Age (at the time of first BQ):
Weight (at the time of first BQ):
At which marathon did you get your first BQ?
2013 Baystate Marathon
Tell us a little about the race.
The race went pretty well for me. I was able to finish in 2:51 and although I was really feeling it in my legs for the last 4 miles, I never truly hit the wall and only ran a positive split by a few minutes. I ran with a group for a lot of the race and that really helped to take my mind off of the run.
I had a pretty good buildup to my first marathon. I started the cycle hoping for a BQ, but training had gone well and I had a goal of 2:53 by the time the race arrived. I had been running consistent 50 mile weeks for a few months and had one week where I ran 70 miles.
Before the race, one of my coworkers told me that I would need more fuel than I thought, so I ended up taking 5 energy gels during the race. I didn’t quite get nutrition right, and had to stop to use the bathroom once, but I think taking in more nutrition helped me in the end.
I was lucky that the weather was just about perfect.
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?
Approximately how many races did you run in that year?
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, coolrunning’s advanced marathon program
Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach?
Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?
I didn’t do much extra cardio work besides running in the buildup to the race. Before I started running I would go to the gym regularly for my exercise. As I started to run more, I still made an effort to go to the gym and do some running-related things like lunges, core work, and hip and hamstring exercises.
Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?
Yes. I would do, on average, a tempo run and a track session per week. The track session might have some intervals between 400 and a mile, and the tempo stuff would be 3+ miles usually. Every other run was at an easier pace, so probably 80%+ of my miles were easy running.
Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?
I believe it is really important to set goals in your hobbies. Whether that goal is to get a certain time, run a little every day, or complete a mile without stopping having a goal is, in my opinion, key to getting the most out of yourself.
As a lifetime lacrosse player, I first started running after graduating college and losing my outlet for athletic competition. Having a plan and a goal keeps me focused and gets me out of bed in the morning on days when I could have hit the snooze button. I signed up for my first Marathon with the goal of qualifying for Boston. I didn’t know what I was capable of, but I believed that if I could follow a process then I would at least be able to say I gave it my all. I believe training for Boston is a great goal and I hope all of you working towards it either get the mark or are able to say that you tried your best and got the most out of the process along the way.
I had some good advice from friends that most of the runs should be pretty comfortable and slow. Running long slow distance as I built up my mileage base was key to getting the endurance required to complete my marathon. The faster stuff is important, but without the base I would not have achieved my goal. I found it helpful to run some longer intervals at just faster than marathon pace. For example, 2×3 miles as part of a 10 mile run. This gave me confidence that I could run the marathon pace for the full distance.