How Lauren D qualified for the Boston Marathon

Name:  Lauren D

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): 135

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

Tell us a little about the race. Sugarloaf Marathon was my second marathon; I ran my first at Baystate in October 2016 and I think I was just on the verge of 3:35 at that point if everything went perfectly, but I had a tough day (chest cold and then nausea/vomiting) and finished walk/jogging in a disappointing 3:48 and change. After that race I put in a TON of work for Sugarloaf, had a decent but not 100% perfect race day, and all the work paid off. I toed the start line perfectly healthy, nutrition strategy was on point, and I paced the race really well (1:46:36 first half, 1:46:05 second half). The first half felt easy even with the big climb in miles 8-10, the last 5 or so miles were torture in the sun, but I knew if I kept moving I’d have the BQ at that point so I just got it done. I slowed a little in the last few miles but had enough gas left for a hard kick at the very end.

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? ~6500

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 2700

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 10 – not all goal races/100% effort, though

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, Designed by my coach – medium-long, long, workout, and 3-4 easy days.

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

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Not really. I strength trained a little but dropped it in favor of more mileage pretty early on (time constraints).

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes – lots of hill sprints and strides early on, a very few track workouts (mostly 10k pace or slower) in the last 6 weeks. Longer tempos at marathon pace or a little faster throughout training. Timed intervals on the road – between 10K-HM pace with recovery just a little slower than marathon pace. HILLS. I didn’t run the hills hard outside of the short sprints, but I ran a lot of them and especially tried to get them in toward the end of medium-long and long runs when I was tired.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? Keep working! Lifetime mileage and a healthy dose of mental toughness will get you there.

Corbin’s story of Qualifying for the Boston Marathon

At 17, Corbin might be the youngest BQ(Q) entry ever.

Name: Corbin

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 17

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

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 155

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

Tell us a little about the race. This was my second marathon and it took place on a very pleasant day for northern Michigan. Mid 50’s at the start with little wind. The course is quite flat with just a couple small rolling hills. I kept right on 7:00/mile pace for the first 13. Then I put down about 10 miles at 6:40 to 6:50 pace simply due to feeling good. Of course that caught up to me for the last few, which were closer to 8 minute miles, but I still finished under 3:03.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 5 Years

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

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? 1500

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 Focused on high mileage, ran modified work outs with the track team

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

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes, I was part of my high school track team at the time. I ran most of my speed workouts with them, often just doubling the workout’s distance while running at a slightly slower pace.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? I think an essential part of BQ training is consistency. Running almost everyday for months before the race and getting up to the high mileage weeks are more important than any single workout or long run.

How Max Qualified for the Boston Marathon

Damn, this dude ran a lot of miles at a young age…

Name: Max

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 22

Height (at the time of first BQ):  6′ 1″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 160

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

Tell us a little about the race. Hot (76 at finish) day on a relatively flat course. Inclines and declines are very slight until about 16 miles. The last half marathon is a spoke out and bank with the out portion being uphill and the back being downhill. There is also no shade on the back half (ugh)

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

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 13,000 mi

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 2,200 mi

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, 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? I lifted weights 3x/week for the first 2/3 of my program, but only did bodyweight workouts the last month as an attempt to increase my “peaking”.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes. Pretty much just basic interval workouts and tempo runs a few seconds faster than race pace. Tempo runs great for building confidence

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? In my opinion increasing mileage is the best route to take towards decreasing your time. I ran about 50-60 mpw during my training and wish I could have been in the 60-70 range.

Also in general, you can never hydrate too much.

How KG Qualified for the Boston Marathon

Name: KG

Sex: Female

Age (at the time of first BQ): 28

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

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 110

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?  Providence

Tell us a little about the race. It was my 3rd marathon. It was a good, well run race, in my hometown so no travel required, which I feel gave me a “home field advantage”. Small enough to have space running, large enough to always have someone nearby. Long stretches of no fans and quiet running by the ocean on a bike path. Some hills, but not too bad. I wasn’t actually trying for a BQ necessarily, but the conditions were perfect that day and I felt good, so decided to go for it about half way through the race.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 3 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

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? 1500

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 Generic marathon training plan from coolrunning.com

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 did not do much cross training. Occasional hiking/walking on off days.

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how?          I did not do any speed work for this marathon.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? I’ve run 9 marathons now, 3 were BQ -#s 3 (Providence), 7 (Providence) and 8 (NYC). Performance varies due to so many things during such a long race. Traveling, staying in a hotel, eating at restaurants always results in slower marathon times for me (mostly, except NYC with perfect weather). I always do best at races where I can sleep at home, eat my normal food, and take a short drive to the race in the morning. Also, running on familiar streets or by familiar landmarks makes me feel more comfortable and relaxed. If BQing at a large race hasn’t worked for you, try to achieve a BQ at a local race.

Don’t underestimate the power of weather. The perfect weather always leads to a PR for me…bad weather (hot, rainy, snowy) typically adds 5-10 minutes to my marathon timBoston Qualifier Questionnaire Arte.

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire: Charlie

Name Charlie

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): 140

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Tell us a little about the race. OBX Marathon

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? 30 years

Did you run in college or high school? Yes

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 20,000+

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1100

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? Focused on increasing long run every couple of weeks until I could go 26 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? After having run Boston 3 times now, I would say weekly/monthly mileage is the single most important factor. Being able to run 50+ miles weeks consistently is most effective training, then sprinkle in all the other extras.

The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire – Simon, Raymond and Benard

This is a cool one, and a first for the project. Three runners from the same club all qualified at the same race and sent in a joint response! For two of them, it wasn’t the first time they bq’ed, but for one of them it was.

Its also worth mentioning that Bernard Onsare is an elite runner, he WON the calgray marathon in 2013. Interesting, he also doesn’t track his miles.

Anyway, cool to see a group of runners do this together. Thanks so much for taking the time to share you story Raymond, Simon and Benard!

 

image

Raymond, Benard and Simon

Names: Raymond Ong

Simon Ong

Benard Onsare

 

Club Website: https://www.facebook.com/obathletics/

Raymond’s Social Handles: https://www.instagram.com/rayong111/?hl=en

Simon’s Social Handles: https://www.instagram.com/simon.ong88/?hl=en

https://twitter.com/simonong88?lang=en

https://sites.google.com/site/yycmarathoner/

Benard’s Social Handles: https://www.instagram.com/benard.onsare/?hl=en

 

Sex: Male

 

Age: Raymond Ong 24 (first BQ)

Simon Ong 29

Benard Onsare 34

 

Height

Raymond Ong, Simon Ong, Benard Onsare 5’8

 

Weight

Raymond Ong and Benard Onsare 58 kg (127 lbs)

Simon Ong 78 kg (171 lbs)

 

At which marathon did you get your BQ?

Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2017

 

Tell us about the race

Toronto Waterfront Marathon is one of the fastest running courses in North America. The organizers claim it is the second fastest course in North America. Although there are “mini” hills, the course is pretty flat and fast. Race morning starts with a temperature of 14 degree Celsius, which is optimal for anyone looking to run a personal best, or to obtain a Boston-qualifying time. There is relatively no wind, unlike previous years. However, as the race progresses, the temperature can reach to as high as 21 degree Celsius, making it hard to maintain the planned marathon pace. There is an aid station at every 2 to 4 km, which helps the participants to stay hydrate and fuel.

 

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

Raymond Ong earned his first BQ this year, and he has started running consistently for 3 years.

Simon Ong has earned his first BQ at Toronto in 2014, but this year, he managed to earn a second sub 3 marathon under his belt. Simon has been running for 6 years.

Benard is running his 23rd marathon, and has been in the elite marathon field for over 20 years.

 

Did you run in college or high school

Both Raymond and Simon have no running experience in high school or college. As in the article found in the Impact Magazine (http://impactmagazine.ca/fitness/running/simon-ong-raymond-ong/), Raymond went through a struggle with alcohol and smoking, and Simon went through a weight struggle. Raymond took up running under the influence of his brother, Simon, who lost over 60 pounds from running alone. Both Raymond and Simon took up running in their early mid-20’s.

Benard ran at a very early age.

 

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

Raymond Ong’s approximate lifetime mileage before his first BQ: 4,000 km in the last 3 years of running

Simon Ong’s approximate lifetime mileage before his first BQ in 2014: 6,000 km, however for this training, he put over 2200 km for the 22 weeks of marathon training (this year)

Benard Onsare’s approximate lifetime mileage: Does not count his miles

 

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

Raymond ran 2,524 km this year before his first BQ.

Simon ran approximately 1,880 km the year before his first BQ in 2014. This year (2017), he put in 3,800 km before his BQ and sub 3.

Benard does not really keep track of his mileage.

 

Approximately how many races did you run in that year?

Raymond ran 5 races this year before his first BQ (‘1’ 3 km race, ‘1’ 5 km race, ‘2’ 10 km race, ‘1’ half marathon)

Simon ran 10 races this year (‘1’ 5 miles, ‘1’ 5 km race, ‘4’ 10 km race, ‘4’ half marathon)

Benard ran 6 races this year (‘4’ 10 km race, ‘2’ half marathon)

 

Did you follow a canned program?

 

Our training philosophy is to challenge the body and legs, but giving it enough time to adapt before adding a new challenge or stimulus. We believe in order to be a well-rounded runner; we must do a mix of everything (hills, speed, easy, tempo, long run). It’s like cooking chili, we cannot emphasize on only one ingredient. We must listen to our body, if our body is not ready for the next challenging workout, we either rest or do easy recoveries run. We limit to approximately 2 hard workouts a week, and the rest would be very easy conversational run.

 

Did you run with a club or utilize a coach?

We do not have an official club, but Benard Onsare has started the OB Athletic Club (based out of Calgary, Canada). It’s open to everyone. It is beneficial to do run as a group, because it keeps everyone honest, and accountable. Also, we are able to motivate each other, and to give each other feedback.

 

Did cross training play a roll? If so, how?

Both Raymond and Simon do weight training as their cross training. It improves speed, but also prevents running injuries down the road. However, to be good in running, we believe we have to run a lot, as we get good at what we practice often (Rule of Specificity).

 

Did speed work play a role? If so, how?

Most of our speed work is from doing hill work. When we are able to run fast uphill, then running fast on flat ground would seem much easier. Also, it teaches the body to run with better form, and it builds strength to handle the distance of a marathon. We often say to see running hills as “opportunity” to become faster.

 

Any other thoughts you’d like to share with those of us working towards a BQ?

It is important to see your training in a bigger picture. What we are trying to say is, there will be moment where you will experience the lows in training (e.g. GI upset, minor injury, sickness, unable to complete the workout or long run, etc.). In that moment, it is important to remind yourself that one “low” moment will not ruin your whole training plan. Treat it as a learning experience, and move on! Learn to trust your training plan, fitness, and have faith in yourself. If you do not believe in yourself, then it is very difficult for your mind to direct your body to achieving your desired goal. Do not be afraid of failure, as failure is part of the road to success, but success is much further down the road. Keep working, and sooner or later, you will achieve your BQ!

The Boston Qualifier Questionnaire – Dave Munger

Name

Dave Munger (http://mungerruns.blogspot.com)

Sex:

Male

Age (at the time of first BQ):

44

Height:

6’2″

Weight (at the time of first BQ):

190

At which marathon did you get your first BQ?

Richmond 2011

Tell us a little about the race.

Richmond was the perfect race to qualify for Boston — perfect weather, perfect terrain, perfect race organization. I needed a 3:25 to get in, which worked out to a 7:49 pace. I opted to go out around 7:30 and kept that up for the first half of the race. With some time in the bank I kept it under 7:49 through 20 miles. Then it was that tough slog to the finish. My slowest mile was 8:30 but I managed to hold it together enough to finish in 3:22:55, a 15-minute PR and a BQ!

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

30 years

Did you run in college or high school?

Yes

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

20,000

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

2,700

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, Jack Daniels

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

Yes

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

Not much. I did a little strength training, Pilates, that sort of thing.

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

Yes, I did a lot of intervals and tempo work. I think that helped get me comfortable and strong for MP

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

For me, high mileage is the key to a marathon training plan. I need to run a lot of miles at an easy pace. Just getting those miles under my feet seems to be the only way to really kill it on race day. And of course, always be aware of your body and deal with any signs of injury sooner than later!