BOSTON (CBS) — Running the Boston Marathon pretty much gives you bragging rights for life. Running as a member of the first-ever TB12 Foundation Marathon Team? Does it get any better?
“Growing up in Boston during this era, it’s a pretty cool experience,” said TB12 runner Will DiTullio.
Team perks include access to the TB12 Center in Foxboro, its body coaches, and a training program designed specifically for them.
“The basis behind it is the TB12 Method,” according to James Castrello, TB12 head body coach. “Nutrition, hydration and, the most important part, the pliability piece.”
“My body feels a lot looser and more free when I’m running,” said DiTullio. “Previously, when I got to this point of training — four months in — I was feeling really fatigued and kind of broken down.”
Longtime marathoner and TB12 runner Susan Hurley said the program confirmed some of the things she had been doing on her own.
“I feel like I’m a lot less tight than I was. I have, knock on wood, no injuries this year,” said Hurley. “I’m been feeling really fit, very strong.”
First-time marathoner Wendy Button was equally enthusiastic: “I had the best run of my life after my first session here.”
The focus of the training program isn’t just the running, but everything that goes surrounds that aspect.
This will be the tenth marathon for Rich DeCapua, and he said he’s learned a lot. “Learning about nutrition, and ways in which to stretch correctly, and be impactful with your time, and how to actually recover, and how sleep needs to play into it,” he recalled of his training.
Castrello said the training is often the most challenging part of the marathon experience.
“It’s not running the marathon. It’s the 20 miles on week 14 of the training regimen,” he said. “Providing them with a way to improve their recovery is huge for them.”
“That day after, you are so noticeably more equipped to walk,” said DeCapua. “You get out of bed and you’re like — I can stand up, thank God.”
Colin McRavey, a native of Scotland, has run ten marathons in the last 18 months, and he feels the difference.
“I definitely feel like I recover faster from runs,” he said. “I don’t have the same sort of soreness, and I’m generally more capable of running more in any given week.”
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The collaboration between Tom Brady and Alex Guerrero that has become the quarterback’s training plan is actually rooted in Guerrero’s work with track athletes early in his career.
“Tom’s been talking about his lifestyle for years now. It really is a lifestyle change,” said Castrello. “We change their nutritional habits, we change their hydrational habits, we change their rest and recovery.”
McRavey said, “I think it’s all of it right here. Holistically, it’s everything. It’s all about doing everything you can to perform as well as you can.”
“It’s not just for a particular event that you’re training for,” added Hurley, “It’s actually something that you adopt into your life to make those small gradual changes that are going to benefit you.”
They hope those changes will last a lifetime.
DiTullio is 38 with two young sons. He hopes his new training method has even better impacts further down the road.
“I don’t want to be one of those parents that can’t run around with their kids, can’t be active,” he said. “I want to set a good example for my two boys.”
“I just want to stay out there,” laughed Hurley. “I want to run a marathon when I’m a hundred.”
And in the short term, they’re hoping to see their work pay off on Marathon Monday.
“Our goal is to help them get across the finish line — however they’re able to do it,” said Castrello.
“My line is to finish with dignity,” said Button, smiling. “But if I have to crawl across it, I will.”
The money this eight-person team raises for the TB12 Foundation benefits young American athletes who can’t afford the post-injury rehab or performance enhancement programs like those available at the TB12 Center.
The training program the TB12 body coaches put together for their Boston Marathon team is available for anyone to download on their website — free of charge. The TB12 Foundation will also be running a Recovery Pop-Up for runners at the Revolution Hotel in Boston on Marathon Monday. TB12 Body Coaches will provide a limited amount of post-Marathon treatment sessions to runners who complete the race (Registration is necessary, so please email the Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information).