The BQ(Q) – Anton Krupicka (La Sportiva)

Anton Krupicka is one of the faces of ultra-running, know for big mileage in the mountains and pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a mountain athlete. But before he won Leadville and began redefining what it meant to be a mountain runner, he raced cross country… and had some serious wheels.

Here he tells us about the first time he qualified for Boston at age 19. Inspiring stuff. It is incredible to read that at such a young age, he already has so many miles in his legs. Huge thanks to Anton for taking the time to fill this out. I for one am really excited to see what adventures he has planned for 2016.

 

Name: Anton Krupicka (La Sportiva,  Ultimate Direction, Buff, Petzl, Zeal, and Stance)

 

Sex: Male

 

Age (at the time of first BQ): 19

 

Height: 6’1”

 

Weight (at the time of first BQ): I honestly really have no idea. Probably 150-ish pounds.

 

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? The 2002 Overland Park Gobbler Grind in Kansas. Late November, just before Thanksgiving.

 

What was your finishing time? 2:55:11

Tell us a little about the race.

I think I won. For some reason that’s not noted in my training log. I honestly don’t remember much else about the race. It was the end of my sophomore college XC season (I ran both track and XC at DIII Colorado College) and I was road tripping back to Colorado from Minnesota with some other XC friends. We’d been spectating the XC National Championships in MN and worked it into the trip to stop off so I could do this marathon on the way home. College racing was a very frustrating experience for me—I don’t respond very well to lots of intensity in my training schedule, so our twice-weekly interval workouts on top of weekend races was a lot to handle. This marathon was simply an indulgence of the kind of running I’ve always preferred—long, steady, efforts. I’d run my first marathon when I was 12 (3:50). This was my second marathon.

 

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

 

Did you run in college or high school? Yes, both.

 

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? Right about 20,000 miles.

 

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? ~3400. I have detailed training logs for every day since April 12th, 1995 (two months after I started running).

 

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? Well, since it included a full track and XC season, at least 15 or so.

 

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was? Back then, I was doing a lot of mileage. 100mpw was always the bench-mark, but I would go as high as the 130s. Within the next five years I would do much higher mileage, but with twice-weekly speed workouts and a weekly race, 100-130 mpw was about the most I could handle at the time.

 

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? In college, I had the track and XC teams and coaches.

 

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Back then, I would only cross train if I was injured. I would road bike. Now, I cross train constantly (climbing, biking, skiing) and don’t do any running junk mileage. Every running effort I do now has a very specific purpose (usually a long run, or hill repeats, or maybe a tempo run).

 

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

Because I was training specifically for 5k-10k races, speedwork definitely had a role in my training. But that role always seemed to be to just tear me down. For marathon training, long runs and long tempos at marathon pace are much more important.

 

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

I think a BQ is a great goal. It was never one I specifically held, but road marathons were always more of a novelty thing for me and never a specific goal race. I think goals are extremely important for motivating day-to-day commitment, so even if achieving a BQ seems like an impossibility, don’t minimize the value of having that kind of lofty goal in your life!

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Photo: Jim Stein

Check out responses from other pros and legends here. And all responses here.

The BQ(Q) – Alex Varner (Nike Trail)

Sometimes you see an interview with a guy and you just get the feeling he’s probably a great dude. I got that feeling the first time I saw and interview with Nike Trail runner Alex Varner. Winner of this year’s Lake Sonama 50 miler, Alex is one of the best among the best American ultra-runners today (and with a 2:28:14 at Boston this year, he’s no slouch on the roads either).  While Alex is clearly in another league from middle of pack guys like myself, there’s still plenty to learn here. Thanks for taking the time to fill this out!

Name:  Alex Varner (Nike Trail, Picky Bars, Victory SportDesign)

Blog: https://andmilestogobeforeieat.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @afvarner

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 25

Height: 5ft7in

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 135lbs

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? What was your finishing time? Tell us a little about the race.

I got my first BQ at the San Francisco Marathon in 2011. I ran 2:35:00. It was my first marathon, so my main goal heading into the race was to finish. I ran 1:21 for the 1st half and 1:14 for the 2nd half (the 2nd half of the course is also considerably easier than the first), so I was really happy to finish feeling strong.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?

I’d been running for probably 12-13 years at the time. I started running cross country in high school and ran cross country and track at Davidson College.

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

Uhhh…. Maybe around 13,000 miles? That’s what my log tells me, but it’s far from complete/accurate when I look back that far, so probably more.

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

In the 12 months leading up to my first BQ, I ran around 2,800 miles.

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

26 races in the 12 months before my first BQ.

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 didn’t follow a canned program. I was pretty much self-coached and was training for shorter races (under 10k). I wanted to run the marathon because it’s such an iconic distance. Heading into the race, I focused on going a few more long runs, but I wasn’t running any specific workouts for it. The way my training played out that year, I was actually coming off a 2 week break and only had 2 weeks of solid training under my belt before the race.

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

I was running with a running club (Bull City Track Club – at the time, I was in school in North Carolina but spent the summer at home in Marin, which is why I ran the SF Marathon). They had a coach, but I basically just ran what I wanted when I wanted so I’d say that I was “self-coached.”

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

No. I generally only cross-train when I’m injured.

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

No, not really. As I said, I was coming off a 2 week break following 3 weeks of trail racing (Dipsea, Woodminster, Double Dipsea), so I had been training for those races and was able to rely on the fitness that carried over from the spring. But for the marathon itself, I didn’t run any specific workouts.

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

Keep trying! Consistency is key. And not just over one training cycle or season… it builds over several years. Being able to stay healthy and running at a manageable level over a long period of time (years!) will serve you very well.

Alex on his way to a 2:28:14 at Boston this year.

The BQ(Q) Sage Canaday (Hoka One One)

Sage’s motto is “any surface, any distance” and his race result show that he means it. Sixteenth at this year’s Boston Marathon, two time winner (and course record holder) and the Speed Goat 50k, first place at the 2014 North Face Endurance challenge. I could go on.

And besides being one of the best distance runners in America and Hoka One One and Ultimate Direction sponsored athlete, he’s also a hardworking entrepreneur and all around good guy.

I really appreciate Sage taking the time to fill this out. As always, it’s interesting to see how an elite athlete does things. Thanks again, Sage.

Name: Sage Canaday (www.SageRunning.com), @Sage Canaday (instagram and Twitter)…I was 16th at Boston this year in 2:19.

Sex: Male

Age (at time of first BQ): 21

Height: 5’ 10”

Weight (at time of first BQ): 145lbs

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? What was your finishing time? Tell us a little about the race.

Houston Marathon back in 2007. It was my very first marathon. I ran 2:22:21. I was actually going for an OTQ (US Olympic Trials Qualifier) and fell brutally short by 21 seconds. I was on pace for a 2:19 through the first 20 miles and then hit the wall fairly hard with my last 10km containing mile splits that were exponentially slower.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?

8 years of year-round training and racing. I started track and cross country in middle school, ran NCAA DI at Cornell University, and had experience in road racing up to the half marathon distance.

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

Oh wow, really hard to say. Probably around 20,000 miles.

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

About 4200.

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

About 12 (track and cross country from 1500m to 10km)

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was?

I was in college at Cornell University at the time. This was about 5 weeks after my cross country season ended so I was home in Oregon training during winter break. I basically extended my 10km training and added in some hard long runs in the 20-22 mile range.  I didn’t touch marathon goal pace much, but I ran a bit faster and a bit slower than it in high quality workouts!

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

My coach at the time was Robert “Rojo” Johnson of LetsRun.com. He’d run 2:23 in the marathon before and had some good advice for me. I ran everything that winter solo.

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

Aside from 8-minute abs, not really.

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

Yeah for sure! I had come off running 30:50 for 10km in cross country and lots of track intervals that season. My key indicator workout was 2 x 8km at faster than marathon goal pace by about 5-10 sec/mile, which I did half on a track for pacing. I ran 5:12-5:10 per mile for that workout with an easy mile jog recovery between.

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

If you’re getting close to a BQ and have a nice base of aerobic miles from several years of running, check out our “BQ Marathon” Training plan at www.SageRunning.com

Other than that….don’t give up! Consistency  and staying healthy is key as is progressively higher mileage.

Sage proving that he means it when he says “any surface, any distance”.

The BQ(Q) – Mike Wardian (Hoka One One)

Really excited to share this informative BQ(Q) composed by Hoka One One athlete, Michael Wardian. Mike is one of the most successful distance runners in America, competing at a high level at every distance from the 5k to 100 miles. Mike has set world records for the fastest marathon and 50K on an indoor 200-meter track. In March 2015, he set the World Record for the fastest 50K on a treadmill, and then broke it in May of 2015. He’s also an incredibly nice guy.

I had the chance to speak with Mike briefly at the Vermont City Marathon this year. He was funny, approachable, and my son loved his beard. Thanks again, Mike, for taking the time to fill this out and tell us about your first BQ. I’m really looking forward to seeing what you get up to in the year to come!

Name: Michael Wardian

Twitter: @mikewardian  Instagram: mikewardian

website: www.mikewardian.com, Facebook: michael wardian

Sex:  Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 22 years old

Height:  6 feet 0 inches (183 cm)

Weight (at the time of first BQ):  148lbs (currently 139lbs-142lbs)

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Marine Corps Marathon-1996

What was your finishing time?  I ran 3:06:54:

Tell us a little about the race.

I ran the 21st Marine Corps Marathon in order to get a qualifier for the Boston Marathon and I had to run under 3:10 and made my goal.  I ran in lacrosse shorts, cotton socks, a cotton t-shirt, no band-aids, I felt great but nervous till about 18 miles then I was feeling really confident and then with 4 miles to go I thought I am totally making it but with 2 miles to go I had like 15 mins and I thought, this is AWESOME but with 800 meters, it was getting close…but I made it.

Still one of the happiest moments in my running career.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? Did you run in college or high school?

I had been running for about 1 year when I got my BQ.  I did not run in high school or college.

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

I would think my approximate mileage was about 2,340 miles or about 45 miles per week.

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

I ran about 2,340 miles.

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

I ran one (1) other race, the  MS 1/2 marathon and I ran 1:14 mins for 3rd place, I had no idea what I was doing but ran as hard as I could for a long as possible.

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? If not, can you give us an idea of what your training philosophy was?
I did follow a canned program that was given to me by Vicky Voisin, my buddy Vince Voisin’s mother. She had just run the Boston Marathon and was nice enough to make a copy of a training program for me.  I don’t even know who wrote it.  I just wanted to run a little as possible to achieve my goal at first and then after reading Lydiard, I started to run more and longer.

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach?
I did start running with the Pacers Running Club, here in Washington,DC and I don’t run with Pacers anymore as my time is super compressed but I would if I had more time, I love those guys and the friends I made.  I still run with some of the guys 20 years later.  I don’t have a coach, I actually coach people and can be contacted for coaching at mwardian@rocketmail.com

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how?
I do cross train with cycling and weights.  I am bike commuter so I ride my bike at least 10 times a week and a lot more as I run errands and try to go by bike whenever I can.

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

I do enjoy speedwork and when I am trying to get faster I go to the track at least 1 time a week, I have been racing a lot so have been going to the track less but if you want to get faster for me the track is where to do it.

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

I think that everyone is capable of getting a BQ and I hope that your readers have the opportunity to run the BAA Boston Marathon, it is such an incredible event and really is a standard bearer for what a first class event can be and the impact it can have not just on the community but on your life.  I know that my goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon changed the course of my life and I feel so fortunate for everything that Boston has given me and I know it can for you too.

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