It’s hard to believe exactly two years ago, I was at the peak of my Boston marathon training cycle for the 2011 race. I had completed my first 18 miler, and was gearing up for my 20 miler.
A medical emergency prevented me from getting on my plane 3 days before racing Boston, but I remember at this time back then, I was doing as much Boston marathon research as possible.
I asked you guys for your best Boston Advice, and you gave me some great stuff!
Time and again, I’ve heard downhill training is important for the first 5+ miles of Boston’s course. People say your legs might get trashed from the steady downhill, and that it’s important to train to prevent that.
For this Boston training cycle, I’ve been running “down-hill repeats” on a hill that’s about 0.6 mile long with 200ft of elevation differential. I run the downhill at a steady tempo effort (6-7 min/mile pace), and run back up the hill at a slow recovery pace (10-11 min/mile pace), repeat x 4.
After 3 “down-hill repeat” sessions over the past 3 weeks, I’ve noticed improvements:
– my legs are fatiguing less quickly on the downhill
– my posture is less sloppy (I lean into the downhill, rather than slouching back)(this is the biggest improvement thing)
– I can maintain my tempo effort through more of the downhill repeats
– gained confidence in taking the first 5 miles of Boston a tiny pinch quicker
However, I’m not sure at all how much quicker to let myself take the first 5 miles of Boston’s course…. 10 seconds/mile? Not at all? Don’t think, just run? (that could cause a blow up later, no doubt)
This is where I need your advice, oh-wise-veterans: Do you run the first downhill miles of Boston at your avg goal pace, or do you let yourself roll with the hills and take advantage of the easier/quicker miles?
Thanks in advance!