Beginners and Beyond

12

Best way to get a BQ time? (Read 459 times)

Nakedbabytoes


levitation specialist

    So this time last year, I wasn't even running yet. But last January I made a New Year's resolution to do something active every day for the whole year. I hate being stuck inside( 2 years of doing p90x videos and kick boxing in the garage will do that to you!) while I lost 65lbs. I didn't have a bike but I sortof had shoes, so I picked running!

    Over the year,I went from not being able to run more than a mile at an 11:00mm pace to now running 10 mile long runs at 8:30mm pace. I am running 35 miles a week average. And I will be signing up for my first full marathon May 5th 2013.

    So when I first started running, my goal was to do that marathon but just to finish the whole thing running. Well, now I want more. My training schedule has a nice buildup of mileage until the race and I hope to stay healthy to do so.

    Based on my last 5k performance, it lists my marathon finish time of 3:54. So basically a 8:55mm pace. Qualifying for my AG for Boston is 3:40(okay, actually 3:39 since they won't take any seconds listed after 3:40:XX). So that puts me at a 8:24mm pace.

     

    Is that sortof improvement possible between now and May 5th for me? What would I need to do to make it a possibility? What sorts of things in your training for fulls helped you improve your pace overall?

     

    I'm not a competitive person against others, but I am incredibly determined with goals I set for myself. Should I run this first full just for the experience? Enjoy it? Give myself more time on my feet before trying something so serious? Because once I decide to go for it, there won't be any stopping me from myself.

    happylily


      A few things indicated to me that I would BQ: 1) My HM times were consistently pointing to an equivalent BQ time (I am suspicious of 5k times as good indicators). 2) Long runs were not a daunting thing to me. So I would say that for ME, it was good weekly speedwork, regular decent LRs and about 50 mile weeks.

       

      High weekly mileage helps, of course, but it does not have to be 70-80 miles per week (at least not for me). Solid 50 mile weeks with good speedwork were enough at the time. But of course, I was like 100 years old when I had my first BQ, so I didn't need a 3:40. :-) I run faster BQs these days, but it's probably due to the accumulated mileage on my legs and the few years of experience. I still don't run very high mileage, but my HM time is faster now. I try to maintain my regular mileage, but I work on getting faster instead.

       

      EDIT: I misread, you need sub-3:40? Gulp... unless you're some miracle of nature, like our running mama here, I would try to do my best in my first, but not be disappointed if the BQ does not happen. 3:40 for a first, for a woman, isn't that easy!

       

      .

      PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013

              Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013

      4 years racing, 15 marathons, 15 BQs     

      SusanRachel


        The calculators assume you have the fitness to run the marathon at that pace the same way you had the fitness to run the entire 5k.  That is a tough proposition.  35 miles/week isn't enough when you are talking about marathon training, though I'm assuming you will be increasing that in the coming months. 

         

        My advice would be to run this one for fun and experience.  Keep your pace in check in the first miles.  Learn how your body responds to marathoning.  It is WAY different from shorter races.  Learn the best ways to fuel yourself.  After you've done your first one, you will have a much better idea of where you stand and can look at whether a BQ is realistic for you or not.


        Muddling through

          Particularly with lower mileage runners, and for a marathon 35 mpw is low, calculators are overly optimistic.  A more realistic time based on current fitness would be 4:10-4:15. Bumping up your mileage will help but you should also maintain some quality runs, even intervals. Having picked a May marathon, you may have added an additional barrier to surmount in a BQ attempt. Depending on which marathon you selected, you may run into warm or even hot temps, which will slow you down. Hills and altitude will also. Plan your training to deal with the potential conditions you may face on race day.

          2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

          onemile


            Not that I know anything about getting a BQ time.  But a couple thoughts.  If you're doing long / easy runs at 8:30, either your race results are very soft or you are running your easy/long runs too fast.  I suspect the latter.  My race times are a bit faster than yours and I never run easy/long runs at 8:30... more like 9:30, or sometimes slower.  Save the extra effort for your speedwork days. 

             

            Also, having an artificial goal time (BQ) for May won't really help you.  Who knows? Maybe you'll see big improvements, maybe not.  But all you can do is put in the training and the work and see where you are come race day.  If it's important to you that you BQ on your first try, I would work on running a half around 1:40 before signing up for a marathon. That should make it pretty likely you'll hit that 3:39: xx.

            Nakedbabytoes


            levitation specialist

              Thanks! That is what I thought but sometimes you get to dreaming big and you need others to reign you in to reality!

              Do I think I can BQ on my first try? Not really. I haven't given a fInish time much thought actually since until recently, it was to finish running and that was itSmile

              My mileage does steadily increase until April, with a 2 week high of 54mpw before taper begins. In reality, I'd like that as a base mpw long term before I feel ready to try for bigger & better things. But obviously, that won't stop me from trying to do the best my training allows this May. Even if it isn't even a sub 4 hour finish!

              Thanks everybody!

              MJ5


              Chief Unicorn Officer

                I don't put much stock in a 5K as a marathon predictor--my best 5K is 20:21 and best marathon is 3:56.  Yikes!!!!

                 

                BUT...I know I can do much better, I just didn't really do much MP speed training, I just logged a bunch of miles for my marathons.  I didn't care to compete in them as much as I do 5K's.  I would say that your goal is definitely a stretch for May, but not for a period of time further into the future.  I think to BQ, you really need  a very focused, very consistent, tough schedule.  By tough I mean lots of miles and marathon-specific speed workouts.  Obviously some people will fare better than others, and be able to get a fairly good marathon time with less miles than others.  But on the whole, I would not trust the predictor too much, and you'll need more than 35 mpw for a truly stellar marathon debut.

                Mile 5:49 - 5K 19:58 - 10K 43:06 - HM 1:36:54


                Muddling through

                  It's not just the lower training mileage that makes 5Ks less accurate as predictors, it's also the difference in energy demands on the aerobic and anaerobic energy sources. Probably the best correlation I've gotten between a 5K and the marathon was a 17:44 5K which predicts a 2:52:48 and my 2:56:36. That's still a 4 minute differential, though that wasn't a particularly good marathon race for me - started way too slow, sped up too much, then hit the wall. I was also running 65 mpw and even topped 300 miles one month.

                  2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

                  Nakedbabytoes


                  levitation specialist

                    Lol! I enter my current pace time for a 10 miler(last 2 training runs at 1:27) and it gives me a marathon finish of 4:04! 

                    I do get that stamina and endurance have a lot to do with factors in a 26.2 mile race and a 5k really isn't endurance based at all.  I just got greedy when I punched in the numbers. I would think my 5k being 2 months from current training would mean I would do a better 5k now but if I ran a marathon NOW there would be no way I would finish in 4:04! I haven't ran a half distance LR all at once yet! So I get that a calculator is just a guess really, based on a number that might have no correlation with RL.

                    Thanks for talking me down off the ledge, BFers!


                    Muddling through

                      Lol! I enter my current pace time for a 10 miler(last 2 training runs at 1:27) and it gives me a marathon finish of 4:04! 

                      I do get that stamina and endurance have a lot to do with factors in a 26.2 mile race and a 5k really isn't endurance based at all.  I just got greedy when I punched in the numbers. I would think my 5k being 2 months from current training would mean I would do a better 5k now but if I ran a marathon NOW there would be no way I would finish in 4:04! I haven't ran a half distance LR all at once yet! So I get that a calculator is just a guess really, based on a number that might have no correlation with RL.

                      Thanks for talking me down off the ledge, BFers!

                       A 5K is highly endurance based. It's not at all unusual to see top 5K runners logging 80-90 mpw. But the difference between what percentage is endurance based rises quite a bit from 5K to 10K, hence 10K is about the shortest distance that would give a halfway reliable indication of a marathon time.

                      2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race


                      Samurai in Training

                        A few things indicated to me that I would BQ: 1) I'm awesome. 2) I'm awesome.

                         

                        .

                         

                        I corrected that for you.

                        runmomto3boys


                          You probably know my story, but I BQd with a 3:32 in October, 7 months after I started running.  It's definitely possible!  Your 5K is a crummy predictor of your marathon time anyway, so I wouldn't worry about that.  Do you have any other longer race times?  10K or HM are best.  I'd go out and race one or do a time trial and see what you've got.


                          All I did to get my time was run a lot of miles and follow a plan.  I averaged 74 mpw throughout training.  I'd add as many miles as you can.  It doesn't have to be 70, but as many as you can handle.  You are probably running those 10 milers too fast unless you are a heck of a lot faster then me. You can take a look at my log and see how I'm running my runs as far as paces go.  The good thing is that you are such a new runner, like me, that you are going to get faster pretty quickly.  That rules!  My original projected MP early in training was 8:40 and a later TT projected 7:53 pace.  I ran 8:07 pace in the race, but I really think I could've run 7:57-8:00 had I paced smarter.  Here's my RR with more info.

                           

                          http://forums.runnersworld.com/forums/runner-communities/beginners/rr-des-moines-marathon-went-couch-bq-7-months-after-started-running-pics?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Runner%2520CommunitiesForum:608106477Discussion:88f46dd8-dbc7-4c43-bc6d-9160849007e7Post:89ae2238-cc58-4c3b-91a6-d6217ebbbbb3

                           

                          Anyway, let me know if you have any questions, but my main advice would be to run more miles, slow down those runs and pick a solid training plan. 

                            You probably know my story, but I BQd with a 3:32 in October, 7 months after I started running.  It's definitely possible!  Your 5K is a crummy predictor of your marathon time anyway, so I wouldn't worry about that.  Do you have any other longer race times?  10K or HM are best.  I'd go out and race one or do a time trial and see what you've got.


                            All I did to get my time was run a lot of miles and follow a plan.  I averaged 74 mpw throughout training.  I'd add as many miles as you can.  It doesn't have to be 70, but as many as you can handle.  You are probably running those 10 milers too fast unless you are a heck of a lot faster then me. You can take a look at my log and see how I'm running my runs as far as paces go.  The good thing is that you are such a new runner, like me, that you are going to get faster pretty quickly.  That rules!  My original projected MP early in training was 8:40 and a later TT projected 7:53 pace.  I ran 8:07 pace in the race, but I really think I could've run 7:57-8:00 had I paced smarter.  Here's my RR with more info.

                             

                            http://forums.runnersworld.com/forums/runner-communities/beginners/rr-des-moines-marathon-went-couch-bq-7-months-after-started-running-pics?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Runner%2520CommunitiesForum:608106477Discussion:88f46dd8-dbc7-4c43-bc6d-9160849007e7Post:89ae2238-cc58-4c3b-91a6-d6217ebbbbb3

                             

                            Anyway, let me know if you have any questions, but my main advice would be to run more miles, slow down those runs and pick a solid training plan. 

                             

                            You are making the "I did it so you can too" error that folks with enormous talent make.  I would venture a guess that fewer than 1 in 500 people could start running and BQ 7 months later unless they came into running with tremendous fitness from another aerobically demanding activity such as competitive cycling or playing soccer at the college level.

                            Short term goal: 17:59 5K

                            Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

                            Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).

                              Unfortunately, you can run a lot of miles per week and still be ill-prepared to BQ.

                               

                              I've run two marathons so far, and the training was glaringly different:

                               

                              race 1 using Higdon Int. 2 --  Mileage was usually between 55-65, long runs were done at roughly goal MP plus1:00.  There would be one tempo run per week of about 10 miles at MP minus :15ish.  Long easy runs, lots of easy filler miles, and a weekly half-assed speed day did not yield a BQ.  They yielded a perfectly good 13.1, increasing feelings of "hmm, are we there yet?", and then a spectacular meltdown to walking and pained jogging from 18 miles onward.

                               

                              race 2 using Pfitz 18/70 -- Mileage was usually 60+, peaking over 70.  Most long runs were improved to goal MP plus :30 or less.  There were no fluff days, everything served a purpose.  Recovery days followed intense ones, and only rarely did recovery pace dip much below MP plus 1:00.MLR's involved chunks of tempo or VO2 max stuff, LR's sometimes contained large servings of miles run sub-MP, and then there was the one workout that erased any doubt about being able to BQ.  2 weeks before the race, 17 miles at MP minus :30.  (I do NOT advocate doing this, but perhaps finding some way to get that watershed moment late in the training cycle, but before the taper, of "I know 100% that I can run the intended pace for 26.2" is advisable.  That workout was not part of the Pfitz plan, it was me arrogantly flipping up pocket aces and pushing all my chips in after reading some Canova.)  I BQ'd with 6 minutes to spare.

                               

                              I think that if the mileage for each cycle had been flip-flopped, but the meat of the training remained, the results wouldn't have changed.

                              runmomto3boys


                                I remember that run, Jay: BEAST!!!!  You worked your tail off last cycle and it will be fun to watch you train for/race Boston!  I too used Pfitz, Nakedbabytoes, just so you know. 

                                 

                                LtH: I didn't say that she will BQ based on what she wrote.  I was just sharing my story.  The fact is that I was able to BQ pretty quickly and I think it's nice to see that it is possible (even if it is not necessarily probable). 

                                12