Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Coach's Corner- How to Run Boston! & Stylized Gifts from Sarah

Here is the latest from Coach Bob at the Coach's Corner! Boston in less than 4 weeks away. I hope you're all training smart and mentally preparing yourselves for your race. Use Coach Bob's tips below to visualize a successful race. YOU CAN DO IT!

Okay, this week Steph asked me to do some tips on how to determine your Boston Goal Pace.  Well, that is easier said than done.  I have heard two different arguments both ways.  I have spoken with several runners that say, "You cannot run a PR at Boston.  Too hilly."  Well, "hilly" is relative.  I have also heard several runners say that you can PR at Boston, "because it is mostly downhill."  I believe a person can PR on this course if they attack this race just right.  Here are my tips for a speedy (PR?) Boston.

1.  You must ease into the first 7-10 miles.  If you start out way too fast, you will pay for it later.  Remember, I mentioned that "hilly" is relative.  This course has more drop over the course of the whole race, so you have to ease into the first few miles.  Let me explain.  You cannot put on the breaks, on the downhills.  You have to run comfortably and under control.  The pack and groups will allow you to "flow".  You may even be slightly ahead of your goal pace, but that is okay if/when the pace feels easy.   
2.  In the middle miles, continue to enjoy the whole experience.  By the half way point (miles 13-17), you will be some where on your goal pace.  Take in the sites, say hi to a fellow runner, slap high fives with a spectator!  You still have to completely enjoy the moment.  Still continue to allow your great running form to flow.  It is important to have good form when you feel good, and its important to have good form when you are not feeling good during a race!
3.  Now, you will be approaching da hills!  Heartbreak Hill.  It is really a succession of hills from miles 18-21.  The best way to approach these hills is to run with rhythm.  Some runners do not think these hills are that tough, others do.  They come at a part of the marathon that is tough mentally.  When my races are going well, I feel like I am in a rhythm with my stride and cadence.  Mentally, I am in the same rhythm as well.  The race and pace seem to be flowing.  When the pace gets tougher, the rhythm works for me. 
4.  There are other mental games you can play to get through Boston.  The easiest one is to allow the energy of the crowd help you!  The spectators will be going nuts!  Use that mojo to help run a nice controlled pace up the hills.
5.  Last part of the marathon is the most fun in my mind.  You have about 5 miles to go, and the worst is over........I do hope your quads are not screaming too hard at this point..........Now, you just need to really concentrate on doing just a mile at a time.  Your form must be maintained as best as possible.  But, still Have Fun!!!  Let the drunk college students at Boston Univ. bring you home.  Believe me, you will want to stop and party with them!  But the finish area awaits you.  The crowds will get bigger and louder as you approach the finish line!  Again, use their energy to help you.

A couple of quick notes:  Weather will play a part in the race conditions, so be prepared.  You will also need to drink early and often in the race.  DO NOT FORGET TO DRINK DURING THE RACE! =)   What makes this marathon different than about 98% of other marathons is the crowd support THE WHOLE RACE.  I am not kidding, first timers.  They will be there every step you take in Boston!  To me, it's the Olympics for the common runner.  So enjoy.  PR's are to be had if you race smart!

~Coach Bob
Thank you Coach Bob! You have given us a lot to think about. Now runners... get out there and start visualizing your race. I find it's helpful during training runs to visualize my next race going well. It speeds up my training run and gets me through it faster. It also gets me mentally prepared for my race!

Bloggy Shout Out of the Week!
Simply Sarah Style! 
Sarah's blog is all about style and design. She comes up with the craftiest and cutest things and gives you tips on how she creates her designs. What does this have to do with running? Well let me tell you... A lot of first time marathoners run in the spring and early summer. I always like to make little gift bags for my buddies taking on the 26 miles of fun. A lot of Sarah's ideas would make great presents. Take her most recent post found here. How freaking cute are the decorated water bottles? ANY runner would love those but there are those particular friends you KNOW would go crazy. You know who I'm talking about... the ones that wear completely coordinated pink outfits, run with a full face of makeup, and if it's raining... they're not training! haha This bottle is definitely girly, but I'm not going to lie... I would love to get one of my own!

Check out Sarah's blog and try and catch some of her crafty ideas! 

That's all for today. Happy hump day! 3 more days until the National/Bataan double marathon weekend! 
Happy Running


  1. Thanks for the Bloggy Shout of the Week! :)

  2. Great Boston advice! You've GOT to go out easy. I know so many who did PR there (not I) so it's tough but not impossible.

  3. It's true. I have PRed in Boston.

  4. I PRd there (and will again this year!) It's totally possible. The best advice is definitely to take that first downhill stretch easy.

  5. You go girl! Jello shots will be available too so of course you can rock HEARTBREAK HILL...after all is it really that HILLY? NO! Not compared to what you have ran already.