Age (at the time of first BQ):
Weight (at the time of first BQ):
At which marathon did you get your first BQ?
Fort Lauderdale Marathon 2016
Tell us a little about the race.
It was a good race. I had been training for it since September of 2015, first aiming for a 5K PR and then building up my training to the race. Picked up a half-marathon PR along the way too. But basically, the race had ideal conditions for a BQ- flat course, good weather, good support on the course. I struggled with keeping a constant pace, flipping between 7:45 and 8:00 when I should have tried to hold a 7:55 or so. This came to affect me in the end, where it was all I could do to hold 9 minute miles after mile 24. I had actually aimed for a sub-3:30, with 3:33 as a soft “B” goal. I’m glad I made it just under that in 3:32:54! But it was the first marathon I raced like a race, so that part is good and it allowed me to tap into my potential. I only hope to get faster from here!
How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ?
10 years (started competitively in high school, ran recreationally since then)
Did you run in college or high school?
What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ?
~10500 (maybe more. I didn’t track my high school mileage)
How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ?
~1500 (starting Feb 2015)
Approximately how many races did you run in that year?
1 (other) marathon, four 5ks, 1 10k, and 1 half (starting Feb. 2015)
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 followed the basic outline of one interval session, one tempo session, two easy runs, and one long run a week. What these sessions looked like depended on what looked “fun” to me on that day.
Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach?
Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?
Not really. After my April marathon, I played soccer a lot and used that to stay in shape, and then did a lot of bike riding over the summer. But during marathon training, I was glad just to have the time to get my runs and strength work in! The strength work was important. It was relaxing for me (compared to the constant pounding of running) and made me have a strong core and upper body that made up for the extra weight I carry around. I only did cycling in the early part of my training on days I didn’t have time to run, or when I was worried about injury.
Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?
Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?
Yes. Every week I made sure to get speed work in. It was almost always 1 or 1.5 mile intervals at 5K pace. 4-6 of them after a 1-2 mile warm-up, with 800 meter recovery jogs. Near the end (last three weeks) I did 800s, then 400s, then 200s. These shorter bursts made me feel like I was fine tuning my speed, but keeping it easy to recover from.