Fleet Feet Boston Qualify in 2022

Register for Fleet Feet Boston Qualify in 2022

The Fleet Feet Boston Qualify training program, a Chicago Endurance Sports Performance program, is applicable to those who aspire to be a Boston Qualifier and those who already may be at the level to qualify for the Boston Marathon, but may be running a different spring marathon, or, just want to train with us over the winter and spring months.

Boston Qualify is a coached, 16-week program designed to:

  • Help you physically and mentally train to run a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon
  • Overcome Chicago's lack of hills and difficult winter training conditions
  • Create community and camaraderie among all participants

Program Benefits:

  • Weekly 16-week day-by-day training program coached by USATF Certified and championship level coaches with more than 25 combined Boston Marathon finishes.
  • Wednesday evening speed and tempo runs at Fleet Feet Old Town (gear check provided)
  • Saturday morning long runs at Fleet Feet and Barrington High School - depending on weather conditions. Fully supported: gear check, and water all provided
  • Hill Training that mirrors the Boston Marathon course
  • Boston Bound program shirt
  • Private clinics on topics including race prep, hydration, and nutrition
  • Weekly Boston Qualify newsletter with workouts, training tips.
  • Post-event celebration party in Chicago

Program Dates:

  • December 15th: Informational meeting at 7:00 p.m. at Fleet Feet Old Town
  • January 8th: 16-week program begins at 8:00 a.m. at Fleet Feet Old Town 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is this program only for runners who are training for the 2022 Boston Marathon or trying to qualify for a future Boston Marathon?  

No. While the program originated as a training program specifically for the Boston Marathon, it has grown organically over the years as runners not doing Boston heard about the quality of the program and the level of training it provides. There are options for people who will be running Boston and trying to qualify, but also training plans geared towards athletes looking to do other spring marathons, such as the Illinois Marathon in Champaign-Urbana, the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, or other races in similar timeframes. 

Is there a time qualification standard for the program? Is this program only for runners who are presently close to the qualification standards for the Boston Marathon? If I’m not close to those standards, will I be running alone?

No, no, and no! This program is for anyone interested in high-level marathon training, including longer interval and tempo workouts, long runs with structured pace-work built in, and opportunities to learn about advanced racing techniques from experienced coaches who have successfully raced at a high level in Boston and many other marathons.  Our groups are large and diverse as to pace, gender, and age, which allows for lots of opportunities for running partners. Remember that the Boston qualifying standards for a 65 year old man and a 55 year old woman are the same, as are the qualifying standards for a 35 year old woman and a 55 year old man. 

I’m training for my first marathon. Should I do this program?

Probably not. This program is designed for advanced marathon racing performance, and the workouts and long runs are such that most first-time marathon runners would not be a good fit for this program. Exceptions would be runners with significant prior experience racing the half marathon at a high level, or runners moving to the marathon following recent competitive collegiate distance running. If you have questions about whether this program is right for you, please reach out to (e-mail). 

Does this training program offer pacers? 

No, there are not assigned pace group leaders for long runs or workouts. Coaches will assist athletes in finding other participants who will be running similar paces in long runs and workouts to work together. 

How will we prepare for the hills of the Boston course (or other hilly marathons) in the Chicago area?

Selected long runs throughout the program will take place in Barrington, Illinois, over courses that have been selected for their similarities to the topography of the Boston Marathon course, including sections of gently rolling hills and sustained climbs similar to the Newton Hills. Portions of the runs also take place on sections that are significantly steeper inclines than anything on the Boston Marathon course, to ensure you are more than prepared to run your best from Hopkinton to Boston. 

I don’t have a car; will I miss out on the long runs in Barrington?

No. Within the group we assist runners to coordinate carpooling with each other. Many participants who do not have access to a car have been able to make it to all long runs in Barrington. 

How many miles should I be able to run before training begins?

We recommend that as a minimum, runners should be consistently running at least 5-6 times per week, with a minimum “long run” distance of 8-10 miles once per week. Running 4 times per week with an additional 1 or 2 sessions of 45 minutes or more of cardio exercise (such as swimming, cycling, or spinning) is also fine.

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Must be a 2019, 2020, or 2021 Fleet Feet Racing Team member, 2019, 2020, or 2021 Chicago Endurance Sports Marathon Training member, or 2019, 2020, or 2021 Fleet Feet Boston Bound participant to be an alumni
If you're on the fence about joining, come to our informational night hosted by our coaches.