If you’ve qualified for the Boston Marathon, you’re no amateur. You likely have several marathons and half-marathons under your belt. Now that you’ve qualified, you need to focus on training for the specific demands of the course to be prepared on race day. Read more to learn about specific workouts for your Boston Marathon training plan that will help you get ready to toe the start line confident and finish strong.
Depending on your experience level, you’ll want to start your Boston marathon-specific training program 12 to 20 weeks before the race. If you’re experienced and already have a good mileage base, lean towards 12-14 weeks so you don’t burn out with these workouts. If you’re a more novice runner, go towards 16-20 weeks to start training.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on specific workouts to get you ready for Boston’s notorious, challenging course.
The Boston Marathon is known for its hills, both uphill and downhill portions. So, it’s important to include both uphill and downhill training in your workouts to be well-prepared.
This workout, designed by the BAA is a workout that incorporates uphill and downhill running in a tempo run. You can do it on hills outside or simulate it on a treadmill. Starting in January, do this workout once per month.
You can customize this workout based on your current mileage, experience level, and marathon goal time, but just make sure you include both the uphill and downhill sections to simulate the marathon course and strengthen your quads, calves, and hamstrings. Remember, if your goal is to run a four-hour marathon, your race pace should be no more than nine minutes per mile.
This workout gets you ready for miles 11-16 of the Boston Marathon, just before the Newton Hills. Do this workout once in January and once in February, and once in March, and once in April. Here’s how it’s done:
Getting your quads ready for the downhill portions of the race is just as critical as preparing for the Newton Hills! Do this workout once a month from January through April. You can find a good downhill outside, or simulate this workout on a treadmill.
Depending on your skill level, you can alter any of these workouts to make them harder or easier as you progress. If you’re an advanced runner, you may want to increase the hill repeats, but if you’re fairly new you might want to build them up over the months.
It’s also important to remember to properly warm up and cool down before and after each workout. In between these intense, specific workouts for the Boston Marathon, focus on building a good mileage base, strength training, rest days, cross-training, and proper nutrition to help avoid the risk of injury.
Finally, let’s wrap up with a great video about stories from the Boston Marathon on how to qualify, train, And race–from newbie, veteran and elite runners with Coach Nate:
Now that you know what workouts to focus on to train for the Boston Marathon, don’t forget to download our new mobile app for access to coaching advice, daily video workouts, injury prevention tips, and complete training programs that will help motivate and inspire your training program!