Training Plan for a 3:17 Boston Marathon (Advanced)

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For the 2015 Boston Marathon, I finished the race in 3:17:58 (7:33 minute/mile pace). While this time is considered good, it was over 10+ minutes of my personal record in Chicago 2013.  However, the Boston course has a good amount of rolling hills, with one of the most infamous hills named “Heartbreak Hill.”

For the 2015 training cycle, I decided to increase mileage with an aggressive training plan.  Over the course of 17 weeks,  my weekly running miles ranged between 50-80 miles!  To provide perspective – When I trained for Chicago a couple years earlier, I averaged about 46 miles per week.  This fact alone debunks the theory that “More miles = Better finish time.”

Training Notes

  • 17-Week training cycle from December 2014-April 2015
  • In early December 2014, I threw out my lower back which prohibited any physical training for a few weeks.  I had no base training & was well over my ideal racing weight.
  • Average weekly miles = 67 miles (excludes last 3 weeks of tapering)
  • Includes 2 half-marathon races during training:
  • Certain Days of the week were assigned different workouts:
    • Monday: Track Day
    • Tuesday: Recovery miles, easy to moderate. Slower hilly runs
    • Wednesday: Interval runs
    • Thursday: Recovery miles, easy to moderate
    • Friday: either Recovery miles, or Tempo runs
    • Saturday: Long distance runs
    • Sunday: Rest or cross training (Spin class)
    • There were also days when I decided to do “double” workouts…2 workouts in a single day, that was all up to how I felt each day

Training Plan & Goals

Boston Marathon Training Plan

17-Week Training Plan for Boston

With all this training miles & based off the Half-marathon races, I planned to run finish Boston in 3:05 (qualifying time for Boston marathon).  If you read the recent post, the weather conditions in 2015 were not ideal for a personal best time.  I was ready for the hills and the point-to-point course, but I could not train for the weather conditions.  I started to experience leg cramps earlier than usual during the race, along with headwinds and horizontal rains throughout the race.  Given all these setbacks,  I was still satisfied with the finish and relieved that training was over 🙂

Good luck if you are currently or will be training in the future, for whatever distance. Remember – the important part is making it to the Starting Line healthy, so stay injury-free!

Disclaimer: If you are building a training plan, do what feels right for you. Do not use my training plan as a concrete plan…each person’s fitness & other factors are different. Consult with a coach or trainer to decide the right plan for you!

Make Today > Yesterday

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Running Journal

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