Cliff’s Story of Qualifying for Boston Marathon at Age 55

Name: Cliff

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 55

Height (at the time of first BQ):  6′ 2″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 183 #

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?  Tucson Marathon 2017

Tell us a little about the race. Mostly downhill course. Cool (40?) at start, probably 70F or so by the time I finished. Needed 3:40 to BQ, got 3:31:25.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 8.5 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 12,000? miles

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 2,500 miles

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 23

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 run with a backpack twice a week, but I don’t recommend that to others. It does, however, make running without the pack feel much easier.

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? No

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes. I ride my bike on Sundays.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes. I do interval training on Mondays and a fast run on Wednesdays.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? I did not train to BQ, per-se. I am in the middle of training for the 2018 Bataan Memorial Death March civilian heavy division (i.e. carrying a 35 pound backpack). I also run various ultras. This year I ran a couple half-marathons and my stats were good enough that I thought I might be able to BQ in the middle of training on a downhill course, so I gave it a try at Tucson.

Tucson was my 97th marathon or longer event, but it was my first attempt to BQ. Generally, I like to run ultras, but at a much slower pace. Tucson was more taxing on my body than a 53 miler I had run a week after having run a 100 miler.

Diet and sleep appear to be fairly important to recovering quickly. Recovering quickly allows one to train harder more frequently. That seems to have helped me.

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

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