Boston’s Heartbreak Hill is legendary. What I didn’t realize until I got there last year is that the relentless, pounding downhills earlier in the race leave you quads exhausted by the time you hit the Newton hills.
Maintaining a smart pace early on even when it’s tempting to use the downhills to pick up the pace is key at Boston. This year, I resolved to have more left in the tank when I hit the hills. Last year, my splits went down the drain when I hit mile 20 and never recovered.
Adding in some Boston specific workouts to my training this year is one of the steps I’m taking to avoid completely dying on the course this April:
- Planned workout #1: 9 miles with 5 @ tempo (7:00/mile)
- Modifications: First 1.5 mile @ tempo pace downhill. Maintain tempo pace and no faster. Maintain last miles at pace or speed up.
- Splits: 7:00, 6:49, 6:59, 7:00, 6:58; overall pace: 6:57
- Thoughts: A decent tempo run but not 100% as planned. Need to practice holding back more at the beginning on the downhills.
- Planned workout #2: 16 mile Long Run with 10 @ marathon pace (7:30/mile)
- Modifications: First 2 miles at marathon pace downhill. Medium hill at mile 7, bigger hill at mile 9 to simulate Boston’s hills on tired legs at the end of the workout after early downhills.
- Splits: 7:27, 7:27, 7:49,7:29, 7:28, 7:30, 7:21, 7:29, 7:30, 7:25; overall pace: 7:29
- Thoughts: Temps started to warm up for the weekend so that definitely made the paces feel easier. Most of the snow and ice is melted except for about a 1/2 mile stretch during my 3rd mile at MP on the trail that was completely covered in black ice. I decided that slowing the pace to avoid slipping and falling was smart and split a 7:49. Half mile hill at mile 9 was definitely TOUGH and I was happy that I was able to maintain pace. Overall, pleased that 7:30 is beginning to click as a pace in my legs.
- Workout #3: This one wasn’t planned, but Thursday’s WOD at crossfit was 150 wall balls. Fit in perfectly to what I dubbed Trash My Quads week. I was still feeling that in my quads during my Marathon pace miles over the weekend, that’s for sure.
This coming week is a down week in mileage so I’ll have plenty of time to recover. Lots of stretching and foam rolling is on the agenda as well!