The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire 00 Charlotte L

Name: Charlotte L

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 32

Height (at the time of first BQ): 5’4″  

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 119lb

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Reykjavik 2019

Tell us a little about the race. It went really smoothly! It was a cool and grey day, good weather for running. I followed a 1:40 half marathon pace group for the first half, then zoned out on my own until mile 21, then focused on catching people in front of me until the end. The last mile or so I tried to give it everything I’d got and it was painful to try to speed up, but I was proud I ran negative splits. This was my first full marathon.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 19 months

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 1600mi

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

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? Calendar year: 7, in a full year before: 11

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 12/55. 12-week plan starting at 35mi/week and building to 55mi/week. Emphasizes cumulative fatigue.

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 in your training? If so, how? Yes, the plan includes lactate threshold and VO2 max workouts.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Be consistent, and don’t be scared of high mileage.

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Kurt Stolberg

Name: Kurt Stolberg

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 33

Height (at the time of first BQ):  6’5″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 199 lbs

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Mississauga Marathon (Canada)

Tell us a little about the race. 21st marathon, 20th BQ attempt. 2 key changes:

1. Finally diagnosed with an allergy to ‘the environment’, so proper drugs helped me not breathe through a straw for the last 2-15km of the past few marathons. Couple that with a decent mileage base and #2,
2. Improved my cadence over 14 months preceding, from 158spm to 170spm. tip: whatever cadence you have, don’t let it slip as you get tired.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 14 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 miles

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1,185 miles

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, Loosely based on Hal Higdon Adv 1, but adapted for run-commuting (lots of 8 milers)

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 – it just gets in the way (hockey, canoeing, hiking)

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes – got my vo2max up 4 pts in 3 months preceding the race

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Never quit! If you love running, just keep enjoying it, keep tweaking things, reading, researching, improving, rehabilitating after injuries, etc and with enough drive, anyone can get there if this late-in-range (33 year old, so sub-3) heavyweight (2.6lbs per inch) with 3 knee surgeries and many failed BQ attempts can.

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Megan Stoddard

Name: Megan Stoddard

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 24

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5’1

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 115

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

Tell us a little about the race. Extremely downhill course – weather was perfect!

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? 2000

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? Yes

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Nope, I remain the worst at cross training

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Weekly interval/threshold/tempo runs

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

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Alice N

Name: Alice N

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 23

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5’4”

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 128

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Edinburgh, UK

Tell us a little about the race. Flat/net downhill. A good London alternative but a little dull

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 18 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? 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? No

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

Did speed work 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? I think I was probably naturally gifted to a certain extent as I didn’t train very hard

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Emily J

Name: Emily J

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 30

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

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 115 lbs

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? San Antonio Rock ‘n Roll – Dec 2019

Tell us a little about the race. Ended up being perfect weather, and the course was great — nice variety including through downtown and the historic Pearl district, followed by a nice scenic route through a paved nature trail — really highlighted the awesome parts of San Antonio. Great support from locals who were really energetic and inspirational!

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 7 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 9500

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 2050

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, once weekly long run (17+) and other days ran 6-12 miles.

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? no

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? don’t underestimate the importance of an adequate taper and carbo loading starting 2 weeks before! I never ran as fast as I did during the actual marathon and I think it’s because I was always running on tired legs and at a relative calorie deficit prior to that point. Made such a difference being refreshed and metabolically recharged on the day of the race.

 

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Eve Pullar

Name: Eve Pullar

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 32

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

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 130

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Christchurch Marathon (New Zealand)

Tell us a little about the race. Flat course, started with the 10km and half marathoners before breaking away at about 15km. Very wet and windy day

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 8 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? Unsure – probably about 15000km (sorry I only use the metric system!) *that’s about 9320 miles* ~ Sean

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? Approx 2800km *that’s about 1739* ~Sean

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 2 half marathons and 1 full marathon in the 12 months preceding (not counting BQ race)

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? Yes

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

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

The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Haley W

After a bit of a hiatus from this project, we’re back with Haley’s story of qualifying for Boston at her sixth marathon.

 

Name: Haley Walker

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 27

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

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 168lb

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Chicago

Tell us a little about the race. It was an amazing, magical, effortless day. 1min negative split!

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 6 years or so – it was my sixth marathon, started with half’s in 2013 and then did my first full in 2015, qualified in 2018

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 5,800

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1162

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 6

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 trained with a small local group…our motto: 1) less is more 2) be religiously consistent 3) cross train!

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Weekly swimming and biking – dabble in triathlon, primarily a runner

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes – weekly(ish) speedwork or tempos…short (500-1000m, 4-6k total)

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Don’t get too obsessive I guess?

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire — Haley Walker

Name: Haley Walker

 Sex: Female

 Age (at the time of first BQ): 27

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

 Weight (at the time of first BQ): 168lb

 At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Chicago

 Tell us a little about the race. It was an amazing, magical, effortless day. 1min negative split!

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 6 years or so – it was my sixth marathon, started with half’s in 2013 and then did my first full in 2015, qualified in 2018

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 5,800

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1162

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 6

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 trained with a small local group…our motto: 1) less is more 2) be religiously consistent 3) cross train!

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Weekly swimming and biking – dabble in triathlon, primarily a runner

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes – weekly(ish) speedwork or tempos…short (500-1000m, 4-6k total)

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Don’t get too obsessive I guess?

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

The BQ(Q) — Erin

Name: Erin

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 19

Height (at the time of first BQ): 5’4″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 104

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Philadelphia Marathon 2013

Tell us a little about the race. My time was 3:34:38. The weather was perfect – average temp of 57 degrees throughout the race. The course was relatively flat with a total elevation gain of 557 ft (by my GPS).

The first mile was extremely hectic because I ended up at the back of the corral and had to pass a lot of people. The first ~7 miles overall were very congested, but the crowd support was also terrific. The first 13.1 miles overall felt like they went by quickly, and miles 14-17 were uneventful as well.

Around mile 18 was when I started feeling not great. By mile 20, I was nauseated, and my legs were really hurting. I was worried that I would give up and start walking, but I started talking out loud to myself, saying things like, “I am going to qualify for Boston today.” This definitely made me sound crazy, but I think it helped.

I was excited to get to mile 24 where a few of my friends would be cheering for me. Two friends jumped in there and paced me from miles 24-26. I was in so much pain that I closed my eyes a few times. When I crossed the finish line and saw 3:34:38 on my watch, I felt euphoric. I gave that race everything I had, and I did it. I even got 2nd place in my age group.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? About 4 years on and off. I was not a naturally fast kid, but I had always wanted to be one of those people who could run for miles without getting tired. I joined high school track because it kept me accountable in reaching this goal (I was by far the slowest person on the walk-on team). I started running consistently about 2.5 years before my BQ.

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 3706

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1436

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? No I was running with a (social, not competitive) running club at the time, and I mostly just tried to run as much as possible. On average, I ran 5-6 miles 5-6 days per week, and this sometimes include two runs in one day (I felt like the feeling of running on tired legs really helped me mentally on race day). I did two 20 mile long runs but otherwise did not follow a consistent long run schedule. I also raced a half marathon, four 6ks, and a 10k (in that order) in the 3 months leading up to the marathon.

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 was part of a CrossFit gym during that time but only went maybe 5 times in the 3 months leading up to the race. Cross training was not a priority.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Absolutely. I don’t think there’s any way I could have BQed without speed work as I am naturally not a very fast person. I did 5 track workouts and 6 races in the 2 months leading up to the marathon. (I definitely wasn’t full-out “racing” all 6 of those races – some were more like tempo runs.)

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? The mental part is no joke. Just as much as you prepare for the physical challenge of the race, prepare yourself for the mental aspect.

Try meditation – learning to quiet your mind and control your thoughts will help when you feel like walking during miles 20-26. I also recommend getting used to running on tired legs, like doing a workout after an easy run earlier in the day.

Also, practice telling yourself the story of how you will qualify. When I felt like dying during the later miles, I kept thinking to myself, “After this is over, I don’t want to be telling my friends how I was on track to qualify until mile 20 and then couldn’t quite do it. I want to tell them the story of how everything started hurting at mile 20, but I was able to go on, even despite that, and qualify.”

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

The BQ(Q) – Megan Capitano

Name: Megan Capitano

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 32

Height (at the time of first BQ): 5’6”

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 120

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Mountains 2 Beach

Tell us a little about the race. May of 2018, mostly flat course though the advertise it’s all downhill(not true)

Ventura, Ca so mild climate

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 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? Approximately 1000 miles/yr

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

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 1 full marathon to qualify, 3 half marathons

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? Yes, Cycling, basketball, gym- always tried to incorporate some kind of alternative activity than just running 5-6 days/week

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Not really, basketball helped a little bit

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Relax about it, meet other runners and have the confidence that you believe you can do it, and have fun! It’s the journey, not the destination!

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art