The BQ(Q) – Glen S

In that short interview with Competitor, I mentioned that I would like hear from more runners who did not have a background in track in high school or college. Ask and ye shall receive. Here’s another example of a runner who BQ’ed without running in school.

My favorite piece of advice from Glen on how to get a BQ – “Grow old” 

Name: Glen S.

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 45

Height: 5’8”

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 135

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

Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon, 3:25:46. The marathon is a point to point on a converted railroad track. All dirt, starts about 5,200 feet, goes up to 5,800 feet and then ends around 4,200 for a net downhill. It was very cold with temperature about 20 degrees at the start and high 30’s at the finish. It was billed as a fast marathon with the net downhill. I believe that is misleading. Both the elevation and the cold zapped energy. In addition, the dirt slows you by a few seconds a mile. With that said, a beautiful and very peaceful, if not desolate, marathon.

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

I started running in my early 20’s. I did not run in high school or college.

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

May be 7,500? Total guess of 15 years X 500 miles per year. (I took a few years off for back surgery when I was 33).

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

Estimate 1,200 to 1,500. Most of my weeks were between 25 – 30 miles. As the training progressed, 30 to 35 miles.

Approximately how many races did you run in that 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?

FIRST 3 day a week plan published in Runner’s World. Training in my mid-40’s, running fewer runs harder with more rest was a good plan balancing fitness, health and family commitments.

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

Trained with a few friends. Training was my social time as well as getting in shape.

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

I did 2X per week of a boot camp (like a mellower cross fit).

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

Absolutely. 1 day/week of intervals and 1 tempo run per week. I also ran my long runs within 15 to 30 seconds of marathon pace.

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

Grow old. I ran my first 3 marathons in my late 20’s in the 3:26 – 3:40 range with no thought of running a BQ. When I hit 43 or 44 I realized I only had to run a 3:30 (now 3:25) to BQ at age 45. That was downright doable. In my late 40’s I ran 4 marathons with 3 of those BQs. The 4th was in Boston 2012 with the heatwave.


About seanv2

Scholar, gentleman, jock. I run the website Milo and the Calf. There you will find the Boston Qualifier Questionnaire where runners share their stories of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. You'll also find my thoughts on endurance sports, ancient history, Judaism, and hundreds of book reviews.
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