Road to Boston – with Coach Kevin Quinn

Coach Kev helped me to find the structure and motivation to go a little faster for the Virtual New York Marathon. On my Road to Boston Coach Kevin is going to help me to train for the sub 3 dream, and is a great addition for my blog series. Kev Quinn is a marathon runner and head coach at Team Real Runners. A coaching organisation helping athletes of all abilities to be the very best version of themselves!

In 2016, after running 2 hrs 25 mins at the 2015 London Marathon Kev found out he had 4 holes in his heart (largest being 1.78cm) and had to have heart repair surgery to close the 4 holes in his heart. The operation was a success and despite getting older, he is now running faster than ever. Kev’s Pbs include 14.37 for 5km, 30.32 for 10km, 66.37 for a half marathon and 2.22 for the marathon.

Coach Kev, running legend

1) Tell me about the first time you broke sub 3

It was at the 2006 London Marathon, my debut marathon. I was running in memory of my father, who sadly had passed away exactly a year before. The day before he died he asked me to race in the event the following year, so there was a lot of emotion attached to the 2006 race.

I ran 2.46 and to this day it was the most painful running experience ever. I didn’t respect the distance, I went off too fast, I got my nutrition completely wrong and the 5 last miles were a distance memory but despite all this, it gave me the Marathon bug!

All in the stride

2) What does it take to be a sub 3 runner

Fundamentally a lot of hard work. Theres no definitive answer, if I knew I’d be a very rich man. On the whole (and of course this doesn’t work for all but…) consistent training is imperative. 40+ miles a week, combination of interval and threshold work, plus a long run, over a 12 to 16 week period. Plus making sure nutrition is good and you are on top of stretching and S and C work.

Is he flying?

3) What tips would you give for people trying to aim for a Boston Qualification

Accept before you start the build up it is going to be hard work… it won’t be as smooth as you hoped for, there will be set backs but if you continue to do the homework, training remains fairly consistent, don’t lose sight of your goal and continue to strive, the reward at the end is priceless.

Think Coach Kev needs a hand with that

4) What is your PB, and how did your training change to reach this goal?

Last year I ran 2.22.12 at the Valencia Marathon. My training block lasted 14 weeks with 10 weeks of 90 to 100 miles a week. This was made up of a mixture of 1 x interval sessions, race paced tempos, occassional hill session and decent paced long runs. Plus keeping my easy runs, EASY! It was imperative my body recovered on my easy days.

I also visualised the race over and over in my head. I had a race plan and I was sticking to that race plan. I knew what my splits were through 1 mile, 5k, 10k etc. The first mile at Valencia I must have been near 600th position and I remember thinking don’t panic.. todays not the day 600 people break 2.23 at the Valencia marathon. Dont ever be pressured into running someone elses race.

PB at Valencia

5) If you could give me one tip what would it be

Run the first half of the marathon with you head, the second half with your heart

*DO NOT GO OFF TOO FAST – Everyone feels great at mile 1, mile 18 is a different story. Stick to the game plan.


Get bored, before you get tired.

*Switch off and let the miles tick over!

Coach Kev for the win at New York Marathon

These are all great tips, and I am grateful to have Coach Kev by my side on my Journey to sub 3 and Boston. Not only is Kev a great runner, he recently won the 2020 Virtual NY Marathon, in 2.23.48…

I hope this blog series helps you to reach your goals. Let me know what you are working towards, and how it is going.

4 thoughts on “Road to Boston – with Coach Kevin Quinn

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s