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Thoughts on warming up for Boston

While I write this specific for the Boston Marathon, what I write here is really applicable to any marathon where you have a starting line that is not anywhere near your finish line. In October of 2016, I wrote the post Marathon Race Strategy: A few thoughts which gave race strategies for all pace ranges. The post also included a few thoughts on what I felt were important for warming up before a marathon. I recommend all of you reading that for what you should consider in a general marathon warm up.

However, Boston is different, because the starting line is 26 miles away from the finish line. Here’s a few unique challenges thrown into an already tough day

 

  • Getting bussed out
  •  Leaving our gear at the finish line
  • Waiting in an athlete village
  • Waiting in our corrals
  • Running from inland to coast

 

Getting to Start:

I think we are all mostly familiar with the idea of getting bussed out, so I won’t spend too much time on this. The main idea I’d like to express here is to leave as late as you can. You want to spend the least amount of time in Hopkinton as possible. If you know you are one of the last corrals in your wave, get on the bus that makes the most sense. Again, limit the time you spend in Hopkinton.

http://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/participant-information/transportation-to-start-line.aspx

 

Leaving your gear at finish line:

This one was a surprise to me, as I am used to taking a bag with me and digging for it at the finish line. So, as you leave your nicer stuff at the finish line, make sure what you wear to Hopkinton are things you are willing to part with. The only problem with this, is that what we will discuss below. Waiting, more waiting, and waiting in the weather…

http://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/participant-information/gear-check-and-baggage-policy.aspx

 

Waiting, more waiting, and waiting in the weather:

Since you’ll have time on your hands, what you wear to the start line can be significant. As I said, you want it too be clothing that you are willing to part with, but you also don’t want to be skimpy on the clothes. So dress in layers and adjust to what the weather is in hopkinton. In 2016, it was a perfect example of how different weather can be 26 miles from where you started. In Hopkinton, the temps were in the high 60’s to low 70’s, while the announcers at the finish line wore light winter jackets. Check what that weather is in Hopkinton and dress for the starting line before heading out.

As I mentioned, you want to be at the village for the least amount of time. Being there longer just gives you more time to be antsy, pace around, and let your nerves get the best of you. Get there only when you need to, try to find a place to stay dry and comfortable, and get off your feet. Stay on whatever nutrition and hydration schedule you’ve set up for yourself.
My Boston Warm Up Protocol

  1. Use the bathroom right before leaving athlete village
  2. Take whatever you need to the starting line
    1. Water bottle
    2. A gel/calories
    3. Clothes you are going to leave/toss
  3. It seems like the faster you are in your wave, the longer you have to be in the corral. Make use of this time accordingly
    1. Sub 3:30 runners use the 0.7 miles from the Athlete Village as your warm up jog.
    2. Over 3:30 runners, walk the distance. This will be fine to loosen your legs up.
  4. Once in your corral
    1. Focus on yourself, visualize your first four miles and how that will set the tone for the race
    2. You will be limited on space, but want to stay loose. Consider doing simple movements that don’t take up a lot of room. Maybe 5-10 minutes before the gun goes off, do something like 10-15 squats, march in place, and shake your arms up. This won’t be perfect, but it will start priming the pump and tell the body that it’s about time to go to work.
    3. Have your first gel in that 5-15 minutes before the start.
  5. Once you cross that line, just stay calm. You’ll have a lot of people thinking that they are going to catch the race leaders. Keep to your plan and enjoy the moment, but don’t get caught up in the nonsense. Even with the first few miles downhill, you might not feel super great. We weren’t able to do a perfect warm up and you might feel sluggish. Stay calm and let the race come to you.

Boston has many unique challenges, but that’s part of what makes it Boston! Keep things simple and you can conquer the pre race warm up. It might not be perfect, but it will get the job done! Good luck to everyone running Boston!

 

Boston Course #5: 100% off code

Hey Everybody, Josh (the webMASTER) sent out 15% off codes yesterday. I'm trying to catch up from being at US champs (as are coaches Mike Morgan and Melissa Johnson-White).

Remember, this code ONLY works for the Boston Course #5!

So, here  is the 100% off code: ( you must login and be a member to view code )

You must be an active subscriber to view this premium content. Subscribe or Login.

Course 4 of our Boston Marathon Series is ready!

Our 4th course of the installment focuses on nutrition, starting from general nutrition, then narrowing down to performance considerations and your taper strategy. This is a course that all marathoners could benefit from, not just those running Boston. If you’ve taken the previous courses, then you probably received an email with a 15% off code for this course. I am writing this one to provide you a better code! How about one for 100% off?

 

To see the course: Course 4 Nutrition

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Upcoming Boston Marathon Training Webinar Series

Update: 12/23/14: The first course is up and it is FREE!!!! Check out the “video courses” tab on the home page!

 

Check out this quick overview of our upcoming webinar series! Stay tuned for instructions to sign up for lecture #1.

 

 

Running your best Boston Marathon

PlayPlay

In this episode we discuss the challenges that the Boston Marathon course gives runners, along with how to best train for those challenges. We also discuss race strategy for the course and how you can run your best Boston Marathon!
Luke Humphrey was 11th overall in the 2006 Boston Marathon and 16th in the 2008 Boston Marathon.

The Boston clinic that never was…

Hey Everyone,

Here’s the video of the presentation I was going to make for the Boston Marathon and training.

Attached is the .pdf file of the Powerpoint and notes: Running your best Boston Marathon