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HOW Do You Get To Boston?

Old Boston Marathon joke: “Hey buddy, how do you get to the starting line of the Boston Marathon?” Punch line: Train, Train and Train.   

If you ask Boston Marathon qualifiers Jolene Wilson and Krista Lawell of Door County, they’ll tell you it’s by committing to a quality marathon-training program they believe in and follow.

Jolene Wilson, 51, running Boston for the first time, followed the training guidance of the Hansons-Brooks Distance Training Project.

"Running a marathon is all about pace," says Jolene about the Hansons marathon training philosophy. "Their program teaches your body and mind how to run your goal pace, no matter how tired you are."

Hanson designed their training around a concept called "cumulative fatigue" -- high weekly mileage volume and a steady diet of hard workouts.

“The longest run in preparation for my Boston Qualifier run at the Fox Cities Marathon was only 16 miles,” said Wilson. Those workouts, dubbed "Something of Substance," or SOS, include a speed or strength day run slightly faster than her goal marathon pace, a marathon-pace tempo run that gets progressively longer.

“All of the miles during the week fatigue your legs so that 16 mile run is like the last 16 miles of the race instead of the first 16,” said Wilson. By following the Hansons marathon training plan Wilson ran the Fox Cities Marathon in 3:44:39, almost 15 minutes under the 4:00 hour qualifying standard. 

Lawell will be running her ninth Boston Marathon. When she initially started running marathons in 2000, she followed Hal Higdon’s Advanced 2 Training Program. "I was extreme diligent following the program and getting in all of my speed workouts.

"The best advice I have to new runners is to try to be consistent in their training. You can shuffle workouts around to fit your schedule, but try to run at least 4 days a week minimum," advised Lawell.  Since then she has tweaked her training program to fit her own personal/work schedule.

“I average 45-55 miles per week in heavier training weeks, 35-40 miles in maintenance weeks. I have gone as far as 65 miles per week in years past. I really try to listen to my body, if I'm really sluggish one day, I don't let it get me down, because I know the next day can be a totally different run, and I'll likely feel stronger,” said Lawell, 38, who qualified for Boston at the Marquette Marathon by running 3:34:54. 

“Both runners believe in their training programs, so both training programs are right,” said Russell Flemming, 55, from Luxemburg, in Kewaunee County, who will also be running Boston this year after also qualifying at Marquette by running 3:22:25.

“Both programs the two women adhere to incorporate speed work. My program is based on the Hawaii Marathon Clinic, and they focus on long slow runs with hills, and no speed work. We run at a talking pace. We stop and recover when we are out-of-breath. Endurance is the key for my running, and I train at a slow  pace to cut down on injuries,” added Flemming. 

All three local Boston Qualifiers believe in their training program and follow their own recipes for success. All three will be toeing the starting line at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15th, and that’s no joke. 

Russell Flemming is covering this year's Boston Marathon for If you have any questions about running Boston or training for a marathon please email Russell at


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