Want to run a strong Boston (or any marathon)?

For all you Boston peeps, with only one day to go until the 115th start in Hopkinton, your training is complete and there’s nothing you can change about it now. But you can keep a few tips in mind as you run tomorrow. In fact, everyone with a marathon in their future can benefit from these tips. They represent an excerpt from an excellent article on running marathons by Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, an elite master’s runner who will likely go in the 2:30 range tomorrow and owner of Two Rivers Treads in Shepherdstown, W.V.

  • Run in “hybrid” mode–You are starting the race with one gallon in the tank- assuming you have eaten a nice meal the night before with a breakfast top off.
    •    If you are in all gas mode, your engine will run about 1.5 hours at a strong pace….then you are out of gas.
    •    If you are mostly electric you can run all day, but maybe maybe not so quickly.
    •    If you are using the proper mix you will go quick and efficient for duration of your event, and you can even do some topping off along the way.
  • Maintain effort on uphills–Your pace will slow. You can easily use all your gas here if your effort increases. Shorten your stride, relax, and use your arms. Then allow gravity to take you down.
  • If you have a “bad patch”–try to refocus on relaxing, fuel a bit, and have faith in your training and racing plan. 
  • Land softly–especially on the downhills. 
  • For the article in its entirety, go to Mark’s web site.You can also see how he puts these methods into practice by following him tomorrow–#187 (I know, can you imagine?).

I have so many people I’m pulling for tomorrow and it’s impossible to list them all here. But especially important to me are my fellow Howard County Striders, Petra, who missed last year thanks to that volcano, and Beth, who went through so much just to toe the line. You  have perfect weather in front of you–I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t bummed that I’m not there this year to savor it! Go get it and enjoy the day!

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    1. Adrienne says

      I'm missing out on yet another Boston myself this year, but I'm super-pumped for all my friends and teammates going!

      "Hybrid mode" I like it!

    2. Gracie (Complicated Day) says

      Mark sent out a Powerpoint presentation on running last year (prior to Freedom's Run marathon) that was truly inspiring. It contained information that formed the foundations of my own running technique and theory. If you haven't viewed it yet I'd be glad to email it to you.

    3. Chris K says

      Beth? Don't you mean SUAR? That poor girl has been through hell and yet she persevered through a very ugly injury. Not sure I could have.

      I wonder…. will Miss Zippy and The Manly Runner be meeting up in Boston next year. Hmmmmmmmh. Maybe.

    4. Ewa says

      I am keeping all my fingers and toes crossed. I used to live in Hopkinton. Tomorrow I know I will miss cheering the races on the way.

    5. Lisa {eatprayrun-lisa.blogspot.com} says

      oh, how i would love to go on one of the HoCo Striders Bagel Runs!! i lived on Bagel Bin in high school, but never realized the beauty of all the trails, lakes etc. in Columbia that i could've been running back then.

      i love the hybrid analogy. finding that balance can be hard–one of the things, i'm sure, that makes "the great ones" so great!

    6. H Love says

      Love all these tips…makes so much sense.
      Also thank you thank you for your comment on my blog. I had to re-read it several times…made my heart skip a beat. Thanks for the vote of confidence!

    7. Teamarcia says

      Great article. I know I'm kinda bummed I didnt sign up although last October I was so sure I didn't wanna go. Sigh.

    8. Big Daddy Diesel says

      This was awesome, I am now just reading this and I used all these methods at my first half mary on the Sunday, I slowed on the inclines, I used my fuel just right and negative split the second half, I had a bad patches and refocused, Great minds think alike

    9. Jess @ Blonde Ponytail says

      You always provide such excellent info! I like these tips and will re-visit this post as May 14th is Mary #2 :)

      I still think about landing softly after reading more of your minimalist reviews. I'm thinking Nike Frees may be fun to try this summer!

    10. Sherri says

      Good advice as always! =)
      I am going to use all those tips this week with my mothering as I am running on low sleep and no hubby!
      I am hoping for some downhills! =0

    11. Joanne says

      Good advise.
      It was a super experience. Now I know why everyone loves Boston but they should def. change the course description from "downhill" to rolling. UGG!