Tips for Picking a Boston Marathon Qualifying Race

This yr’s Boston Marathon has come and gone and meaning hundreds of marathoners are gearing as much as qualify earlier than the registration interval opens in September. If you haven’t but picked that particular Boston Marathon qualifying race, listed below are some tricks to choose the one for you.

Tips for Picking a Boston Marathon Qualifying Race

Link: How Do You Qualify for the 2020 Boston Marathon?

Two Things Before We Start

First of all, the Boston Marathon qualification interval for 2020 is underway – ever since September 15, 2018. That means your qualification window for Boston is about 1.5 years earlier than that Boston Marathon you intend on operating.

Second, keep in mind that it’s how previous you’ll be on the Boston Marathon you are attempting to get in that may decide which qualifying time you want. So, in case you are a 44 yr previous male proper now however will flip 45 in March of subsequent yr, you would wish a 3:20 qualifying time for the 2020 Boston Marathon. It doesn’t matter how previous you’re if you run the qualifying race, it simply issues how previous you’re on the day of the Boston Marathon.

Age Group Men Women
18-34 3:00 3:30
35-39 3:05 3:35
40-44 3:10 3:40
45-49 3:20 3:50
50-54 3:25 3:55
55-59 3:35 4:05
60-64 3:50 4:20
65-69 4:05 4:35
70-74 4:20 4:50
75-79 4:35 5:05
80+ 4:50 5:20

Boston Marathon Qualifying Race Tips – Race Elevation Profile

This is a fairly apparent one for most and all however the very strongest of the runners – examine the elevation profiles of the marathons you’re contemplating as Boston Marathon qualifying races. Most marathons may have the elevation profile positioned on their web site close to the course map.

If you can’t discover it on the marathon web site, search for it on locations like MapMyRun or Garmin Connect or any of the opposite operating exercise websites. On these websites, you’ll find the add of different runners who’ve run that specific race and it gives you a good thought of what the elevation is like.

This is an elevation profile of a hilly marathon – not a straightforward one to run a BQ on!

tips for Boston qualifying race

The elevation profile of the Phoenix Marathon

Be Aware of Marathon Advertising!

Also be careful for phrases like “fast and flat” on race web sites. Just as a result of a race claims it’s quick and flat doesn’t all the time imply that they are going to be quick. I’ve run marathons earlier than that marketed that however there have been a number of factors on the course the place runners merged with runners from the opposite distances and at paces that have been slower than what we have been operating.

These bottlenecks may simply take minutes off of your time relying on how crowded it will get. Make positive you learn critiques on that specific race to see if that’s the case.

Downhill Does Not Automatically Equal Super Fast!

Finally, discovering a very nice downhill course doesn’t imply you may punch your Boston Marathon ticket when you sign-up. The St. George Marathon is well-known for the half-mile descent over the size of the course and plenty of runners sign-up with out correctly coaching. That a lot downhill can kill your quads and you’ll find them burnt out earlier than you attain the end line.

Study the elevation profile and prepare for it – whether or not it’s all downhill or flat.

Boston Marathon Qualifying Race Tips – Time Of Year

Boston Marathon Qualifying

It is necessary to select a race that offers you a good time of the yr for coaching and racing

Link: Marathon Calendar

Fall Marathons = Summer Training

With nearly all of marathons within the spring or fall, that may seemingly be when your marathon that you just select will probably be. But, simply because a marathon is within the stunning fall climate doesn’t imply that will probably be a straightforward highway for you to Boston. Depending on the place you reside, a September/October marathon implies that the majority of your heavy coaching might happen in July and August.

Where I reside, that’s very sizzling and humid! It is difficult to hit your coaching paces when the climate is that sizzling and never hydrating sufficient can actually set you again in your coaching due to the fatigue to your muscle mass. This was the case with the Reykjavik Marathon I ran one yr. It is in August, however Iceland could be very stunning and simply the best temperature then.

But, my climate in coaching was horrible. If I had been utilizing that as a aim race, it might have been laborious to get my miles and occasions in throughout coaching as a result of I don’t deal with the humidity that properly.

Spring Marathons = Winter Training

The similar will be mentioned for spring marathons. If you’re within the northern US, that implies that an April marathon may have you coaching the chilly and (most probably) snow of February and March.

Growing up and operating in Western New York, I’ve had greater than my fair proportion of coaching runs within the winter and it may be troublesome! Not solely is the chilly troublesome to cope with however slick/slippery roads could make hitting correct paces very troublesome. That means treadmill time however even that may be troublesome because you need the highway coaching as properly.

Of course, except you love the climate, it ought to go with out saying to keep away from summer season marathons within the sizzling a part of the nation and keep away from winter marathons within the chilly elements. While it’s attainable to nonetheless qualify, most individuals may have a very laborious time doing so in these circumstances.

Boston Marathon Qualifying Race Tips – Crowds

Boston Marathon Qualifying

Crowds may help you get to that Boston Marathon qualifying time (so long as it’s not too crowded!) | Courtesy coronado / Shutterstock

I’ve run many occasions the place there have been no crowds to talk of – operating within the race or cheering from the aspect. While there are a lot of runners that just like the solitude, I’ve all the time discovered my tempo to kick up when I’m in crowds or operating by cheering crowds. So, I take advantage of that to assist me with my choice – taking a look at races which have a wholesome variety of runners beginning and sufficient areas of protection in locations of inhabitants that crowds must be out.

Running with extra folks is useful for me in two methods:

  • it helps me to have firm and speaking with others helps me to not discover as a lot when the ache units in in addition to making me sustain with these which are nonetheless going robust
  • it helps me when I’m able to go different folks because it provides me a good confidence enhance in a while within the race.

Bonus – Pace Teams

Bonus Tip! – examine to see in case your chosen race gives tempo groups. With GPS watches, we actually don’t want them as a lot for the timing a part of issues however they are often very helpful for serving to you get to your time aim! Some marathons might not supply tempo groups for all Boston Marathon qualifying occasions, so examine on the location to see.

If they don’t have a tempo staff for the marathon time you want, examine to see if they’ve a half marathon tempo staff that’s on the tempo you want. If you share the course, this might get you nearly half of the way in which by with a group.

Boston Marathon Qualifying Race Tips – Course Style

If I’m operating a marathon for the surroundings and the expertise, I need it to be as attention-grabbing and culture-filled as attainable. I wish to go by all of the historic landmarks, I wish to expertise among the unbelievable views of the town – I need all of it! But, if I’m operating a aim race the place my aim is to run a quick time or qualify for the Boston Marathon, I have a look at the course extra for different issues.

Loop Course Can Help

One of the issues I wish to see is a loop course. Nothing loopy like a 3 mile loop, however one thing that has like a double loop or so. There are a few causes that’s good for me and others:

  • it helps as a result of you have got the primary loop to be taught the course
  • it helps crowds to have the ability to congregate in larger numbers since they’ll see everybody extra usually
  • it helps the race organizers to have higher assist stations since there will be fewer stations total
  • if the loop is sufficiently small, it will possibly assist to go folks within the final loop to present that enhance close to the end.

Boston Marathon Qualifying Race Tips – Location

This is the enjoyable one – for these of us who use miles and factors, it doesn’t actually matter the place the race is! Rather than being tied all the way down to choosing a Boston Marathon qualifying race in your house city or the following city over, you may develop and have a look at the entire nation and even the world for the absolute best race for you!

Rather than taking a look at Hometown Marathon, you may have a look at among the quick programs just like the Berlin Marathon! Not solely do you get to run in a cool, overseas marathon, however you would even have a shot at operating a Boston Marathon qualifying time in the identical marathon that claims among the quickest occasions on this planet!

How concerning the in style St. George Marathon? It will be costly to get to in case you are paying, but it surely solely value me about $10 for that journey when bearing in mind the airfare and the resort! That is insane, however it’s attainable due to miles and factors. The race I’ve picked out is in a a part of Europe that I’ve not visited but and which has some fairly expensive tickets, even from different spots in Europe. But, due to miles and factors, that value drops like a rock to simply being taxes and charges.

Featured picture courtesy Marcio Jose Bastos Silva through Shutterstock

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