The BQ(Q) – Serguei A

With the Boston Marathon happening this week, there’s been a renewed interested int he BQ(Q) project. I appreciate Serguei taking the time to add his story! Thanks, Serguei!

Name: Serguei A

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 38

Height: 5’11

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 150lbs

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

It was the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach 2015, the time was 3:06:08. It is a very flat course, a little bit windy, but the weather was perfect 40-45F.

However, for the first time in my life I hit the wall, without even realizing it at the moment. I think this cost me 6 min of time, because I was probably ready to finish around 3 hours. But it was still a PR – 7 minutes faster than my previous one and finally a BQ.

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

About 3 years. I never ran before 35, but did some recreational cycling, swimming and rollerblading.

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

About 3700 miles

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

1700 miles

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

16 races, mostly short 5Ks. Also several halves and 2 full marathons.

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was?

No, I have a virtual coach, that prepares a customized program for me. He coached me already through 3 marathons and I PR’ed every time.

Usually it is a very long training period, 5+ month of gradual increase in both mileage and intensity. I did 65 miles in a peak week, but mostly it was around 45-55 mpw. But the workouts consisted predominantly from intervals, tempo and fartlek runs. The coach doesn’t believe in junk miles, so the workouts were either long or intensive.

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

Yes, I do track workouts twice a week with Community Running of Boston. In addition to the virtual coaching.

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

Not really. At the beginning of the marathon training cycle I did swimming twice a week and cycled once a week. During the peak mileage weeks I just ran 6 times a week.

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

Yes, I believe track speed and interval workouts with a running club actually made me a runner. They changed everything for me.

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

Seek professional coaching or a running group. You can push yourself much harder if somebody is watching.

Spend a lot of time on injury prevention. I constantly do static core stability exercises and running drills to improve my running form. As a result – no injuries the last 2 marathon training cycles.

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About seanv2

Scholar, gentleman, jock. I run the website Milo and the Calf. There you will find the Boston Qualifier Questionnaire where runners share their stories of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. You'll also find my thoughts on endurance sports, ancient history, Judaism, and hundreds of book reviews.
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