The BQ(Q) – Cory M

Cory is another runner who got his BQ the hard way, over 12,000 miles on the road. Way to stick with it dude, and thanks for taking part!

Name: Corland M

Sex: Male

Age: (at the time of first BQ): 34 (nearly 35)

Height: 6 feet 0 inches

Weight: (at the time of first BQ):  176lbs

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Tell us a little about the race.

Grand Rapids Marathon 2010.  It was 50 degrees and sunny, no wind.  It was the 3rd time I’d run the GR Marathon.  The course is flat and less than 30 minutes from my home.  It features some park and blacktop bike path.   Much of the race is on 2 lane blacktop roads south from downtown Grand Rapids along the Grand River.  I chose to run with the Pi Pace Team.  Their goal was 3:14.  I needed 3:15:59.  The pace team started out at a pace just over the 3:14 goal, dipped just below the goal pace several miles in the middle of the race, then slowed down slightly over pace the last 4-6 miles of the race.  I finished the race 3:13:53, 2 minutes to the good.


How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?

I started running off and on in Jan of 2001.  It was about a month after my first wife passed in an automobile accident.  I ran 5-15 miles a week on a treadmill.  Often 3 miles, 3 days per week.  I started maintaining a running log and working toward goals in January of 2006.  I played football and baseball in high school, baseball in college.  I did not run.  I hated running.


What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ?

11,000 logged from 1/2006 to October of 2010, possibly an additional 2000 miles between 2001 and 2006.  (13k total)


How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ?



Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

20-25 races, 5-6 marathons


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 did not follow a preplanned program.  I based my training on Pete Pfitzinger’s Advanced Marathoning.

Periodization:  Base phase, then threshold training (hard tempo once / week), then VO2 max training (hard 5k paced intervals once per week).  During Threshold and VO2 Max training I ran one hard training run during the week, often a race on Saturday, and then a long run Sunday, easy miles and recovery miles between.

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach?

I have a large group of friends that I run with.  I only run easy, occasionally long runs with them.  I run my workouts and races alone.

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?

I like to lift weights.  I did core work 1-2 times/week.  I think it’s important.  I think that strength helps maintain posture and help with form later on in long runs.  I do not ride a bicycle.  I don’t use the elliptical.  I run a large portion of my easy runs and base training on the treadmill.  I try to do all long runs and workouts outside.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?

I’m not a fast runner.  My first marathon was 4+ hours.  I’ve managed to shave almost an hour off my PR through YEARS of easy running.  Be patient.  I shaved some big chunks off my PR the first few marathons in 2006 and 2007.  I struggled the most when I began to expect those big PRs in 2008 and 2009.

Easy running.  Build a huge base.

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