Qualifying for the Boston Marathon
RTA coached athlete, Nick W, qualified for the Boston Marathon for the SECOND TIME! And we couldn’t be more happy for him! However, his preparation this time, was significantly different.
In 2016, we helped Nick punch his ticket to Boston for the first time ever. Our training approach was fairly traditional and he NAILED his race on race day.
For those who have raced the Boston Marathon, you know how iconic & special the race is. Immediately after crossing the finish line for the first time in Bean Town, he knew he wanted to do it again.
After a string of nagging injuries, Nick decided it was finally time to make another run at a BQ in 2019. This time, a few years older, an ever demanding job and with a string of recent injuries we took a different approach to help get him fit and ready to go.
CHANGE IN TRAINING APPROACH
This time, we significantly decreased Nick’s mileage. The idea was to prioritize REST and NAIL THE KEY SESSIONS.
Nick often had 2 days completely off each week and typically only ran 3-4 days a week. 1 – 20 min EASY RECOVERY RUN; 1 – HILLS on the treadmill; 1 – Track Workout & 1 – Endurance run (this was split AM & PM as the run got longer). In between the runs, we supplemented a SWIM and BIKE workout each week.
QUALITY & RECOVERY
As you can see, the weeks were built around QUALITY WORKOUTS (& test sets to measure fitness – despite minimal run mileage) and PROPER RECOVERY. The MOST important thing was the constant monitoring and communication between coach and athlete. This was important to make sure his injuries did not return AND that he had plenty of recovery despite constantly being on the road for work. He averaged between 25-30 run miles per week with one week of ~35 miles.
This was a HUGE difference from 2016 when when he averaged 40 miles per week and two weeks at 55 miles.
The Philadelphia Marathon on November 24, 2019 was the target race.
Nick’s age group of 55-59 meant his Boston Qualifying time had to be better than 3:35. Based on history, we knew he would have to go under that time by at least 90 seconds to give himself a good chance of securing his actual entry to the Boston Marathon.
A race execution plan including pacing and fueling was established prior to the race by Coach Elizabeth and Nick.
The time goal we established was 3:33.20.
The day of the race was cold and rainy. In fact, it rained ALL DAY. No matter,… Nick stayed positive and focused on what he could control. His attitude and executing his plan to the best of his ability. Nick did just that and crossed the line with a finish time of 3:32.50, :30 sec faster than goal!!!
If you have ever run a marathon before, you can definitely appreciate how incredible this is. Not only achieving the goal, but also NAILING the race plan and finishing seconds away from our predicted time.
CONGRATS again to Nick on his amazing accomplishment and a special THANKS to him for trusting his coach and training program.
After disappointing results in triathlon and marathon training, I started working with RTA in 2016. They have helped me reach my goals with tailored training programs along with improved pre-race and race day planning. I struggled with fueling and pacing in the longer distances and Elizabeth has helped tremendously. I also find the accountability important for me when trying to balance my work with training. We have definitely developed an understanding of how to prioritize and put my training time to best use. – Nick W