Ryan Miller of Haverhill finishes second in the Sapienza Road Race held at Haverhill High School.

Ryan Miller has never run the Boston Marathon, but he is no stranger to the 26.2-mile race route, having once lived along the course in Natick.

"For years, when I was in high school, I used to run parts of the course almost every day," said Miller, who has recently done 20-mile training runs along the Boston course. "So, yeah, I am very familiar with the Boston Marathon course."

The 24-year-old Miller | along with nearly 20,000 others, including 11 Haverhill residents | will attempt to run more than just "parts" of the historic course on April 16, when he makes his Boston Marathon debut.

And what is the laid-back Miller's goal in the 111th annual race from Hopkinton to Boston?

"I don't have a (finishing) time goal for the race," said Miller, who recently ran a quick 15:44 for 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) at the USATF New England Track and Field Championships at Harvard University.

"Instead of getting all fired up about the race and worrying about time, I take a relaxed approach and hope to have a good time. If you just relax, who knows what can happen?"

Though Miller is coy about what he hopes to run for a time at Boston, the former Fitchburg State track and cross country standout, buoyed by some unconventional (by marathoning standards) training, seems primed to run well on Patriot's Day.

"It's (Boston Marathon) a start of hopefully good things to come for Ryan," said Matt Germain, Miller's training partner and Sisu Project teammate. "Being relaxed is a key part of running well. And Ryan believes in that strongly.

"What can he run for a time? It's hard to say. He has run only one marathon (2:53 in Philadelphia), and based on what he has run in the shorter distances, he has the potential to run much, much faster than that, and I think he will."

"At Boston he's going to go out and see what happens. He has certainly done the work and some impressive workouts."

Ah, the workouts.

Lately Miller's bread-and-butter workout has been a weekly 20-mile run along the Boston Marathon course followed by an hour and a half of "power yoga" in a room where the temperature is 100 degrees.

Along with the yoga (sometimes five hours' worth on Sundays), Miller incorporates lots of core strength training | using a stability ball | and karate.

While Miller's weekly mileage, about 50 per week, is relatively low for marathon training, he said the yoga and core training have helped him stay healthy.

"I love running every day," Miller said. "But I have changed my approach (to training) and am trying to reduce the pounding on my legs that comes with running big miles. The main thing is staying healthy and feeling good."

"There are days when I'll play around on the (stability) ball for an hour and a half or do yoga for up to five hours," Miller said. "Depending on the day and when the spirit moves me, I'll do different workouts."

Germain said he thinks his former college teammate is ready to roll at Boston.

"He has also been doing a lot of progressive runs where he'll start really slowly for the first mile and then keep picking the pace up and finish with a 5-minute mile for the last mile of a 10-mile run," Germain said.

Miller has clocked 31:15 for 10 kilometers and been a consistent top finisher in local road races the past few years, including a second-place finish at last summer's Sapienza Memorial 4-mile road race.

Miller will be joined on race day by Haverhill runners Chis Alexander, who will pound the pavement to raise money for the liver foundation; Terry Dauphinais; Peter Heslam; Paul Hudson; Paul DiLorenzo, who is running to raise money for the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society; James Laprel; Michelle Leblanc; John O'Connor; Kendra Young; and the husband-and-wife team of Kelly and Steve LeCours.

"I am looking forward to doing the race and enjoying the day," Miller said. "I just want to have a good time out there. That's what it's all about."

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