The 2016 Boston Marathon will take place on Monday, April 18th. This is my personal training log leading up to the legendary 26.2-mile foot race. Maybe you are considering running one day and want to know what it’s like to train for a marathon, or perhaps you just want to see what it takes to train for a sub 3:10 finish. I earned my BQ in the 45-50 year-old age group by running 3:20:01 on a blustery day in New York City. I intend to take full advantage of my opportunity in Boston.
My Boston Marathon training plan is based on the Jack Daniels’ 2Q program which can be found in his book, Daniel’s Running Formula, 3rd Edition. I highly recommend this book for any runner’s library. It’s full of useful training information to help you run faster at any distance from 800m to the marathon. Each post in this series details one training week. To see the marathon training plan in full, and calculate your own customized training paces, click here.
2016 Boston Marathon Training: Week Two of Eighteen
I ran my Monday workout a little earlier than normal as dictated by my work schedule. I’m not terrible in the morning, but I’m not a natural early bird. I labored through the first two miles as my body begrudgingly warmed up and adjusted to the demands of running. Then, I threw three miles of threshold pace running at it just to be mean.
You know that feeling you get when you start a race way too fast, and you know your going to end up paying for it the rest of the way? That’s kind of the point of this workout. The next 5 miles were slow, but they were anything but easy. It took a lot of convincing to keep pushing into the cold morning headwind knowing that I had another 2-mile speed segment waiting for me at the 10-mile mark. Surprisingly, when I hit the accelerator again, it was like I had a new pair of legs. The old ones returned soon afterward, and it was an ugly 1-mile trot back to the house on sore feet.
Q1 Training Plan: 2 miles @ 7:45 to 8:30, 3 miles @ 6:44, 5 miles @7:45 to 8:30, 2 miles @ 6:44, 1 mile @ 7:45 to 8:30
Q1 Reality: 2 miles @ 8:02, 3 miles @ 6:31, 5 miles @ 7:51, 2 miles @ 6:06, 1 mile @ 7:52
Tuesday was an easy 3-mile run in the rain. Wednesday was more of them same. The biggest concern was keeping warm and avoiding puddles and passing cars. Most drivers kept a respectful distance, but I’m convinced that a few assholes enjoyed forcing me off the road and spattering me with road spray. Bah humbug!
Thursday brought mild, wet weather to the NH seacoast. The unseasonably warm temperatures hovered near 70º F, and I ran my intervals wearing only shorts and a t-shirt on Christmas Eve. Strange weather, but I know better than to look a gift horse in the mouth. The workout seemed to last forever. But, I nailed it. (Mostly. I did miss a 300m rep for some odd reason that still escapes me.) Later that night, I enjoyed every calorie that I could get my hands on during my family’s Christmas Eve dinner celebration.
Q2 Training Plan: 6 @ 7:45 to 8:30, 5 x (3 minute Intervals at 6:11, w/2 min jog recovery) + 6x (1 min Repetitions at 5:47, w/2 min jog) + 2 miles @ 7:45 to 8:30
Q2 Reality: 6 @ 7:40, 5 x (800m @ 3:00, w/ 400m jog recovery) + 5x ( 300m @ :60, w/ 400m jog recovery) + 2 miles @ 8:16
Friday was a nice easy 3-mile Christmas jog along the railroad tracks with my wife and our two dogs. I was sore and thankful for the company and the distraction. Saturday was an “easyish” four miles. It would have been more evenly paced had I not run into another runner and felt the need to distance myself. I know it’s completely sophomoric, but I can’t help myself. If I see you on my run, I’m going to want to beat you. That’s just how it is.
Boston Marathon: In the News
Derek Yorek, the dad who led the 2015 Boston Marathon for the first mile of the race, landed a job because of his stunt. Yorek, the father of two girls, found himself homeless and unemployed within months of running the marathon last year. However, the fame he gained by leading the elite runners through the first mile in 4:27 helped him land a new job. Full story
That’s it for this week. I want to give a quick shout-out to Boston Marathon sponsor Adidas Running for agreeing to help me train for this year’s race by sending some running gear my way. Enjoy the miles! Happy holidays!