The 100-Day-Couch-To-Boston-Marathon Training Plan

Today’s blog is for all those people who want to run the Boston Marathon but suddenly find themselves a mere 100 days out from the race. I know it sounds like an insurmountable task but it can in fact be done. Follow the steps below, in order, and in approximately 100 days, you will be ready to run the Boston Marathon.

Step 1

Have X-rays taken and make sure all bones look like they’re good to go.

If you notice a bone, especially a leg bone, is not fully connected, as in this photo, I would recommend delaying running for a time. You may want to consult a physician.

If you notice any leg bones that are not fully connected, I would recommend you delay the start of your training program. In such cases, you may want to consult a physician before running.

Step 2

Ensure all pannuses (panni? not really sure of the plural here) have been sufficiently reduced so as not to significantly interfere with training. This is a tough one that may require either 1) Liposuction or 2) (The less expensive route) a daily reduction of consumption of items such as mint chocolate chip ice cream, Oreo cookies, trans fats, and/or (excessive) beer consumption. I recommend less than 12 daily servings of the aforementioned items until any remaining pannus is small enough to remain mostly stationary during running.

You should look more like the person on the right and less like the person on the left before starting your training program.

You should look more like the person on the right and less like the person on the left before starting your training program. Somewhere in the middle is okay, but again, you should be leaning more towards the right hand side of this spectrum.

Step 3

It behooves you to have minimal muscle, joint, bone, tendon, or ligament pain before you begin your 100-day-couch-to-Boston-marathon program. I recommend the 80s-comedian-cursing-pain scale to determine if you’re really ready to run, which means honestly assessing the level of cursing you make as a result from pain during each step. If you encounter a persistent pain that causes you to curse at an 80s-pre-sexual-assault-Bill-Cosby level, you are probably fine to continue to run. However, if you find yourself cursing at an 80s-Richard-Pryor level, you probably should stop running and seriously reevaluate your plans for April.

Step 4

At some point, you will actually have to regularly run in order to properly train for the Boston marathon. If you have successfully navigated your way through steps one, two, and three, then you may begin to run. But please note, if 100 days from the Boston marathon you find yourself running for the first time, in the days to follow you will really need to ramp up your mileage pretty aggressively. Adages like “never increase your weekly run by more than 10%” must necessarily be thrown away. But remember, you will have to monitor any new, and especially any new and persistent, pains very carefully. A persistent pain (step 3 Richard-Pryor-level persistent pain) that is regularly ignored leads one directly back to the picture in step 1.

But assuming you find yourself pain-free, go ahead and start running regularly. In most cases you will need to run six or seven days a week. Your mileage will need to increase from week to week. Perhaps something like this:

Regularly increase your mileage more than 10%. Back off only if/when you reach Richard-Pryor-cursing-level pain.

Regularly increase your mileage by more than 10%. Back off only if/when you reach Richard-Pryor-cursing-level pain.

Step 5

Once you’ve increased your running mileage for three or four consecutive weeks, it’s time to put on your big boy or big girl pants and Nut Up or Shut Up, Buttercup. Pick a grown-ass man’s program like this or this. In addition to running 20 or so miles, do these workouts every day and you will be ready, like a boss, to grab the Boston Marathon by the pussy.

Step 6

In 100 days, after following all the steps above, you will not only be ready to run the Boston Marathon, you will be ready to win the Boston Marathon. Guaranteed. All you’ll have to do to ensure the victory is talk a BAA official into letting you in the elite corral, and when the starting gun fires, run as fast as you can until you are in the lead. Once in the lead, if anyone passes you, immediately pass them back. Lather, rinse, repeat for 26.2 miles until you break the tape as the winner. If you don’t win, it’s because somewhere between steps one and six, you failed to properly follow the program. That’s on you.


That’s it! Piece of cake! See ya in Boston, champ!


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