As my PR is at Boston, I will attempt to answer this question in statement form:
– Obviously the weather has to cooperate.
– Boston has a decent elevation drop.
– I favor even pacing, but you can't look at exact splits on this course every mile.
– There is a fair amount of downhill early and towards the end at about 21 miles.
– One is best served if they incorporate some downhill training, but not to the degree it compromises your overall training.
– Do not get caught up in the rush at the beginning. Lots of bodies, stay out of trouble. It goes downhill for awhile so just run relaxed. Don't beat your quads up.
– Lots of fluid stops. Drink a little from many stations.
– You want to stay focused on your pace. When you get to the hills do not race through them. Enjoy the fact you are using different muscle groups. Run steady and stay aerobic.
– I believe to PR at Boston you have to get to 21 with your legs under you. After the hill portion, don't be discouraged if you fall a bit behind pace. You can make a lot up at 21 and to the finish.
– At 21, take inventory, and use the net downhill to your advantage. I did a fair amount of 8k tempos on the track to train my brain to be ready to go.
– With this strategy, you will be flying by people which certainly fires you up. Just try not to get greedy too early.
– It really is mile to mile past 23, but when you are cruising by people the crowd really gets behing you. Did I mention there is a huge amount of people cheering you on?
– Once you are past 25 you are own your own, but honestly, if you have ran correctly, you are still crushing people. It just comes naturally, no matter how bad you hurt that you want to keep taking people down.
– Running that final stretch at Boston just does something to you. You look down that stretch of a few hundred yards to the finish, see the stream of bodies, and you can't help sprinting it in to pass as many as you can.
– I was in about 300th at 21 in 2002. I finished 198th overall. I caught 33% of the field ahead of me with this strategy. I know it works, but you have to have gas in the tank and quads that are not shot to pull it off.