The Boston half marathon is among the most prestigious and iconic event distance runners look forward to every year. It’s also the oldest distance event as the 2023 Boston half marathon will be the 127th edition.
It boasts of an impressive 98.4% finish rate which riles up most runners who will be looking to register their names by participating in and finishing the Boston half marathon 2023. But the question that lingers in first-time runners is how to qualify for the Boston half marathon.
The good news is the Boston half marathon doesn’t delegate the races runners should run to meet the qualifying standards. You can secure a spot by running a race certified by one of these three governing organizations:
● Association for International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS),
● The national governing organizations for countries where the marathon took place.
Runners must also run the race within the stipulated qualifying window. The Boston half Marathon qualifying window for 2023 opened on 1st September 2021 and is now closed.
While it’s the goal for most marathoners to cross the finish line, there’s more determination to qualify for the Boston half marathon, and this makes it intensive and competitive.
Follow these tips to make the cut to the next Boston half marathon.
Run The Entire Year
Running a distance race requires more than the preparation window. Every kilometer counts and not only the 10-20 weeks before running your qualification race. Your legs should be adept at cumulating miles over months and years.
Even though your aim is on the half marathon qualification time it doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in other races for the experience. If you can manage to run short races, trail races, and other longer races, get in there and pick up the miles.
The Boston half marathon qualification dream is separated by mere seconds on off the mile.
Train for the Race
Training is hard but it’s nothing compared to racing. When preparing to run the half marathon, your training plan should simulate the challenges of the event. The qualification time for the Boston half marathon is fast-paced. It means you should train your body and mind to lock into a specific pace for the entire distance.
Ensure your sessions are grinding and long and aimed at maintaining a fast pace.
According to statistics from Strava, from the analyzed data of 30,000 marathoners, only 7,164 managed to qualify for the Boston Marathon. The difference was in the habits of the qualifiers who attested to running twice as much as the non-qualifiers 12 weeks before the race.
On a separate survey, most runners that qualify for the Boston half marathon run over 1000 miles in the year leading to the qualifying race event.
Hire a Coach or Buy a Training Plan
If qualifying for the next Boston half marathon is among your goals for the year, it’s better to get a coach or a plan to help you navigate your way through. Seeking professional guidance will knock a few bucks off your purse but the results are worth every penny.
It doesn’t matter that you know qualifying for the Boston half marathon requires hard and long grinding workouts. What matters is when to apply them in training and learning how to recover without injuries getting in your way.
Change your Diet
Make sure that you consume nutritious food that has the right mix of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Your body can perform optimally and recover only if you evaluate the foods that help to fuel the body.
Your diet should aid you in your mission to qualify for the Boston half marathon.
You already know that the legwork for a qualifying spot for the Boston half marathon requires speed and miles in your training. Don’t forget that recovery is a major part of preparation.
The hard work that comes from pounding the streetwalk cumulates and creates tears in your leg muscles. Your body needs sufficient rest to aid the muscles to build.
Continuous training doesn’t mean that you get better if it comes at the risk of missing out on the qualifying event through injuries or illness. The recovery process doesn’t mean you stop running entirely, other strategies that aid recovery include
● Ice baths
● Foam rolling
● Epsom salt baths,
Always remember to hydrate post-training and on your rest days.
Qualifying for the Boston half marathon takes a tremendous amount of grinding and long workouts. But also patience is a necessity you must have within you. While some runners can claim to have made the cut on their first attempt, it’s a goal that is far-fetched for most people. Learn about the process by staying on the journey. Run other races and set the goal to finish the race rather than blow out after the seventh-mile chasing time.
Enjoy the Journey
The goal is to qualify for the Boston half marathon. But don’t make it an obsession where you no longer enjoy running. Running is a passion for most people and a hobby that relieves stress, not one that creates it.
If you feel that your desire to qualify for the next Boston half marathon is becoming less fun and more like a job, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate your training strategies. Most runners that end up qualifying find the process to be delightful because they have fun while running.
There is much to learn about how to qualify for the Boston half marathon. Even though the bulk of the training requires hard work and commitment, you still need to have a strategy to improve your running and pace work. Running a fast pace distance race consistently doesn’t come easy. Stay focused and explore all the options that improve your running to make you ready for the qualifying race.