Monday, March 06, 2006

Boston Marathon tips from 1978 Women's Champion Gayle Barron

In 1978 Gayle Barron won the Boston Marathon in 2:44:52.

A Georgia Sports Hall of Fame member and voted one of Georgia's top 100 athletes of the 20th century, Gayle now coaches a running group in Atlanta called Team Spirit.

Here's a few helpful words of advice from Gayle to get you to the finish line in Boston...

1. Prior to Boston, concentrate on doing uphill and downhill strides to get the legs used to the hills at 16 to 20 miles. Also tempo runs of 4 to 5 minutes with a 2 minute rest are good to help the legs run faster on race day.

2. Take the last bus to the START to avoid sitting around for long periods of time waiting for the race to begin. When you get to the start, find a warm comfortable place to sit down and stretch the legs lightly giving them a good warm up. Prior to the race do about 10 to 12 fifty yard strides just to get loosened up.

3. DO NOT go out too fast on this course. There is quite a bit of flat to downhill before you get to Heartbreak Hill and there is a tendency for better runners to think the course is easy. Then when they get to the hills, they basically hit the wall. Be prepared for the long downhill after the Heartbreak Hill section. Pacing yourself will do wonders and you will feel stronger as you come into the heart of Boston. The crowds will definitely carry you through this race and inspire you more than any other race.

Thanks Gayle.

Check out the Team Spirit website at

Coming tomorrow: Gayle tells us how she was able to conquer Boston after a busy marathon season.