Here’s a great BQ(Q) with the blogger “Obsessive Researching Mommy” on her recent BQ with some great advice on avoiding injury. Thanks ORM!
Name: O.R.M. researchingmommy.blogspot.com
Age (at the time of first BQ): 49
Weight (at the time of first BQ): 118
At which marathon did you get your first BQ? What was your finishing time?
Tell us a little about the race. Vancouver 2015, 3:55. I was sure I was not going to BQ but surprisingly I felt like a million bucks from start to finish. By the halfway point, I felt so good that I realized I was going to do it and I think that fed into itself, giving me even more energy for the balance of the marathon. The course is challenging due to the ginormous hill at km 9 and the winding finish around Stanley Park.
How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?
I did no running in high school or college. In my early 30s I ran casually and did one 10K per year for three years. I’ve been training for Olympic distance triathlons for the past six years. This was my second marathon.
What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ?
3400K recorded since 2011. No idea before that.
How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ?
682 miles in 2014.
Approximately how many races did you run in that year?
A half marathon in the winter, a 10K three weeks out, and the marathon itself.
Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one?
If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was? Hansons all the way! Unfortunately I could only do about 65% of the scheduled training but I tried to finish all the long runs.
Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach?
Mostly solo but easy runs with friends if available.
Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?
I did a little bit of swimming and a bit of cycling.
Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?
I followed the prescribed Hansons workouts when possible.
Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?
Your biggest enemy is injury. Here are all the ways to avoid injury:
- If you are doing Hansons, try to stick to the prescribed speeds. Do not go faster or slower. Recovery/easy runs are just that and if you run them too quickly, you are risking injury and are not achieving the specific purpose of the runs.
- Pick an easy course to qualify. The Vancouver marathon was not an easy course.
- Increase your cadence to around 180 to help avoid injury.
- If you are an older runner, go for maximal cushioning to prevent injury. Keep a collection of shoes and mix it up so for longer runs you are using maximal cushioning, speed work on cushioned but firmer shoes. This helps avoid repetitive injury.
If at all possible, find someone of equal ability to train with. This will help motivate you through the tedium of marathon training. On the day of the marathon: It will feel like you can’t go on any longer. Trust in your training. If you have 10K left, think that you run 10K every day. This is nothing. The winner is the person who can endure the most discomfort. Run your own race and do not get carried away with the wave running their brains out at the start. Pace yourself evenly. Let them go. You will catch them later as they burn themselves out. You don’t need to stop for all the water stations. Drink according to thirst. On race day, try to enjoy the day and be present. Stay relaxed and remember that this is supposed to be fun. Smile and high five the spectators and thank the volunteers.