The BQ(Q) – Heidi

Name

Heidi

Sex:

Female

Age (at the time of first BQ):

23

Height:

5’10

Weight (at the time of first BQ):

145

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

Columbus Marathon

Tell us a little about the race.

It was my second marathon ever, and the conditions were perfect- cool and sunny. The course was flat. I had run my first marathon in late April and my BQ race was in October, so with about 4 weeks of “downtime” after my first marathon (which I ran in 3:52) I began training again so I felt very prepared. It was a really great race for me- no dehydration issues or stomach trouble.

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

I’d been running consistently for 18 months. Prior to that I had a 4 year hiatus from “serious” running, aka I was a middle school and high school track and xc athelte. I wasn’t exceptionally fast- my 5k PR in HS was 24:30

Did you run in college or high school?

Yes

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

2,500

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

1250

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

2

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

Yes, SmartCoach (runner’s world)

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

No

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

I started cross training after feeling very weak in the upper body during my first marathon. I went to the gym to lift after my runs about 1-2x/week but it wasn’t anything heavy, I had no methodology of how I was supposed to be lifting or what muscle groups but I did get somewhat stronger.

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

I did speedwork once a week. It really helped me get faster by doing it consistently.

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

I have yet to get my second BQ after 8 marathons- I think the biggest roadblock for me has been amount of time I can devote to doing long runs consistently on the weekends (travel and a significant other made me skip several long runs in those marathon training plans, but never had to skip the other runs during the week so I’m convinced it was the long runs I needed to be doing to get the BQ). I am back in training again (with no significant other) and a lot faster. Not skimping on the long run made the marathon a LOT easier, speed work made me faster, and having friends to do long runs with (even though they were 2 miles per minute slower than me) made a HUGE difference in my mental game- I had no fear of my 20 milers because I had friends to run with.

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About seanv2

Scholar, gentleman, jock. I run the website Milo and the Calf. There you will find the Boston Qualifier Questionnaire where runners share their stories of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. You'll also find my thoughts on endurance sports, ancient history, Judaism, and hundreds of book reviews.
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