The BQ(Q) – James N

Wise words from James, “being consistent in training is the most important thing. Get the miles and the speed will develop over time.”. Thanks James!

Name: James N (@jamescnorris)

Sex: Male

Age at first BQ: 25

Height: 5’7″

Weight: ~130 lbs

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

2014 Carmel Marathon (Indiana). 3:00:22. Carmel was my second marathon ever, I had run the Twin Cities in Minneapolis the previous fall. I got to the start line a minute late due to long bathroom lines, and ended up going out faster than I wanted in my first five miles. I finally settled into a good pace but was nervous most of the way that not being at the start line would hurt me later. I held a 6:45/pace until about 3 miles left then the last few miles were a little slower. It had heated up by the last 3 miles of the race so I just focused on running and making it to the finish line. If I had kept a closer eye on my watch maybe I would have broken 3 hours!

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

I ran in middle school and high school (only track in h.s., I played soccer during Xc season). I ran the 800 and the mile. I ran recreationally in college but not competitively.

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

No idea on approximate mileage in my life, but I would estimate somewhere close to 8,000-10,000 miles.

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


Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

I will end up running 6-7 races this year. 3 halfs, 2 fulls, a 6 miler, and a 10k.

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 used a lot of Greg McMillan or Steve Magness training philosophy for my running. Long runs on weekend, easy days most of the week, tempo/VO2 max runs, some hill/speed work. Averaged around 45 – 55miles/week.

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

No running club or coach. I volunteer with Back on my Feet, a not for profit that partners with homeless shelters and starts running programs to teach the residents commitment and discipline and eventually can provide them access to grants or other aid to lead them to become self sufficient. I would do some of my easy runs with this group.

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

I did some core training, but not consistently. I played soccer for fun on the weekends which would help with lateral quickness and using muscles not normally used in running.

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

I used speed work, typically tempo runs or some track workouts like mile repeats. I would do a workout like this at least once a week most weeks

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

Being consistent in training is the most important thing. Get the miles and the speed will develop over time. Your body needs to be prepared to run for ~3 hours.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Comments (



%d bloggers like this: