The BQ(Q) – Abe M

The more of these Boston Qualifier Questionnaires I get, the more diversity I see in how people got to Boston.  Congrats to Abe for running not only a BQ, but also a sub three hour marathon in his first attempt.  And thanks for taking the time to answer these questions!

Name: Abe M

Sex: M

Age (at the time of first BQ): 34

Height: 6′

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 160ish…maybe

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

I ran the Fox Cities Marathon in 2011.  I finished in 2:46 something.  It was my first marathon, and I died.  I mean, I really died.

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

I started running at 13 because our school had a cross country team.  I got serious at 15 because I wanted to lose some weight.  I ran through high school, and then ran at UW-Oshkosh, a D-III school.  I got hurt before I finished my final year of track, and I didn’t run for five or six years.  Then, I tried training for my first marathon, but I gave up three months before the race.  I was up and down with my running over the next three years, including one year off while my wife trained for her first, before I finally got it together and strung together some halfway decent training.

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

That I don’t know.  I’ve been running, mostly seriously, for a bunch of years, but my logs don’t go back that far.

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

I probably ran around 2000 miles that year, and probably about 1600 up to the race date.

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?  

I think I ran five or six.  Maybe seven.  Most importantly, I did a couple of half 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 didn’t follow a canned program.  My only philosophy was to run some long runs, and run faster a couple times a week.  I’m not a running science geek, so I was woefully undertrained for that first one, but I survived.  I ran four mile tempo runs and usually a ladder-type workout.  I look back at it now and realize how sad it was.

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

I didn’t for the first one, but I did this year.

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

No cross training for me.  I figure that if I want to run faster, I’ll practice running.  And if I need to rest, I’ll just rest.

Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?  

Ha!  I’m the wrong person to ask about this.  I mean, I guess they did, but I don’t know what the role was.  Like I said, I’m not good with the whole science of running thing.  I did it because I liked the feeling of running fast.  And that’s why I hired a coach.

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

Don’t underestimate the mental power it takes during the training and racing towards your goal.  Make sure you practice the mental part of your training.  Have confidence in what you are doing.  Have confidence when you get to the line.  You need to realize that being nervous is part of being ready.  Don’t ever let that nervous feeling trap you.  Don’t let it be your enemy.  I know I’ve run against others that were in better shape or more talented, but when the time came to put it on the line, they didn’t have the confidence to do what they needed.  Train your body hard, and train your mind just as hard.


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