Dan Stedman’s Story of Qualifying for Boston Marathon

Name: Dan Stedman

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 58

Height (at the time of first BQ):  6′

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 163

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Mohawk to Hudson Marathon

Tell us a little about the race. My wife and I trained for roughly 6 months, following a training program I found on line. I had been running more seriously, starting in 2015 while my wife was a 25 year committed runner. Running a marathon was on my bucket list and after finishing a half marathon in 1:36, I thought, if I continued running, I could complete a marathon and quite possibly qualify for Boston. My wife on the other hand had no interest in training for or running a marathon. She did however run with me on my long runs until one day, I said to her, “you’ve done all the long runs, you should sign-up and run the marathon. Too make a long story, short, we both BQ’d at our first marathon. My time was 3:35 and I struggled coming home. My wife, however, ran a great race until the last 2 miles where she really struggled with dehydration but still managed to run a 4:14 and 2nd in her age group. Quiet an accomplishment for someone who did not want to run. (She has since run 4 more marathons, winning her age group in the Buffalo Marathon).

For individuals who are looking to BQ, the Mohawk to Hudson is an ideal marathon. It is mostly downhill or flat as it follows the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers. Some hills but they are not too difficult.

We both ran the 2018 Boston Marathon. Unfortunately, due to the weather, neither of us had a good race but I imagine many other runners were in the same boat as us.

I am looking forward to 2019 as I have already qualified. I’m hoping my wife can qualify as well.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 35, but seriously on 2 years.

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 11,000

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1,000

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? Yes, found it on the internet

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. Walked a great deal most evenings (we run in the mornings). Walking gave us time to unwind before bedtime and helped with our recoveries.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Ran either a 5k or 10K about every other week. Some with our running club and others as unattached runners.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? When I started running seriously, I weighed 206 lbs. We changed our diet to more plant based (fruits and vegetables) with chicken or lean meat. Increasing my weekly mileage while tracking my caloric intake (myfitnesspal app) helped me to lose 40+ lbs. The weigh loss helped me to run longer and faster with less stress on my legs. Getting into a good BMI was critical to my success. I also started doing weight training to strengthen our cores (push-ups mostly for me while my wife did push-ups, squats, light weights and lunges).

Lastly, having a good running partner (my wife) helped me “win the battle of the mattress” and to get out on those days when I just wanted to stay in bed.

My recommendations are to: Try to lower your BMI. Eat healthy. Consider doing some weight training. Follow a running plan. Join a running club and/or find a partner that will push you when you need it.

Wishing you all the best in your quest to BQ. Peace.

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

Cliff’s Story of Qualifying for Boston Marathon at Age 55

Name: Cliff

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 55

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

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 183 #

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?  Tucson Marathon 2017

Tell us a little about the race. Mostly downhill course. Cool (40?) at start, probably 70F or so by the time I finished. Needed 3:40 to BQ, got 3:31:25.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 8.5 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 12,000? miles

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 2,500 miles

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 23

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 run with a backpack twice a week, but I don’t recommend that to others. It does, however, make running without the pack feel much easier.

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes. I ride my bike on Sundays.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes. I do interval training on Mondays and a fast run on Wednesdays.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? I did not train to BQ, per-se. I am in the middle of training for the 2018 Bataan Memorial Death March civilian heavy division (i.e. carrying a 35 pound backpack). I also run various ultras. This year I ran a couple half-marathons and my stats were good enough that I thought I might be able to BQ in the middle of training on a downhill course, so I gave it a try at Tucson.

Tucson was my 97th marathon or longer event, but it was my first attempt to BQ. Generally, I like to run ultras, but at a much slower pace. Tucson was more taxing on my body than a 53 miler I had run a week after having run a 100 miler.

Diet and sleep appear to be fairly important to recovering quickly. Recovering quickly allows one to train harder more frequently. That seems to have helped me.

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire – Reg Willick

Name: Reg Willick

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 55

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

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 188

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Vancouver

Tell us a little about the race. good weather great scenery

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? 8,000 miles

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 2500

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 2full 8 shorter races

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? Trail biking and trail running/ climbing

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Some

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? all about mileage, I found running almost everyday 10-25 km

The BQ(Q) – John Cox

Name

John Cox

Sex:

Male

Age (at the time of first BQ):

57

Height:

6′-0″

Weight (at the time of first BQ):

160lbs.

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

Carlsbad, CA

Tell us a little about the race.

My progression at Carlsbad from 2013 has been 4:39, 3:57, 3:45, 3:31 (BQ 1/17/16). For the 2016 race I trained for 3:30 (3:29 actually) and ran a PR for the 1st half, but I let the 3:29 goal slip away around Mile 23 in crowded, kinda hilly, warmer conditions near the end. It was a minor disappointment, but I felt like I gave 100% and it was a safe BQ against the nominal 3:40 standard for my AG. I am registered for Carlsbad ’17 and training for another PR with higher and more consistent mileage.

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

4-1/2 years

Did you run in college or high school?

No

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

7000

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

2000

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, Hansons

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

No

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

Yes, I cycled quite a lot during the 6 months before the main marathon training buildup, partly due to an injury to an adductor muscle.

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

Yes, I trained for a 5k PR from January through July (off-season.) But then i was sick of it so i didn’t do much during my buildup. I did do tempo and threshold runs fairly heavily though.

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

I learned to sort of aim high, that is I did a fair amount of training for 3:15 to 3:25 when my rel goal was 3:29.

Also I learned a bit too late that consistent mileage is more important than I thought. It’s more of a priority for me now. I start a daily streak in the fall and keep it through the January race until i have some reason to break it. Running every day works for me.

I am also keeping up longer runs (12-20 miles) throughout the year, rather than just hitting a few during the marathon training.

A ton of other stuff which I log in my journal.

The BQ(Q) – Rob Mason

Name

Rob Mason

Sex:

Male

Age (at the time of first BQ):

57

Height:

6’1”

Weight (at the time of first BQ):

150

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

Philadelphia

Tell us a little about the race.

Ran my first half in spring, won age group so trained for first marathon in Philly. Stayed in hotel night before and jogged 2 miles to start. 38C at start. Zigzagged first 3 miles to pass NYC “refugees”. First half in 1:45 so went for BQ. Pushed to end for 3:38:22. Totally exhausted and stepping down curbs was painful. Was a BQ with not a second to spare.

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?

1000

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, 18 week of training, last long run 26.2

 

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?

If you can find a good training program that fits your lifestyle, stick to it. Don’t push too hard in training but do races (10k to half marathon) to see if you are near BQ times

The BQ(Q) – Gary Jakobcic

Name

Gary Jakobcic

Sex:

Male

Age (at the time of first BQ):

56

Height:

5′ 9″

Weight (at the time of first BQ):

160 lbs

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

Detroit Marathon

Tell us a little about the race.

Cool/cold day mid 30s F
BQ standard 3:40, 8:24min/mi, Goal 3:38 or better
Started out running by feel, staying between the 3:40 and 3:30 pace groups
Started out well averaged 8:13min/mi first five miles
Next five speed up too much, averaged 7:52 min/mi for miles 6-10 passed 3:30 pace group between miles 7 and 8.
13.1 miles in 1:45:29
Miles 11 -15 ave 8:05min/mi.starting to slow
Miles 16 – 20 ave 8:12 min/mi slowing more
Miles 21 – 25 ave 8:27 min/mi passed by 3:30 pace group at mile 22, legs feel like lead, focused in keeping my legs moving.
Mile 26 to finish ave 8:17 min/mile
Finish time: 3:35:13
How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ?

7 years

Did you run in college or high school?

Yes

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

6000 miles

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

1379

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, Runners World Smart Coach based on my half marathon time a month before I started training

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

No

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

Strength training twice a week.

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

Yes a tempo or interval workout once a week for 3 weeks with no speed work the 4th week, repeated for a 20 wk program.

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

I was able run mostly half marathons (my BQ marathon was my 4th marathon but the first where I was trying for a goal time) to get me to a predicted BQ marathon time. This took several years, loosing 25lbs, improving my diet, devising a fuel strategy, reading everything I could get my hands on and pushing myself hard. It required an extreme amount of discipline, dedication and planning on my part to complete my training plan for my BQ marathon. The biggest physical and psychological effort I have ever completed.

The BQ(Q) – Dave

Name

Dave

Sex:

Male

Age (at the time of first BQ):

55

Height:

5’7″

Weight (at the time of first BQ):

147

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

Marshall University Marathon

Tell us a little about the race.

30 degrees w/ 5 mph wind at start. Flat, double loop course in Huntington, WV. Paved city streets with 6 miles of hard-packed crushed limestone path.

Pace strategy: Mile 1 – 8:45, 2-6 – 8:30. 7-20 – 8:00, 21-26 – 7:45.

Ran first half with a friend/pacer. Hammer Gel every 4 miles. Felt better as the race went on. Fastest mile was #26 – 7:20.

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

42 years

Did you run in college or high school?

                Yes

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

15,000

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

1,600

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, Hansons Brothers with tweaks.

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?

Absolutely.

Speed in the early weeks (18) and then more strength. Two days per week.

Weekly tempo runs at half marathon pace (up to 10 miles). Intervals of varying distances/reps from 12 x 400m up to 6 x 2400m.

Long runs were at marathon pace (w/ w/u and c/d miles). By race day, MP was locked in.

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

  1. Determine the right training pace for intervals, tempos and pace runs. It has to be one you can work with. Workouts should leave you tired but still able to complete the next one. If not, then it’s too fast. Easy runs will be easy/slow in part because you’re tired from the quality runs.

    2. Don’t over race. I like one race (13.1) at 8 weeks from marathon day to gauge fitness. Shorter races are a distraction from focused marathon training, and longer ones just beat your body up. Stay focused on the prize (BQ).

    3. Should also note that while I have been running since I was 13, I started marathons at age 50, 5 years before my BQ.