The BQ(Q) – Andy H

Andy is another of the fast dudes from Running Ahead who initially inspired this project, 2:53 in his first marathon… not too shabby. Thanks for taking the time to do this, Andy!

Name: Andy H

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 22

Height: 5′ 10″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 147

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

Detroit. 2:53 and change. My first BQ was my first marathon, and I was the typical first-time marathoner — went out too fast (~2:40-2:43 pace) and blew up spectacularly at 16 miles. I was so glucose depleted at the end that my vision was blacking out from the outside in as I approached the line. If it had been another 100 yards I don’t think I would have made it upright. I sat down and drank a 6-pack of Pepsi as quickly as I could. My buddy’s girlfriend was screaming at me from 6 feet away and I never even acknowledged her. Fun times. 🙂

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

10 years. I ran in JH/HS, and D-II in college. But I wasn’t very good in college (34:18 10K runner)

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

Perhaps 10-15K miles. I was only beginning to scratch the surface of high-mileage running, coming off a low-mileage college program (40ish mpw).

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

Perhaps 2000ish.

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

I raced a lot. Maybe 20.

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 printed the training program off the BAA website and made some personal adjustments to that. This was 2000 and there wasn’t as much out there then.

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

A couple former college teammates and an older 3hr+ guy for long runs.

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

I still did upper body lifting back them (225lb+ bench). It played no direct role in my running.

Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training?

If so, how? I typically did interval workouts, sets or mixes of distances 400-1600m, 4-5 miles of total interval volume per workout. Once per week, relatively short recoveries and just faster than 5K pace for most intervals.

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

There are no shortcuts to marathon training. I had plenty of competitive history yet only managed a 2:53 running 50-60 mpw. Get the miles up; I typically recommend people hit 50 mpw with some regularity to try a marathon. Don’t over-emphasize the long run, it’s only one arrow in the quiver. Boston is one of the most unique races in the country; all of the effort will be worth the experience.

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  1. E J Hrynowski

    “I was the typical first time marathoner…” I know it was in reference to going out too fast, but I couldn’t help but laugh.

    1. seanv2

      Haha, just like Andy I think most first time marathoners go sub-3.

  2. Dan Button

    I started too fast in my first one too, but that was 7 min pace over the first 8, not low 6 pace. Haha typical story, but maybe not typical result.

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