING NYC marathon it was obvious that my body needed a big break to recuperate and regenerate for the next 4 years of intense training and racing ahead.  I push myself really hard to train effectively for my marathons and sometimes in my enthusiasm to race marathons every spring and fall it can be tough to pass on an opportunity to race but my body obviously needed a big break.  So I just finished a nice month break and am now feeling healthy and as hungry as ever to get ready for a spring marathon.  

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Training Talk: Mastering the Taper

I think tapering is the hardest part of marathon training. Hear me out. Consider that you have to choose the length of time you taper, the number of miles you reduce your volume by and the intensity in which you do those last few workouts. Every mile and every day makes a difference. Did you make the right choices? You'll find out around mile 20 of the most important race of your season or perhaps your life.

2012 Boston Marathon. The taper did not prepare me for the unseasonable heat.

You could say that about all facets of your program, but the taper is the one where I find myself doing the most second-guessing. That's because unlike a week that was too hard or too easy in the middle of the program, there is little or no time to fix a mistake made in the taper portion.

During my taper for the 2012 Boston Marathon, I took a new approach to the taper.  The 15 day period called for low volume and moderately high intensity. It took some methods from Pete Pfitzinger, some from the Hansons and some from my past mistakes, all of course with the input of my coach. Prior to the Boston and Richmond Marathons in 2010, I only backed off my average weekly mileage by 20% and did marathon pace runs of 10 miles nine days before the race. In Boston, I blew up in the final 10K of the race. In Richmond, despite running a 3 minute PR, I felt flat and tired from mile seven to the finish and my time was not indicative of what I was trained to run.

Pfitzinger preaches that the last day a runner can really gain fitness applicable to the marathon is 10 days before the race. He recommends a 2X2 mile workout at half-marathon to marathon pace while the Hansons call for a 5-10K effort at marginally slower than 10K race pace. For my final workout in early April, I did four miles at slightly slower than half marathon pace (5:35, 5:36, 5:38, 5:35) with a very easy warm up and cool down. From here on out it is all about rest and recovery.

The most important thing about tapering is adjusting your priorities. During the entire marathon cycle, getting in the miles and the workouts trumps almost everything. However, during the taper, running falls to a distant third on the list between sleep and food (although those items were always a very close second to running). In the taper phase, I have forced myself to sleep through runs just to get the required slumber.  I skipped one scheduled easy run for a massage. On another easy run, I stopped and walked home after I realized my run was getting a little longer than I intended.  And during a speed session, my coach pulled me out of an interval workout after two of the three prescribed intervals. I felt like I had more left in the tank, but he saw another interval jeopardizing this critical rest period.

Yes, tapering is frustrating on more than one level. It's not just because it's the farthest thing possible from an exact science, but it also contradicts every endurance runner's instincts. You spend months pushing your body to the brink of complete breakdown and then you spend a couple of weeks preventing yourself from even coming close to finishing a run where you are wheezing with your hands on your knees. You feel lazy, you feel sluggish and worst of all, you feel just as hungry (or hungrier!) as you did when you were at the peak of the cycle.

Of course, every runner is wired differently.  Only a runner can decide which taper method works best for them.  Like everything else related to marathon training, most runners don’t nail it on the first try.  It takes trial and error. It is the most individualized part of your training. If you are lucky enough to find one, stick with it. Many very smart, mature and dedicated runners are still looking after five, ten, even twenty marathons. I hope your taper leaves you feeling rejuvenated on race day. You’ll know somewhere in the Bronx.


Training Talk: Meb Keflezighi Talks PRs and Another NYC Win

By Jay Holder


Meb Keflezighi chats with WABC's Rob Powers


Weeks after finishing fourth in the London Olympic Marathon, Meb Keflezighi was in familiar territory, doing an easy recovery run in Central Park.  As the world-class runner effortlessly breezed by other runners, few realized they were being passed by one of the most accomplished American distance runners of all time in a park he has made his playground over the past decade.

 Keflezighi lives and trains in Mammoth Lakes, California but New York City is his running home.  He ran his first ING New York City Marathon in 2002 finishing as the top American in 9th place with a time of 2:12:35.  Seven years later, Keflezighi lowered his time by more than three minutes and was again the first American, but this time he was the first American to win the race since Alberto Salazar in 1982. 


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Training Talk: Full-Time Workers, Part-Time Runners

By Jay Holder

EissaRunsEissa Shively is a writer for a digital ad agency.  This year’s ING New York City Marathon will be her sixth marathon and she hopes to run it in under three hours and 20 minutes.  To achieve her goal, Shively, who works up to 70 hours a week, says she runs whenever her work allows her a chance to lace up her shoes.  “It’s literally taking the day, finding a window and making it happen,” Shively said during a recent training run in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  “Sometimes it’s mornings. Sometimes it’s nights. Sometimes I run commute from work or to work,” she said. 

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