Introducing Run Your BQ

Well, it’s finally here! After many months of hard work with Jason Fitzgerald, the coach and author behind Strength Running, this Wednesday we finally launched our baby.

Hmm, that came out weird. We didn’t literally launch a baby, I promise.

Our “baby” is Run Your BQ, an interactive training and coaching website entirely dedicated to helping runners qualify for the Boston Marathon.

If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, then you know how much qualifying for Boston meant to me. And that’s why I’m so proud of this project that I know is going to help so many other runners experience it for themselves.

I’ve written plenty here about what a huge accomplishment qualifying for Boston was for me, so I’ll keep it short. The gist is that I’m anything but a natural runner — I hated it as a kid, and my first marathon took me close to 5 hours — but once I became borderline obsessed with the goal of getting to Boston, I gradually learned howto train (and eat) in order to stay healthy and get faster.

It took patience, a lot of work, and plenty of failure, but sure enough, I eventually got my marathon time all the way down to 3:09:59 and earned myself a spot in Boston.

What Run Your BQ is all about

Recently, I realized how much I wanted to share what I learned with others — since I know how it feels not to be a fast runner, I like to think I’m pretty good at helping people do the things that will make a dramatic difference in their running.

But I’m not a running guru. I don’t know what it takes, say, to shave those pesky final 5 minutes off of your marathon time when you’re so close to Boston, but you’ve plateaued and failed to improve in your last three marathons. And that’s why Jason, a coach and 2:39 marathoner (and a total nerd about running), is the perfect beans to my rice. (Not sure about that one, but let’s go with it …)

Run Your BQ is not like buying a training book, or even like hiring a coach. It’s entirely different because of a community aspect — in addition to the training plans, videos, audios, written lessons, and live Q&A’s, we also built in a forum, so that Run Your BQ members can motivate each other, stay accountable, and get quick answers to questions they’ve got.

In a nutshell, that’s Run Your BQ. If you can’t tell, I’m proud of this resource we’ve created.

Run Your BQ is open, but for just one more day

We’re accepting our first group of new members right now, but after tomorrow night (that’s Friday) we’re going to close the doors so that we can focus on constantly improving the site for our first members, who are going to help us shape its direction and content.

For me, qualifying for Boston was an incredible journey, one that quite literally has changed my life. But make no mistake — it’s also a lot of work. If you’re not highly motivated to qualify for Boston, then I’m confident in saying that RYBQ is definitely not for you right now (not to mention I’d be surprised that you made it this far down the post).

But if working your ass off to do something amazing is your idea of a good time, then you can find out lots more details about how to join Run Your BQ here. (And again, don’t wait too long, because we really are going to close after tomorrow and I’m not sure yet when we’ll open it back up.)

In other news, we’ll be back to good old normal NMA next week! And hopefully I’ll be back to good old normal life too, because getting this thing up and running has been just as much work as qualifying for Boston.

Well, not quite. 🙂




5 Steps I Used to Take 104 Minutes Off My Marathon

Over the past two years, I’ve written plenty on No Meat Athlete about the changes I made to get fast enough to qualify for Boston.

I’ve talked about how I stopped getting injured, how I improved my form, and the mindset that was required to take that much time off my first marathon.

But it was all scattered among lots of posts — some bit-size tips here, a few more there. Good information, but hard to put together into any sort of cohesive plan.

Not anymore.

Yesterday I published a huge, 15-page PDF report about what I did to get so much faster. It’s called The BQ Blueprint: 5 Keys to Running Your Fastest Marathon and Qualifying for Boston.

It’s the most I’ve ever written about getting faster and qualifying for Boston, and it’s entirely free to download. You’ll get it immediately when you sign up here.

What’s in the blueprint?

The BQ Blueprint is a “30,000-foot level” guide that brings together the major pieces of the puzzle, so you’ll be able to see the big picture of getting faster, instead of getting caught up in all the nitty-gritty details (more on those in a minute, though).

If you’re in the same boat I was, where you just know you’ve got potential to be so much faster — maybe even qualify for Boston — but it’s not happening, then this report will walk you through the steps I actually took to get there, so that you can apply them to your own running and start seeing real results.

There’s one more thing that a lot of people have told me they like about this report — in it, I detail my progress through my first six marathons, so that you can get a reasonable estimate of what’s possible for your situation. I also explain the major factors that I now believe contributed to each incremental improvement.

And as for all those nitty-gritty details I mentioned?

Well, Jason Fitzgerald, running coach and author at Strength Running and my partner in creating Run Your BQ, has got you covered there. Tomorrow he’s going to be sending out a follow-up report of his own, about what needs to be included in any serious marathon training program (and what doesn’t), for anyone who has signed up to our list.

This stuff won’t be available for long, so don’t miss out. Sign up to download the free BQ Blueprint report, and let me know what you think of it or if you’ve got any questions at all. Enjoy!



The Boston-Qualifying Mindset

“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure.” – Thomas Watson, IBM

I just came across this quote in a blog post called Failure Club, by Eric at Roc the Run. The post is about Eric’s dedication to qualify for the Boston Marathon, no matter how badly he has to fail in order to get there. For me, it was an incredibly moving post to read.

The best part? Eric is not even close to qualifying right now.

You know that please-let-this-be-over-before-I-puke feeling that it takes to run a 5K PR? Well, to qualify for Boston, Eric would need to hold his current best 5K pace for an entire marathon.

But you know what? I think he will do it.

How can I say this, when I don’t know anything else about him? Because his post grabbed hold of my soul and shook it, the way a piece of music, a line in a favorite book, or the smile of your child does, when you recognize in it something that is purely, unmistakably you.

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How Tom Lost 30 Pounds and Went from ‘Average’ to Plant-Based Marathoner

Tom in the summer of 2008


That’s how Tom Giammalvo describes his health and lifestyle prior to 2010. Not atrocious, not disgusting, not embarrassing. Not any of the extreme, negative descriptors we’ve come to expect with stories of transformation. Just average.

And that’s why his is the perfect one to share. As far as his health was concerned, Tom wasn’t the guy you see on The Biggest Loser. Instead, he was your next door neighbor.

Tom is an RN at Falmouth Hospital in Massachusetts. When he worked night shifts in the intensive care unit, the odd hours made it difficult to find a healthy routine.

The way he describes it, “I ate an average American diet. Food was the least of my worries.”

At the peak, Tom weighed around 190 pounds. Just 0.9 below average.

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