Marathon advice from Runner's World experts
Conquering the hillsJen Van Allen, special project editor, says: Bostons hills are notoriously tough, but theyre not insurmountable. As we coach all the runners in Runner's World's award-winning marathon training program, the Runner's World Challenge, the key is to negotiate the downhills just as carefully as you take the climbs. With the 200-foot elevation drop in the first four miles (plus all the adrenalin), its tempting to charge out of Hopkinton. Resist it. The descent should feel like controlled falling. Keep your feet under you. Dont brake with your legs or let your feet slap the pavementthis will trash your quads and sap your strength.
Form is just as critical on Heartbreak Hill. As you climb, spring up and off the ground, rather than into it. Run tall, with head and chest up, shoulders back, and eyes fixed straight ahead. Pull your shoulders away from your ears, unclench your brow and jaw, and keep your hands loose.