My next half marathon is in two weeks. It is the Run for the Dream Half Marathon in Colonial Williamsburg VA. Today they unveiled the finisher medal for the race. It looks really nice and classy for the event and location. I will be proud to wear this medal!
After the terrible events of the Boston Marathon last month, many non-runners kept asking me: were you there, did you run the race, when are you going to do it, and the questions went on and on. The quick and easy answer is No, but I would begin to explain why and lose them. Well obviously I did not run in the Boston Marathon last month, and even though I would like to some day, I probably will never “qualify” with my time. That is right, you cannot just sign up for the Boston Marathon like any other marathon, and run the race, you have to “qualify to run” it. Also, even if you qualify for the race, this still does not guarantee you a spot in the race as the BAA (Boston Athletic Association) gets hundreds of thousands of qualifying applications each year, but the race is capped at 25,000.
For me personally, I typically only do one marathon a year, and it is usually the Walt Disney Marathon in January. It is usually done for fun with a friend, and we are not caring too much for a time, only to complete it. Just as a reference to use int the calculations I will expound upon further below, my best time for a marathon is 4:54:17. Secondly, my focus is on half marathons, so I just do not do enough training (yes I would have to run much more than I already do) to train for Boston. Marathon training just takes a lot of time to train, and removing time to dedicate to family, church, etc., to which I prefer not to commit to. Thus my reasoning behind probably never qualifying for Boston.
So how do you qualify for the Boston Marathon?
Any runner dreaming of running at Boston marathon must show proof of finishing a marathon at a time lower than the time for his/her age group. Runners are grouped in ages, so as you get older, your time to qualify gets a little higher. Little typically means you get 5 more minutes with each older age group. Here are the qualifying times for the 2014 Boston Marathon.
If I refer you back to my best time above of 4:54:17, I can qualify when I am around 80 years old! Based on the qualifying chart, I would have to be under 3 hours 10 minutes to “attempt” to qualify for the Boston Marathon!
However, let’s say you want to qualify for the Boston Marathon, here are some tips for getting your best time.
1. Pick a qualifying marathon race that is on a flat course.
This is pretty common sense, but the flatter the course map the faster your time will be. The Walt Disney World Marathon is a pretty flat course and is a good course to qualify. However, some of the best qualifying times come from courses such as Amsterdam Marathon, Berlin Marathon, Paris Marathon, Portland Marathon, & Baystate Marathon.
2. Hard, Quality Training
As I said above in the intro, marathon training takes a lot of time and effort. By just doing 20-30 miles a week like my marathon training plan typically covers, will not cut it for trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon. You practically have to forget everything else but marathon training for 3-4 months to get in the required hard & quality training needed.
3. Speed Work
You hear about speed work talk from runners committed to getting Personal Best times in races. This is essential when trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Terms like Fartleks, Yasso, and Track Times will become part of your normal vocabulary during this time.
Here is where they lose me! As anyone who knows me, I love to eat, and it is typically not the best for marathon training. This does not include sweets like Krispy Kreme Doughnuts & Cupcakes so I am out! I run so I can eat these items! To run well you must eat well. Food is the fuel that drives you momentum. A healthy diet for an active marathon runner is one that is high in carbohydrates, low in fat, and sufficient but not excessive in protein. That translates to about 60 percent of your calories coming from carbohydrates, 25 percent from fat, and 15 percent from protein.
5. Hill Training
In the southeast, especially Charleston SC, this is a joke. We have one hill, and it is called the Arthur Ravenel Bridge. We do not have the necessary hills here to do hill training, which is highly recommended. Although the Boston Marathon and hopefully your qualifying marathon is relatively flat, hills actually help build up your legs, lungs, etc. for endurance.
Some call it, recovery, others call it rest, repair, growth, adaption, or even non-running-training. The most important element of training that many marathon training plans ignore is structured rest to make the most of the structured work. Every plan must include the correct balance of work and rest. It is in this rest time that our bodies respond to the loads we have placed on them. If there is no recovery then there is no improvement. A good training program recognizes this and does not leave recovery up to chance. The quantity, quality, purpose and timing of each of the training sessions are optimized to ensure that there is just the right amount of recovery to rebuild the body before the next load is introduced.
So if you have what it takes, hit the road, lose your life for up to 6 months, and qualify for the Boston Marathon if you think you have what it takes! Good luck in your endeavors, I am here to support you!
Post-marathon, spend at least 3 days doing nothing. Jog a few miles the rest of the week. And don’t cross train! You need time to recover.
Runners that are addicted to running want to run everyday; however, is this wise. I religiously only run on Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday. I have ran the Disney Goofy Challenge (half on Saturday & Full on Sunday), and this is plenty of training time, if it is done right. Thus, here are a few recommendations on why you should schedule rest days to have balance in your training plan.
It helps your body repair itself
As a runner you know with running you create micro tears in your muscles. Rest is what allows these muscles recover. Rest gives your body time to recover and repair itself from these tears thus making future runs injury & pain free.
It helps prevent injuryWhen you have a nagging pain, that is your body telling you it is not feeling up to par. This is an indication that your body is asking for a day off to recover. Thinking it is nothing and you cannot run through the pain is not wise. Give your body time to recover otherwise the injury may get bigger causing weeks of unplanned injury layoff.
It helps you mentallyIf you try to run every day, especially without much goal improvement, this is a sign of burn out. When you are burnt out it can be difficult to stick to your training plan. If you are a training plan follower like me, if I miss a run on the plan I get stressed out. Thus the reason for only planning 3 runs a week. This is not a stringent plan to adhere to, thus I am am to continue to enjoy the sport of running, without feeling burnt out.
These three reasons have really helped me maintain my running now for three years, and almost 2000 total miles logged. Pay some thought to these ideas to hopefully help you prolong your running desire and motivation.
Join the TrySports family and community as we show support for the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy. On Monday April 22nd all TrySports stores will be hosting a 2.62 Run/Walk for Boston at 6:30 p.m. This event is open to everyone and a donation jar will be setup for everyone to make donations to the One Fund Boston.
Help us show the strength of the Running and Walking Community by attending this event and making a contribution. For any questions or more details please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
TrySports will also be contributing to the One Fund Boston by donating 26.2% of all sales company wide on Monday 4/22/13.
Can’t attend the event but still want to donate, click on the One Fund Boston link, onefundboston.org.
That’s right…. 48.6 Miles in 4 days.
Disney has now added a 4th race to the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. It will be the Minnie 10K. If you finish the 5k, 10k, half marathon, & full marathon, you will receive a Dopey Challenge medal.
Here is a link to the details.
Today, runDisney reaches another milestone as we expand the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna with the addition of the Walt Disney World 10K, the Dopey Challenge, new medals and the return of the popular Runner’s World Challenge.
In 2006, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend had a big year. The races had become so popular, the half marathon and the full marathon now had to be held on two separate days. This race day bifurcation led to another interesting development. It was now theoretically possible for a runner to run both races, so the team decided that if someone was goofy enough to do that, they deserved a medal. And thus, Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge was born with just over 2,300 runners receiving the first Goofy medal for their 39.3 mile accomplishment.
Through the years, “the Goofy” has been a favorite with our runners as well as a unique offering in the running industry. Well, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. This next year, runDisney is adding a 10K race to our Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend line-up, joining our already popular 5K, Half Marathon and Full Marathon. And you guessed it (we couldn’t help ourselves), we are now offering the Dopey Challenge to those runners who conquer ALL FOUR of our races. That’s right…completing the 5K, the 10K, the Half Marathon and the Full Marathon in the four consecutive days will earn you the Dopey Challenge Medal. That coveted piece of hardware will be clanging around the necks of our finishers with the Mickey Marathon medal, the Donald Half medal, the 5K Family Fun Run medal, the Goofy Challenge medal, and the new Minnie 10K medal.
Six medals for 48.6 miles over four days.
Why not…. Now will Disney charge $500 for all this?
Well I was close, only off by $5!
- $495 by June 18, 2013
- $525 between June 19, 2013 and August 13, 2013
- $555 on or after August 14, 2013