26.2K SIMULATION TRAINING, WORLD MAJORS, AND QUALIFYING TIMES
Okay, marathons are run all year, but it just seems like the fall and spring seasons have quite a few more than summer and winter. Those of you training for a marathon might appreciate this piece in Competitor.com “Marathon Simulator", which it says was excerpted from Hanson’s Marathon Method 2nd Edition (Velopress, 2016). It outlines a 26.2K training run that should be performed about 4 weeks in advance of the 26.2 mile goal competition. This past summer I met a woman in training for the November 6, 2016 TCS New York City Marathon, who is likely to have this run scheduled for October 8 or 9.
Carla told me about her quest to complete the Abbott World Major Marathons, finishing all of six premier races run around the globe: Tokyo, Virgin Money London, BMW Berlin, B.A.A Boston, Bank of America Chicago, and TCS New York City marathons. See links below to the World Majors. Besides being an incredible athletic feat to accomplish, consider that there are qualifying times for all races but the one in Tokyo, it’s also a registration miracle!
Merely meeting a qualifying standard won’t necessarily earn you an automatic bib number in the most popular races. It may allow you to register according to your time (faster qualifiers have earlier registration times for Boston). There appears to be such great interest in marathons worldwide that additional measures have been taken by organizers to limit participant numbers and hold them to manageable levels, especially in big cities. In some, qualifying times have been adjusted downward, registration is additionally assigned in waves (like for Boston) until the race is filled, or lottery systems have been put into place.
If your goal is to run a particular marathon be sure to check the details/rules of the race registration process before it opens to be sure you have a chance at meeting all requirements. It’s best to assume that at least some time limit is in place. Look for finish times to be specifically identified; at the very least there should be a cut-off. Typically it is at or near 6.5 hours for most marathons. Some training plans are designed to help you hit this mark (see below a link to one such strategy).
Smaller or newer up-and-coming marathons likely will be thrilled to have you participate and appreciate your efforts to train and travel to their event, without presenting significant qualifying barriers. Check out BibRave for race reviews, and BibSwitch to determine which might allow you to transfer a bib.
I’ve not registered or trained for a marathon; advice from 26.2 mile-finisher-veterans will be most helpful to newbies!
Berlin, September 25, 2016 (September 24, 2017)
Bank of America Chicago Marathon October 9, 2016
TCS New York City, November 6, 2016
Tokyo, February 26, 2017
B.A.A. Boston: April 17, 2017
Virgin Money London, April 23, 2017
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EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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