5 Tips For Surviving Your First Broad Street Run

Happy Monday!!

If you are local to the Philadelphia area and into fitness, especially running, today is a HUGE day!  The Broad Street Run lottery was announced!

Are you one of the lucky ones that was selected in this year’s lottery for the Broad Street Run?  Awesome, congrats!

But wait, you never ran 10 miles before.  Or maybe you haven’t worked out in a while.

You are committed + ready to take on this challenge.

What are you going to do?  How do you train?  Don’t fret.  I got you covered.

For those that don’t know, the Broad Street Run (BSR) is an annual race that takes places in the City of Brotherly Love for almost 40 years.  It is the longest running 10-mile race in the country and one of the most anticipated races if you live in the Philadelphia area.  With over 40,000 runners from all across the country gather on the first Sunday in May to run the famous 10-mile course down Broad Street.  The race starts in North Philly and runs past several landmarks along the way.  Including Temple University’s campus, City Hall, into South Philly where the finish line is at the Navy Yard.


This race needs to be on any avid runner’s bucket list.  The first two weeks of February, runners enter the lottery with hopes of getting that lucky email.  Then the training begins!

I have run BSR 5 times and have gone from a complete beginner to distance running to hitting PRs (personal record) each race.

Here are my best training tips to crush your first BSR.  *These tips can be applied to any race!*

Find A Training Plan (and actually stick to it)

My first Broad Street I didn’t follow a training plan, per se.  It was my first ever distance race.   My goal was to just finish.  I ran 4 to 5 times a week with my long run (usually Saturday) adding 1 mile until I built up to 10.  Over the years I have heard it is not suggested to run the distance of your race, however, as long as you taper your distance down about 2 weeks prior to race day, you will be good.

Find what works for you.  Maybe 3 days of running with 2 days of cross training like spin or strength training + an active recovery day of yoga will work best for you and your schedule.  I do not recommend to run every day, your body needs to recover + rebuild those muscles.

To find a training plan, check out Pinterest, Running magazines such as Runner’s World, or a trusted app like Nike+.  You want a plan that has variety in the intensity of the runs to assist in the training and build up that strength + endurance.

You can change up your running days depending on your schedule but commit to at least 3 days.  Start slow to build up your base.  Then over time, focus on speed.  If you are an avid runner, add in those tempo (race pace) runs, speedwork, and long slow distance days.

Schedule Rest Days, Cross Training/Strength, Yoga

Your body is an amazing machine.  It needs recovery, to build strength, and flexibility to be efficient, stay injury free, + avoid overtraining.

Recovery to rebuild those muscles from those tiny tears in your muscles from running/working out.

Build strength by cross-training by weight lifting – hitting key areas core, legs, + booty if you can only fit in one day.  This will also increase your power, endurance, and speed.  Don’t forget about working the upper body if you are able to schedule 2 strength days.  Sometimes I would pair up an easy run with an upper body workout so my legs got a break.  I suggest working on strengthening that core every day along with stretching + foam rolling.

Flexibility to fix those muscle imbalances from overactive (tight) muscles from repetitive movements + to stretch out those prime movers (muscles working) with yoga, foam rolling, and static or active stretching.

A Sample Week may look like this:

  • S – 2 – 4 Easy Miles
  • M – Strength Training (upper body + core)
  • Tu – 2  – 3 Tempo or Goal Pace Miles
  • W – Cross Training – Spin Class
  • Th – 3 to 5 miles (depending on your level for your long run)
  • F – Yoga / Active Recovery
  • S – Cross or Strength Train  (lower body + core)

Recruit a Friend

Everything is better when your friends are with ya.  I’ve been lucky that last few years my friends and I were able to enter the lottery as a team.  (I heard entering as a team gives you a better chance of getting in, unless you have run 10 races and then you automatically get in.)  We were able to plan long runs together, hold each other accountable + grab brunch after for some girl time.

The girls at the finish line in 2015

Look for group training runs that you can join.  I stopped at Philadelphia Runner over this past weekend and they have training groups that you join that also include training plans.  Keep an eye out on Facebook + Instagram, someone most likely will post about training group runs.

Stretch, Foam Roll, and Repeat

I’ll be the first one to admit that I never stretched for training runs and I’m paying for it now.  I would really only stretch a tiny bit before or after then would have to run.  This is a huge part of staying healthy and will keep the PRs rolling in.

Make time for it by scheduling it if you have to.   Head out for your run a tad earlier or cut the run a tiny bit short to make time for it.  You will thank me later.

If short on time, hit those key muscle groups like quads, hamstrings, calves.  Don’t forget to hydrate before, during, + after!

foam roll

Foam rolling before + after will help keep those muscles in line, especially those calves, hamstrings, and hip complex.  Be on the lookout for a future post

Never Wear Anything New on Race Day

I know it’s tempting at the race expo to grab some new gear to rep on race day.  I highly recommend that you don’t do that.  Stick to what you have been training in.  You want to ensure that you are not thinking + worrying about something rubbing the wrong way and you lose focus chasing down that PR.  Be prepared for anything, like in 2016 when it rained on race day.

The squad at the rainy starting line of BSR 2016

If you are in the market for new running shoes, start researching now.  It takes about a good 3 to 4 weeks to break them, trust me I’ve tried it all!  Because getting a blister couldn’t totally throw you off you stride.

gear for race day

So there you have it, my best tips for surviving your first BSR!  If I think of any others, I will def add them in and please share your tips for BSR or any other race you have completed.

Stay on the look out for my new weekly series – The Rundown – filled with all my training runs from the previous week.  I’m pumped to get back into running after my injury last year missing this race.  Leave me a comment below if you are interested in training plans!

Here’s to my 6th Broad Street Run and 3rd with my girls!

I wish you luck in your training + hope to see you out there crushing it on race day!

These training tips can be applied to any upcoming race that you have, this is just what I’m focusing on!

See ya on the pavement,


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