How to Hack a Boston Qualifying Marathon

The following is guest post by Jason Fitzgerald. Jason runs Strength Running, a website that helps runners crush their goals. Just this week, Jason launched Run Your BQ — I’ll let him tell you more.



For most runners, running a Boston Qualifying (BQ) marathon time is a bucket list goal and comes with a lot of bragging rights. And with good reason: only a tiny fraction of marathoners will qualify and earn their spot on the starting line in Hopkinton.

Dubbed “the world’s most prestigious marathon,” Boston is unlike any other road race. It’s over 115 years old and has the fastest average finish time of any marathon anywhere.

Marathoners dream of being part of this history; feeling the thrill of seeing the Prudential tower rise on the horizon as they make their way past roaring crowds toward the famous finish line on Boylston Street.

I know what it’s like to qualify for Boston – I’ve done it twice and have a 2:39:32 marathon PR. But even more rewarding, I help runners qualify for Boston and run faster marathons through a special community called Run Your BQ.

RYBQ is a group of nearly 300 marathoners who are passionate about improving their time over 26.2 miles – even if they’re far from qualifying. More than just a library of training plans, 45+ articles on nutrition, pacing, and motivation (though we have those!), Run Your BQ is an interactive community that helps each other reach big goals like qualifying for the world’s most prestigious marathon.

What’s your background as a runner and coach?

I’ve been running competitively for over 14 years and ran 2:39 at the 2011 Philadelphia Marathon. I’m also the author of 101 Simple Ways to be a Better Runner and have been featured in media like Yahoo, The Huffington Post, Health Magazine, Shape, and Active.

I’ve been coaching for over two years and I’m proud that I’ve helped hundreds of runners get faster, prevent more injuries, and yes, even qualify for Boston!  Slow or fast, there’s always a better way to train.

Why did you create Run Your BQ?

First, I found that a lot of the marathon training advice on the web was simply garbage. Suggestions like, “run on a track!” and “do intervals!” are unfortunately all too common. What’s a runner supposed to do – search the entire internet for a good marathon training plan?

Runners also can’t train in a vacuum all by themselves. You can achieve more and run faster (not to mention stay more consistent) when you have a support group pushing you to stay motivated. RYBQ gives runners a community of supportive runners to lean on with a thriving forum, regular live video chats where they get their personal questions answered, and a Feed to post race pictures, quotes, and status updates (like Facebook).

What’s next for Run Your BQ?

RYBQ is a growing group and we only accept new members a few times per year. We’re actually accepting new members right now – but only until Friday, 9/28. Click here and let us show you a video tour of the website, including many of our new features.

As we keep getting bigger, we’re always adding new tools to help our runners. We just added smart phone capabilities so you can view your workouts anywhere and we’re planning a map of our members for meet-ups at races and for workouts.

To see the video tour and learn more about Run Your BQ, check out the details here!

Alan Perlman
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