I've been running on and off ever since i was in high school and now at the age of 31, i want to seriously train and try to qualify for Boston. I was going to use the Chicago Marathon Oct. 2013. I have run 4 halfs in the last couple of years with my PR being 1:35:15. I just started my new training program after Thanksgiving and its been going good, i just wanted to hear some thought from fellow runners and what my chances would be to actually qualify on my first attempt next Oct. Any advice and thoughts would be apprecited.
Your chances are slightly above average but very accomplishable. That's all I got .
There are a number of different ways to calculate a marathon time based on a recent half marathon. If you use one of the more common ones, you come up with a 3:20:30 marathon time for you. That's based on your half marathon PR plus 10 minutes.
Since you need to run 3:05 to qualify for Boston, you'd have to have a REALLY good day. My suggestion is to find a good training program and follow it. And work on fueling, you'll find your biggest obstacle on race day will be avoiding the wall and you do that by pushing it out past 26.2 miles.
I had the great idea of trying to qualify last year, cranked my mileage to 70 a week while doing weekly tempo runs, 1/2 mile interval sessions and long runs. I kept this up for weeks, I'd read that getting your mileage to 70 a week would get you to a new fitness level.
I had a good taper leading up to the race and carb loaded for 3 days. After all that, I cramped at 19 miles on race day and could barely walk. I finished the race because they'd given me an awesome tech t-shirt I wanted to wear, but I paid a heavy price.
I've had good marathons, so they're not all bad, but you might consider running one for the experience before going after a qualifier, there is a learning curve you have to go through. Just my 2 cents...
Enjoy life, this ain't a rehearsal...
Thanks, i appreciate the insight! So is the "WALL" pretty much unavoidable or are there things you could have done to prevent hitting the wall? It seems like you did what you needed to, but i dont know. That is my biggest fear right now is when i'll hit the wall and how i will handle it.
Thanks, i guess i'll just have to keep training and wait and see! lol
Your half time is very close to mine (you are a tad faster) and I run between 3:27 and 3:31. I am much older so you will get faster but I think it will take a little time and a couple of marathons for you to run a sub 3:05! The wall comes when you go out to fast. Best way to aviod the wall is to run a pace that is right for you (that is the hard part). Good luck!
In my case, I was over-trained going into that marathon. There has to be a balance, you have to train enough, but you also have to rest and let your body adapt to the training. That's where I made the mistake, I wasn't using anyone's training program, just winging it with no rest days and high mileage.
You probably already know the average person has enough glycogen stores to run about 20 miles. Without fueling as you run, you'll run out of fuel at about that distance and hit the wall. You can still run, but your body is trying to burn fat for fuel and it's not efficient enough to keep you running at full throttle.
So... the way to push the wall out past 26.2, is to make sure your glycogen stores are at full capacity (by carb loading in the days leading up to the race) and by fueling DURING the race. Energy gels are what most people use, experiment with them during your long runs to find what works best for you.
Another thing to keep in mind is pace. Your body is like your car, it'll burn more fuel the faster you go. If you start out running at a pace where you're working, you'll burn fuel more quickly than if you settle into an easy pace. It's one thing to run a marathon just to finish and something else if you're racing 26.2 miles.
I hope this helps, but I'm no expert at this. I've got the speed to qualify for Boston, but so far haven't gotten the training right.
And like I said, it wouldn't hurt to run one just for the experience...
Enjoy life, this ain't a rehearsal...
I really appreciate the good advice. A lo of good stuff for me to take in. Fueling during the race is definitley something i'll need to work on. I've never really had a training plan either, but this time I'm going with th beginner , program of the Hanson's Marathon Method. Its a great book, and i hope the program works for me.
Thanks again to everyone for the advice.