Training begins on Monday, January 27 for those using my Boston Bound training program to prepare for the 2014 Boston Athletic Association Marathon. Twelve weeks to what surely will be the most anticipated race in marathon history.
The Boston Athletic Association has accepted 36,000 runners into the 118th running of its iconic race, the largest field since the historic and boundary-breaking 100th anniversary race in 1996. Normally the BAA limits its field to about 25,000. Expanding the field for 2014 became necessary after more than 5,000 runners were prevented from finishing because of the bombs that exploded with 4:09:43 showing on the finish line clock.
Not too coincidentally, that is the title of my latest book, 4:09:43, which tells the story of the 2013 race through the eyes of 75 participants. Human Kinetics will publish 4:09:43 on February 14. I will be available at the Boston Marathon Expo to autograph copies.
Until April 21, those following my Boston Bound training program have 12 weeks of dedicated training. Boston Bound (offered in an interactive version by TrainingPeaks) is unique among my programs because the Boston Marathon course is unique, more challenging than most race courses because of its hills—not merely their height but where they hit you.
Heartbreak Hill remains the most famous hill in racing, coming at 20 miles, the point where even the best trained marathoners—even the Kenyans upfront—begin to struggle. Then after Heartbreak, Boston’s course tilts downward toward a finish line on Boylston Street. While seemingly a 6-mile downhill sprint sounds easy, unless you have trained your muscles for downhill as well as uphill running, Boston will pound your quadriceps muscles to mush.
For that reason, my Boston Bound program features downhill repeats as well as uphill repeats. And a blend of speedwork, long runs, easy runs and rest. More than a recipe for training, Boston Bound also offers motivational tips and historical details to inspire runners fortunate enough to gain entry into the 2014 race.
Last year, two terrorists tried to spoil the event—but we will not let them succeed. Thirty-six thousand runners will return to Boston this April to reclaim the streets that are rightfully ours. If you cannot join them on the road from Hopkinton to Boylston, I know you will be watching this best of all Bostons.
As I said above: Training begins Monday! Get your Boston Bound training plan today and let’s get started.
4:09:43, Hal Higdon’s riveting book about the 2013 Boston Marathon, will be available in bookstores and online February 14.