The BQ(Q) – Joe M

I LOVE getting responses from other runners in New York City. Joe’s BQ(Q) gives you the straight forward answer to what it takes to BQ — do the work. Thanks Joe for taking part!

Name: Joe M  @ultrarun_nyc

Sex:  M

Age (at the time of first BQ): 32

Height: 5’7”

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 153

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

NYC Marathon.  3:02:59.  I went out on 2:56 pace, fully confident I could hold that pace.  Aerobically it felt wicked easy, but in the end my hamstrings had other ideas.  I cramped up with a half-mile to go, which forced me to stop and stretch just before the finish line!

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 5 years.  I ran cross country in high school, but never fast and I gained 50 pounds between then and the day I started running again 5 years ago.

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


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


Approximately how many races did you run in that year?


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 take one day off every 14 days.  I do one tempo, one interval, and one long run every week.  I take a month of downtime (cross-training) in the winter.

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


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

Yes.  I used to be a heavy weightlifter and I think the overall strength has helped allow me to train at a high intensity for a long time.

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

Yes.  I think speed work is so important to running a BQ, not to mention a lot of fun to let the legs uncoil.

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

Work your ass off.  Set out a schedule and stick to it like glue.  Do the speed work in the rain.  Be tougher than you used to be.  When you feel tired, or weak, or sluggish … run anyway.  That all goes away after 2 miles.  And always always always … crush it!!!

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