How to Qualify for Boston??

This week's Take it and Run Topic from theRunners Lounge is: The Secret of How To Qualify for Boston (and other big goals.)

My first response is: um, I don't know...run faster?! And I don't mean to sound condescending, it's just that I've never qualified although I REALLY want to. I just don't seem to be fast enough (based on my previous 3:49, 4+ and 4:08 marathon times).

Not sure what it takes to qualify? Check out the age/sex specific qualifying times here. For a woman 18-34, it requires a 3:40 min or faster USATF certified marathon time. In addition, each age group gets an extra 59 seconds leeway so that if you come in at 3:40.59, you're still qualified. Heck yes!

Beyond running faster, my suggestions to qualifying for Boston are similar to what it takes to train well for a marathon.

1. Stick to a plan like glue.
2. Speed workouts are tres importante!
3. Don't underestimate the effects of hill training.
4. Take rest days when you need them to keep yourself fresh and injury free (I should listen to my own advice more).
5. Before training for your BQ, you may want to drop any unnecessary lbs you have hanging around to make your training just that much easier on your bod.
6. Do not miss your long runs. They are key. And be sure to get at least two 21+ mile runs in during your training for your Boston qualifier marathon.
7. STRETCH, eat well and drink plenty of H2O. The little things go a long way.
8. Remain calm on race day and know what times you need to hit at major check points to keep your BQ goal.
9. If you need and are able to, run with a pace group (like the red lizards that are at many large marathons) to keep you motivated and on pace.

Good luck!

PS-I'm putting the general goal of hitting a 3:40 for Whidbey Island out to the universe, but I'm trying not to psyche myself out over it. After all, if I don't quite qualify, I don't want to finish the race thinking I've failed after all this great training and dedication. You owe it to yourself and your bod to celebrate such a victory because not everyone can run 26.2 miles.

Comments

Amber said…
Wow. That's quick. You are a major inspiration!! How much longer is it till your marathon?? Just remember, if you don't qualify this time around there's always the next time and you're absolutely right not everyone can run 26.2 miles, not even close!!
J said…
If i ever decide to run a marathon and want to BQ I will definitely have to remember this post! You outlined it perfectly!
heatherdc said…
I can't imagine running 26.2 in 3:40. Well, really I just can't imagine running 26.2...yet.

I definitely think YOU will get there though. Ha - "run faster", there ya go. At least you're honest ;)
Morrissey said…
i think racing other distances is key. Possibly have a build up of races leading to the marathon. Start with 10Ks, 15Ks, and the occassional 30K and so on. Also if you have half marathon race, i would add an extra 4-6 miles afterwards and treat that as a long run. Most of all, just have fun, i think any runner can BQ...its just a matter of how much effort you want to put into the runs. Also, nutrition is key...i eat everything! if it looks good, then eat it!
Morrissey said…
"After all, if I don't quite qualify, I don't want to finish the race thinking I've failed after all this great training and dedication. You owe it to yourself and your bod to celebrate such a victory because not everyone can run 26.2 miles."

It is good to have goals, but finishing a marathon is already an accomplishment! meanwhile if you feel good on race day, shoot for the 3:40. At the end of the day, theres plenty of marathons and you are the only one to judge on your performance on that day ;)

Burn it up at whidbey!

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