KeyBank Vermont City Marathon & Relay
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KeyBank Vermont City Marathon Training:

"As always, VT City Marathon is well organized and so much fun. We appreciate all your work to make it such an enjoyable experience."

Tips for First-Timers

Vermont City Marathon is known as a great “first-timers” marathon. The size of the event, number of volunteers, community enthusiasm and support, and the scenic beauty make this marathon event one that will provide a lasting impression. To help make your VCM experience go as smoothly as possible, we encourage first time runners to remember the following:

Please review your registration confirmation carefully for any errors.  If you do not receive an email registration confirmation you are not registered.

Be Informed
Please make sure to read all VCM Race materials. Stay connected through our emails and newsletters, our blog, The RunDown, and follow us on twitter and Facebook.

Your Race Packet and Bib
All marathon runners must wear a Race Bib and timing tag while participating. You will receive your bib with b-tag timing at Packet Pick-Up at the Sheraton Hotel.  Complete the emergency contact information on the back of your bib. Regardless of how physically fit you feel on race day, completing this information may save your life.

Bib Placement
Pin the bib to the FRONT of your shirt.  Keep your bib visible at all times.  Do not hide or cover your race bib with anything.  Do not fold, crumple, cut or otherwise alter your bib in any way; doing so may destroy your timing device. No Tag, No Time. No Exception. Please review the complete instructions for the B-Tag Bib.
Water Stations
It takes some practice to master drinking and running at the same time. If you need to walk or stop to get the water down, be sure to glance in back of you and pull off to the side. Do not become a hazard for other runners. If you're hot and want to pour a cup of water over your head, make sure the cup has water, not Gatorade in it! Toss your cup safely to the side or better yet, put it in the many trash barrels available at each station.

Start Line
Line up according to your expected pace. Pace signs are posted in the Start area. It can be frustrating and even dangerous for faster runners to weave around slower runners at the start of the event when the pack is thick.  VCM offers runners the opportunity to run with pace leaders.  Bios of the pace leaders will be featured on our blog, The RunDown, leading up to the race. 

Have Fun!
You have spent months training for this day. Enjoy it. There will be thousands of spectators and volunteers cheering you on as well as live music, food and a Finish Line celebration. Rain or shine, fast or slow, be proud of your accomplishment!

Unofficial race-day results will be posted on CoolRunning when available.  Official results are posted to this site as soon as possible following the race. For information on how results become official and when to expect official results, please read this blog post.  Once results are 'Official' you may print your finisher's certificate.

Avoiding Pre-Race Jitters

Each day spend 15 minutes visualizing your race. Close your eyes before you get out of bed in the morning and play out the race in your mind. See yourself on race morning. You are calm and organized, your emotions are controlled.  See yourself on race day, from the moment you wake up to the moment you cross the finish line.

Visualize your success
See the clock.  See your goal time. If you visualize success over and over again, chances are you can will it to happen on race day!

Make sure you are organized the day before the race. Race morning is not the time to decide what to eat or wear.  Have everything set out the night before and perform your morning automatically like you do every day in training. Nothing new!

Focus internally on performance rather than outcome. All energy and focus should be on yourself, taking care of your body so that it can perform the way you want it to.  Focus on what you are doing at that very moment. Live in the here and now. Don’t think too much, just simply do what you have trained your body to do day in and day out.

Mental Cues
Have some emotional and biomechanical  cues or mantras that you will say to yourself throughout the race to help you remain focused. Mental cues include: “I feel strong”, “I am confident”, “I will succeed.”  Anything that keeps your emotions in check and triggers internal confidence and a positive attitude are good mental clues.  Biomechanical cues are also very important throughout the second half of the race.  Many runners look at the elites and wonder how they make it look so easy. It is not easy for them. They have just practiced running efficiently when they are exhausted. This makes them more efficient and eliminates wasted energy and pace declines. Some biomechanical cues include: high cadence, run from hips, efficient stride, no wasted energy, smooth and light, relax the face… Never ever say to yourself, ”I am so tired, my knees hurt, I have to slow down.” Instead say, “Stay strong, I have worked so hard, I will be done soon, keep pushing, I will take it one mile at a time, etc.”

Remember the goal of the taper is to reach a state of physical AND mental preparation that leads to optimal performance. Now go have the race of your life!

Kim Loeffler, MS Exercise Physiology, Pro Triathlete and Coach
Kelly  Liljeblad, Elite 2:32 Marathon Runner and Coach


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