Name: Lance H
Age (at the time of first BQ): 41
Height (at the time of first BQ): 6’1″
Weight (at the time of first BQ): 173
At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Tell us a little about the race.
Baystate, 2010. I needed a 3:20:59. I was probably in 3:15 shape but after catching my kids’ never-ending sickness the Thursday before the marathon, I quickly realized I couldn’t maintain that pace. I had a hard time taking water and gels, and slowed to the bare minimum pace to get there (7:40s). The 3:20 pacers passed me around mile 22 or 23 and I realized I couldn’t lose them. I didn’t and ran 3:20:22.
How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ?
Other than the normal on again off again jogging that I’d done since college (no more than 20 miles a month probably), I started more seriously in 2005.
Did you run in college or high school?
What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ?
Maybe 10,000. But 7,000 or so were in the last 3 years.
How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ?
In the 12 months prior maybe 2900
Approximately how many races did you run in that year?
Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, give us an idea of what your training philosophy was
No. Over 2 or so years, I tried to steadily increase mileage, running most days. I’ve tried to just keep it simple with weekly mileage, long tempo runs 1x/week and intervals 1x/week. I think for me consistency over time has been the key to any success I’ve had. Most of what I’ve learned I’ve gleaned from different people in the swamp (a message board on running ahead – ed). It’s simple but not easy.
Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach?
No real running club, but I do have a good group of local friends that I run with pretty regularly in my little town. I don’t mind running alone at all, but it’s nice to have people that are going through similar experiences, friendly rivalries that go with it and of course company on some of those miles every week.
Did cross training play a role in your training?
Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?
I really believe if I can do it that nearly anyone can. 5 years ago I looked at a few friends that were running 4:00 marathons when I was running 4:28 and I thought 4:00 was a pipe dream. But I steadily and consistently put in the work and the times came down more dramatically than I ever would have dreamed. I ran 3:45 in 2009 and thought I’d never get to 3:30. I ran 3:20 last year and thought there was no chance I’d get to <3:10. Do the work, don’t get impatient, don’t take extended breaks and make running a non-negotiable priority in your life if you want to get better. Oh, and guess what the goal for Boston is? Hint: see the unachievable above.