The BQ(Q) – Dan Varga

Really pleased to share Dan’s story of running a three hour marathon after losing fifty pounds! Inspiring stuff, Dan, thanks!

 Name

Dan Varga

Sex:

Male

Age (at the time of first BQ):

38

Height:

6’1’

Weight (at the time of first BQ):

183

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

Utah Valley

Tell us a little about the race.

I went out today with the goal of keeping my pace in the 6:40’s as long as I could in hopes of breaking 3:00 in my first official marathon. My split times were 6:49, 6:43, 6:43, 6:54, 6:49, 6:49, 7:12, 7:21 (stopped to get rocks out of shoe), 6:43, 6:41, 6:50, 6:37, 13 -6:40, 6:47, 6:52, 6:33, 6:33, 6:39, 6:40, 6:49, 6:45, 8:00 (emergency bathroom), 7:01, 6:55, 7:07, 1:41

I felt great until mile 23 when my heart rate finally got into the 170’s and suddenly I couldn’t keep my speed up anymore. My heartrate was basically in the 150’s until mile 22. I did get attacked by a bird twice by the golf course. I ran it’s wing into the back of my head as it dive bombed me. Scared me, maybe that is what drove my heart rate up and over the edge. That’s right, blame the bird.

Overall, I am very pleased, just wish I would have worn the gaiters and didn’t have my bowel issues and then I would have broken 3:00. There’s always St. George. It was great to run into my wasatch back team at the mouth of the canyon to provide some needed energy, and then my family and parents came and watched me go several times from there until the end.

I ended up 39th overall and 9th in my age group 35-39 I think it was broken down to. Not a bad first effort I would say. Look forward to doing some actual speed work and see what I can really do for St. George”

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

15 months

Did you run in college or high school?

No

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

1500

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

 

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, 10 Miles a day, 3-4 days a week. A couple of speed miles. 10 miles easy, 10 miles hard on weekend long run.

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?

Some Tempo Miles. 10 mile Speed Run. Occasional shorter races.

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

Miles. Lots of miles, slow, medium, some fast.
The 2 years I trained I used a heart rate monitor all the time to judge effort.
My first marathon I tried to run at a 155 or 160 heart rate for as long as possible, whatever that speed was. It eventually went up (mile 22), and the speed went down. Ran 3:01 my first marathon after losing 50 pounds and running 3-4 times a week for 15 months.

The BQ(Q) – Michael Iverson

Michael is fifty and running sub 3 hour marathons. Completely inspiring for an old man like myself. Thanks for sharing your story, Michael.

 

Name

Michael Iverson

Sex:

Male

Age (at the time of first BQ):

44

Height:

6’0″

Weight (at the time of first BQ):

155

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

New York City Marathon

Tell us a little about the race.

NYCM 2010. Planned and trained to run a marathon 1 year before I actually signed up. I wanted to be properly trained for the marathon.
My goal was sub 3:15, but thought I had a decent shot at 3:05. Ran very consistent effort through 20mi. Tried to speed up a little for the last 10k; tried for 10s/mi, achieved 5s/mi. Finished 3:04:54.

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?

3000

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

1800

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?

Yes, Pfitzinger/Douglas 18 weeks / 55mi

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

No

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

2 weeks of pool running 5 weeks from the race d/t a foot injury.

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

Weekly track workout. Weekly tempo workout.

 

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

It’s easier to qualify for us older folks. I’m 50 now and my BQ time is 3:30. I ran 2:44:04 at Chicago 2016.

The BQ(Q) – Andrew Ng

Very cool that Andrew thought to recommend we check out his Strava page to see up close what it took to get his BQ. Thanks, Andrew!

Name

Andrew Ng

Sex:

Male

Age (at the time of first BQ):

35

Height:

5’8

Weight (at the time of first BQ):

135lb

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

Grandma’s

Tell us a little about the race.

You can read my race report on my blog here. 

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

Regularly for about 9 years, but only seriously for about 2

Did you run in college or high school?

No

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

5000 miles

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

maybe 1200 miles, feel free to check my Strava

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

4

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?

Mainly just yoga.

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

Not for this first BQ.

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

Running with people faster than me helped a lot, local running groups worked great for my first BQ.

The BQ(Q) – Tom Rushton

Name

Tom Rushton

Sex:

Tom Rushton

Age (at the time of first BQ):

36

Height:

5’8”

Weight (at the time of first BQ):

157

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

Edmonton Marathon 2016

Tell us a little about the race.

I had planned to run the Ottawa Marathon (May) to qualify but as things happened I had to work that weekend. Turned out to be a good thing as record heat almost cancelled the Ottawa race. I put off finding another qualifier until it was almost to late and signed up for Edmonton (late August) a little last minute. As this was my first road marathon and my first road race period in over 2 years I was a little worried about pacing so I found some good people and stuck with them until the mid point (1:28:44) then took over pacing and tried to be the ‘cheer-leader’ for the sub-3 hour crew, sadly the group thinned and I was the only one that made that goal. My objective was to run 2:59:xx to get under the 10 minute cut-off but make it as easy as possible since I was on vacation that week and had some long runs planned in the backcountry rockies that I didn’t want to miss. Happily everything went according to plan and I was able to continue things no problem.

I’ve done trail marathons and ultras so the distance wasn’t a concern and also posted a 33 minute 10k a few years before (my last road race) so qualifying was only a ‘formality’ although I did want to respect the distance, and it is a much different beast than a trail. I did a 50k about a month before and it was so much easier!

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

13 years

Did you run in college or high school?

No

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

5500

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

600

 

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

1

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?

Sometimes I swim, bike or climb, but just randomly.

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

I usually run most of my runs at a quite low intensity, but have good natural speed, so about 2 weeks before I made sure to do some work above the ‘race pace’ of the marathon when I was on the roads. For Boston I will do a lot more targeted speed work.

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

I felt that the others I was running with in the race all were running to close to their maximum during the first half, although I was making a sincere effort to go easy, it was still a little harder than I’d like at the end. Having a good aerobic base of low intensity mileage really paid off big time for me.

Also I enjoy run with groups and do that often, during the qualifying race I found myself thinking about things in ways I never would in a training run (Is it normal I’m breathing like this? Is my stomach ok? what about now!?) so finding a group and just chatting a bit (it’s marathon pace, you should be able to do that at least in the first half!) stopped me from that and kept me in the moment and remembering what I like about the sport.

Starting easy is really important, I was shocked at how many runners ran 10 minutes or more slower on the second half – and even more that started way fast in the first km. Start slow, and you’ll see better results than hammering the first piece!

 

The BQ(Q) – Robert

For some of us, a BQ is a life long goal, for others, like Robert, its no big deal. Maybe it helps to have been a D1 swimmer? Thanks Robert for taking the time to fill this out. 

Name

Robert

Sex:

Male

Age (at the time of first BQ):

35

Height:

6”1’

Weight (at the time of first BQ):

165

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

Portland

Tell us a little about the race.

First time I was actually thinking about qualifying, wasn’t too tough.

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

8 yrs

Did you run in college or high school?

No

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?

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

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 was a D1 swimmer in college, so continued some of that when I started running. Am faster and healthier with biking and swimming mixed in, instead of more running miles.

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

Sort of- I never ran more than 50m per week, but all were well under 7:00 pace, no junk miles.

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

The engine matters. Build a strong cardiovascular base over many years, and the running becomes academic. Also, Boston really isn’t that much more special than other races- was fun all the times I did it, but not life changing.

The BQ(Q) — James Smith

Name

James Smith

Sex:

Male

Age (at the time of first BQ):

39

Height:

5 foot 7 inches

Weight (at the time of first BQ):

150

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

Berlin

Tell us a little about the race.

I had completed a 23 week training plan. And ran to heart rate. Splits where perfect and I never felt so strong. Love Berlin

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?

10000

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

2057

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

12

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?

Pilates for good core strength which is essential in the race.

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

Yes so I had underlying speed in my legs.

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

 

The BQ(Q) – Mike Zimmerman

Name: Michael Zimmerman

 

Sex: Male

 

Age (at the time of first BQ): 35

 

Height: 5-8

 

Weight (at the time of first BQ):160

 

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

Run for the Red (Poconos)

 

Tell us a little about the race.

My fifth marathon, early stages were downhill with some rough uphill stretches at the finish. The last 3-4 miles were open and it had gotten hot and humid by that point, missed a sub 3 by 24 seconds.

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

2 years

 

Did you run in college or high school?

Yes

 

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?

900

 

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?

I lift weights five-six times a week and play basketball, running is a release to stay in shape.

 

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

Track work on Thursdays, Hill work on Tuesdays

 

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