Sunday, April 12, 2009

To BQ or not to BQ: That is the BQuestion

My taper for the NJ marathon has officially begun, as I just wrapped up a 21 miler.

I would say that my "real" training for the NJ Marathon started last summer, when I first decided to train for a 3:40-- the Boston Qualifying time for my age group. Since then, I have had bad luck with getting sick and bad weather at races so I haven't really been able to "showcase" my hard work.

My average mileage in November-December was about 50 miles per week. It included a half marathon PR of 1:48:43 and a 5K PR at 23:22. Neither of these times indicated that a BQ was possible, but I gave it my best shot at the Rock 'N Roll Arizona marathon. Had the weather not been so hot, I think I probably could have pulled off a 3:45, but instead I bonked and ended up walking most of the last 10 miles.

Weekly Mileage
It took me three weeks after that marathon to feel recovered enough to resume normal marathon training. I decided that I would try to average 55 MPW instead of 50, and peak at 61 instead of 56.

Week of 2/15:  52.0
Week of  2/23: 57.0 (long run of 20)
Week of 3/2:    58.5
Week of 3/9:    61.0 (long run of 20.5)
Week of 3/16:  47.1 (includes a half marathon at 1:44:04)
Week of 3/23:  58.0
Week of 3/30:  52.0
Week of 4/6:    60.0 (long run of 21)

Speed work
I have been doing speed work once a week. The long tempo run used to be a staple of my marathon training program, but I removed it this time in exchange for intervals. Speed is my weakness, so I decided to do 12x400's and other shorter intervals. I've been doing my 400's at a pace of 7:04, and I did a set of 1200's earlier this week at a pace of 7:09.

To BQ or not to BQ- That is the BQuestion
Based on this training and based on my half marathon time, I am very confident about my ability to qualify for the Boston Marathon. What I am not as confident about is getting the right weather conditions. I've learned that I do best when it's completely overcast. And on a sunny day, it needs to be in the upper 30's or cooler for me not to feel like I am overheating. When I ran New Jersey in 2007, it was ideal race conditions-- about 50 and completely overcast.

If the weather is not going to be in my favor at all, there is a chance I could run the half marathon and then try for Cleveland two weeks later.


  1. Your going to get that BQ! Your traininghas improved so much in the last year! Ok but to gurantee that BQ you will need to paint your toes in Boston Marathon Blue and Yellow... that will gurantee a fast race ;)

  2. I was thinking that if I qualify I will have those colors for Boston. I can't wait!

    But for this race, I will paint them a pastel blue because that's the theme color of the NJM.

  3. You will get it this time! Try not to worry about the weather and just focus on the things you can control. I personally think you are capable, no matter what the weather!

  4. Keep the attitude positive and start resting up! You'll get there, don't worry.

  5. You can do it! Sounds like you've put in some solid miles, and that's what it's all about. Best of luck!

    (My goal is to BQ this year, too.)

  6. Run Happy! Wow, that's a lot of miles. Nice training plan, you'll get it. I like the 21. And isn't it always cloudy in Jersey?