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I have been watching these forums for quite awhile but never really bothered to post. Finally I have a question/topic that I shall humbly turn over to the forum. Having 2 marathons under my belt, both roughly 4 hours, would I be able to realistically take 50 min - 1 hour off my time to qualify for the Boston Marathon? I'm hoping to make an attempt in 2009 to run the 2010 Boston Marathon. I am in the 18-35 bracket - 3:10 qualifying time).
While reviewing training schedules and plans I believe it can be done, but is this more of a dream or could it become reality?
I would love to hear thoughts, stories, ideas and plans...
I've never run a marathon so I have no REAL idea if it is possible or not. Sounds perfectly plausible, but I just don't know. If you think it can, then you have a goal at least right? What could it hurt to try? Worst case, it takes another year. Just be careful. Good luck though!
From what I've read most people won't typically improve more than a few percent after their first few marathons ... so a 25% improvement isn't highly likely but I surely cannot say it's impossible.
It would have a lot to do with what your goals were previously and whether your training stimulated your performance in ways that maximized your fitness potential.
If your previous training were minimal milage without much structure you might see some great improvements with specified training and increased milage.
All or nothing goals are oftentimes counterproductive ... setting some smaller, yet challenging goals along the way can greatly improve the journey and the chances of eventually getting to the desired destination ... and if you commit to the training, do other races to seek that qualifying time and it proves to still be out of your grasp but you really want to experience the Boston Marathon you might be able to find a way to run in one of the small number of charity spots they have or maybe even find a way to volunteer and help out at the race (not the same as running it, but getting a taste and seeing it?)
good luck ... and have fun
I'm chasing the same dream, so I think it's possible. Starting running 1/1/2005. Oct 2005 - 4:49, Mar 2006 - 4:16, May 2006 - 4:00:03 (ouch), Oct 2006 - 3:56, Nov 2006 - 3:43, May 2007 - 3:24, Oct 2007 - 3:27, and May 2008 - 3:21. BQ for me is 3:15 and I'd say I'm better than 50/50 to make it this fall. You can probably do it, but whether you can do it in a year is hard to say.
greg ... it's awesome the improvements you've accomplished ... and Boston is definitely within your grasp! How has your training changed over this time? And I have to ask what motivated you to do some of your marathons nearly back-to-back rather than getting a decent recovery before the next attempt?
Do you think you underestimated your abilities the first couple years ... or do you feel that you trained equally well each time out but just took some years under your belt to improve your times and fitness to this level?
SportiGrl wrote:SportiGrl wrote:
How has your training changed over this time?Here's more than you wanted to know:Starting running 1/1/2005
Oct 2005 - 4:49, trng Bob Glover 18 week 20 mpw base/peak 40 mpw
Mar 2006 - 4:16, trng Pfitz 12/<55mpw
May 2006 - 4:00:03, just easy running between, getting to ~60 mpw IIRC
Oct 2006 - 3:56, trng lots of consecutive 55-60 mile weeks of easy running
Nov 2006 - 3:43, more easy 55-60 mile weeks in between
May 2007 - 3:24, more easy 60mpws with frequent races over the winter and then 12 weeks of Benji Durden's plan - ~55mpw but with tempo and intervals
Oct 2007 - 3:27 (3:15 pace through 18 and then died), trng was Pfitz 12/70mpw scaled to about 67 peak
May 2008 - 3:21, many 70 mile weeks, cut back to ~50 ever 4th week, peaked at 80. 2 med long runs and 1 long run per week. 1 of the MLRs might have 5 at MP or intervals or tempo
Basically, I've just increased either mileage/intensity over time.
And I have to ask what motivated you to do some of your marathons nearly back-to-back rather than getting a decent recovery before the next attempt?
You phrased that as tactfully as you could I guess What motivated me was not wanting to have to think about it for six months. The 4:16 was on a freakishly hot, sunny day and I had been working to break 4:00. The 3:56 was just strange. I had run much more than I ever had and run a 1:40 half as a tune-up, so I was disappointed in 3:56. I doubled down 4 weeks later and ran 3:43 and didn't have to think about it over the winter. I'd seen so many people doing a marathon every week on coolrunning that 4 weeks didn't seem so crazy (I used to be active on coolrunning before active took over). It's not really that big a deal if you're doing enough mileage. Don't try to do to much in between those marathons though!
Do you think you underestimated your abilities the first couple years
No, I was running as fast as I could!
or do you feel that you trained equally well each time out but just took some years under your belt to improve your times and fitness to this level?
I've trained more (intensity and/or mileage) each time, but I think the premise of the second part of your question is correct. Consistent training over time is needed for long term improvement and it can take a while before you realize the gains. Your time is a result of what you've done in the months and years before the race, not just in the 16 week training schedule.
Thanks for all the information ... It is interesting that large chunks of a couple years improvement were made by maintaining and then raising milage without a lot of training schedule type running ... but as you got closer to the real long-term goal of Boston you have reintroduced specified training to tweak things ... all in all it seem an excellent way to go about things ...
hopefully something like this will help the original poster here!