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.
Age (at the time of first BQ): 45
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.