Kristy is a runner and coach who was kind enough to take the time to fill out the questionnaire, thanks Kristy! Sound advice about taking the goal of a BQ and splitting it up over a series of marathons.
Age (at the time of first BQ): 34
Weight (at the time of first BQ): 125
At which marathon did you get your first BQ? What was your finishing time? Tell us a little about the race.
Lehigh Valley Marathon on 9/11/11 (the last day to BQ!). My time was 3:43:46 (1:14 under my BQ time). The LVM is about 12 miles on trails – dirt with some rocky sections. The rest of the race is on paved roads with a few hills.
How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?
I did not run in HS or college. I started running when I was 25, so I had been consistently running for 9 years prior to my BQ.
What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ?
I’m not sure. My BQ was marathon #9 for me and with each training cycle I built up my mileage. My BQ training cycle maxed out at 55 MPW.
How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ?
Approximately how many races did you run in that year?
1 year prior to my BQ I started adding a Spring marathon to my training. Prior to that, I only did a marathon in the Fall. I also do about 3-4 half marathons per year.
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 loosely followed the FIRST training plan. High mileage and speed work really helped me drop my goal marathon pace. I wrote 2 posts about what it took to BQ: http://runthelongroad.com/2011/09/a-walk-down-memory-lane/ and http://runthelongroad.com/2011/09/believe/.
Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach?
I ran on my own and I am a running coach.
Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?
It didn’t. I did yoga here and there but nothing seriously.
Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?
It definitely did, especially workouts at the track (mile repeats, 800m repeats). Also, I have to credit marathon-paced long runs (although controversial) with giving me the mental boost I needed to KNOW I could BQ.
Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?
It’s worth all the hard work, trust me! What really worked for me is taking the process of BQing and breaking it up into small goals that you can accomplish over a few marathons. That made it much more manageable and feasible. And I kept reminding myself that you can have anything you want if you want it badly enough!