Friday, April 2, 2010
Boston Training: An Assessment
Boston is just 17 days away. The main training is finished. It's time to assess. Overall I'm pleased with how it went. I didn't get any major Achilles flareups, and I was able to run a fair amount. Did I run enough? Who knows, probably less than I'd prefer. The last few weeks of training were hard with travel. There's not much you can do about that. Here's my assessment:
1. Endurance: B-. Winter is always harder to get in the miles. I started training in January with a great month, 152 miles. I think basically held steady until this past month, when I had a couple big weeks followed by ending with a whimper. I was happy to do most of miles in hilly Central Park. That should prepare me for Boston. If there's any area I'm concerned about, it's endurance. On the plus side, I ran five solid 20 milers. On the minus side, I didn't get in many midweek semi-long runs.
2. Speed: B+. I ran fast during training, probably too fast. If I had to do it over again, I'd be more disciplined about running my easy runs slower and hard runs faster. The way it is, I ran most runs sub 7:30. Three long runs came in at sub 7:15, way too fast. On the flip side, I didn't do nearly enough tempo workouts, and those I did tended to be at 6:40. That's OK.
3. Health: B. As I said, I'm not terribly injured. I have aches, of course. My Achilles is sore right now from doing 7 miles last night at 6:50 pace. I've learned to rest it, use ice and even KT tape. It will be alright. Otherwise, just some odd knee pain and a little hamstring and calf soreness -- nothing that should bother me in Boston.
I guess that leaves the overall grade at a B. That feels right. I'm not in the best of shape, but I'm in pretty good shape. I still think I can running under three hours if I'm able to string together enough quality training without injury. That wasn't my goal this time around. Boston is too hard for that. Originally, I thought sub 3:15 would be my goal. I'm making that sub 3:10, with a stretch goal of 3:05. I don't have a ton to go on since I last ran a race in January, a half marathon I finished in 1:31. That was before most of my training, so I don't put too much stock in it. From prior experience, I know a lot of it comes down to the day. Maybe I'll feel good, maybe I'll be patient the first 10 miles that are downhill, maybe the weather will be great. No matter what, I'm eager to run the course again. I screwed up the last time I went to Boston and got totally humbled. Not this time.