Age (at the time of first BQ): 30
Height (at the time of first BQ): 5’5
Weight (at the time of first BQ): 134
At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Sugarloaf Marathon
Tell us a little about the race. I trained really hard for the Baystate Marathon in 2016, but I got sick just before race day and had a really bad run. I channeled that frustration into this training cycle and into my race plan for Sugarloaf 2017.
I aimed to feel awesome through 13.1, coast down the hills and still feel pretty good and maybe be slightly ahead of pace through mile 20, and then just hang on until the end from there. Gels every 6 or so miles, carb load the day before, breakfast and coffee at 4:30 for a 7 AM start – I only took 3 gels but that was plenty. The last 4 miles required a lot of grit and concentration, but I still managed a slight negative split. Time was 3:32:41.
How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 5 years
Did you run in college or high school? No
What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 6600
How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 2700
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, Hudson/Pfitz inspired – adjustable schedule, weekly medium-long and long runs. Average 62 mpw, peak of 75 miles.
Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? Yes
Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? I had cross-trained some in the past, but this cycle was just straight-up mileage.
Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes. I did something other than an easy run (either a workout of some type – tempo or intervals – or hill repeats) every week. I think the mileage (endurance) was the most important component, but building stamina and a little bit of speed is always helpful if you can handle it.
Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Keep working. Run a lot. Don’t look for shortcuts because there aren’t any. Run smart – back off when you need to. Keep easy runs REALLY easy. Take a long view of training. Missing a day or two won’t hurt you, but pushing through a workout or a long run when you shouldn’t can have major consequences.