The BQ(Q) – Lauren R

Name: Lauren R  (

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 25

Height: 5’4”

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 130

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

The Toronto Goodlife fitness marathon on May 5th 2013. It was my first marathon, and my main goal was to BQ! I finished in 3:28:18, I was secretly trying for 3:20 but didn’t really know what to expect. I went out too fast and was pretty burnt out by about 27km Those last 15km or so I just tried (somewhat unsuccessfully) to keep my pace up! It was painful but the feeling afterwards was pretty great!

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 high school, or competitively in college. I started running about 6 years ago and sort of kept it up off and on to get some exercise here and there, but only started watching my pace and distance about 2 years ago. I ran my first 10km July 1st 2011, placed first female and was hooked on racing! The year after I ran two half marathons (first female in one with a PR of 1:35:30), and after a few months hiatus (backpacking trip) I signed up for my first full!

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

Approx 3500km (~2200 miles)5

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

2100 kms (~1313 miles)

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

Two 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?

Sort of followed one made my Runner’s world smartcoach. I got my mileage up to about 75-80kms (50miles)/week, with every third week a bit lower mileage. I did one long run (25-35km) a week, with 1 speed work day (alternate weekly tempo runs and 1600 repeats). And just regular pace runs the rest of the days to get the numbers up.

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


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

Yes, I could bike/spin on Tuesday and take the day off running, and strength train 3x/week. Usually chest/shoulders/triceps on Monday, biceps/back Thursday or Friday, and endurance (15-20 reps) squats/deadlifts + hip/butt strengthening moves after my speed work day.

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

See above!

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

I started my training plan in October (when I signed up for the marathon), and aside from a few weeks where I took some time off running because of some hip pain (during this time I did a lot of spinning), I followed a plan for almost 7months. By the end of it I was pretty sick of the plan and long steady state runs. I would follow a shorter training plan next time, and maybe incorporate more speed work. I definitely recommend adding hip strengthening exercises/stretches to your routine everyone in a while to avoid injury!


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