Name: Andy B
Age (at the time of first BQ): 19
Height (at the time of first BQ): 5’10”
Weight (at the time of first BQ): 135
At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Chicago 2010
Tell us a little about the race. This was my first marathon, and came about in the year where I first raced distances more than 5 miles in length. Managed to qualify for the A corral at a half marathon early in the summer, and thereafter focused more on building an aerobic base than on hitting workouts (i.e. primary goal was to increase my mileage). Living in Chicago at the time made this as logistically easy as a race could be (wake up early, hop on train, walk to start). Ran the first half too fast and had a quite substantial positive split (1:21 and 1:30 – oof!), but still managed to finish under my goal of 3:00 with some room to spare.
How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Sporadically for 5 years, 1.5 years focused
Did you run in college or high school? Yes
What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 2500
How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1200
Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 3
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, Likely something pulled from Hal Higdon’s website
Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? Yes
Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Not really; I biked a little, but I didn’t consider it as part of my marathon plan.
Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? For this one, no (unless you count work done prior to training for this race specifically)
Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? I think if I had trained like I did further out from my high school running days I wouldn’t have been within sniffing distance of 3 hours. I’ve had much better races after incorporating tempo and interval work into my training. Also have had more success at racing shorter distances, which I see as having gone hand-in-hand with improved marathon performance. Taking a step back from the marathon and focusing on shorter distances (5-10km) has also helped me a lot.