Running Training Tips
Boston Here We Come!
For those of you running the upcoming Boston Marathon, I would like to start off by saying... Congratulations! Sometime in the last year or two you have put in months of miles, speed work, tempo runs, and weekend long runs to achieve the qualifying standard to get into Boston. Few sporting events in the world have the history and allure of The Boston Marathon and you're going to be there! WOW!
As the big race approaches, it is easy to get caught up in the all the hype and forget the sound racing principles you used in qualifying for this race in the first place. What follows is a handful of racing tips you should heed when toeing the line in Hopkinton.
Develop a plan and stick to it - You can either race Boston or you can experience it; either is an excellent choice. If you are there for the experience, have a great time, but realize that you most likely won't hear, "Great time!" from the finish clock. It is Boston after all...enjoy yourself.
For those of you hoping to run a PR or who plan on running close to your qualifying time, remember that Boston can be tough. Set an optimistic and reasonable time goal using your recent workout performances and set mile splits that take into consideration the specific challenges of this course. We've all heard horror stories of the Boston runners who got caught up in the easy early downhill miles, only to get their heart broken later in the race. When planning your splits, the early downhill will help you bank time and late uphill will force some withdrawals. Simply put, it is a rare runner that runs even splits at The Boston Marathon. Once you settle in, I suggest that you bank no more than 10 seconds per mile on the downhill portion of the course. Any faster than that and you may blow up too soon. Ten seconds per mile from mile 3 to 10 will give you enough cushion to make up for the hills that come later on.
Respect the distance - If your plan is to take it easy and jog in or if your plan is to run hard, remember to respect the distance. Running 26.2 miles in Boston won't be any easier than running 26.2 miles anywhere else. Take it easy the night before, drink plenty of fluids, pack those gels and remember everything you did the night before your qualifying marathon. Just because you have decided to plan on running 10 minutes slower than your last marathon, don't think it will hurt much less.
Run, Revel, and then Reflect - For many runners, the Boston Marathon is the ultimate goal. Because you are now part of this special club, make every moment count. You will soon be able to say, "Yeah, I've run Boston." People at the office will speak your name in hushed tones. They'll whisper, "That guy is an animal... He just ran the Boston Marathon!" (And probably will add, "I don't drive my car that far!")
Take plenty of pictures throughout and buy a souvenir or two. You'll appreciate them later on more than you think. Also, your finish time will be less important 10 years from now than the memories of your experience. So be sure to plan a celebration dinner or gathering to share your race stories. Then, take the time to write a few thoughts in your running log or journal. Don't deny your accomplishment by thinking that your performance was sub-par. Somebody someday will read your journal, and that may inspire them to do something as great.
All of us here at Craftsbury would like to wish everyone running the Boston Marathon the best race you can have. Please drop your coaches or fellow campers a line and let us know how it went. We'd love to hear from you. Take a great picture of you at the race and we'll try to get it up on the website. In the meantime, rest up and dream of Boston fun and success.