Q:  I got into the Boston Marathon.  I’ll be using the intermediate marathon plan – should I keep the Wednesday workouts, or should I  make any other changes?

A:  Congrats on your entry into Boston.  Despite everything you hear about Heartbreak Hill and how brutal it is, Boston is actually a very fast course – in fact, the world’s fastest time was run there a few years ago, although it doesn’t count as a world record because of the course’s net downhill profile.

Running intervals during the week is a tradition of most marathon programs.  The workouts are relatively short, so they can be squeezed into a workday schedule, and they are far enough from the long weekend run to allow enough time for healing and recovery.  As explained in Smart Marathon Training, speedwork is a cornerstone of race preparation, and your preparation for the Boston Marathon doesn’t require any change from this.

The only thing I would recommend adding to your program is some downhill running – it would be helpful to prepare your body for that extra impact.  Most runners (myself included) experience a lot of quad soreness after the race – that’s because the quads absorb much of the impact of downhill running.  You could acclimate to this by practicing it weekly in training; add a few downhills to your long runs.



About horowitzrun

Jeff is a certified running, cycling, and triathlon coach, and is the author of "My First 100 Marathons" (Skyhorse Press 2008) and "Smart Marathon Training" (Velo Press 2011). An obviously addicted runner, Jeff has run at least one marathon in every state and on 6 continents, including marathons in South Africa, China, Bangkok, and Antarctica. Jeff is available for group, one-on-one, and virtual coaching. Options include: 1. Basic Training Plan. This includes a customized training schedule geared towards a goal race, with a detailed running schedule that would include all distances and target times for each workout, including speedwork, tempo, and endurance sessions. 2. Complete Fitness and Race Plan. This includes the plan listed above, plus the non-running workouts and drills that runners need for better overall fitness and performance. You would get strength & core workouts, as well as run-specific training drills and stretches. 3. Virtual Coaching. This includes all of the above, implemented on a week-by-week basis. We review each week's progress at week's end so that adjustments can be made. The program is tailored to suit you right up to race day. It involves more contact, on a weekly or even daily basis. 4. Full Coaching for athletes in the Washington DC area. All of the above, plus a weekly workout together including speedwork, drills, and strength training. 5. Individual track sessions. One-on-one track-based workouts. Contact Jeff for pricing.
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  1. Thanks, Jeff. I’m hoping to PR in April, but have had my doubts, given what I’ve heard about the course. Your comments are encouraging! happy new year!

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