I usually just make up my training program based on several other programs (Runners World, Hal Higdon, etc.) but for Boston I decided the try the FIRST training program from the book Run Less Run Faster. It emphasizes only running 3x/week and 3x/week of cross training with the 3 days of running being quality runs, not just junk miles to get in the miles. I felt like this would be good for me since I'm injury prone and tend to run less mileage than most marathoners anyways. I like to max out at around 40 miles/week because I've found I will most likely get hurt if I push myself much past that.
The 3 quality runs each week include speed work (track repeats from 400-2000m at 5K pace or faster), tempo runs (medium run of 6-10 mi at 10K pace or slower), and a long run (10-22 mi at 15-30 sec slower than planned marathon pace). I plan to average between 35-38 mi/week while like I said, maxing out at around 40 mi/week. I'm hoping to do my longest long run ever with a 22 miler three weeks out prior to beginning my taper.
Since Boston will be my 5th marathon (Columbus 2007: 3:49, Rock & Roll Arizona 2008: 3:38, Columbus 2008: 3:34, and Boston 2009: 3:55) and I ran it this past April, I know exactly what to expect and hopefully know what to do to push through the pain....especially when I reach Heartbreak Hill! Last year, I was lucky enough to train with three of my good girlfriends which made training in the cold, snowy, icy winter months that much easier. We had run our butts off trying to qualify for Boston, so we all decided to just have fun running Boston and enjoy the race with our goal being to just break 4 hours. We ran 3:55. This year, I will be training by myself and will need lots of motivation to go out in the freezing cold to run for 3 hours. Let's hope we have a mild Ohio winter so I don't have to do too many long runs on the treadmill!
Crossing the finish line at Boston 2009 with my friends/training partners
I plan on taking some time off from running marathons after Boston so my goals might be a bit lofty considering the tough course but I really want to give it my all. The following are my Boston 2010 goals:
C Goal (happy goal/Boston qualifying time): 3:40
B Goal (PR goal): anything under 3:34:16
A Goal (dream goal/everything goes perfect): breaking 3:30
I'll try to post weekly about how my training is going. Cross your fingers I stay injury free until April 19!