Late 30s husband, father, programmer, and runner.
I'm training for the Boston Marathon using the Hansons marathon plan.

  • Question: Hi Chris! Please spill your guts in a very detailed manner on how you hydrated the day before, morning of, and during your marathon. I've ran 4 marathons and I still don't think I hydrate right the morning of the marathons. Thanks! - runningeek
  • Answer:

    "Spill your guts" implies I have some kind of secret! I’ll lay out some tips here that I try to follow, but I highly doubt this is scientifically proven:

    1. Cut out the caffeine about a week ahead of time. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I have to stop drinking soda. There’s differing opinion on whether caffeine is truly a diuretic, but I figure better safe than sorry.
    2. Carb-load 2-3 days before the race. Those carbs will help retain extra water. It’s like bonus points before you even run a step.
    3. Drink plenty of water the day before the race. Carry a large bottle with you everywhere you go and keep refilling it. You want to pee clear by the time you go to bed.
    4. Drink electrolytes pre-race. I’ll usually nurse a large Gatorade from the time I get up to the starting gun. I do this because I’d rather drink water during the race and avoid getting sticky fluids all over my face.
    5. Drink two big sips of water every two miles. This largely depends on the availability of aid stations in your marathon (or fluids you carry with you), but I’ve found this to be adequate for me. I also do my long training runs with a similar pattern. Don’t skip the early stations! If you’re feeling thirsty later in the race, it’s often too late to recover those lost fluids.
    6. Supplement with salt tablets if you’re a heavy sweater. I’ve only recently started experimenting with this, but it makes sense if your fluids and gels don’t already provide enough sodium and/or potassium to prevent dehydration and cramping.

    Everyone’s going to be different, but so far this seems to be working for me. While it was relatively warm at the Boston Marathon, I don’t think I suffered from any dehydration symptoms out there. Just sunburn. Ouch.

  • Question: Do you have any training plans that are around 9 weeks long? I'm running my first marathon next Sunday and will start up running again a couple weeks after that. I'll be out of the country all of July and will only have about 9 weeks of running in familiar area to train for TC on October 5th. - sophie-in-training
  • Answer:

    I can’t think of any full marathon plans shorter than 12 weeks.

    You could potentially pick up the last 9 weeks of your preferred plan when you get back, but you’d need to maintain a pretty good endurance base (70% or more of the planned weekly mileage). The first week or two might be rough, but you could make minor adjustments to give yourself a little bit of a break until you were up to speed.

    If you’re not going to be able to run at all while you’re abroad, you can skip weeks in a plan until you’re caught up (weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, … or 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, … for example). You’d have to look at those early weeks and see where you could cut some out without increasing mileage and intensity too quickly. Your potential for injury is higher with this approach, and I wouldn’t bank on running your best marathon. Temper your expectations.

Official time 3:01:26 (6:56/mi), 2595th place

I broke down my mile splits to match my strategy. I was pretty close to plan in those first three sections. I just ran out of gas at the end I guess. I was almost 4 minutes off target from Heartbreak Hill (mile 21) to the finish. On a flatter, cooler course I might have had the goods.

Maybe running 6:40s in the middle was a mistake. I remember trying to conserve more last year so I could get through Newton. I was going for a PR though, so I don’t regret my approach. I had the confidence from my tempo runs. The shortcuts and rearrangements to the Hansons plan due to weather might have had an adverse effect. Hard to say though since it’s worked so well in the past.

I ended up having an unexpected running partner until Newton. lysrunning's boyfriend found me right after the start and we ran together for quite a while. It was always hectic going through the water stops. One time I turned around to check on him and he wasn't there. I'm usually a loner when it comes to running, so it was different to have someone there at my side. I wish I'd been able to help him along farther, but he was doing great up until we split.

The race was packed for a long time. I don’t think we really had room to move until closer to mile 5. My pace was good through the middle as I soaked up the energy of the crowds and the runners around me. The cheering was pretty much nonstop the whole way. How can you not want to run fast?

I remember being so relieved when I crested Heartbreak Hill. Okay, now I can turn on the jets again. But my legs just would not move. Yes, it was easier running downhill, but it was a struggle. I never stopped moving my feet though. And I knew if I just kept running I’d still have a chance at a good finish time. I was calculating what pace I could run to still make 3 hours. Eventually I could tell it was slipping away unless a miracle happened.

This race is fantastic for so many reasons. I know I sound a little gloomy about my performance, but it’s an honor to run and not one I will take lightly. While I love my hometown Chicago Marathon, the Boston Marathon is just a special event. I’m grateful to be a part of it this year. My wife and I have loved Boston every time we’ve come. Keep doing your thing, Boston. And I’ll keep coming back for more.

I expected to wake up to aches and pains, but why did my right shoulder hurt so much? Hmm, 3+ hours running in the same direction made me pretty crispy. After months of not knowing what the sun looked like, I guess I missed this critical part of my preparation. Don’t forget your sunscreen my friends.

I expected to wake up to aches and pains, but why did my right shoulder hurt so much? Hmm, 3+ hours running in the same direction made me pretty crispy. After months of not knowing what the sun looked like, I guess I missed this critical part of my preparation. Don’t forget your sunscreen my friends.

  • Question: You ran a hell of a race!! Hope you're very, very proud of yourself. The winter training season from Hell is finally over, congrats!!! - runningwithpump
  • Answer:

    Thanks! I’ll admit I was disappointed at the end, but I had known for miles that I didn’t have the energy to pull it off.

    Still a great improvement from last year. They can’t all be PRs. It looks like a lot of people suffered on those hills today.

    Uh, I gotta do this all again in 6 months at Chicago?? Really hard to comprehend right now. Looking forward to some recovery time this week for sure.

cmjhawk86:

Sweet nectar of victory. Harpoon IPA to wash down a new marathon PR of 3:18:49. Boston, this toast is for you. Slainte! #craftbeer #bostonmarathon #bostonstrong #runblr #fitblr

cmjhawk86:

Sweet nectar of victory. Harpoon IPA to wash down a new marathon PR of 3:18:49. Boston, this toast is for you. Slainte! #craftbeer #bostonmarathon #bostonstrong #runblr #fitblr

Source: cmjhawk86

lysrunning:

Saw my boy. Told him to keep an eye out for seechrisrun and look who he found!

lysrunning:

Saw my boy. Told him to keep an eye out for seechrisrun and look who he found!

Source: lysrunning

Marathons are hard! Especially this one.

3:01:26 - almost 5 min improvement from last year. I didn’t get a new PR or sub-3 like I hoped. I ran according to plan, but had nothing left on the backside of Heartbreak Hill.

Hotter than I expected too. So salty.

Marathons are hard! Especially this one.

3:01:26 - almost 5 min improvement from last year. I didn’t get a new PR or sub-3 like I hoped. I ran according to plan, but had nothing left on the backside of Heartbreak Hill.

Hotter than I expected too. So salty.

Last photo before the finish. Thank you all for the well wishes and good lucks!

Last photo before the finish. Thank you all for the well wishes and good lucks!

Athletes' Village

seechrisrun:

To those of you running the Boston Marathon, I’m planning on camping out in shallow center of the baseball field on race morning. That’s on the north end of the village behind the middle school if you’re looking at a map. Last year that area was free of tents. If there’s something there this…

Reminder if you’re going to be in Hopkinton tomorrow

Source: seechrisrun