Welcome to my Boston Bound Training Program. The program is 12 weeks and 1 day long, beginning Monday, January 27 and ending in Hopkinton on Monday, April 20 at the starting line of the 2020 Boston Athletic Association Marathon. This program is designed for runners already qualified for Boston and entered. If hoping to qualify for Boston, you need to pick another one of my programs.
Boston Bound is a tough program fitting somewhere between my usual Intermediate and Advanced programs. This program assumes that you are an accomplished runner, otherwise you would not have qualified for Boston. The Boston Bound Program features 6 days of running and 1 day of rest each week. There is a mix of speedwork and hill training along with pace runs and long runs. Weekly mileage peaks at around 50 in Week 10. You can add more miles to easy days like today if you are so inclined. Each Monday in the program features an easy run of 3 to 5 miles. Today, run 3 miles at a comfortable pace.
In preparing to run Boston, consider that the 26-mile course from Hopkinton into downtown Boston is somewhat unique. The first few miles out of Hopkinton feature steep downhills, then the course levels somehat, rolls, and at 16 miles runners encounter a series of hills, the infamous Newton Hills topped by Heartbreak Hill. After 21 miles, there is a gentle, but quad-busting descent to the finish line. You will not succeed at Boston unless you learn to run hills. For today's hill workout, select a hill between 400 and 800 meters long and run three repeats: 3 x hill. Don't forget to warm up before and cool down after the repeat part of the workout. Jog or walk down the hill between each repeat.
Wednesday in my Boston Bound Training Program is a day of relative rest between two harder workouts on Tuesday and Thursday. Over the length of the program, the distance covered will vary from 3 to 5 miles. The Wednesday workouts are basically the same as those run on Mondays. Run 3 miles today at an easy pace. Please note that in establishing distances and times for this program, I assume everyone averages 8:00 miles. If you run faster or slower, adjust your workouts accordingly.
Thursday workouts in my Boston Bound program vary between tempo runs and easy runs. Today's workout is to do a tempo run of 5 miles. A tempo run is a workout where you start at an easy pace to warm up, then gradually accelerate to somewhat slower than your 10-K pace halfway through the workout. Hold that peak pace for several minutes, then gradually return to your easy pace as part of your cool down.
Saturdays in my Boston Bound Training Program vary from pace runs to easy runs to races to test your fitness. Today's workout is 6 miles at marathon pace. Given that we are still in January, this may be difficult for many outdoor runners in the Frozen North to achieve. Do the best you can.
Training for a spring marathon such as Boston can be difficult for those who live in the Frozen North, but people who live in the South often find it difficult to train through a hot summer for a fall marathon. Eventually, everything evens out. Because weather conditions can affect how far or fast you run, every other weekend I prescribe Sunday runs in minutes rather than miles. This allows you to be flexible in your training. Today, run 80 minutes. Consider doing this as a 3/1 workout, where you run the first 3/4 of the workout at an easy pace, then pick up the speed for the last 1/4. In other words, 60 minutes easy followed by 20 minutes at an up tempo.
This is the second week of your Boston Bound Training Program. Unless you live in The Tropics, the weather, and slick roads accompanying that weather, may continue to make training difficult--but coping with that weather can make you strong. Olympic champion Peter Snell once said he loved bad weather, because he knew his rivals were more likely not to run. Run 4 miles at a comfortable pace. That will be your Monday distance for the next four weeks. Other than more mileage, another reason I schedule changes in distance is for variety, so you won't be running the same distances and courses day after day after week after week. Since experienced runners such as you often have set courses for different distances, this may even force you to select another route for your run: Course A vs. Course B. It's a mind thing.