Another excellent BQ(Q) (and another plug for Pfitzinger!). This one comes from Mike, who BQ’ed in his first attempted. Thanks for taking the time to fill this out, Mike!
Name: Mike A
Age (at time of first BQ): 27
Weight (at time of first BQ): 165
At which marathon did you get your first BQ? What was your finishing time? Tell us a little about the race.
The 2014 BMO Vancouver Marathon in 2:57:14. This was actually my debut marathon, and without realizing I chose a very difficult course. The first half starts with a large downhill, then a steep uphill, then another large downhill. By the time it is over your legs are wrecked. I felt strong until the Sea Wall section of the course (~21 miles in). This portion gets very lonely as the faster runners are now strung out, it is exposed to the elements (wind), and there are a lot of turns. I luckily had some time in the bank, because I hit the wall in the section. I was aiming for 2:55, but after that section of the course I was very happy with 2:57:14.
How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?
Previous to the BQ I was running for 2.75 years, which all started as a way to lose weight. I did not run in HS or college.
What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ?
Approximate? Thanks to technology I can give you the exact: 6118 miles in 2.75 years.
How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ?
I broke 2000 miles in the year prior to my BQ.
Approximately how many races did you run in that year?
Nine races in 2014.
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 Pfitzinger’s 18/85 program from Advanced Marathoning.
Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach?
No, it was all solo.
Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?
No cross training.
Did speed work play or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?
I did some speedwork in the form of tempos and intervals were included in the latter weeks. The key workouts though would have to be long runs that included marathon pace sections as well as mid-long runs in the middle of the week.
Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?
Pfitzinger’s mid-long runs are brutal but definitely help your aerobic base. I encourage everyone to include them in their training.