final peak week of boston marathon training

This training cycle has been by far the most challenging cycle I have ever done. I hit a 70 mile week for the first time in early February and have done 2 more since then along with averaging higher mileage in general. I am actually not sure if my legs remember what they feel like when rested. They certainly didn’t during the final week of training, but now they get to relax and recover. Race day is almost here!


The NYC Half is not going to get more than a brief mention because it ended up not being a race. I have no idea what I was thinking when I signed up to race the Sunday before my hardest week of the training cycle. Instead of losing my $100+ and ruining the next week of training which I considered more important, I decided to use it as a steady-state run. (NYC Half: 1:40:10/ 7:39 min/mile)


McMillan is a big supporter of fast-finish long runs being a good predictor of your upcoming marathon performance and I have found that they are fairly accurate for me, especially at the end of a hard week of training. They really simulate what it will feel like to maintain marathon goal pace on tired legs without doing something dumb like running the whole 20 miler too fast. in my mind, this final 20+ miler which I would do on the Boston Course was one of my important tests of training. In terms of specificity there is really nothing better you can do than run on the actual course.

Monday: 4 miles with hills @ lunch, 7 miles after work
Tuesday: 13 easy miles after work
Wednesday: 6 miles with 4 @ tempo during lunch, 7.5 miles after work
Thursday: 6.5 miles @ lunch
Friday: OFF
Saturday: First 23 miles of the Boston Marathon Course; 11 easy, 10 @ marathon goal pace, 2 easy

By Saturday my legs were tired, yet I love the course so I was excited to be able to run it again. Even though I knew my legs weren’t fresh the first 11 miles flew by and were easy. Then it was time to speed up. It worked out nicely that this section also includes in my opinion the hardest part of the course. Mile 11 starts around 260 ft then climbs and drops again to 180 ft before climbing a series of hills to 411ft at the top of Heartbreak Hill by mile 21. Despite getting my marathon PR in San Francisco, I actually don’t think I am that strong a hill runner. I ended up averaging 7:37 min/mile for those last 10 miles. It was also my fastest 20 miler by one whole second. Except for the two biggest hills I felt strong and it felt almost easy, but I know I will lose some time in this section on various miles and I just need to remember not to panic.

Sunday: 4 recovery miles


Total: 71 miles

Now it is taper time!!!

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11 Responses to final peak week of boston marathon training

  1. Yay for your taper!
    Everyone around you in the NYC Half looks overdressed. Wimps. :)

  2. Tezo says:

    Come on seal. Finish this training strong!

  3. Morgan says:

    I can’t believe taper is upon you already!!! EEK! Boston will be here before you know it. So excited to see you on Thursday to hear more about your training! Also, can you please give me your speed so I can PR my half with your “steady-state” time? :)

  4. Meg G. says:

    woohoo! can’t wait to hear how Boston goes!!!!

  5. wow, boston training flew by!

    the guy behind you in that picture made me laugh! he’s all bundled up too!

    FFLR – the single most effective workout you can do during marathon training.

  6. Nice job getting in all those miles las week. I was in Boston this weekend for my final LR this weekend too–it seemed like half the folks signed up to run were–and what a fun experience it was. Hope you have a great taper!

  7. Sounds like you’ve had a great training cycle! What’s your goal for Boston?? Looks like a PR is definitely coming your way…

    Impressed you wore shorts for the NYC Half, it was a chilly one!

  8. Kelly says:

    what a great training cycle! Congrats on entering taper mode :) Awesome that you’ve had the chance to run on the Boston course during training – I’m sure it’ll benefit you come race day! Can’t believe it’s coming up so soon – excited for you!!

  9. whoa taper?! I think I can’t believe because spring has not sprung. Anyways, please note the guy behind you in the picture :)

  10. Grace says:

    wooo taper! this is when your immune system is a bit depressed so take vitamins and get sleep. sending you good luck for Boston. :) if you wore that for NYC Half (Dartmouth <3 !) what will you wear for Boston if it turns out to be HOT?
    also – I love your 'joyous seal' on the Marathon Monday picture – did you draw that yourself? (please, someday, get an actual seal carved as your personal seal, for use on envelopes etc.)

  11. Katie says:

    Dude, you are so going to nail Boston. So excited for you. Only slightly jealous. ;)

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