A running buddy recently suggested I look into finding a personalized program to follow while I train for Boston. My last marathon I just used the Hal Hidgon programs and it seemed to work fine. I was pretty sick of running by the end of my training, but I was prepared and relatively healthy. [I struggle with off and on knee pain, it flared up occasionally during training but wasn’t too bad until the end of the actual marathon. Then I was out for a while dealing with knee aches] Regardless, the program got me through the finish line and with a qualifying Boston time! Wahoo.
So to train for Boston this April, I figured I would just use a similar program. Hal Hidgon actually has a Boston Bound program that I was going to loosely follow. But, my friend suggested working with The Run Smart Program.
They create programs specifically for the individual with the hope of reaching a PR. I filled out a bunch of questions regarding previous races, my pace and my goal time. With the information I gave, they created a personalized program for me so I can PR at Boston. Super Cool. However, after looking through it I was a little discouraged. My longest run is 17 miles and that’s only happens twice. My ‘normal’ pace for runs is 08:48 – 09:18 working towards 08:39 – 09:09. Right now, I run almost every run at 8 min mile pace and my last marathon I ran several long distances, maxing out at 20. To top it off, the plan is assuming I’m going to run about a 3:25. I want to run faster. I want 3:20. I know Run Smart is being conservative and that with a 3:25 finish I would still be 4.5 minutes faster than my PR but that was my first marathon, I didn’t know what I was doing and I had a lot left at the end. I can improve significantly in my next marathon. 4.5 minutes is not enough.
To feel better about this and to ensure I get the most out of my training, I am going to dig deeper into the science behind the program, ask a few questions and find the answers I feel like I should be pushing harder during training. This plan seems too easy [for me]. I also need to be smart and stay healthy. I am prone to runners knee but come on. I want to run fast. Period.