Broad Street Q & A

With the 2012 edition of the Broad Street Run just days away, I figured it might be a good time to address any pressing questions ya'll might have. Kristen kicks it off with a good one... Kristen: What do you suggest is the best way to actually get there? :-)

Hands down the best way to get there is by SEPTA's Broad Street Line subway. Your best bet is to park at the stadiums and board the subway there. Do this before 7am or else enjoy a panicky last minute rush to find a port-o-potty, check your gear (if it's cold), and get into your corral. *My preference is to board a 6:30am train. Yes, it's early, but I hate being stressed before a race.

If you live in Center City, I'd still advise you to catch an early train. By 6:45am all of the trains that are coming north from the stadium's Pattison Station are jammed. Please make sure you've showered and don't smell when you board the train. Thanks!

Rachel C: What to expect for a first timer?

First timers can expect quite a spectacle. You most likely haven't run with 30,000 other people, so that's something! My advice is to arrive early – be at the start BY 7:30. Trust me, you will enjoy your experience MUCH more. It can be hard to get your bearings when there is so much going on and so many people milling about. You need to know where the bathroom, gear check, starting corral, and your friends are. Give yourself time to sort it out.

The start is very exciting. Focus on these 3 things:

  • Run 'defensively' – Be aware of the space around you so you don't trip and look out for potholes!
  • Run YOUR pace – A huge mistake is to run the pace of those around you. Typically people will run too fast in the beginning and pay the price later. Rate your effort on a scale of 1-10. It should be a 5 in the early going.
  • Try not to weave excessively (run along the side of the road where it's less congested in the first 2 miles). Unless you'd prefer to run 10.4 miles!

One little, but perhaps valuable tip is to wear sunscreen!! You'll be exposed to the sun for 3-4 hours in total and I can't tell you how many years I've returned home regretting my lack of sun protection. Otherwise, just focus on enjoying the run – high five some spectators and thank the volunteers!

Mary M: Do you really need to taper for a 10 miler? If yes, what do you suggest doing or not doing the few days before. Also, for a 10 miler, can you please suggest proper pre race fueling.

To answer both questions at once, “it depends”.


If your goal is to run your fastest 10 miles ever and you've been training hard, then yes a taper will be beneficial. Plan on one week of about 60% of peak mileage, but with 2 small doses of intensity. Intensity in this case means practicing your race pace or slightly faster. So, on Tuesday or Wednesday do 2-3 x 1 mile @ Broad Street pace with 1 minute recovery, for example.

If you've barely trained, then a taper is not needed. A few easy days leading up to the race should suffice to insure you don't arrive on the starting line in a fatigued state.

I personally prefer to rest on Friday and do a short 20 minute run with some 100m strides on Saturday. This leaves me fresh and ready to go for Sunday.

Pre-Race Fueling

This depends on what has worked for you in the past. Personally, I do best with liquid nutrition – a protein and carb smoothie, for example. Another one that has worked for me is a banana with peanut butter. Basically you are looking for a meal that is EASY to digest and provides you with sustained energy.

I would not eat a pear or an apple, however. They take up to 5 hours to digest due to the pectin in those fruits. If this is something you'd like to experiment with on race day, be my guest!

The Broad Street Run is NOT a marathon. A huge pasta dinner is absolutely not necessary. You've been training, right? What's been working for you? I'd treat it like any other long, hard run.

That said, timing matters. I'd have a low fiber breakfast by 6am to allow enough time for digestion.

Great questions, guys! Anyone else? Chime in below!