Boston Marathon Racing Tips

We asked Run SMART coaches Heidi Peoples and Ann Alyanak for some last minute Boston Marathon tips. Both coaches know the course well. Ann was 8th female overall at Boston in 2007 and Heidi ran 2:45 at Boston in 2010.

Heidi Peoples:  The Boston Marathon is an incredible event but can definitely be overwhelming. I felt like an ant in an anthill following crowds to the expo, church, subways, dinner, and even the hotel. Everyone seems like they are going the same place, doing the same things to prepare for the marathon. Mentally it can be exhausting! Since I ran in the elite field of women, my experience was a bit unique – no crowds at the start, and the field of women separated rather quickly. I went out fast to stay with a group, and paid for it at the end of the race.

Should The Boston Marathon Course Be Legal?

NYRR hosted a good debate about whether the Boston Marathon course should be legal for world-record purposes. As it stands the course is not legal because it’s point-to-point and its net elevation loss exceeds the IAAF’s limits. We asked some of our coaches to weigh in and it looks like they all agree with the current rule. Jack thinks without last year’s extreme tailwind, times would have been up to 5 minutes slower.

Jack Daniels:  Some years ago I calculated the benefit of the overall downhills of Boston and it was published in Runners World. I went as far as to calculate the time loss during various uphill segments and the gain of various downhill segments. I have a copy of that publication somewhere and will try to find it. Obviously when you see a picture of someone with long hair running Boston and their hair is being blown out in front of their face, they have a pretty good tailwind. I actually have data on the benefits of tailwinds of different velocities and headwinds of various velocities and no question headwinds hurt more than tailwinds help. Something I have always felt might be a good question to ask is what time do you think they would have run last year on Boston if the course had been run in the reverse direction — any guesses here? I would certainly think more than 5 minutes slower.

Ed Balow Drops 15 Minutes Off Half Marathon Time

Ed Balow purchased a Jack Daniels Half Marathon Training Plan last December. His goal race is in two weeks at the Run Raleigh Half. Recently, Ed checked in with us after jumping in a local half marathon simply to do his marathon pace workout.

My intention was to run it as a 2 mile easy, 8 miles at marathon pace workout, but to go hard the last 5K of the race.  Amazingly, it went according to plan.  It was fun to have those first 2 easy miles because I pretty much blew by everyone for the next 5 or 6 miles until I settled into the group of folks at my 7:30 pace. I had lots of energy left after 10 miles and was able to finish strong coming in at 1:39:30 which blows my old half PR out of the water by about 15 minutes!

Regardless of what happens in two weeks I already consider this plan a great success.  You got me into starting corral C for the Chicago Marathon and sub 1:40, and I didn’t even have to race very hard to get it!

Congrats on the new PR, Ed! Good luck in Raleigh!

Warming Up With Malindi Elmore

We asked Run SMART coach Malindi Elmore a few questions about warming up properly and how to approach a 5k or 10k race. Learn how an Olympian does it and what she recommends for runners of all levels.

What’s does your typical warm-up routine consist of for an easy run, quality session and race and why?

My warm-up routine certainly varies according to my workout objective.  Something of high intensity – a race or quality workout – takes me between 45-60 minutes to warm up for!  I usually start with 15-20 minutes of easy running and then do 3-6 minutes or so of “steady state” running so I actually start to “prime the pump” before the hard work begins.  I will either do a short fartlek (2 x 3 minutes) or short tempo run (5 minutes) where I gradually build my pace to about marathon pace. This helps to warm things up and get my body more ready for the hard work ahead – a sort of bridge between the easy jogging and fast running.  Next, I will do a series of drills and dynamic movement drills which help with form, recruitment, stretching, etc. Finally, I will do some “strides” which progress from longer and slower to faster and shorter the closer I am to the beginning of my race or workout.

Rob DeLong Sets New 10K PR

Run SMART client Rob DeLong set his second PR in just a week at The Race At Roosevelt Island 10k. His official time was 51:47, almost seven minutes faster than his previous best when he signed up for private coaching two months ago. Full results at NYCRUNS.

Big congrats to Rob and his coach Brian Rosetti.