Boston Marathon Qualifying Times & How to Qualify With Ease

Boston marathon is the oldest and most prestigious marathon race. Every runner wants to run Boston at one point in his/her life. The organizers receive tens of thousands of application each year but many are turned away because the race is restricted to around 25,000 runners. Due to the big interest, the organizers require applicants to meet qualifying standards.

Boston marathon qualifying times/standards

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, 18-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80+

Boston Marathon qualifying standards

Source, BAA.

As you can see, the times are anything but easy. You have to be a damn quick runner to qualify. Below is a simple running guide on how to meet the qualifying times.

How to Qualify for Boston Marathon

1. Choose a marathon with a flat course.

The best short for hitting your goal is to choose a race where many runners have a habit of setting new PBS. Look for marathons with a flat course. Think of Amsterdam marathon, Berlin marathon, Paris marathon, Portland marathon, Baystate marathon etc. These marathons are famous for having a flat & fast courses. Before you join any race, make sure the race is listed among certified boston qualifiers at BAA website.

2. Quality Training

Since you are shooting for speed, it is important your marathon training plan is of high standard. Make sure it is intense. To run below the above times you will need to be running at least 4 times in week over a period of 3-4 months.

3. Speed work

In addition to your regular road racing make time to speed work outs. Do fartleks, yasso 800, interval training etc.

4. Eat Well

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 Running

Although you are training to run a flat course, running hills is good for your legs, lungs and heart. Hill running will give your legs stamina and speed. Hill running will also enhance your breathing capacity.

6. Recovery.

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.