Name: Aubree Reichel
Age (at the time of first BQ): 25
Height (at the time of first BQ): 5-8
Weight (at the time of first BQ): 140
At which marathon did you get your first BQ? 2014 Veterans Marathon, Columbia City, Indiana
Tell us a little about the race. This was in 2014 – I was coming off a fairly successful (for me) final college track season and had a really good base so I took some time off and started just having fun with local road races (10Ks, 10-miler and a half) building up to the race. I was doing all my long runs at the state park on trails which helped me with my strength and endurance while also providing a softer surface for the longer miles.
The race I ran was a looped course of two 13.1-mile loops. I’d run the half before and it was a fairly small race (200 in the full, 300 in the half) but it’s USATF certified so it counts.
I went out fast for the first mile which felt comfortable so easing back to my goal pace (approx. 8-min/mile) and stayed comfortable. I took a gel every 5 miles and always grabbed a Gatorade or water at the aid stations.
The course has some rolling hills so the trail training I did helped a lot with that. The course is also pretty rural past the first two or three miles so it gave me the opportunity to enjoy running and zone out and the miles just ticked by.
The second loop, I started to tire a little bit but I never felt like I hit a wall. I think running slower on the trails helped endurance in that my 20-mile longest run took over 3 hours while I was at mile 20 during the race well before that point (I was at 23 around the 3-hour mark).
How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ?
Did you run in college or high school? Yes
What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? Thousands. 6,000+
How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1,614 (Jan – Nov, 2014); 1,900ish (Nov. 2013-Nov. ’14)
Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 10
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, Speed during the week, long on the weekends.
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 didn’t really focus on cross training during that time.
Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? I mixed it up as I wanted to.
If I felt really good, my mid-week runs would be a little faster or longer; long runs always had some hills; fartleks were my friend.
I threw in some interval stuff as the opportunity presented itself. I was just having fun.
Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Train above race-pace as much as you can during mid-week runs to ensure the goal-pace feels easy come race day.
Training for a fall race worked for me because I dislike running in the heat but I did and by the time the weather cooled off, I was in really good shape and the conditions were favorable come race day.
Choosing a smaller race ensured I could sleep in my own bed the night before, eat my own food and have friends around me when I came through aid stations.
Be confident. If any sort of doubt creeps in, it’s over.