2016 Boston Marathon Training – Week 4 of 18

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 Four of Eighteen

week four of 18 boston marathon training plan

Feeling a little under the weather, I moved my Q1 workout to Tuesday and enjoyed an extra rest day on Monday. If you’re feeling tired, there is no sense pushing yourself to complete a tough workout. I’d rather take the extra rest day than invite injury. Besides, it was a frigid -5º F ‘real feel’ outside.

Q1 Workout: 2 easy + 8@7:10 + 1 easy + 2@7:10 + 2 easy

Q1 Reality: 2 easy + 8@7:15 + 1 easy + 2@7:15 + 2 easy

Tuesday I headed out for 15 miles in the warmer 0º F ‘real feel’ conditions. I wore thick tights, a long sleeve shirt and jacket, two pairs of mittens, and a balaclava. Any exposed skin was covered in Vaseline. I was cold for the first two miles, but that changed quickly. I found myself running into the wind along the coast for most of my 8-mile marathon pace segment. The wind was not only tough to run against, but the cold gusts of air took my breath away at times.

The last few miles of that 8-mile segment were tougher than any I’ve run since my last marathon in 2014. Some of it was probably because I was feeling a little run down, but most of it was mental fatigue. When your mind starts to wander and gets tired of keeping the gas pedal down, things get difficult in a hurry. Surprisingly, the 2-mile segment after that was much easier. It may have been that my inner horse was simply smelling the barn.

Wednesday and Thursday were a nice change of pace both literally and figuratively. Too many structured workouts will kill your spirit and take the joy out of running. It’s nice to get out there and kind of forget that you’re running at all. That’s where the magic happens.

Q1 Workout: 40min easy + 2@6:44 + 2@6:44 2@6:44 + 2 easy

Q1 Reality:41min easy + 2@6:352@6:33 2@6:51 + .5 easy

Friday’s workout was great, until it wasn’t. The first two intervals were tough, but I felt completely under control. The last one was going well (1st mile split of 6:22), and I could almost allow myself to celebrate when the shit hit the fan. I felt a dull throb in my soleus (lower inside calf) that rapidly turned into a tight burning sensation.

I eased the pace a little and finished the last mile, but it was time to shut it down. As I continued to run, even at a slow pace, it continued to worsen. After a few more minutes, I gave up and walked home. By this time, I was soaked in sweat and walking home on a very cold and windy day. I guess I should be thankful it happened at mile 11 and not mile 6.

Friday was a slow jog/walk around the neighborhood. The only bright spot was when I had a chance to vent my frustration by telling a negligent driver exactly what I thought of his no-look right turns. Ice and rest for the next couple of days, and then we’ll see where things are on Monday. It seems like I should be upset, but I’m not. My fitness is coming along nicely and I feel like I’m being less stubborn and foolhardy than my former self.

Boston Marathon: In the News


The film, currently in production, is directed by award winning filmmaker Jon Dunham, well known for his Spirit of the Marathon films, and is produced by Academy Award nominee Megan Williams. BOSTON portrays the growth of the legendary race, including triumphs and tragedies, and features many of the greatest marathoners ever to have raced over the Hopkinton to Boston route.

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Thank you to Adidas Running for supporting my journey to Boston in 2016.