BU Last Chance Race Report-3:52 Mile PR

Ran a personal best of 3:52.22 on February 26, 2017 behind Ed Cheserek as he set the collegiate record. Figured I’d give some insight into the race and some training leading in.

Race Splits: 30.3y–27.8 (58.1y)–28.7–29.5 (58.3/156.3y)–29.6–29.5 (58.9/255.2y)–29.4–26.9 (56.3)

(‘y’ indicating from the finish line)

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 3.30.25 PM
Photo: Chris Morfesi

Wasn’t originally going to even race this, but heard it was basically going to be a time trial and I have been itching the last few years because being outside the top 3 Americans makes it’s tough to get into the top meets. Plan was to get out and ride the train and did exactly that, but as you can see with the splits, the 2nd 200 was rolling. I was sitting on my teammate, Johnny Gregorek, and we both let Cheserek and our teammate, Ford Palmer, go a bit. Felt completely comfortable doing this because I knew we were on pace the first lap and this was a surge that couldn’t be sustained. As it slowed down going into 800 we reattached and things actually felt pretty pedestrian for the next quarter mile.

With 400 to go I saw the clock and knew I was going to PR (previous best was 3:54.5), but now it was a question as to how much. I considered going around Johnny and Ford to get on Ed’s shoulder, but for whatever reason hesitated and didn’t. This would be my biggest regret of the race because with 200 to go Ed took off and I didn’t see the move and had a delayed response. With just over 100m to go I swung wide and was in full chase. After moving too early at Wanamaker I was nervous to go early and die, but instead I made the opposite mistake and left too much in the tank. I ran the final turn in lane two but was eating up ground and thought it would be enough. I saw the clock and couldn’t believe what I saw. I came on Ed, but when he felt me, he had one more gear. There’s a reason he’s the king (fun fact learned on our run together the following day: King is actually his middle name). Upon finishing, it took me a while to digest what happened. With my teammates going 3:53 and 3:54 behind me, our coach was yipping, crying and cursing. Was an awesome day, and really validates what I thought all winter long–I am in the best shape of my life.

Next week is nationals. The altitude should make things interesting, but hoping my fitness will triumph for a solid race and give me a chance with 100 to go.


Last spring I suffered a sacral stress reaction, but since have been very healthy and I’d attribute the good indoor season to exactly that. Below is a peek into training.

17 Week Mileage Average: 80.5 (High – 93.5 / Low – 70.0)

I am a big advocate for singles. This year I am way more open to taking down weeks, which has been working miracles in terms of keeping the legs fresh. I know everyone always says that they’re not doing speed work indoors like that’s some sort of badge of honor. My log has my fastest 400 at 53.0 in this buildup, and a 200 in 24.3.

I don’t think this makes the race more impressive or anything, but goes to show just how valuable strength training is. The pace on my average tempo run this year has dropped 8+ seconds and we have upped the distance too. Our strength intervals are all averaging a couple seconds faster/lap and we again, have upped the distance. We don’t go crazy pace wise on long runs because we generally workout 3x a week, but as in past years, 2 hours has become a pretty standard length.

Here are some key workouts that got me excited, not just because of the pace, but the way that they felt:

12/6: 10 miles @ 5:06

1/11: 6 miles @ 446

1/13: 4 x 600 @ 127 + 800 @ 155 + 2 x 400 @ 56

1/15: 20 miles in 2:08

1/17: 12 x 1k @ 248

1/20: 3 x 1200 @ 311,308,305 + 600 @ 132 + 2 x 400 @ 55

2/1: AM- 3 miles @ 452 + 2 miles @ 446 – PM: 6 x 200 @ 26 (closed in 24.3)

2/14: 5 x 1k @ 245 + 2 x 200 @ 27 + 400 @ 54

Race Video

Post-Race Interview

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Author: kylemerber

Kyle Merber is a professional runner for HOKA One One and the New Jersey*New York Track Club. He has personal bests of 3:34/3:52 but would prefer that not be included in his bio because he believes his writing should be judged independently. He tweets a lot @TheRealMerb.

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