This one hits close to home. Ross is exactly the same height and weight as I am, and just a couple of years older. He also seems to have a similar history in running. I find all the BQ(Q)s inspiring, but this one perhaps a bit more so than most. Thanks Ross, you’ve got me fired up!
Name: Ross C
Age (at the time of first BQ): 45
Height: 6 feet
Weight (at the time of first BQ): 172
At which marathon did you get your first BQ? What was your finishing time? Tell us a little about the race.
I ran 3:13 at the 2014 Baystate Marathon. Perfect conditions on race day (a chilly fall morning, a little overcast but some sun). I ran with friends from my running group as a number of us were trying to BQ. We had all put in a lot of training in the preceding 14 weeks. A few of us stayed together during the first half of the race before breaking up around the mid-way point. I ran strong through 21 miles but started to feel wiped out. My pace per mile fell by 15-25 seconds per mile for the last few miles but it wasn’t a big collapse.
How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?
I played other sports but never ran with a team in HS or college. For close to 30 years, however, running has been a constant in my life. Most of that time was just lacing up my sneakers and jogging 3-4 miles a few times a week. I didn’t wear a watch, didn’t race much, didn’t run with other people but I still loved it.
What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ?
That’s a hard one. Maybe 12k-15k?
How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ?
Approximately how many races did you run in that year?
3 road races and 1 triathlon
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 Hanson Brooks (peaked at 70 miles week)
Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach?
I have a club that runs in Bedford/Concord/Lexington, MA. It’s a small group but some of them have become great friends and it made a difference for me.
Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?
Yes. After a bad running injury in 2013, I took 8 weeks off (no running L) and developed a strength training program to help me heal. Once I was better, I continued with it. It’s mostly exercises for hip flexors, legs, core work, plus stretching. I do a similar routine to this day.
Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?
Yes, Hanson Brooks had one track workout and one tempo run per week and as faster run on the weekend. It definitely helped.
Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?
I have a few thoughts….
- What you do when you aren’t running is every bit as important as the runs themselves. Getting good sleep, cross training, eating the right foods all make a huge difference and set you up for better runs.
- I try and not be discouraged by a sluggish training run or a poor race. There’s always something to learn from those experiences and it usually involves pulling back for a few days and getting some rest.
- You are more capable than you think. In 2011, my PR at the Boston Marathon was 3:59. Qualifying for Boston seemed unattainable and I didn’t think I’d ever run faster. But I met some new people and realized I like training hard and pushing myself beyond what’s comfortable.