Scott Alford set a goal to qualify for the 2020 Boston Marathon. The 43-year-old from Chicago signed up for private coaching back in January and got matched with Run SMART Project coach Gary Berard. He needed 3:25 to BQ but was looking for more like 3:22 for insurance.
Cory Benson won her age group at the Hartford Marathon and set a lifetime personal best. The 61-year-old from Newtown, CT finished in 3:30:28.
John Bott had a breakthrough performance in Berlin last month. The 30-year-old Australian native managed to run even splits throughout with a 1:22:21 first half, finishing the second half in 1:23:05. [Full Results]
Shannon Siragusa finished first masters female at the Hartford Marathon. The 43-year-old from West Simsbury, CT negative split (out in 1:28:00) her way to a new PR. Her official time was 2:54:57. [Full Results] She even managed to kick it in the final 1/2 mile at a 5:12 per mile clip.
We’re proud to report that Stephanie Tang, a longtime member of our local marathon training group with the NY Flyers in NYC, finished her 25th marathon in her fastest time ever. Stephanie completed the Clarence DeMar Marathon in 3:32:06, a 9:35 PR. [Full Results]
This result could not have happened to a nicer, more dedicated athlete. We love coaching Stephanie because she’s consistent and doesn’t miss a beat. All her hard work has paid off.
“The craziest part is that I still had extra left in the tank as I was sprinting to the finish! I never hit a wall, didn’t feel nauseous, and didn’t have any of my normal hip and leg aches and pains. What a day!” – Stephanie
Michael Cavalli: What is the most important aspect(s) of marathon training to help the runner maintain pace/efficiency in the latter, more difficult miles of the marathon?
Dr. Jack Daniels: A very important approach to maintaining pace and efficiency in the latter miles of a marathon race is to not go out too fast in the beginning. Run the first 20 miles no faster than your training and any recent racing VDOT values suggest for your marathon race pace. It is often very easy to go out too fast early in a marathon because you have tapered and rested for the race and normal marathon race pace seems too slow. The best part of a marathon to run faster than anticipated is the 2nd half of the race; particularly the last 10k of the race. The first half of the race should feel like a pace that you could increase at any time, and something that might help in those early miles is to concentrate on being relaxed and turning over with a nice quick leg cadence and breathing with a comfortable 2-2 rhythm. It might help to spend some time thinking about being relaxed in the face, jaws, then shoulders, arms, stomach, legs and feet.
Patrick Bovin of Belgium completed his second straight 24-week marathon plan. His first plan ended with a PR in New York (3:18:21) last year. The M50 runner came back for more to prepare for the Berlin Marathon. We’re happy to report another PR by roughly 5-minutes (3:13:27). [Full Results]
I’m happy. And I got confirmation this weekend that I can go to Boston next year. Jack Daniels’ training plans rock!
Chris Bickle approached his first marathon with an ambitious goal of sub-3-hours. We’re excited to report he finished the Gold Coast Marathon in 2:58:36 with a negative split. [Full Results]
Big congrats to Alison Thurber for reaching her goal of sub-3:15 at Grandma’s Marathon. Alison’s official time was 3:14:18, almost 5-minutes faster than her previous best set last year. More impressively, she did it running almost perfectly even splits (1:37:08/1:37:10)! [Full Results]
Grandma’s was a great race in all respects. A stunning location, ideal weather, and a flat, fast course. As a 38-year-old working mom I’m still not convinced my fastest times are behind me. The Run SMART Project training definitely served me well so I will continue to put the schedules to work.