Marc G’s story of Qualifying for Boston

Name: Marc G

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 26

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5’9

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 165 lbs

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Carlsbad

Tell us a little about the race. First ever marathon, first year of running. Told a girl I would break 3 hours and she was waiting at the finish for me. Went out in 1:22 or so feeling like a rock star, finished in 2:59 seeing purple elephants flash before my eyes. But I did it. Didn’t run another one for well over 10 years. Bet if I would have run 3:00 instead I would have run another the same year.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 1 year

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 3000 (including childhood play I guess)

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

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? 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? Maybe I went to the gym, surfed, and swam a bit

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Our club did speed work one day a week

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

Boston Qualifier Scott’s Story

Name: Scott

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 27

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5′ 10”

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 140

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Erie

Tell us a little about the race.

Ran 2:58 relatively even split. Flat course. A little warm and sunny (mid-60 F)

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 10 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? 1000

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 2

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?

Did very little to no cross training.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Did little speedwork. Shortest were some 400 repeats.

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

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire – Simon, Raymond and Benard

This is a cool one, and a first for the project. Three runners from the same club all qualified at the same race and sent in a joint response! For two of them, it wasn’t the first time they bq’ed, but for one of them it was.

Its also worth mentioning that Bernard Onsare is an elite runner, he WON the calgray marathon in 2013. Interesting, he also doesn’t track his miles.

Anyway, cool to see a group of runners do this together. Thanks so much for taking the time to share you story Raymond, Simon and Benard!

 

image

Raymond, Benard and Simon

Names: Raymond Ong

Simon Ong

Benard Onsare

 

Club Website: https://www.facebook.com/obathletics/

Raymond’s Social Handles: https://www.instagram.com/rayong111/?hl=en

Simon’s Social Handles: https://www.instagram.com/simon.ong88/?hl=en

https://twitter.com/simonong88?lang=en

https://sites.google.com/site/yycmarathoner/

Benard’s Social Handles: https://www.instagram.com/benard.onsare/?hl=en

 

Sex: Male

 

Age: Raymond Ong 24 (first BQ)

Simon Ong 29

Benard Onsare 34

 

Height

Raymond Ong, Simon Ong, Benard Onsare 5’8

 

Weight

Raymond Ong and Benard Onsare 58 kg (127 lbs)

Simon Ong 78 kg (171 lbs)

 

At which marathon did you get your BQ?

Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2017

 

Tell us about the race

Toronto Waterfront Marathon is one of the fastest running courses in North America. The organizers claim it is the second fastest course in North America. Although there are “mini” hills, the course is pretty flat and fast. Race morning starts with a temperature of 14 degree Celsius, which is optimal for anyone looking to run a personal best, or to obtain a Boston-qualifying time. There is relatively no wind, unlike previous years. However, as the race progresses, the temperature can reach to as high as 21 degree Celsius, making it hard to maintain the planned marathon pace. There is an aid station at every 2 to 4 km, which helps the participants to stay hydrate and fuel.

 

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

Raymond Ong earned his first BQ this year, and he has started running consistently for 3 years.

Simon Ong has earned his first BQ at Toronto in 2014, but this year, he managed to earn a second sub 3 marathon under his belt. Simon has been running for 6 years.

Benard is running his 23rd marathon, and has been in the elite marathon field for over 20 years.

 

Did you run in college or high school

Both Raymond and Simon have no running experience in high school or college. As in the article found in the Impact Magazine (http://impactmagazine.ca/fitness/running/simon-ong-raymond-ong/), Raymond went through a struggle with alcohol and smoking, and Simon went through a weight struggle. Raymond took up running under the influence of his brother, Simon, who lost over 60 pounds from running alone. Both Raymond and Simon took up running in their early mid-20’s.

Benard ran at a very early age.

 

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

Raymond Ong’s approximate lifetime mileage before his first BQ: 4,000 km in the last 3 years of running

Simon Ong’s approximate lifetime mileage before his first BQ in 2014: 6,000 km, however for this training, he put over 2200 km for the 22 weeks of marathon training (this year)

Benard Onsare’s approximate lifetime mileage: Does not count his miles

 

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

Raymond ran 2,524 km this year before his first BQ.

Simon ran approximately 1,880 km the year before his first BQ in 2014. This year (2017), he put in 3,800 km before his BQ and sub 3.

Benard does not really keep track of his mileage.

 

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

Raymond ran 5 races this year before his first BQ (‘1’ 3 km race, ‘1’ 5 km race, ‘2’ 10 km race, ‘1’ half marathon)

Simon ran 10 races this year (‘1’ 5 miles, ‘1’ 5 km race, ‘4’ 10 km race, ‘4’ half marathon)

Benard ran 6 races this year (‘4’ 10 km race, ‘2’ half marathon)

 

Did you follow a canned program?

 

Our training philosophy is to challenge the body and legs, but giving it enough time to adapt before adding a new challenge or stimulus. We believe in order to be a well-rounded runner; we must do a mix of everything (hills, speed, easy, tempo, long run). It’s like cooking chili, we cannot emphasize on only one ingredient. We must listen to our body, if our body is not ready for the next challenging workout, we either rest or do easy recoveries run. We limit to approximately 2 hard workouts a week, and the rest would be very easy conversational run.

 

Did you run with a club or utilize a coach?

We do not have an official club, but Benard Onsare has started the OB Athletic Club (based out of Calgary, Canada). It’s open to everyone. It is beneficial to do run as a group, because it keeps everyone honest, and accountable. Also, we are able to motivate each other, and to give each other feedback.

 

Did cross training play a roll? If so, how?

Both Raymond and Simon do weight training as their cross training. It improves speed, but also prevents running injuries down the road. However, to be good in running, we believe we have to run a lot, as we get good at what we practice often (Rule of Specificity).

 

Did speed work play a role? If so, how?

Most of our speed work is from doing hill work. When we are able to run fast uphill, then running fast on flat ground would seem much easier. Also, it teaches the body to run with better form, and it builds strength to handle the distance of a marathon. We often say to see running hills as “opportunity” to become faster.

 

Any other thoughts you’d like to share with those of us working towards a BQ?

It is important to see your training in a bigger picture. What we are trying to say is, there will be moment where you will experience the lows in training (e.g. GI upset, minor injury, sickness, unable to complete the workout or long run, etc.). In that moment, it is important to remind yourself that one “low” moment will not ruin your whole training plan. Treat it as a learning experience, and move on! Learn to trust your training plan, fitness, and have faith in yourself. If you do not believe in yourself, then it is very difficult for your mind to direct your body to achieving your desired goal. Do not be afraid of failure, as failure is part of the road to success, but success is much further down the road. Keep working, and sooner or later, you will achieve your BQ!

The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Jason Martin

Name

Jason Martin

Sex:

Male

Age (at the time of first BQ):

29

Height:

 

Weight (at the time of first BQ):

165

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

Thunder Road, Charlotte, NC

Tell us a little about the race.

First marathon, 2008 Thunder Road. Had run 3 half marathons in the previous 2 years. Evenly paced first 17 miles, 7:05s. Was trying to run under 3:05. Stopped for a quick potty break betwen mile 17 and 18. HUGE mistake. Spent the next 4 miles trying to catch up to group I was with, running 6:55-7:00 per. That fried me. Tough last 5 miles. finished in 3:09. Got in to Boston that December. This was before the window for registration was super tight.

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

4 years

Did you run in college or high school?

No

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

6,000 miles

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

2,200

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?

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?

No

Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?

No

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

Every long run needs to finish fast. No sugar or gatorade after 15 miles.

The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Ben

Name

Ben

Sex:

Male

Age (at the time of first BQ):

29

Height:

5′ 10″

Weight (at the time of first BQ):

158

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

Light at the end of the tunnel

Tell us a little about the race.

Gradual downhill the entire way. On an old railway trail that’s now a gravel running/biking trail

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

2 years

Did you run in college or high school?

No

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?

2000

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?

High mileage (90-100 mph). Most running at marathon pace sometimes faster

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?

No

Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?

Did 10×800 at least once a week

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

Figure out how much your body can take and push as hard as you can without injury. Through hard training, my marathon pace was faster than my 5k pace 1.5 years earlier

The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Nick D

Name

Nick D

Sex:

Male

Age (at the time of first BQ):

23

Height:

5′ 11″

Weight (at the time of first BQ):

152

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

Surf City Marathon (Huntington Beach, CA)

Tell us a little about the race.

It was overcast and about 60 degrees. Race went off at 6:30, just as the sun was rising. Plan was to try to break 2:45, but my goals were fairly flexible as it was my first marathon. Plan was to go out around 6:20 miles for the first half. After a couple of 6:20s and letting the lead pack go, I got over excited and started dropping 6 min miles. Kept trying to Ease off the gas but was close to 6 min miles until 15 miles or so. At that point I seesawed a little bit in terms of splits, but the markers might have been off because from 18-24 I was again right around 6:10-6:15 per mile. FInished at 2:41 and 6:09 pace. Ran alone from 5 miles to finish. Fairly small marathon.

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

7.5 years

Did you run in college or high school?

Yes

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

15000

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

2500

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; Mostly mileage, a few tempos and fartleks, very little track workouts. Ran far less than when I was in college (around 50 mi/week during training for marathon opposed to 80/week in college). Fell and got hurt 1.5 months out from race, had 2 weeks with very little training and then was able to resume without issues after that. Most important parts of training were long runs (3 18 milers, 1 20 miler, 2 22milers

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

Did speed work play a role or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?

Not much, wish I had done more.

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

Solid Long runs and good rest leading up to the race.

The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Adam Mulia

Name

Adam Mulia

Sex:

Male

Age (at the time of first BQ):

29

Height:

5’5”

Weight (at the time of first BQ):

140

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

NYC

Tell us a little about the race.

I had run two previous NYC marathon’s on little training. After the second one I just increased my volume of running, ran Arizona in 3:18. That summer I “trained” for the marathon. Ran 2:59.

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

3 years.

Did you run in college or high school?

No

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

3000 miles

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

1500

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

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 or specific workouts play a role in your training? If so, how?

In the beginning yes but i would find that it is detrimental to marathon success. Long tempo’s have more importance, but speed work has it’s place.

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

Frequently running long, around 80-90 minutes several times per week including the 2 hour long run even if it is easy is about 75% of the work that needs to be done. Once you Boston qualify there is no turning back, most likely whatever you do after will help get you a BQ.