Last year, Jason Hartmann finished fourth in the Boston Marathon, as top American. On Monday, coming off a massive personal best in the NYC Half on March 15 that “didn’t take a lot out of me,” he will toe the starting line in Hopkinton again, and he is a man with a plan—even if the plan is to just see how things unfold.
“My training plans don’t focus on time, just on getting better,” he told Sam Grotewold in an interview for the latest NYRR On the Run podcast. “I try not to focus on time because it can become a hindrance in performance. Say if I run 2:08 and I finish 11th place, would I be disappointed? Heck, no. That’s a huge PR for me. … I’m just trying to go out there and compete and let the race unfold as it may, just kind of read my body throughout the race and see if I can capitalize on opportunities.”
That’s certainly what happened last year on an unseasonably hot day in April, when Hartmann ran a smart race and picked off some of the top marathon runners in the world to fall just one spot shy of the podium in Boston. He called that a race a life-changer, partly because it validated his decision last year to begin coaching himself.
Given Hartmann’s time of 1:01:51 in finishing ninth at the NYC Half—beating a seven-year-old personal best by more than a minute—he is a top contender to repeat as the top American finisher in Boston. For the unsponsored veteran from Boulder, CO, it’s all on the line Monday. A good performance means his career goes on; a bad day and it might be all over. Is he feeling the pressure?
“I actually feel less pressure now than I ever have before,” he said. “It’s kind of been beneficial to my running. At the end of the day when I come back home through my front door my dog still loves me as much as he did before he left and my friends care for me just as much as before I fail and after I succeed.”
To hear the podcast, click here.
Photo Credit: PhotoRun/NYRR