Boston Marathon 2018 Training so far
I’ve run The Boston Marathon seven times over the past fifteen years. The Boston Marathon was my first marathon and the second race I’d ever run.
For my first Boston I trained less than three months and was absolutely clueless about running. I managed to finish in 5:11 in 2003 and somehow that experience hooked me on running for life!
It’s advised that first time marathon runners take up to a year to train. This is especially true for people like me who literally did a couch to marathon! I would advise six months at a minimum for most people.
In 2009 I joined the Melrose Running Club and finally started to train properly. I ran Boston in 4:45 that year and in October ran The BayState Marathon in 4:10. I really thought I was on to something.
Many years I have tried to train properly for the Boston Marathon. Inevitably, something comes up. I’ve been injured or had a lingering cold. The weather never seems to cooperate with marathoners in January and February.
Boston Marathon 2018 Training Plan
I had a pretty good running year in 2017. I ran The Eastern States 20 in March and discovered how out of shape I was. I spent the rest of 2017 working my self into shape.
In August I signed up for The Honolulu Marathon. This race was December 10th. I was in pretty good shape in August and I had about four months to train for Honolulu.
I figured that I could handle a reasonably rigorous training plan and have a fun if not fast run in Hawai’i.
Then life got in the way. I spent a lot of August and September travelling for business. While I was able to jog around Baltimore a few times, most of my runs were 5 miles or less on a treadmill. There were also far too few of those treadmill runs!
I still managed to run over 89 miles in August. Then I got sick in September, missed two significant Sunday Long Runs and only managed 53 miles.
From October 1st to November 19th I ran four half-marathons and was getting back on track. In October I ran just over 100 miles and in November I ran about 85.
My Boston Marathon training plan was to get in shape for Honolulu, get through the holidays without gaining weight and maintain my fitness through the winter.
My left knee started to bother me leading up to Honolulu and then during that marathon it blew up. I actually had to walk even when I had the energy to run. I’ve never experienced that before. You can read all the gory details in my Honolulu Marathon Recap.
December miles were just under 54, with 26.2 of them in Hawai’i. I did manage to keep my weight in the normal range over the holidays, which for me was a big victory.
On January 6th the Sunday Long Run program began. Through the end of January I made all of the long runs, except for January 28th when I ran The Great Stew Chase 15K.
My knee was still acting up for the Stew Chase, so my buddy Derm Cahill and I limped along like two old men and managed a 10:36 pace.
Then on January 29th I got a call that my father had a heart attack. The next morning I was on a flight to Florida and spent the next two weeks there.
My father survived and is having a remarkable recovery. It was a very stressful few weeks for all of us and I only ran one 2.4 mile run. While running is a great way to burn off stress, sometimes there is just too much to do and think about.
Sunday Long Runs and the Treadmill
I missed the Sunday Long Run the day after I came back from Florida. I wasn’t really in the mood and it was a cold, rainy day.
On February 18th the Sunday Long Run was 14.3 miles. As an officially registered Boston Marathon 2018 runner, I should have been all over that.
But, after missing the previous two weeks long runs, I decided to play it safe and only ran 10 miles. Derm Cahill and I took it easy at a 9:33 pace. Derm is running the Hyannis Marathon in February 25th and was in taper mode for that race.
Since getting back into the swing of things my training is getting back on track also.
Since February 12th I’ve done three treadmill runs, two Tuesday Night Club runs and a Sunday Long Run. Six runs over 10 days for total mileage of 33.36 miles. With an 18 mile long run this weekend and a few more runs I could get close to 70 miles for February.
Over the 15 years I’ve been running I’ve learned a few things. One is that when you take time off, you can’t pick up where you left off.
I took two weeks off, so it was smart to only run 10 miles for my first long run. My previous long run was 12.5 miles.
The other big lesson is that people get hurt running. Running is a repetitive action and even a well-trained runner can get a repetitive motion injury.
Part of avoiding injury is not ramping your miles too quickly and listening to your body. Most people recommend increasing your miles no more than 10% per week. This is a good rule of thumb that I generally follow.
My left knee is still bothering me a bit and could turn into a painful problem again. So with this in mind I’m trying to run more frequently but shorter distances. When I do run long I try to be careful and not push it.
I’m also doing everything I can to take care of my knee. This includes stretching, rolling and occasional ice and anti-inflammatory meds.
I know that if I don’t do long runs I wont be ready for Boston. On the other hand, a long run could cause my knee to flare up and derail my training. It’s a delicate balance!
How is your Boston Marathon training going?