Another BQ(Q) from another RAer. Running Ahead is heavily over represented here. More sage advice — get old.
Name: Peter M (Toronto on RunningAhead.com)
Age (at the time of first BQ): 41
Weight (at the time of first BQ): 165 lb
At which marathon did you get your first BQ? What was your finishing time? Tell us a little about the race.
2009 Mississauga Marathon, 3:18:21. The course is a point-to-point net downhill with 250 ft drop from start to finish and a few minor rolling hills in the second half, a bit like Boston but smaller. Weather was cool and cloudy, with gusty tailwind / occasional crosswind most of the way.
How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?
Been running since early 2006. Have never run prior to that.
What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ?
About 2,500 miles give or take a few dozen. That was my second marathon; I had also run 5 half-marathons and a number of 5K and 10K races.
How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ?
1,241 miles to be exact.
Approximately how many races did you run in that year?
Three other races: a 5K in the summer, my first marathon in the Fall of 2008, and a tune-up half a month before Mississauga.
Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was?
Yes – Furman Institute of Running (FIRST®) “Run Less, Run Faster” three days a week training plan. Generally eschews easy runs in favor of three hard workouts a week: intervals, tempo or steady-state, and long.
Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach?
Ran on my own with invaluable help from Runners’ World forum contributors.
Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?
Do not recall doing a lot of cross-training, maybe a few planks here and there.
Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?
Yes, absolutely. Track intervals from 400 m to 1 mile, tempo 6 to 8 miles, and medium-long (10 to 15 miles) at marathon pace are a must.
Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?
It helps if you are naturally of a light build, and it helps a lot if you are over 40 😉 Persistence and discipline play a large part too.