Boston Bound 2023? Don't forget these key training elements.
For those of you that are Boston Bound, race day is t-minus 58 days away! At this point, you should be well into your training program, likely hitting long runs in the 14-20 mile range (depending on your personal plan and experience). Here’s a short article about the Boston Marathon and some considerations for your training to make sure Heartbreak Hill has more bark than bite.
(For those of you who don’t know- The Boston Marathon is one of the most prestigious and renowned races in the world, drawing thousands of runners from around the globe every year. The race, which takes place on April 17th this year, is known for its hilly terrain, unpredictable weather, and rigorous qualifying standards).
With just a couple months left before race day, runners who are preparing to run the Boston Marathon should be focusing on a few key elements of training to ensure that they are ready to tackle the course.
First off, runners should be making sure they’re hitting their long runs. Long runs are key to marathon training programs, and they are especially important for runners preparing for the Boston Marathon, which features a number of challenging hills and descents. Ideally, runners should be aiming to complete at least one 20-mile run prior to race day, in addition to several other long runs ranging from 16-18 miles. For those with a bit more experience, you may hit 3-5 20 milers through the course of training. These runs should be completed at a pace that is comfortable and sustainable, with an emphasis on building endurance and mental toughness. It also can be helpful to do some ‘marathon goal pace’ miles within the long run, but make sure not to get caught up in the excitement and run faster than your marathon goal pace during these long runs (save that for tempo and speed days…keep reading).
In addition to long runs, runners should also be incorporating hill training into their regimen. The Boston Marathon course is notorious for its rolling hills, which can take a toll on even the strongest of runners. Heartbreak Hill is aptly named, as it’s known to bust butts and dreams. To prepare for these, runners should be incorporating hill repeats, hill sprints, and other forms of hill training into their workouts. This helps to build leg strength, improve running form, and increase cardiovascular endurance, all of which are essential for conquering the Boston Marathon course.
Another key element of Boston (and any well rounded) Marathon training program is tempo runs. Tempo runs are high-intensity workouts that are designed to improve lactate threshold and running efficiency. These runs typically involve sustained efforts at or slightly above race pace, and can be done on flat or rolling terrain. By incorporating tempo runs into their training, runners can improve their ability to maintain a steady pace throughout the course, and increase their overall speed and efficiency. It can also make marathon goal pace feel relatively easier by comparison.
Finally, runners should be focusing on recovery and injury prevention as they train for the Boston Marathon. This includes proper nutrition, hydration, and sleep, as well as stretching, foam rolling, and whatever other forms of active recovery you fancy. Some folks like hands on recovery modalities like our Recovery Sessions. It's also important for runners to take rest days as needed to avoid overtraining, injury, and a trip to see us in the office for Physical Therapy.
Runners who are preparing for the Boston Marathon on April 17th should be prioritizing long runs, hill training, tempo runs, and recovery and injury prevention in their training. While every run in training builds toward a runner’s goal, focusing on these key elements can improve endurance, speed, and mental toughness, and ensure that they are ready to tackle the challenging Boston Marathon course.
If you realize you’re lacking any of these parts of training, it’s not too late to start implementing them. And if you’re not sure the best way to do that, contact us so we can help you individually.