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A final tune-up before marathon

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff  April 3, 2012 07:00 AM

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100marcus_grimm.jpg Marcus Grimm is one of five Boston Marathon entrants testing the Polar RCX5 personal training computer and blogging about it for Boston.com
This past weekend was my last chance to gauge my fitness before the Boston Marathon. I jumped into a small, local 5k. Last year, Iíd been fortunate enough to finish in 2d place in a time of 19:12. I followed that up a month later with a 3:17:30 marathon. In theory, if I want to run faster than that in Boston, Iíd need a slightly faster 5k as well.

Though I came in 2d at last yearís race, my joke is that I was ďfirst mortal,Ē because the winner of the race had a time that started with a 16. This year, I noted on the starting line that there were two runners whom had hit the genetic lottery. That being the case, I ran from the gun for 3d place.

Though the instantaneous pace on the Polar device can be distracting on a long run, I found it to be ideal for the frantic nature of a 5k where you want to know your pace is slipping the second it begins to do so. Though I ran most of this race by feel, the Polar served as good confirmation for when I was feeling a little sorry for myself.

In the end, I was thrilled to knock exactly a half minute of last yearís time, finishing in 18:42, which made this also my fastest 5k in 20 years! More importantly, itís yet another sign that this marathon build has gone well, and I should be poised to sneak under Bostonís new marathon qualifying standards at Boston.

I really found the Polar HR graph for this race particularly interesting in that my heart rate immediately climbed to a solid Zone 5 state, but that I was able to hold it there until the very end. Click here to view it. Not surprisingly, thatís how it felt the entire time to me, as well; miserable from beginning to end, but with a nice reward for sucking it up.

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Look for updates, news, analysis and commentary from the following.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
  • Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
  • Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes

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