Another response from a former college runner who BQ’ed on his first attempt. Thanks for taking the time to contribute, Daniel!
Name: Daniel H
Age (at the time of first BQ): 22
Weight (at the time of first BQ): 150 lbs
At which marathon did you get your first BQ? What was your finishing time? Tell us a little about the race.
I ran a 2:58 at the Lehigh Valley Via Marathon, my first marathon ever. I had just graduated college, and was in pretty good shape going into the summer, then took a bunch of time off. I wasn’t too concerned with running a great time, I just wanted to qualify for Boston. I went out way too hot, ran the first few miles at 6 minute mile pace, and came through the half on pace for a 2:30. I then proceeded to die for the remaining half.
How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?
I ran four years of cross country and track in college (DIII), as well as another four in high school.
What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ?
Probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 miles
How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ?
Not sure. I was running 50-70 mile weeks in college, took about two months completely off, then two months of 30-40 mile weeks leading up to the Marathon.
Approximately how many races did you run in that year?
While in college I was racing every weekend, after college the only races I’ve run have been the qualifier and Boston itself.
Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was?
Nope. I just tried to run as much as possible, which was hindered by my general laziness.
Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach?
Not while training for the marathon, although I learned a lot about training from my coaches in high school and college
Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?
Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?
I probably carried over some of the benefits from doing speed workouts for track season, but wasn’t doing any specific speed work leading up to the marathon
Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?
Just run a bunch of miles for a bunch of years and eventually it’ll become doable!