Is Running the Boston Marathon on Your Bucket List? Read On!


Did watching this year’s Boston Marathon get you motivated? If so, you’re not alone. For the 2019 Boston Marathon, there were almost 30,000 runners with 95% finishing all 26.2 miles. Unlike many other races, in order to actually run the Boston Marathon, you don’t just pay your race fee and sign up- for Boston you have to qualify. We share how it works to earn a spot at Boston, as well as how to get started if some of this year’s elite champs have given you inspiration to head out your front door and start training.


Runners are full of acronyms that can sound mystifying to those unfamiliar with the terms. From PR (personal record) to PB (personal best) to DNS (did not start) to DNF (did not finish) to knowing the mileage of each metric race, running often has its own language. BQ is one term that has a meaning for a specific race: Boston. To BQ means “Boston qualify,” and there are very specific pace and age group guidelines in order to get you to Beantown in time for the race. Since there are so many runners whose bucket list run is the Boston Marathon, even those whose time qualifies may not make the cut.

Events and Times

In order to determine a qualifying race time, you’ll have to run a race! According to the Boston Marathon rules, you’ll have to run an event which has a “Boston qualifying course.” In fact, you’ll find Indy’s own Indianapolis Monumental Marathon listed as one of the top BQ events on their site! Meanwhile, times are highly specific to gender, age, and pace. For example, this year men age 18-34 needed a qualifying time of 3 h 05 mins (finishing a marathon in that time). On the other hand, women of the same age needed a time of 3 h 35 mins. As the ages increase, so do the times; although men 65-69 still needed a finishing time of 4 hrs 10 mins! You can find the whole chart here.

The Road to Boston Begins with the Next Step

Whether you’re a veteran runner or a beginner, there’s always room for improvement. Maybe that comes in the form of tweaking your training or improving your fueling strategy. Something as simple as getting extra sleep can pay off; as the saying goes “the race is won in bed.” If chasing the Boston Marathon happens to be on your bucket list, setting achievable goals can move you closer to the big prize. Maybe you won’t immediately make your goal time, but you can set smaller goals such as adding in more speed work days, doing extra tempo runs, and doing regular weight training. Racing great Meb Keflezighi credits setting small, reachable goals as one of the secrets to his success. (And hey, if it worked for him…)

If you’re trying to make improvements but your running won’t cooperate, and you’re plagued by pesky injuries and pains, it may be time to call in the pros. Seeking the help of a physical therapist can get you moving in the right direction. S/he can assess your issue, as well as watch you run and move and see what might be slowing you down or holding you back. An expert in the musculoskeletal system, your PT can develop a custom treatment plan to get you on the path to your goals and feeling strong.

Are you ready to run after your goals? Body One Physical Therapy is here to help! We’re locally-owned and operated, with three locations serving Central Indiana: North Indianapolis, Fishers, and Zionsville. Our team of caring, expert physical therapists helps clients of all ages and activity levels, and we’d love to help you, too. Thanks to direct access, you can make an appointment with us the same way you’d make one with your doctor’s office. We’ll work with your insurance and doctor, should a referral be necessary for future visits. Don’t wait to pursue your goals, call Body One today and let us help you cross the finish line!