I haven't formally started training for my qualifying marathon yet, but it's now less than a year away.
Again, my goal is to qualify for Boston, and to do so I need to run a 3:30:59.
Listening to a an episode of Steve Runner's Phedippdations podcast a little while ago, I felt that my implicit strategy for training was wrong. Steve reviewed the 9 principles of Arthur Newton, an early expert on marathon training.
One of Newton's principles was to focus on the target race, and not do other races.
Hmm. I'm basically doing the opposite.
So, these are my principles:
1) Run as many races as I can. Basically, because I like running races, because they are intermediate training targets, and because an occasional bad race is less of a big deal if its just one of many you are doing. Now, I'm not talking marathons of course, but halfs, 10-Ks, and hill races. For me, no training session ever matches the intensity of a race. My goal is to run as many races as I can.
2) Run hills. Again, simply because I like them. Aside from the physical strength gains, I think running hills makes you mentally tough (in a running sense).
3) Speed work. There's a clarity of purpose about running intervals on the track that I savour. It's just about you, the distance, and the time. It can be hard quarters, or fast miles. After a couple of sessions, you start to feel strong. For my marathon training, I'll probably lean towards running fast mile intervals.
4) Long runs. At least one of these a week - possible two as I get in real training. My goal, as mentioned in a previous post, is to build up mileage on "The Road" near my work. Today, I can run 10 miles reasonably comfortably there. The complete distance, when I can do it, will be 19 miles.
Wise and worldly runners, what advice might you impart for someone aspiring to qualify for Boston?