April 15, 2014 at 1:20 PM ET
Uta Pippig is a marathon legend, the first woman to win three consecutive Boston marathons. As TODAY's Natalie Morales prepares to attempt her sixth marathon, and first run in Boston, on April 21, Pippig will be sharing her daily training tips with TODAY.com. Here's her fifth one:
Dear Boston Marathon runners and dear Natalie—
Between four and five days leading up to your marathon I suggest a "pick-up-pace" 3-mile run. This is a typical workout I used in my own marathon preparation to get ready and fine-tune my running shape for the race. Let me share some thoughts with you about the intensity of this workout, since it will vary for all fitness levels.
For our beginners, you have an option for a short and relaxing 3-mile run. Just go easy and focus on smooth running. For our faster beginners, if you feel very good you might run the last mile at a moderate pace. Please make sure you recover well after your workout and in the days leading up to the marathon so that you are ready and energized.
For our intermediate athletes, run the first mile easy, speed up in the second mile to a moderate pace, and then finish with a fast mile. And for our advanced and elite athletes, run the first mile in easy to moderate pace, speed up in the second mile from a moderate to a fast pace, then finish with a fast mile. For both, the final mile should be a good, fast tempo you can comfortably maintain—and it should not be faster than your planned average marathon race pace. Also, please cool-down afterwards for one mile, and make sure you recover well after this workout.
On today’s emotional anniversary especially, I would like to pause and embrace you... I can’t wait to see so many of you and our Boston friends who have shown so much courage, strength, and love. Run with peace, run with joy, and run always on happy trails.
Natalie Morales is running the Boston marathon to raise money for The One Fund, which supports victims of the 2013 Boston marathon bombing and their families, and the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which helps people with disabilities remain active in sports. Learn more and donate on Natalie's Crowdrise page.
Uta Pippig won the Boston Marathon three times, the New York City marathon once, and the Berlin marathon three times. Born in what was then East Germany, she is now an American citizen based in Boulder, Colo., where she coaches runners, has a health foundation called Take the Magic Step and does motivational speaking with her Running To Freedom series.