The BQ(Q) – Luke R

I love reading everyone’s BQ story, but I especially love sharing the stories from my teammates on Prospect Park Track Club. Congratulations on a great race, Luke!

Name: Luke R

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 38

Height: 6 ft 1

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 160

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

I was fortunate to have qualified for Boston on my first marathon attempt, which was at Steamtown last month (October 2014).  I finished in 3:13:57 which meets the 2016 qualifying standard for the 40-45 age group (I turn 40 in November 2015).

The first 18 miles were a joy, the next 4 an increasing slog and the last 4 a sheer test of will.  Thanks to the huge downhills in the first 8 miles by mile 22 my quads were screaming at me to stop.  Thankfully nothing cramped up so with an eye on my pace band and some positive self-talk I managed to convince my legs to give me a few more miles.

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

I started running in late 2011 (3 years ago).

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

Approximately 1400 miles

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

For the 12 months leading up to the race I ran approximately 1000 miles

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

For the 12 months leading up to the race I ran 12 races

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 followed a customized 18 week Run SMART program designed by Jack Daniels.

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

I did most of my speed work and some of my long runs with a running club, Prospect Park Track Club (PPTC).  The Run SMART program functioned somewhat as a coach, since it automatically updated training paces based on my race results.

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

On the advice of a physical therapist I integrated some lunges into my training program for injury prevention. Nothing other cross training.

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

The Run SMART program included one speed work session per week.  This initially consisted of shorter track repeats, building up to longer efforts at 5k pace.

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

Needless to say, you need to do the work.  But you also need to get to the starting line healthy. For me this meant choosing a plan with conservative weekly mileage (in my case this was a maximum of 45 miles) and ensuring that my easy runs were truly easy (i.e. less than 75% max HR).

Other than that, I lost some weight which I think helped and I also got a running gait analysis which provided some insight into bio mechanical issues that I could work on to improve efficiency and reduce risk of injury.

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