I recently found the Boston Marathon Qualifying Times Chart and Predictor, a simple web application that tells you what you need to focus on in order to run a qualifying time to run the Boston Marathon. There are some brief instructions and a chart of the qualifying times for each age and gender. You enter how old you are and whether you are a man or a woman so that it knows what your qualifying standard is, and then you provide how many miles you are currently running each week.

The calculator will then tell you what your qualifying standard is and the pace you need to be able to maintain in order to run it. It will tell you how fast you need to be able to run a 5 kilometer race if you were to go outside and run one right now in order to be able to run your qualifying marathon time. If you could run at that 5k pace, then you you should work on your endurance more. If you could not run a 5k that fast, then you need to work on your speed.

I am not sure exactly how relevant this is; my situation is a little different as I have run a marathon almost 20 minutes faster than I need to to qualify for Boston. At the average weekly mileage I have before my marathons, it tells me that I need to run a 19:05 for a 5k race. This is usually pretty easy for me; last year I ran under 19 minutes with less than a week back to running. A week later I ran almost a minute faster.

I suppose that the site uses a similar type of algorithm as the McMillan Running Calculator, but it is not nearly as detailed and probably not as accurate or relevant. Still, it is a rather fun diversion.

How fast would you need to run a 5k right now to have a chance of qualifying for Boston in a marathon? Could you do it?