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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Q&A with a Galloway Boston Qualifier

I can't run Boston myself, but I know several people that have. I wanted to share the experience of one such person. Her name is Lori and she is a friend of mine from the Baltimore Galloway Program. Lori has qualified for and run Boston twice, following the Galloway method (taking walk breaks) all the way. Lori ran the Boston marathon in 2009 with a time of 3:52 and again in 2010 with a time of 3:53. When using the Galloway Method, she does a 4:1 interval (4 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking). Here is a Q&A with Lori to talk about her experience.

Kim: What is your running history? How long have you been running and have you always followed the Galloway Method?

Lori: I have been running for about 15 years, but seriously focusing on it for about the last 10 years. My first couple marathons I followed Hal Higdon's programs (which consisted of running 6 days/week and no walk breaks). Training back then seemed more like a job and eventually it became a chore to actually run.

Kim: What made you decide to try using the Galloway Method?

Lori: I started Galloway about 5 years ago with Fleet Feet Baltimore. I noticed the Galloway program on Fleet Feet's website so I emailed Karen (our program leader) with tons of questions. At that point I had run about 5 or 6 marathons, but I couldn't break 4 hours. She felt confident that this program was right up my alley and I have been hooked ever since!

Kim: Tell me about qualifying. You've run the race twice, where did you qualify and how did that go?

Lori: My first qualifier was the Richmond marathon. Richmond is a flat, fast course with a downhill finish. I didn't go into Richmond with the goal of qualifying, I just wanted to break 4 hours (qualifiying for Boston was an added bonus). I realized around mile 23 that I would be under 4 hours. It wasn't until mile 25 that I figured out that I had potential to qualify for Boston so I went for it.

This year I qualified for Boston running the Columbus Marathon, having a PR of 3:43. This marathon is great for anyone who wants to try and qualify. The first 13 miles are mostly downhill and it is a fast course.

Kim: How has the Galloway Method helped you with your Boston Qualification?

Lori: I honestly don't think I could ever qualify or even ever break 4 hours if I didn't use Galloway. I love that I only have to run 3 days/week (gives me time to either go to the gym or bike) and I love the fact that I can put in a long distance run and still feel great afterwards (both energy wise and soreness wise). I know a lot of runners use Galloway up until mile 20 or so, but I actually use it up until the very end (even this year at Boston I took my walk break that was due around mile 25). I am so used to this method and my times have been ok that I never feel the need to skip walk breaks even at the end (I would like to start running straight through once I hit mile 23 or 24, but I just haven't brought myself to do this yet).

Kim: Can you talk a little about the race itself? How was your Boston Marathon experience?

Lori: Boston was great. It was nice knowing what to expect this year, especially with the long wait period in Athlete's Village before the actual start. The crowd support is amazing; it truly is a party for the towns we run through (in fact, I think some of the spectators were feeling much worse the day after the marathon than the runners were!). It amazes me how many people come out to support runners that they don't even know. Anytime you thought about getting tired, the crowd was right there to motivate you. My favorite part this year was seeing Team Hoyt at the expo and then on the course. I actually was able to run a bit with Team Hoyt (father who races with his son in the wheel chair). It was so emotional and the tears were streaming down my face; they truly were an inspiration to me. I hope to run it again in 2012. (note from Kim: Lori qualified for Boston again for 2012 with her time at the 2010 Boston Marathon)

Kim: Do you have any advice for runners who would like to qualify for Boston?

Lori: My advice for anyone who wants to qualify for Boston is to first find a great running group to join (I would never have been so successful in my marathons without the support of my group) and then to give the Galloway method a really does work.

1 comment:

Kitzzy said...

This is a great post! Thanks for sharing!

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