On a pace basis, recovery runs should be no faster than two minutes per mile slower than half-marathon pace. Going too hard on recovery runs means your body will be more tired than it should be the next day; this will affect the rest of your training.
Complete recovery runs on flat courses and grass or trails that are not very technical. The softer surfaces will also speed the recovery process.
Tip 5: Don't Just Run
Adding some light strength training, core-strengthening exercises and foam rolling will also help your training. You can do simple strength training at home using your own body weight and no gym equipment. Exercises should include: reverse lunges, body-weight squats, push-ups, and ab work such as leg lifts, bicycle and back extensions. "When your core is strong, everything else will follow," says McMillan Elite professional running team coach Greg McMillan, who has also coached many non-elite runners to achieve BQs.
Foam rolling also helps the muscle recovery process.
Tip 6: Complete Tempo Runs
Tempo runs are another key training element to help you achieve your qualifying time. Tempo runs are steady-state runs where you run 2 to 3 miles easy, then go straight into your tempo pace without a break. Finish your tempo miles with a cooldown of 1 to 2 miles of easy jogging. Tempo runs improve your lactate-threshold pace, which leads to improvements in your marathon pace because these runs make marathon pace feel easier. Tempo runs are usually done at 15K to half-marathon pace, but you can also run them at 10 to 30 seconds per mile faster than goal marathon pace.
More: 4 Tempo Run Workouts
Tip 7: Training With Others Holds You Accountable
Training with a group of people with similar abilities or who are a little faster will make you a better runner. It will also make it less likely for you to skip runs on days you aren't feeling it because you will have people waiting on you.
More: 4 Tips for Group Runs
Finally, believe in yourself! Tell yourself over and over that you can and will qualify for Boston.
Sign up for your next marathon.