Training for the Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon Training Series



If there’s one thing I’ve learned how to do, it’s help runners qualify for and then run well at Boston. In this series of articles, I’ll walk you through the training I use with athletes to prepare for the race.

You’ll see how the training is not just about getting ready for another marathon. It’s all about getting ready for Boston and the unique challenges and opportunities it presents. Done correctly, you can run very well in Boston. Done incorrectly and the course will eat you alive.

At the outset, it’s important to understand who this training is for and who it is not for. First, this is for athletes who have qualified for and are running Boston. By default, this means that this marathon is, at minimum, their second marathon (but often their 3rd, 4th, 5th …) so what you will see is not designed for a first time marathoner.

Second, the runner is not starting from scratch. She has recovered from her previous training cycle, built back a solid aerobic base (consistent weekly mileage and long runs) and is ready for 12 weeks of focused training. She is not injured and can easily run for 45-60 minutes on mid-week runs and 90-105 minutes on long runs. In other words, she’s ready to begin marathon training, not just begin training.

To access this content, register for the Boston Training Series (free!). Already registered? Log in or click on the My Account button at the top of the page to access the series.







WEEKS 9-10

WEEKS 11-12


More Boston Resources:

McMillan Running Calculator – Use this to optimize your training and predict race times so you can better pace races.

McMillan’s Six Step Training System – Understand one of the most successful training systems on the planet. This article simplifies the often confusing world of run training.

YOU (Only Faster) – Greg’s best-selling book shows you how to optimize your training based on your unique traits.

How to Survive the Marathon Freak-Out – No matter whether this is your first or fifteenth marathon, Coach Greg’s strategies provide comfort and direction as race day approaches.

Train with a McMillan Plan – From a hand-built custom training program to having your very own personal online McMillan coach, you can find a McMillan training and coaching plan that fits your needs and budget.

UCAN Sample Pack – Try UCAN’s revolutionary nutrition for steady, long-lasting energy without the spike & crash and GI distress of sugar-based fuels. Get a $20 UCAN trial pack for free & pay just $5.95 for shipping!

Written By Greg McMillan
Called “one of the best and smartest distance running coaches in America” by Runner’s World’s Amby Burfoot, Greg McMillan is renowned for his ability to combine the science of endurance performance with the art of real-world coaching. While getting his graduate degree in Exercise Science he created the ever-popular McMillan Running Calculator – called “The Best Running Calculator” by Outside Magazine. A National Champion runner himself, Greg coaches runners from beginners to Boston Qualifiers (15,000+ and counting!) to Olympians.

Read Greg’s Bio




“I got my first Boston Qualifier today with a 21 personal record!”

– Ramona M.