The Boston Marathon is rapidly approaching! How is your training going?
I was away for business last week and only managed two treadmill runs. One was 6.61 and the other was two miles. Not much but better than nothing.
Boston Marathon Training on the Road
Training while traveling can be a challenge. Running shoes take up a lot of space and can force you to check a bag that’s just too big for the overhead bin. You also have to remember to bring everything you need. Who wants to go for a five mile run in black dress socks!
I’ve gotten to a hotel and realized I didn’t pack running shorts. All that effort and extra weight and I still couldn’t even go to the gym. Yes, you can always buy a pair of shorts. But when you have as much gear as I do, it’s painful to spend $30 to $50 for a pair of running shorts or yet another running shirt.
Most of my conferences have a packed schedule that has me leaving my room before 8 AM and often not returning until after 8 PM. This doesn’t leave much time for running.
I usually arrive the day before and try to run in the gym that night. It helps me relax after a long flight. The next morning I might go out for a short run around the neighborhood. This is more of a recon mission than a training run.
If you don’t know the area it’s best to go out during the day and see what the neighborhood looks like. I’ve been hemmed in by highways. Other times I couldn’t run more than a few hundred feet before stopping at a corner. Many towns don’t consider J-walking a sport like Bostonians do.
If I’m lucky and get to bed at a decent time I run in the mornings before the conference begins. A few miles in the clear morning air is a great way to start a long day.
If I can’t get to the gym or outside, I have yoga and body weight exercises that I can do.
Cross training is important in any training plan. A strong core and hip muscles will take you far. Simple things like planks, squats and stretching can give you a pretty good workout. I avoid anything that involves jumping, like burpees or jumping jacks.
I also avoid working my legs too much. It’s easy to knock about 100 squats and lunges when you’re bored and there’s nothing else to do. But then you have to walk and stand on those beat up legs the next day.
Eating on The Road
At most conferences and meetings there is more food than you should eat. Sometimes the food is really good and it’s difficult not to go back for seconds or take an extra pastry.
The best thing to do is load up on fruit and yogurt and go lightly on bacon, sausage, fried potatoes and those delectable pastries!
Drinking a lot of water will also help. Often, conference halls are dry so you naturally dehydrate faster than you would at home. Keeping your belly full of water also helps you avoid the many high calorie temptations. Skip the soda and juice and go light on the sugar and cream in your coffee. Water is best.
If you go out for dinner you may be able to make good food choices. If not, just be careful how much you eat.
Avoiding cocktails, beer, wine etc is also a good idea. They are full of calories and lower your defenses to foods you should avoid. I hardly ever order desert and when I do it always feels like a mistake about half-way through!
Even if you can’t maintain a regular training schedule, keeping your weight under control can pay big dividends when you get back home.
Boston Marathon Training 2018 5 Weeks to go
Holy smokes! Only five weeks to go!
Like most plans, my training plan went off the rails a few times. In January I pulled my left calf muscle on the day I got confirmation I was running Boston. That took me out for about two weeks. When I started back I kept my runs short and many were on the treadmill.
Then my Dad got sick and I spent two weeks in Florida and ran once. January came in at 82 miles and February came in at 60 miles. I was hoping to run 100 miles for both of these months.
My Dad is okay and back home.
The first week of March I was away for business and missed a 20 mile Sunday Long Run. That was an important run that I really regret missing. But I had to fly on a Saturday and I’m glad I did.
Due to weather my flight out of Boston was delayed two and a half hours and I missed my connecting flight out of JFK. The last JetBlue flight out of JFK was 9 PM and I got into Las Vegas around 4 AM Eastern time.
If I did the 20 miler, my Sunday flight may have been cancelled and I would have had to fly on Monday.
As I mentioned above, my training in Las Vegas was minimal. But, now I’m back to the frozen North. Winter is still here.
Boston Marathon Training Sunday Long Run
The official distance for this week’s run was 16 miles. Due to snow we could not run in Breakheart Reservation in Saugus, so adjustments were made. We have an awesome SLR crew!
Since I only ran 8.6 miles the previous week, I wasn’t to excited about a 16 miler for my first run back.
My weather app said it was 30° and would go up to 37° so I wore Kraft shorts and running shorts. I wore hat, gloves and two long-sleeved shirts. While most of me was okay, my legs were freezing for the first two miles. Garmin says it was 23° and I’m sure it was at times!
We started at Bruegger’s on Main Street in Melrose and headed north. Our first water stop was at Nick’s Pizza in Wakefield. I had my own Hammer Head mix, so I just took a tiny Snickers bar.
From Nick’s we headed to Lake Quannapowitt for a loop or two around the lake. It’s a 5K loop so it works out well.
The plan was to do one loop, head back to Melrose, pass Brueggers and do another loop in Melrose. As I ran towards the lake I decided to run around the lake twice if the wind wasn’t too bad.
I went one way and everyone else went the other way around the lake. As I ran around the lake I got to see everyone. The wind wasn’t bad at all, so I did a second loop and saw more of our crew along the way.
At the bottom of the lake on my second loop I was around 10 miles. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t hit 16 miles if I headed strait back to Melrose, but I had planned to cut the run short anyway.
I stopped at Nick’s for one last stop and had two little Snickers bars and added some water to one of my bottles. This was about mile eleven.
I knew it was only about three miles back to Brueggers, but that was okay.
My knees were starting to hurt and I didn’t want to push it. My last three miles were all under my marathon goal pace of 9:30 and my overall pace for the run was 8:56.
For my first long run in two weeks, 14.1 miles isn’t bad. Next week the run is 17.8 miles and I’ll need to start working on my pace.
I’m pretty good at running even splits. Now I just need to get the splits around 9:30.
Looking Ahead to the Boston Marathon
Being realistic, I will not be in shape to run 9:00 splits for Boston. In Honolulu I only managed a 10:34 pace. This was due to my knee and making four porta potty stops.
When I ran Boston in 2016 I ran a 9:30 pace and finished at 4:09. When I did that I had different knee issues than Honolulu. The Honolulu knee issues persist.
I’ve been working on my stomach issues. I woke up early for today’s SLR and had breakfast an hour and a half before the run. It may be a one-off, but my gut never bothered me for the entire run. I usually eat within a half-hour of a run and that may be a bad idea for me.
It also seems like my recent time off from running has helped my knee recover somewhat. I was bumming about missing the 20 miler, but while running today I was glad when I realized how well my knee was doing.
I’m always looking for the upside in any situation. The “rest” in Las Vegas was good for my knee and I may have a handle on my stomach issues.
If things go my way I should be able to run between 9:30 and 10:00 minute splits for the Boston Marathon 2018!
The Boston Marathon 2018 winners will be showered and doing interviews by the time I head down Boylston Street.
This will be my Eight Running of The Boston Marathon and it still has a special place in my heart. I get excited just thinking about it! I know it will be difficult and painful, but the joy is in the challenge and over coming.
I am grateful to have the opportunity to celebrate running with 32,500 other runners on Marathon Monday!
Run well my Friends and let me know how your training is coming along.