Burfoot On Training for Boston

Amby Burfoot winning Boston

In mid-March my Wesleyan track team took a spring training trip to Quantico, Virginia. With Boston a month away, I wanted to pile on the miles. The first morning, I was up early for a 17 miler. That afternoon I talked my teammate Bill Rodgers (yes that Bill Rodgers) into joining me for what promises to be a relaxed 12-mile run. And it was, until we got totally lost in the twisting trails of Prince William Forest Park.  After two hours in low-80s heat, we walked a couple of time, then started up again, and eventually emerged to some roads. The run took three hours. I wrote it down in my log as 22 miles. That gave me 39 for the day, a good beginning.

Amby Burfoot and Bill Rodgers

Over the next two weeks, I averaged 25 miles a day, hitting 350 miles for the 14 days. After a few days of recovery, I noticed that I was running fresher than ever. Even when jogging, I skimmed along at six minutes per mile.  This had never happened before. It has never happened since. But in April 1968, I was in the flow… I was totally focused on the upcoming Boston Marathon and totally energized by the process. 

– Amby Burfoot from the essay “Running Scared”

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