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Boston Question from Jerry

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Boston Question from Jerry

Post  Jerry on Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:58 pm

To Hopkinton:

I will stay at Winchester. So looks like a better option is to have my brother drive me to Hopkinton State Park vs Boston Common?


Goal:

With my recent 1:22:31 half time and no hill training, shall I attempt for PR(<2:58:35) or back off a little to be happy with a sub 3?

I did 2:28:35 on flat course when I ran 1:22:17 half.

Pacing:

So either 2:58 or sub 3, how should I pace?

I don't have any clue to deal with hills. The only thing I know is that I don't want a mile by mile split. To me, it is not implementable. I can remember it. If I write it down on a piece of paper, I can't really see it on the run. I don't want to look for the mile marker constantly to possibly change pace either.

I am more of seeking a block to block pacing strategy/advice.

Am I too crazy to just go even split?

With no hill experience, I am also interested in your opinion/experience on pacing from mental perspective. By that, I mean, even if I don't run an optimal pace, if I run with ease, I may still do well. After all, we are a human, not a robot.
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Re: Boston Question from Jerry

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:30 pm

I have been told by many to run even splits which I have never actually done on the Boston course.  I can see how it could be beneficial as you would indeed be "holding" back on the early downhills which I think is key. Since you are not interested in "looking" every mile, I would look to break the race up into 5K increments and aim to hold those at even splits.  I also think that if you do not try to "bank" time, you will get through the hills better and have more left for the last 4-6 miles.  I wouldn't necessarily worry too much if you slowed a bit over the hills (especially given that we don't live or train on many) as long as you kept your effort steady both up and down.

Others probably have made a better study than I of the course, but the years I felt like I ran the best, I used the tactics above.
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Re: Boston Question from Jerry

Post  Jerry on Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:49 pm

I am thinking more of the first 16 miles, guessing once I am at the uphills, I am in some rhythm, good or bad, I have to soldier on?
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Re: Boston Question from Jerry

Post  fostever on Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:45 pm

Just take it easy on the initial downhills, as you already referenced, so you don't shred your quads. You'll probably check your splits anyway so why not monitor them, especially the early ones, to make sure you aren't overdoing it on the downhills.
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Re: Boston Question from Jerry

Post  Ed on Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:24 pm

What Michele said....
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Re: Boston Question from Jerry

Post  Schuey on Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:51 pm

Jerry I'll see if I can pull the information from my 2010 and 2011 Boston Marathons. In both of those races I ran even splits with 2011 when I ran 2:49 being a few seconds faster on the 2nd half. My personal opinion is that Boston is a great place to run a PR but you have to do it right. 

The key is to be able to run the first 13 miles under control and and then be able to maintain your mp/effort through the hills. The best way to do that is to easy by the pace slowing some on the uphill sections but then picking the pace back-up on the downhills. I knew in 2010 and 2011 2 spots that I was going to PR. The first being how I responded to the big hill at 15.5/16 miles going to the Newton Firehouse. This was a big test to let me know how well I had ran the first 15 miles and also what shape my quads were in. Both of those years I attacked that downhill and felt great and fresh. Also don't be fooled by the fact of how much uphill climb you have from miles 13.1 to 16. The grade isn't much but if you really look at it there is a nice steady climb for 3 miles. The next big test is the downhill into Boston College, again at this spot when I was able to put the hammer down some, I know I was in for a great day! If you can get to these spots and feel great or at least not feeling like your spent, you are should be able to hit your goals. At the least be able to give it a good shot to meet your goals as come into Cleveland Circle.

As for running even splits at Boston yes it is possible and I laugh at people that say you can't run even splits and be successful. The whole key to running even splits on a hill course is all about managing your effort on the uphills and downhills and being smart how you attack them. I know that this year it won't happen for me since I'm just getting back into the swing of things but I can I'm willing to bet that when I go for breaking 2:40 in Boston the end result will be even splits for the 5k splits. 

Oh as far as the course goes I like breaking up into the Start to 10k, then to the half , then mile 16, then the Newton hills and then the final 6 miles stretch. I believe that each one of these sections of the course present different challenges and changes in the course.
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Re: Boston Question from Jerry

Post  Jerry on Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:39 pm

Schuey, please do find ur old splits and reports. I was hoping you would offer that. If not, I was going to ask...

Not having hill training, I don't have high expectation on my final splits or execution, but I want to know and prepare my mind well enough to tackle the task.
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Re: Boston Question from Jerry

Post  Ed on Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:20 pm

@Jerry wrote:Schuey, please do find ur old splits and reports. I was hoping you would offer that. If not, I was going to ask...

Not having hill training, I don't have high expectation on my final splits or execution, but I want to know and prepare my mind well enough to tackle the task.
Hey Jerry,
Schuey is spot on. Something strikes me though when reading this thread. I understand you haven't trained much on hills. That being said, I would worry more about going down them than up them. Of course going up causes immediate pain. Going down doesn't immediately hurt so much but pain will have it's vengeance. It seems like where most people struggle is closer to mile 22. Obviously right? But at Boston the late race challenges are magnified due to the fact people pound the crap out of their quads picking up the pace going down the hills. You may want to work those quads a bunch over the next two weeks to really make sure they are stronger than ever. Schuey is incredibly fit so he can attack everything Smile . No wonder be kicks my butt.
Personally, I don't attack the down hills, especially the last long one past mile 21. On the contrary, I'll use them as opportunities to rest a bit. Everyone races a little different but this strategy has helped me successfully negative split the course a couple times. 
Good luck at Boston this year. My main question for everyone is where are we going to drink beer after we finish? Westin bar?
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Re: Boston Question from Jerry

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:39 pm

@Ed wrote:
@Jerry wrote:Schuey, please do find ur old splits and reports. I was hoping you would offer that. If not, I was going to ask...

Not having hill training, I don't have high expectation on my final splits or execution, but I want to know and prepare my mind well enough to tackle the task.
Hey Jerry,
Schuey is spot on. Something strikes me though when reading this thread. I understand you haven't trained much on hills. That being said, I would worry more about going down them than up them. Of course going up causes immediate pain. Going down doesn't immediately hurt so much but pain will have it's vengeance. It seems like where most people struggle is closer to mile 22. Obviously right? But at Boston the late race challenges are magnified due to the fact people pound the crap out of their quads picking up the pace going down the hills. You may want to work those quads a bunch over the next two weeks to really make sure they are stronger than ever. Schuey is incredibly fit so he can attack everything Smile . No wonder be kicks my butt.
Personally, I don't attack the down hills, especially the last long one past mile 21. On the contrary, I'll use them as opportunities to rest a bit. Everyone races a little different but this strategy has helped me successfully negative split the course a couple times. 
Good luck at Boston this year. My main question for everyone is where are we going to drink beer after we finish? Westin bar?
As long as you all wait for me as I will need a beer when I'm done.
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Re: Boston Question from Jerry

Post  mountandog on Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:25 pm

@Ed wrote:
@Jerry wrote:Schuey, please do find ur old splits and reports. I was hoping you would offer that. If not, I was going to ask...

Not having hill training, I don't have high expectation on my final splits or execution, but I want to know and prepare my mind well enough to tackle the task.
Hey Jerry,
Schuey is spot on. Something strikes me though when reading this thread. I understand you haven't trained much on hills. That being said, I would worry more about going down them than up them. Of course going up causes immediate pain. Going down doesn't immediately hurt so much but pain will have it's vengeance. It seems like where most people struggle is closer to mile 22. Obviously right? But at Boston the late race challenges are magnified due to the fact people pound the crap out of their quads picking up the pace going down the hills. You may want to work those quads a bunch over the next two weeks to really make sure they are stronger than ever. Schuey is incredibly fit so he can attack everything Smile . No wonder be kicks my butt.
Personally, I don't attack the down hills, especially the last long one past mile 21. On the contrary, I'll use them as opportunities to rest a bit. Everyone races a little different but this strategy has helped me successfully negative split the course a couple times. 
Good luck at Boston this year. My main question for everyone is where are we going to drink beer after we finish? Westin bar?
you'll already be drunk by the time we all finish!!   Laughing
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Re: Boston Question from Jerry

Post  mountandog on Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:30 pm

Jerry - I have a 2:57:30 plan broken down by 5k if you're interested.  I haven't executed it yet as the conditions (either mine or the weather) hasn't been right, but I know they're pretty close to what you need to do and take into account the various hills, etc.  Let me know if you're interested.
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Re: Boston Question from Jerry

Post  JohnP on Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:55 am

Jerry, when you say you have no hill training, are your training routes all really flat? I think Boston is going to be more difficult than you think if you haven't done any hill training. Your best bet might be the even pace as it can keep you from going too fast on the downhills but the challenge will be keeping the pace when you go on some of the longer uphills. Good luck though and I hope you go sub-3!
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