Data Analysis of the Boston Qualfier Questionnaire Part II: Training Programs

As we discussed elsewhere, slightly less than half of the runners who have participated in the BQ(Q) used a “canned” training program. Today, I’d like to quickly note what programs those were, and how popular they were relatively.

canned program

Respondents used a variety of different programs in getting to a BQ, sixteen different programs, in fact. However, while a wide variety of programs were used, a couple of well-known programs were used much more frequently than the others.

image (6)


No surprise, Hal Higdon’s and Pete Pfitzinger’s Advanced Marathoning – 2nd Edition programs rose to the top of the list with Pfitzinger’s 18/55 program being by far the most popular.

Interestingly, the third most popular was the low mileage Run Less, Run Faster  / FIRST programs. With 7 respondents using the program, I’m not sure how statistically relevant it is, but it is worth noting that these runners ran significantly less than other respondents averaging only 1,220 miles in the year before their BQ, while respondents as a whole average more like 1,750. Three out of the four were also women.

As more responses come in, I hope this data set gets more robust, and we can see if any other running program challenges the big two.


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