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ASICS Elite Julie Culley Takes On Her First Marathon

Julie counts on a specific race day playlist to get her in the right frame of mind, ranging from U2 to Jay-Z. (Photo courtesy of ASICS)

In less than two weeks, spectators will line the Big Apple’s streets across all five boroughs to watch professional athletes and running enthusiasts, alike, pound the ING New York City Marathon pavement. Among this year’s ASICS elite lineup is U.S. Track & Field member Julie Culley, who placed first in the 2012 5,000m Olympic Trials. Julie has switched gears since returning from London, preparing to make her marathon debut by racking up around 95 miles a week. We discussed the upcoming race with the speedy 31-year-old, who shared running tips, her go-to grub and more. Here’s what Julie had to say:

What does your typical marathon training week look like?
A typical training week includes 90 to 95 miles in six days with either a rest day or a cross-training day on the seventh. I typically do two harder effort workouts either on grass, roads, track or dirt trail depending on the day's assignment. I have a strength coach and hit the gym at least twice a week and also have a number of corrective exercises I do at least five days a week. I do a full dynamic warm-up of drills and openers at least two to three times a week and try to rest as much as possible between each session. Naps are a necessity, as well as weekly chiropractic treatment and massage!

Do you have any race day rituals to get you in the zone?
I usually start the morning with a shake-out run along with a hearty breakfast of oatmeal, cereal or a gluten-free bread of sorts along with some juice, lots of water and usually two cups of coffee. If I can get my hands on some espresso, that is a plus! I typically braid or twist my hair with a number of pins and always top it off with a headband to match my uniform. My race day playlist is pretty specific. There are a few songs that get me in the right frame of mind ranging from U2 to Jay-Z.

Do you carbo-load the night before a race?
I'm not normally fixated on carbo-loading as much as having a well-balanced meal including meat and lots of vegetables. I usually always have a glass of wine the night before a race to help me relax, unwind and sleep. My favorite pre-race meal is gluten-free pizza!

Do you have any tips for runners looking to increase their mileage?
Take it slow! I've only increased my mileage by 15 miles a week from the 5K to the marathon. More importantly is getting the quality workouts and quality long runs in the books. Doing too much too quickly can lead to injury. You have to get to the starting line healthy!

Favorite running apparel item?
Accessories! I love accessorizing my running outfits with headbands, hats, colorful socks, cute bags, etc. ASICS has some great accessory items out to match some of the beautiful fall and winter colored apparel items on the shelves!

For more information on the New York Road Runners' premiere event, check out their website and be sure to check in and cheer on Julie as she crosses her first marathon off the bucket list!