Really excited to share this informative BQ(Q) composed by Hoka One One athlete, Michael Wardian. Mike is one of the most successful distance runners in America, competing at a high level at every distance from the 5k to 100 miles. Mike has set world records for the fastest marathon and 50K on an indoor 200-meter track. In March 2015, he set the World Record for the fastest 50K on a treadmill, and then broke it in May of 2015. He’s also an incredibly nice guy.
I had the chance to speak with Mike briefly at the Vermont City Marathon this year. He was funny, approachable, and my son loved his beard. Thanks again, Mike, for taking the time to fill this out and tell us about your first BQ. I’m really looking forward to seeing what you get up to in the year to come!
Name: Michael Wardian
Age (at the time of first BQ): 22 years old
Height: 6 feet 0 inches (183 cm)
Weight (at the time of first BQ): 148lbs (currently 139lbs-142lbs)
At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Marine Corps Marathon-1996
What was your finishing time? I ran 3:06:54:
Tell us a little about the race.
I ran the 21st Marine Corps Marathon in order to get a qualifier for the Boston Marathon and I had to run under 3:10 and made my goal. I ran in lacrosse shorts, cotton socks, a cotton t-shirt, no band-aids, I felt great but nervous till about 18 miles then I was feeling really confident and then with 4 miles to go I thought I am totally making it but with 2 miles to go I had like 15 mins and I thought, this is AWESOME but with 800 meters, it was getting close…but I made it.
Still one of the happiest moments in my running career.
How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?
I had been running for about 1 year when I got my BQ. I did not run in high school or college.
What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ?
I would think my approximate mileage was about 2,340 miles or about 45 miles per week.
How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ?
I ran about 2,340 miles.
Approximately how many races did you run in that year?
I ran one (1) other race, the MS 1/2 marathon and I ran 1:14 mins for 3rd place, I had no idea what I was doing but ran as hard as I could for a long as possible.
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 did follow a canned program that was given to me by Vicky Voisin, my buddy Vince Voisin’s mother. She had just run the Boston Marathon and was nice enough to make a copy of a training program for me. I don’t even know who wrote it. I just wanted to run a little as possible to achieve my goal at first and then after reading Lydiard, I started to run more and longer.
Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach?
I did start running with the Pacers Running Club, here in Washington,DC and I don’t run with Pacers anymore as my time is super compressed but I would if I had more time, I love those guys and the friends I made. I still run with some of the guys 20 years later. I don’t have a coach, I actually coach people and can be contacted for coaching at firstname.lastname@example.org
Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?
I do cross train with cycling and weights. I am bike commuter so I ride my bike at least 10 times a week and a lot more as I run errands and try to go by bike whenever I can.
Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?
I do enjoy speedwork and when I am trying to get faster I go to the track at least 1 time a week, I have been racing a lot so have been going to the track less but if you want to get faster for me the track is where to do it.
Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?
I think that everyone is capable of getting a BQ and I hope that your readers have the opportunity to run the BAA Boston Marathon, it is such an incredible event and really is a standard bearer for what a first class event can be and the impact it can have not just on the community but on your life. I know that my goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon changed the course of my life and I feel so fortunate for everything that Boston has given me and I know it can for you too.