A great story from Roger who qualified way back in 1983. Thanks for taking the time, sir!
Age (at the time of first BQ):
Weight (at the time of first BQ):
At which marathon did you get your first BQ?
Denver Mile High 1983
Tell us a little about the race.
I went in thinking 2:40 would be great, but had surprise breakthrough half marathon (1:13) about 6-7 months before my debut. I didn’t get serious about marathon training until about three months before the race. Two weeks before I PRd in the 10K, and I knew 2:35 or better could be possible, so I upped my goal. It went perfect. First mile was fast (5:40) but I settled into about 6 min pace, which I held most of the way until the final 2 miles and I was able to run sub 6s, even though I was cramping up some.
How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ?
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?
2800 to 3000
Approximately how many races did you run in that year?
15, but only three in the months before
Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was?
Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach?
Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?
A little. In the winter before I ran (May race) I cross country skied about 2X or 3X a week for about 2 months, and I did some ski racing.
Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?
Yes. I kind of trained like a 10K runner. Once a week I’d do long reps of 800 m to 3.2K at about 10K effort.
For the half marathon in the previous fall I did about 6 weeks at 70 miles and felt really good. So for the marathon I did that, but for 10 or 11 weeks. I might have gotten up to about 80, but mostly in the 70-75 range. I did weekly long runs of up to 20, and included up to 10 miles marathon pace about every other week.
(note that I did not run Boston in 1984 (I got injured and did not attempt another marathon for 16 years), or any other year. But have qualified each time I have run one. Maybe someday I’ll actually run there!).
Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?
Keep it simple. Years of consistency will get you there.