Boston 2018 is over, now what?
No other marathon in recent memory challenged its runners like the 2018 Boston Marathon. Pros and amateurs alike were beset with the worst racing conditions the Boston marathon has ever seen. They were forced to call upon an inner drive and concentration they may not have known they had. It was both inspiring and humbling at the same time. I got to see every runner call upon every aspect of their training possible. They had to run smart, hard, and tough.
And there is absolutely no substitute for smart running, for hard running, and a motivated spirit.
Another aspect of training and racing that all marathoners share is post race analysis, and without a doubt the post race analysis starts as soon as the race is over. What if it was not cold, rainy or windy? What if the weather was perfect? What if we had a tail wind? What if my shoes did not weigh and extra pound each because of the rain? What if the pre-race holding area was not covered in mud? It is the most common denominator among runners; the what if questions, and it bears some playing out.
There is no doubt some people would have run faster, or at least finished (60% of the professional field DNF’d) if the weather was better. I am sure that the men’s winning time would have been faster than 2:15 and the women’s would have likewise been quicker than 2:39. But that was not the case, and instead of looking back, the best thing to do is to look forward.
So Boston is over, now what?
Focus on the future. Turn the accomplishment of completion into a tool to achieve even more in the future. Use it as fuel for the furnace; instead of being the “remember when” gal or guy, be the “what’s next” person.
Utilize the past without getting stuck. While moving forward use the past as a tool in your training and racing arsenal to reach new goals and achieve new personal bests. DON’T use the past to hold yourself back or get complacent if your major long term goal is improvement.
Back to the foundation. Be willing to do all the non-running things, like strength and stretching, to reach your goals. The people who improve the most are the best at doing all the small things consistently.
Run short. After an appropriate period of rest and recovery, find a short race, ideally a 5k or a 10k, or even a mile race would be great, and train for it with the vigor you put into your marathon prep. Sure marathons are great, and there is nothing like finishing one, but there is also nothing like burnout. Racing shorter events will limit your exposure to burnout; and let’s face it, not all of us are Yuki Kawauchi (the men’s 2018 Boston champion who has already run four marathons this year and won them all). Take care of your body and it will take care of you; run short, get faster, and then you can do another marathon.
Strength. Strength. Strength. Yup, this is repetitive. Because it’s that important. Don’t just be a runner, be an athlete. We preach about strength training for runners day in and day out; build a strong base and the house will endure the storms. If strength work is an open opportunity in your training, our House of Pain Strength classes can get your marathon beaten body strong, healthy, and durable enough to endure the next race on your calendar. Whether it’s a blistering hot 5k or another rain soaked, windy, bone chilling Boston Marathon.
If you are nervous about getting into strength training, are new to strength work, or just have no clue where to start, we offer our 6 week General Prep Strength Program for only $19. It’s completely video based and requires very little equipment (some resistance bands and some sort of other free weight will do the trick). Check that out HERE.