Bash is another young gun with a BQ. It took him a number of tries, but he finally made it. Thanks for taking the time to fill this out, Bash!
Name: Bash Z
Age (at the time of first BQ): 28
Weight (at the time of first BQ): 148
At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Tell us a little about the race.
Bay State marathon in Lowell, MA. Very flat course and high BQ rate. Also about 30 min from where I live so I wanted to sleep at home the night before and not travel.
How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?
Ran track in high school, but competed in the hurdles and sprints. My senior year I wanted a Fall sport, so I ran cross country. Wasn’t terrible but wasn’t great, think my 5k PR was 19. Typical college kid after that, lifted a lot, drank a lot and ran little. Got out of college after 5 years (5 year program) and ran my first marathon 6 months later in January 2006. Ran another marathon Fall 2007, then Fall 2008, then Fall 2009, then Feb 2010 (dropped out at 19) and then finally BQ’d in Fall 2010. Wasn’t really consistently running though until 2008.
What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ?
Probably close to 10,000
How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ?
This was key to my BQ I think. The year before my BQ I ran 3200 miles and then the following year I BQ’d and ran only about 2200. But that 3200 year built a base for me.
Approximately how many races did you run in that year?
Including Triathlons 17.
Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was?
I followed Pfitzingers plan. I enjoyed it and tried following it as much as possible. It was up to 70 miles per week.
Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach?
No, I was stubborn and wanted to do it on my own.
Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?
I swam and biked a lot in the Summer before the Fall BQ, but I don’t think it helped me become a better/more efficient runner. I do think it helped with injury prevention and helped my body become more balanced. But if you want to be a better runner, run more.
Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?
Relentless consistency. I read that somewhere and that’s pretty much it. I ran my first marathon in 4:34. And never thought I would get it down to 3:10. I ran a 1:26 half in May 2009 and then failed at the next 2 BQ attempts (Fall 2009 and Winter 2010). But then the following Fall (2010) I had more experience and felt more confident about it. I followed the Low Heart Training Method for a while and I think this kept me healthy during most of my training. If it’s a recovery run, make it a recovery run and relax and do not push yourself. Most of my runs 90% are easy and I hardly ever run at MP or 1/2MP, but I do race a lot, which I use as speed work.