The Boston Marathon incident has brought me back to running (Read 281 times)


    I spent a little while in high school running cross country. Just when I started to get into it, a stupid incident caused me to get kicked off the team. A moment during practice has always stuck with me though, when I simultaneously owned an obnoxious kid...and hit a personal milestone for a time.


    I drive a lot for a living and am constantly tuned into NPR. Hearing the personal relationship people have with the Boston marathon really got to me.  I'm 25 and haven't ever found something athletic to excel at.  I've always felt I could be good at running if I trained for it.  Well, I finally bought myself some running gear and am going to start training tomorrow.


    I've set some kinda crazy goals, but I don't plan on actually *doing* anything crazy to get there (at least I don't think so).  I'm planning on seeing if I can qualify for, and complete the Boston marathon.  I've heard enough people describe this as a goal that many veteran runners have, so I realize completing it in a year is kind of ridiculous.  But I figure that I'll follow a standard training schedule...and the worst thing that happens is it becomes too much and then I just taper down and try to complete it a year later


    I think it would be cool as hell to run in next year's marathon.  It's going to be an emotional one for the city of Boston.


    Anyway, thought I'd share Smile


      Good choice!

      Congrats, and welcome.

        It can be done. Especially if you ran in high school, and if you train smart. Good luck.


          That's reassuring Smile


          Yea I figured if I was unmotivated in HS and found running distance to come naturally, I should do fine now that I'm actually motivated!  I'm an analytical guy and will do plenty of research in regards to training and form.  Thus far I'm planning on using this training schedule:




          We'll see if that "big run every other week" method works for me.  Anyway, I've got about a month to do its recommended [off | 3M | 4M | 4M | off | 3M | 6M] schedule before ramping things up.  So once I get settled in that I'll have a better sense of how to proceed.


          Anyway, I'm pumped...really looking forward to getting things started this weekend!

            Unless you are very gifted, that program is not gonna get you a BQ.


              Do you know of a program off-hand that would?

                There's no guarantee; for many -- maybe most -- what you are trying to do would not be feasible.


                I'll tell you what worked for me; you can compare and contrast to your own situation.


                I started running in January 2004. I was already pretty fit, but not a runner. But I got talked into joining a team entry to a local, large 10K. I'd never run that far, but I found a training program -- actually, on coolrunning -- and figured I could build up to it. The workouts were tough, but I didn't want to let my teammates down. By the time the 10K came around, in April, I'd already gone up to, I think, 12 miles as a long run on the plan, which I'd never have believed would be possible. I ran about 44, I think, which did the team some good.


                After that I was hooked on training. I jumped into a half-marathon training plan, getting up to I think 17ish as a long run, and ran 1:37 at a half in May.


                That did it. My BQ time was 3:15, and while a 1:37 half didn't point to a 3:15, I'd just started running and was still improving. After discussions in the coolrunning forum, I picked up Pfitzinger's "Advanced Marathoning" and started the 24-week, 55-mpw plan. Along the way I ran another half in June, in 1:33. Getting close.


                But the 30-35 miles per week I'd done training for the 10K and half was another world from 50-55 mpw. I built up quickly and easily to 30-35, but had a lot of problems doing higher mileage. This is true for most runners, I believe. It takes time to adjust to higher mileage. Eventually I found a good physiotherapist, who diagnosed ITB problems and some other stuff, and got me straightened out. In the end I completed the program mostly successfully, and ran a 3:12 in October. I then immediately registered for Boston 2005. (In which I ran 3:43 -- 2005 was a hot year, and I had never run in heat before. Live and learn.)


                I think the progression I went with here is pretty close to optimal. Relative to my situation, you have these disadvantages:


                1. I started in January; you're starting in April

                2. I needed 3:15; you need at least 3:05, and likely faster (because there will be a lot of demand for Boston 2014, and there might be a cutoff at some number of minutes faster than the published BQ times).

                3. I ran my BQ marathon in October; Boston 2014 will probably fill in September.


                But then you ran track in high school; I didn't. And you are 25; I was 38.


                The plan you linked to is for someone who just wants to finish. Running a BQ is much harder. At a minimum, you want a plan that gets you up to 50ish mpw. I'd still recommend Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning; also you might want to check out the new Hansons book.


                Also, like me, you probably want to build up the distance by starting with 5k-10k, then half, before jumping into a marathon program. Along the way, you can gauge your progress towards a 3:05 marathon by seeing your results at the shorter distances.


                Again, good luck!

                  Oh -- oops. I misread the plan you linked to. I saw the long-run distances and read them as weekly mileage totals. Peaking at 45 mpw is much closer to a suitable plan. However, it is still a beginner plan, and I don't think most people could BQ off of that.


                    Yea I did figure there's probably a reason people describe a BQ as a serious achievement in itself!  And yea it does sound like this year probably won't be possible...which is a shame given the significance.


                    Anyway, I'll be pretty damn pleased with myself if I even complete the BQ marathon!  I'll definitely order that book and read up.  If at all possible I'll try to train like I'm aiming for a BQ - and no worries if I totally miss the mark.  I'll just be more prepared for next year.


                    Also, like you said, I'll be doing smaller races in between for sure.


                    I appreciate the tips!

                    Queen of 3rd Place

                      Listen to bhearn, he is wise and fast. Oh, and I don't think he started off particularly fast (sorry bhearn, but am I right?).


                      If you need more inspiration, this little video has me all choked up at the moment:


                      Ex runner

                        You're welcome. And don't forget, running forums are a very valuable resource. Don't rule out getting a BQ in time for 2014; you may well do it. But you'll almost certainly have some bumps along the road. When you do, don't hesitate to come here and ask advice.


                          Thanks for sharing...I heard about that but didn't yet get around to watching it! I can't imagine how moving it would have been to be there for that national anthem.


                          I was actually born in Boston and live in the general area...it still doesn't really feel real.

                            I was three blocks from the finish line when it happened, but it doesn't really feel real to me either. I didn't hear it, and only found out what happened by Internet and TV. When I went to a peace rally at Boston Common, though, suddenly it was more tangible.


                              You're welcome. And don't forget, running forums are a very valuable resource. Don't rule out getting a BQ in time for 2014; you may well do it. But you'll almost certainly have some bumps along the road. When you do, don't hesitate to come here and ask advice.


                              I've frequented forums in the past and have seen what a great resource they can be...as well as a fun way to share things.  It's why I figured it would be good to familiarize myself here before getting started!

                                If you're 25 and you ran high school cross country its not crazy to think you can BQ this year in your first try. I decided at age 30 after not really running at all in my 20's that that was the year I was going to qualify for and run the Boston marathon. It was humbling, but I made it, barely. It almost killed me and back then the qualifying time was 3:10 not 3:05 (and I only made it by 20 seconds) but you're a whole 5 years younger. I thought I would just run my qualifier, run my 1 Boston to say I'd done and that would be that.


                                But then a funny thing happened...I got hooked.


                                But listen to bhearn. It will most likely be a lot harder than you can imagine right now. I'll second Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathonig as well.

                                Runners run.