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Qualify For The Boston Marathon

We here at Your 26.2 are pretty proud of our forty-two qualifiers for the 2016 Boston Marathon!  Below are 7 of our top tips if you too are aiming to be on the start line in Hopkinton in April!  

1) Take The Easy Days Easy - When you have planned a recovery day (which should be 2-3 per week when doing best effort sessions), make sure you do not exceed 80% of your threshold heart rate during your workouts that day. If you go too hard on these days, you fatigue, and don't allow proper recovery of your peripheral systems. This will limit stimulation of your core systems on the next best effort workout due to residual fatigue. This sub-par performance during your key day typically results in testing yourself on the next recovery day which begins a nasty cycle of gray, middle type training. Make the hard days hard, and the easy days VERY easy.  Remember, the easy days are there only to keep the soft tissue pliable and flexible which reduces the chances of soft tissue injury. 

2) Descend Everything - Every single season, workout, set, mile, or yard you do should be paced to finish strong. This includes everything from recovery runs to repeats at the track. The purpose of this is to engrain that behavior for racing, and allow your soft tissue to progressively adapt to larger and larger loads. 

3) Make the Hard Days Hard - Your hard days should be VERY hard. That is, at a sustainable best effort. Remember, #2 above still applies here. Therefore, if you set out to do 1 mile repeats, do them at the best possible effort (pace) you can sustain for all 5 repeats. If you pace your workout properly, the last repeat should be run at an all out effort but result in a time/pace equal, or slightly faster than the previous 4.

4) Use a Recovery Drink - There is no better way to improve the physiological benefit of your workouts and improve your overall recovery. This drink should be used following all workouts that are draining including best effort days as well as long days. Ideally, your recovery drink will contain a high glycemic carbohydrate such as dextrose, and easily digestible protein such as whey. Moreover, a good recovery drink is one that has a 4:1 or 3:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. This will help replenish muscle glycogen and begin the muscle recovery process.

5) Never, Ever, Bonk - Fuel properly during training. Never step out the door without at least 2 gels (or 1 bar) more than what you believe is required for your workout (at least 1/3 your body weight in CHO per hour). The physiologic impact of a bonk is so great that you just can't afford to let it happen. There are many, many things that you don't have control over in triathlon. This is NOT one of those. Take advantage of that fact.

6) Sleep at least 7.5 hours per night - Training breaks you down. Rest and nutrition build you up. This is a no brainier. Training is useless without proper rest (and nutrition).

7) Have a Plan - We see too many folks approach their training without a plan to look forward at (including many with coaches!). All training should have a specific purpose depending on the time of year and personal limiters, and possess a gradual buildup of volume prior to peaking for your major "A" races. Without this plan, too many folks increase volume or intensity too quickly or too soon and end up injured. Remember, unreasonable buildups lead to injury, injury kills consistency, and consistency is the key to unlock your potential.

As we like to say, there is no magic! If you'd like us to help you along the way, check out our recent Boston Marathon Training Special!

We'll see you there!

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