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Ty Velde | Marathon Training

Three keys for the homestretch of a Boston Marathon training plan

Boston, Massachusetts -- 4/17/2017 - Runners make their way toward the finish line of the 121st Boston Marathon. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff) Topic: Marathonpics Reporter:
Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff
The 2018 Boston Marathon is on April 16.

It’s time to preparing for the reality that you will soon be running 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston in the 2018 Boston Marathon. However, as you stare down these final weeks, it’s critical that you start to embrace what I see as three key components of the “homestretch” training plan.

Weather

As I once wrote several years ago, “you can choose your race, but you can’t choose your race day.” When it comes to the weather on race day, you need to be ready and willing to take whatever is thrown your way.

Therefore in these final weeks, while I must be smart, whatever the weather brings, I’m running it.

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Snow? I’m plowing through it.

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Rain? I’m getting soaked.

Cold? Single digits are just a number.

The key is that no matter what the weather brings, it’s a part of my training plan in terms of getting ready both physically and mentally ready for Boston.

In these final weeks, weather is not something to be avoided. What stays with me is knowing that I’m able to brave the challenges that weather can present and most importantly on race day, I can run through it with confidence.

Time

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With less the five weeks to go until race day, it’s crucial to maximize your time.

It’s time look at back at what you have done and take assess what you have yet to do. For me, it’s crucial to make sure I have a plan to make the time and adjust my schedule to ensure I meet all my final key training milestones. I also find that there is still time to adjust your training plan to be ready for race day. For example, last weekend I added an additional 15-mile run into my training plan, since I had been traveling for two weeks prior and had not gotten in what I felt were a consistent number of longer runs.

It’s also time to start thinking about what kind race you are going to run. Specifically, what kind of pace are you feeling comfortable with? Think about and create expectations around time.

While we’re not all out there to win, or even qualify, it is key to thinking about how your Boston run will intersect with time.

Boston

For months, Boston has been a vision, a seemingly distant goal. However, its now time to embrace Boston as your soon to be reality.

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Boston is no longer a dream, but a 26.2-mile race you will be running.

For me, this is when I start to think about plan for the days leading up to race day and what I’ll be doing to get ready for it. In my early years of running Boston, this meant doing no running at all for four days leading up to race day. However, in recent years it has meant running the BAA 5k, which occurs just two days prior, at a leisurely pace with my young son as way to stay loose.

It’s also not too early to start thinking about where you will be staying, your activity level, and what you will be eating in those key days leading up to race day. While these all can be very personal components for many of us, if there is one thing I have learned over time is when it comes to nutrition, activity, and rest in the days leading up race day, it is much better to be proactive than reactive in your planning.

Before you know it, Boston will be here, and you’ll be toeing the starting line in Hopkinton. Yet, it’s also how you choose to embrace what will occur between now and then that, in my experience, plays a huge role in how ready you will feel, and truly be, once race day arrives.

Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston Marathon finisher who writes about running and marathon training. In 2018 he is running in support of the Stepping Strong Center and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.