Longtime Runkeeper Engineer and Massachusetts native Jamie H. is getting ready to run his next marathon. Having run Monday’s race three times before, he shared some of his best advice and thoughts ahead of Patriots’ Day.
What’s your best advice for first-time runners?
Stick to your game plan. It’s so easy to stray from your plan. There are so many things happening, which makes it easy to say “I’m doing well. [The race] fools you. You’ve got to keep your first half really comfortable to be prepared for the second half. Go in knowing the second half of the race is going to suck. It’s more of a mental challenge than a physical one. You have to be mentally prepared to make adjustments along the way.
You first ran in 2012, what is 2023 Jamie doing differently than 2012 Jamie did? Are you changing this year?
I’m going into this race more mentally prepared. 10 years ago I would have run it based on feelings. This year I’m running it based on the data that’s backing up my advice – why I need to run slower, in the beginning, to help change how I’m going to feel at the end.
Is it fair to say 2023-you is listening to your own advice because 2012-you thought you were an outlier?
Totally! In hindsight, I’m in much better shape than I was back then. I put in more training and I’m going into it less nieve. (His Runkeeper activities prove it!) It’s easy to say you read article after article, but absorbing the information and actually listening is different. I’m thinking about “don’t start fast” and thinking about what that means for my pace. The first few miles are about trying not to dodge people and exert too much energy. I plan to stick to my plan this year and not let the excitement change that.
What are you telling yourself at the end of the race?
You take the last left turn and it feels like you’re almost there, but it’s kinda like a mirage, the finish line is right there but it doesn’t feel like it’s getting any closer. It’s the longest stretch. I remind myself it will all be over soon.
You’re from Massachusetts, what feels extra special about this race?
There’s a section where I first watched the marathon in person in 2002. I wasn’t running at that point in my life and on that day I said “I’m going to run a marathon.” Twenty years later I’m running this race for the 4th time in person. It’s my 15th marathon overall!
Everyone’s a running fan on Patriots Day. You could say this marathon inspired me to change my life.
What Jamie will be wearing on Monday:
Race Day Kit
Join us in wishing Jamie a very great day on Monday. All of us are rooting for you!