Let’s Talk Training!

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When I was in high school, I knew that I wanted to be a distance runner from the first practice [and well before]. However, I was not entering into a powerhouse cross-country program. Instead, my school was continually putting out some great 4×4’s. Therefore, I was left to discover many things about the sport on my own volition; most specifically, training.

So I turned to the Internet for the majority of my research, and I would spend hours on Dyestat and Letsrun, and I would supplement by reading every book I could find. And finally, I would bother the better runners in my area by instant messaging and asking every question I could think of.

I attribute the shaping of my own training philosophy to the accumulation of hearing about other’s. And for that reason, I try to share what I am doing whenever asked. A little insight into my training could hopefully provide others with some ideas for their own. Similar to seeing others race fast, seeing what others are capable of doing in practice opens up the eyes to what is possible.

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After almost an entire year healthy, I have put together a solid block of training, specifically this fall and winter. Our workout schedule [generally] looks like this:

Monday-Strength Work


Wednesday-AM Tempo; PM Hills/Speed


Friday-Specific Endurance

Saturday-Long Run


I try to run about 80-90 miles a week, and have been working my way to running 2-hours on Saturday [Church of the Saturday Long Run?]. The classic Gags saying in regards to training, is ‘You put speed and strength in a bowl, and you get a champion.’ This is a little bit of a different approach than I did in HS and college. Rather than a strict periodization, we are constantly touching on everything. We hit some workouts harder than others depending on the time of year, but we never stray too far from any particular stimulus.

There are an infinite number of ways to train an athlete. The biggest thing is perhaps his or her belief in the system. I trust Gags, and everyday I buy into it more and more. He has made me realize that speed is necessary. While you can only turn strength into speed, and not vice versa, in order to make the US Olympic team at 1500m, you have to be prepared to close in 51-52 seconds [three races in a row]. That requires some turnover.

Below is a sneak peek into some of my best workouts from this build up. Things are going well right now, and I had a smooth transition back into training after a down week following the end of indoor. Now that the weather is picking up, the mileage is climbing and the workload is increasing. March and April’s runs will determine May and June’s races. Enjoy!

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(Photo by Zach Hetrick)

11/19/14: AM-6 mile tempo on Columbia Trail in 29:33 [502—459—458—455—453—444]

12/5/14: 12 x 400 @ 62 w/ 3 min honest jog rest + 3 x 200 @ 29 w/ 2 mins

12/8/14: 12 x 1000 w/ 2 min honest jog rest @ 255 on the cinders

12/20/14: 2-hours @ 6:05 [felt great, a bit faster than normal]

1/2/15: 600+400+300+300 w/8/6/4 rest @ [121.8—54.4—40.4—40.6] 

1/16/15: 2 x 800 + 4 x 400 w/ 6/8/3 rest @ [158.7—155.8—59.7—58.3—57.3—54.9] in Sedona, AZ

2/5/15: 4 x 600 w/ 5 min rest + 2 x 300 w/ 4 min rest @ [126.2—127.9—127.2—124.7—40.1—39.4]

2/22/15: 6 x 400 w/ 5 min rest [56.1—55.9—55.1—54.1—53.5—52.2]

3/16/15: 8 x 1000 w/ 2 min jog rest + 4 x200 @ [252—252—250—251–250—247—248—244] [27—27—27—26]

If you’re into reading about training, check out my NJ*NY teammate’s blog, Mike Rutt, at http://mikeruttrunning.blogspot.com/ as well as my former teammate’s, Joe Stilin, at http://thinkfastwaitrun.blogspot.com/