The BQ(Q) Tanya

Alright, this one with Tanya is shooting towards the top of my all-time favorite responses. Probably because of her use of the innovative “I Don’t Know What The Fuck I’m Doing But I Love Running” training plan.


Tanya (



Age (at the time of first BQ):




Weight (at the time of first BQ):


At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

NYC Marathon ’92

Tell us a little about the race.

I really didn’t have clue about marathons or training for them. I mostly raced 5Ks and 10Ks, but decided to run NY with my brother who lived there at the time. I sort of just did the same training as I’d always done, adding a long run on weekends.

I didn’t even know what a “BQ” was, and, frankly, I don’t think I would have cared if I had known (not to sound like an ass…it was just a different time, before the whole BQ and Marathon Mania…).

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ?

13 years

Did you run in college or high school?


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?

No idea, but no other races longer then 10K

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was?

No. “I Don’t Know What The Fuck I’m Doing But I Love Running.”

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


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

Weight training, some cycling

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

I usually went to the track and did intervals every week…or did some kind of faster running. I imagine I must have continued to do that while training for NY.

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

I’m probably the worst respondent EVER, because I never intentionally ran a marathon with a BQ in mind until I’d been running for nearly 30 years and had run about 15 marathons and BQ’d several times (unknowingly). But the consistency of running year after year, doing speed work regularly, and understanding how work translates to better times, led me to a BQ in my first intentional attempt.

Honestly, I think anyone with even average running “talent” can BQ. It takes a shitload of miles and hours, but it is by no means a super-difficult achievement available only to “really good” runners.

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