How to Run the Tangents

Have you ever finished a race and wondered if you could have run faster? Well, I hate to say, if you didn’t run the tangents properly odds are you probably could have run faster.


I qualified for the Boston Marathon with three and a half minutes to spare. Each year thousands of runners qualify but are not accepted, depending on how many spots are open and how many qualifiers apply.


I looked up the previous years’ cut-off times (the time below the minimum qualifying standard for age and gender that you actually have to run to get to Boston). My time would have been accepted every year. I waited excitedly for months.


When I found out the cutoff was 4:52 below the qualifying time, I was crushed. I missed it by a minute and a half. I turned to the data and noticed my Garmin read 26.6 miles. One third of a mile at an 8 min/mi pace is over two and a half minutes. Had I learned to run the tangents, I just may have earned my finisher jacket.


What Exactly does Running the Tangents Mean?