The BQ(Q) — Warren

Name: Warren

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 35

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5′ 8″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 163

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Chicago 2017

Tell us a little about the race. Third marathon, first time running Chicago. I was hoping to break 3 hours (finally managed it a year later running at Chicago again), but cramped up badly around mile 22. Still managed a PR and sub 3:05, so got a BQ with the necessary cushion to run in 2019.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 3 years

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 5000

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 2000

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 5

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, 50-60 mpw, usually a long run on the weekends about 1 track workout a month

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? Yes

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? no

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? did a track workout (400s, 800s, or mile repeats) about once or twice a month

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? The key for my marathon improvement (including my first BQ) has been slow but steady increasing of both volume and quality. Generally not at the same time, week to week and month to month I’ve looked at increasing one or the other. This gradual approach took me from a 3:20 marathon in 2016 to a 2:42 at Boston in 2019. In 2016 I ran about 2000 miles and I am on pace to run about 3000 this year.

 

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The BQ(Q) — Matt

Name: Matt

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 42

Height: 6′ 2″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 173

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Tacoma City Marathon

Tell us a little about the race. A true test of grit. A very hilly first half. Tactical errors made in the first half will contribute to a horrible second half slog. After bonking hard in 2018 on this course, I made it my personal mission in life to take my revenge out on this course in 2019.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? I’ve been training and running marathons since 2011. Did not entertain the thought of BQ until 2016.

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 23,000

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 3,500

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 5

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, A mixture of Matt Fitzgerald’s 80/20, Pfitz, and Hansons. I ran my easy days EASY, and my hard days HARD. A lot of tempo and lactate threshold work and strategic marathon paces mixed inside of my Long Runs.

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? No. A mile spent cross training, is a mile I could have spent building volume by running.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Absolutely. Once a week I did 800 to 1200 meter intervals. These sucked. They need to. Also, once a week I did tempo/lactate threshold work, around 20% of weekly volume.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? If you’re serious about getting a BQ but you keep missing the mark do an honest self evaluation. If you need to clean up your nutrition and drop some weight, do it. If you are neglecting sleep, don’t. If you have time to add more weekly miles, do so. If you are frightened of some of the more advanced speed work, don’t be. Have a nutrition plan for race day and practice it during some of your longer and difficult long runs. Marathons suck, don’t make them suck more by coming to the start line under-fueled and unprepared.

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The BQ(Q) — Samuel Dever

Name: Samuel Dever

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 25

Height (at the time of first BQ): 6’4″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 144

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Harrisburg Marathon

Tell us a little about the race. 4 min positive split, ran solo after mile 8. Slowest mile was only 6:45 while the quickest was just under 6. Wore shoes that were too light and felt that restricted my ability to run quick later in the race.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 9 years

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 14,000

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 3,200

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 29

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 trained for the mile over the summer while increasing my mileage, I averaged 80MPW for 12 weeks before the race, 7 of which were 90MPW. I tried to do two workouts and a long run each week. Did not sweat it if I missed one any given week. Typically track repeats tuesday, tempo thursday and LR over the weekend. I had 5 or so specific workouts that I wanted to hit in the 3-8 weeks from race range.

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? Yes

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? No, I basically only ran, an occasional swim and occasional core/pushups.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes I did speed work often

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Get a quicker 5k-10k time before rushing into the marathon. Put in the miles. I found that longrun workouts (20mi @ MP+20s/mi) and longer repeats(3x3mi, 4x2mi @ HM) gave me the most confidence come race day.

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The BQ(Q) — Blake Boswell

Name: Blake Boswell

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 25

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

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 161

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?  Carmel Marathon

Tell us a little about the race. The race was in the middle of off and on rain, including a couple downpours. Winds were high and sustained. Course was relatively flat with only approximately 450 feet of elevation.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 2.5 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 4500

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1600

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, Jack Daniels’ Plan A

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Biking in the off season

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes, 2 workouts a week on average

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ?

 

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The BQ(Q) — Casey Wilson

Name: Casey Wilson

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 42

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5’9.5″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 167

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? The Woodlands

Tell us a little about the race. 500 ft elevation gain, rolling uphill to 15, rolling downhill to finish

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 3.5 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 7800

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 2835

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 8

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

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 lift weights 2-4 times per week, focus is squats

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? I follow the 80/20 model in general.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Everyone is different, but I had to put in more miles than most to hit my goal. I read reports of people qualifying on 45 miles per week and that was outside of my capabilities. Most weeks I am over 60, several times over 70, and a few times up to 80+. I am not fast, just willing to put in the work.

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The BQ(Q) — Erin

Name: Erin

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 19

Height (at the time of first BQ): 5’4″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 104

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Philadelphia Marathon 2013

Tell us a little about the race. My time was 3:34:38. The weather was perfect – average temp of 57 degrees throughout the race. The course was relatively flat with a total elevation gain of 557 ft (by my GPS).

The first mile was extremely hectic because I ended up at the back of the corral and had to pass a lot of people. The first ~7 miles overall were very congested, but the crowd support was also terrific. The first 13.1 miles overall felt like they went by quickly, and miles 14-17 were uneventful as well.

Around mile 18 was when I started feeling not great. By mile 20, I was nauseated, and my legs were really hurting. I was worried that I would give up and start walking, but I started talking out loud to myself, saying things like, “I am going to qualify for Boston today.” This definitely made me sound crazy, but I think it helped.

I was excited to get to mile 24 where a few of my friends would be cheering for me. Two friends jumped in there and paced me from miles 24-26. I was in so much pain that I closed my eyes a few times. When I crossed the finish line and saw 3:34:38 on my watch, I felt euphoric. I gave that race everything I had, and I did it. I even got 2nd place in my age group.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? About 4 years on and off. I was not a naturally fast kid, but I had always wanted to be one of those people who could run for miles without getting tired. I joined high school track because it kept me accountable in reaching this goal (I was by far the slowest person on the walk-on team). I started running consistently about 2.5 years before my BQ.

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 3706

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1436

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 13

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 was running with a (social, not competitive) running club at the time, and I mostly just tried to run as much as possible. On average, I ran 5-6 miles 5-6 days per week, and this sometimes include two runs in one day (I felt like the feeling of running on tired legs really helped me mentally on race day). I did two 20 mile long runs but otherwise did not follow a consistent long run schedule. I also raced a half marathon, four 6ks, and a 10k (in that order) in the 3 months leading up to the marathon.

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 was part of a CrossFit gym during that time but only went maybe 5 times in the 3 months leading up to the race. Cross training was not a priority.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Absolutely. I don’t think there’s any way I could have BQed without speed work as I am naturally not a very fast person. I did 5 track workouts and 6 races in the 2 months leading up to the marathon. (I definitely wasn’t full-out “racing” all 6 of those races – some were more like tempo runs.)

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? The mental part is no joke. Just as much as you prepare for the physical challenge of the race, prepare yourself for the mental aspect.

Try meditation – learning to quiet your mind and control your thoughts will help when you feel like walking during miles 20-26. I also recommend getting used to running on tired legs, like doing a workout after an easy run earlier in the day.

Also, practice telling yourself the story of how you will qualify. When I felt like dying during the later miles, I kept thinking to myself, “After this is over, I don’t want to be telling my friends how I was on track to qualify until mile 20 and then couldn’t quite do it. I want to tell them the story of how everything started hurting at mile 20, but I was able to go on, even despite that, and qualify.”

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The BQ(Q) – Megan Capitano

Name: Megan Capitano

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 32

Height (at the time of first BQ): 5’6”

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 120

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Mountains 2 Beach

Tell us a little about the race. May of 2018, mostly flat course though the advertise it’s all downhill(not true)

Ventura, Ca so mild climate

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 1-2 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? Approximately 1000 miles/yr

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1000 miles

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 1 full marathon to qualify, 3 half marathons

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

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? Yes

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes, Cycling, basketball, gym- always tried to incorporate some kind of alternative activity than just running 5-6 days/week

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Not really, basketball helped a little bit

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Relax about it, meet other runners and have the confidence that you believe you can do it, and have fun! It’s the journey, not the destination!

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