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3417 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Apr 20, 2010 1:54 PM by dutch omi
PotatoFever Rookie 2 posts since
Apr 18, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Apr 18, 2010 8:51 PM

Is qualifying for Boston realistic?

Hey, I'm 18 and the MCM is my second marathon.  I was just wondering if i should even bother training to run the MCM in less than 3:12 (or whatever it is)?


My first marathon I finished in 3:50.  Do you think that trying to qualify for Boston is a bit too ambitious?

  • beibeiyu Amateur 29 posts since
    Apr 19, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Apr 19, 2010 2:10 AM (in response to PotatoFever)
    Re: Is qualifying for Boston realistic?

    this is the first time i'm join the website.

  • DaveVause Community Moderator 1,447 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Apr 19, 2010 2:16 AM (in response to PotatoFever)
    Re: Is qualifying for Boston realistic?

    Your 38 minute improvement goal is very ambitious. That's your biggest challenge.


    People can and do qualify for Boston at the MCM. However, there are races that have more favorable BQ characteristics:


    Good luck

  • silvereagle Legend 1,159 posts since
    Dec 10, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Apr 19, 2010 4:30 AM (in response to PotatoFever)
    Re: Is qualifying for Boston realistic?

    I would like to know what race was your first marathon was, because for me if you train in a flat area or even a semi flat area like me it will be very hard for you to Qual in DC. people around that area dont consider it hilly but being from Southeast Michigan I do....


    I would also suggest a flatter course for your endeaver and just train like the wind for the MCM.


    I ran MCM 2008 in 3:58:58 and then 2009 MCM in 3:41:19 and 3 weeks later on a flat course ran a 3:30:17, my qual time for Boston is 3:20:59 so I know where your coming from.


    All I can say is your going to have to train extra hard just to knock off and also do alot of hill training to pull it off, if you havent or dont live in a hilly training area....


    your going from a 8:46 minute pace to at least a 7:19 or faster pace that a 1:27 per min difference....


    I dont think its impossible but more improbable



    Good luck!!!!   let us know how your doing...




    It's not only about finishing, its about finishing healthy!

  • KarlD_Navy84 Legend 879 posts since
    Jan 19, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Apr 19, 2010 6:09 AM (in response to PotatoFever)
    Re: Is qualifying for Boston realistic?

    The book Run Less, Run Faster provides some good guidance on whether or not you have a good shot at running a BQ time.  They basically tell you that if you can run at least 3 workouts a week at the recommended times and paces they state, you are in the ball park.  Of course, other training programs probably have their recommendations as well.  The guys are right on when it comes to picking the right course.  MCM is very popular, and though my times improved every year, I felt like I worked hard just staying clear of the crowds.  That uses a lot of energy.  I ran my  best time of 3:55 in Phoenix this past January.  So, while it might be a stretch this year depending on your current conditioning level, you are young enough to set it as a long term goal.  How early you achieve it will be a question of how it fits in with everything else you have going on.  Good luck.


  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Apr 19, 2010 10:16 AM (in response to PotatoFever)
    Re: Is qualifying for Boston realistic?

    Everything above is correct, it also depends a little on the shape you were in during the 1st.  My guess is most people don't run the 1st one for a time as much as just to complete it.  That was the case for me, I did three that year Myrtle Beach was #1, 4:36 # 2 was the Pig 4:28 and the MCM was #3 and it was 3:56.  So you can inprove a lot more from start (new runner) than a old experience runner.  With that being said I hope to cut 20 mins off this year, it might be a dream.

  • MCM Ron Legend 1,916 posts since
    Jan 19, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Apr 19, 2010 8:32 PM (in response to BOSNPM)
    Re: Is qualifying for Boston realistic?

    It's only a dream until you do it!


    I agree that it depends a lot on what kind of shape you were in for the first one, and how much time has passed.  Plan on kicking up the training a notch.  You'll certainly improve, the only question is how much and how quickly.  Good luck!



    To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.  (from my ice tea lid)

  • Andrew... Legend 273 posts since
    Jan 24, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Apr 20, 2010 6:49 AM (in response to PotatoFever)
    Re: Is qualifying for Boston realistic?

    Hey PotatoeFever,


    Run a shorter race (5k/10k) or two, and plug your results into a running calculator ( These calculators will spit out an expected marathon time you can realistically achieve IF you are properly trained for the marathon. If the time says you are in BQ range, get a trainign plan specifically for marathons.  If the time says you are not in BQ-range, either a) train for speed in shorter races and attempt to qualify later, or b) train fro a marathon with a non-BQ goal time.


    Happy Running,

  • dutch omi We're Not Worthy 5,642 posts since
    Jan 19, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Apr 20, 2010 1:54 PM (in response to PotatoFever)
    Re: Is qualifying for Boston realistic?

    Hey there, if you want to qualify for Boston, go for it all the way.  I just finished Boston, have the ellusive unicorn medal around my neck and despite feeling awfully shi!!y during the race, it was worth every miserable step.  It's the race you have to run.  The crowd support, awesome!!!! Just go for it.

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