The BQ(Q) – Dennis

Name: Dennis

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 47

Height (at the time of first BQ):  6’0″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 141

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Revel Big Bear

Tell us a little about the race. I held my marathon goal pace for the first 25 miles, then died in the last mile and hobbled across the line just before my BQ standard.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 30 years of running, training for Boston for last 1.5 years

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 12000

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1700

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 7

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, followed a program set up by Coach Paul of Revel Race Series

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, I would cycle 1 day a week to keep some of the pounding off my feet.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes, I’d do a speed workout once a week.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? One thing that made a big difference for me over years past was consistency in training and avoiding injuries. I had to really focus on stretching and strengthening exercises to manage the little injuries along the way. I also decided to run 6 days a week. Hard days hard, easy days easy.

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How Michael Pearlman Qualified for the Boston Marathon

Name: Michael Pearlman

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 45

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

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 137

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Colfax Marathon (Denver)

Tell us a little about the race. This was my second time running this marathon. The previous year I had been running fairly strong until Mile 21, when I hit the wall and blew up in the final 5 miles to finish in 3:33. Weather was cooler the second year, with almost no wind. This time I was familiar with the course and had focused on finishing my long runs strong, running faster for the final few miles. This seemed to work as I didn’t fall apart in the final 10k this time, plus I was motivated by the realization at mile 21 that I had a chance to BQ.

Interestingly, I had a calf issue flare up about two weeks before the race, so I was super cautious during my taper and even skipped my final long run. To my amazement, I managed a 13-minute PR and a BQ.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ?  11 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 5,000

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 900

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? Yes, Masters Marathon program from Brad Hudson’s “Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon”

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Not really. I swam the day after my long runs to aid in recovery but did not actively attempt any significant cross training.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes. Hudson’s Master’s program included some speed work and intervals, most of which I did on a treadmill.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? This was only my 3rd road marathon and I really didn’t expect to BQ, but I think a combination of factors worked in my favor. I was familiar with the course, the race conditions were favorable and I worked at improving my speed. The important thing to realize is that everyone is different. In my case, I never ran more than 40 miles a week during training and I ran 4 days a week at most. This allowed my body time to both adapt and recover and I was injury free during my training. If you are focused on quality runs I believe that can benefit you more than just quantity and junk miles. Learn about your body, and what works for you particularly if you are over 40 because you don’t recover as quickly.

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John C’s Story of Qualifying for the Boston Marathon

Name: John C

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 47

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5’11

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 154

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

Tell us a little about the race. Perfect weather day in 2017—prior year 2016 was super hot/humid and disaster for me. Course is flat out and back and relatively small race. Met folks on the course from various parts of US who came to the race for BQ or NYCQ attempts.

Had trained for 3:20 goal, 3:15 stretch goal, and weather/luck/fitness helped me run 3:13:xx

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? 4000

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 2059–1455 of that in the final 6 months

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 4; 1 slow marathon, 1 half, 15k and 5 mile

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? Lots of extra Pre-hab type exercise work and PT during last 3 months to support training volume and recovery.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Coach is a Daniels program coach, so very typical of Daniels programs in last 3-4 months (2 workouts per week + long weekend run) but lots of creativity to keep it interesting and work around my work travel and family stuff.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Like others in this age bracket, I had experience as an athlete in HS/college but a big gap when I started work/family. College rowing was my first/only exposure to endurance work. So I was a very low odometer runner when I started in mid-40s. Most of process for me has been about volume or base building (and getting leaner). Trying to add volume safely and avoid injury, learning my recovery rhythms, how to eat better and getting enough good sleep to support training and recovery at higher workloads. Learning that monthly and yearly work is more important than weekly mileage for my goals was important too. Also, while obvious to most, I took a long time to learn how to take my easy days easy enough, so I could properly stress myself in workouts and recover/adapt.

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Ian’s Story of Qualifying for Boston Marathon

Name: Ian

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 47

Height (at the time of first BQ): 5’7”

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 137

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Eugene

Tell us a little about the race. I used a power meeter for this marathon training cycle and was quite confident that I could hold 237 watts the whole way and finish in 3:15. I came through the half at 1:36:50 and was running easy and relaxed, so I picked up the effort to 240-245 watts. Every half mile or so, I was picking off runners and felt better and better. The last 5K was my fastest and ended up running 3.5 minutes negative split to cross the finish at the Hayward Field track in 3:09:12. It was my 4th marathon and first in 4 years. Previous PR was 3:23.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 34 years

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 10,000

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

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? Yes, Jim Vance’s Run With Power

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 in your training? If so, how? Yes. Lots of Marathon- to Half Marathon-paced tempo work. 2 quality/speed workouts per week.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Consistency is key. You simply have to put in the daily miles and make sure to do a couple of quality runs per week. For example 3 x 30 minutes or 5 x 1 mile at marathon pace.

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The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Steve

Name: Steve

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 45

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5’7”

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 145

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Rock n Roll DC, March 2017

Tell us a little about the race. This was my first ever marathon, temps were 20F at the start, 30F at the finish with a biting wind! Nice course for the first 15 miles, the rest not so much. Got across the line in 3:20:17.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? On and off for 15 years but specifically for 18 months.

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? 500

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 1 x 70.3 tri, 2 x Duathlon, 1 x 13.1

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? No

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Swim, bike and strength training; I was also training for IM Lake Placid in July 17. Always did my long run the day after a long ride to introduce fatigue. Never ran more than 36 miles in one week leading up to this race.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes, track training once per week. One long track training session per month

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Add more cross training to reduce run miles and prevent injury. Add a hilly run and a interval run to build strength. Don’t neglect the core! Practice nutrition on long runs.

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John Fellows Shares His Story of Qualifying for Boston Marathon

Name: John Fellows

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 48

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

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 178

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Portland

Tell us a little about the race. Portland is a relatively flat race with a really good climb at mile 16. Temperatures are usually too warm by mile 18 to give a person a shot at a really gast run though. I’ve run it 3 times. 2014-3:55, 2015, 3:29 and 2016, 3:24.

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? 2500-3000

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

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? Yes, Hal Higdon Advanced

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 do no cross training.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes and no. I run everything but my day after long run recovery day at a faster pace than my goal. 6-8 milers would be 6:30-6:45. Long day might be a 7:20-7:30. Day after 7:45-8:00.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Don’t get caught up in what program you follow. I raced on 40-45 miles a week following my training program in a very loose manner. Meaning, I used it as a suggestion. When a week long August vacation came, I didn’t fret over losing a week of training.

The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire – SR

Name: SR

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 45

Height (at the time of first BQ):  6’0

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 195

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

Tell us a little about the race. Goal was to run even pace of 7:35 in first half and 7:37 in second half to take advantage of the net drop in altitude. Got to 20 miles feeling great and my last 10k was my fastest.

Ended up running 7:36 average which was my goal pace.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 6 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? 6 Years

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? Yes Hanson’s modified with more mileage and fast finish 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? Some cross training with several dry needling sessions that really helped out when my bad hamstring or calves got tight.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Mixture of 400, 800, and mile repeats once a week.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? I made a huge leap in endurance when I started running easy runs easy. Until I made that change, I was blowing up around mile 20. My tempo run paces were identical or a few seconds slower than past training periods.