Breaking the Wall

August 19, 2019

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Orem,UT,United States

Member Since:

Jan 27, 1986



Goal Type:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

Best marathon: 2:23:57 (2007, St. George). Won the Top of Utah Marathon twice (2003,2004). Won the USATF LDR circuit in Utah in 2006.

Draper Days 5 K 15:37 (2004)

Did not know this until June 2012, but it turned out that I've been running with spina bifida occulta in L-4 vertebra my entire life, which explains the odd looking form, struggles with the top end speed, and the poor running economy (cannot break 16:00 in 5 K without pushing the VO2 max past 75).  


Short-Term Running Goals:

Qualify for the US Olympic Trials. With the standard of 2:19 on courses with the elevation drop not exceeding 450 feet this is impossible unless I find an uncanny way to compensate for the L-4 defect with my muscles. But I believe in miracles.

Long-Term Running Goals:

2:08 in the marathon. Become a world-class marathoner. This is impossible unless I find a way to fill the hole in L-4 and make it act healthy either by growing the bone or by inserting something artificial that is as good as the bone without breaking anything important around it. Science does not know how to do that yet, so it will take a miracle. But I believe in miracles.


I was born in 1973. Grew up in Moscow, Russia. Started running in 1984 and so far have never missed more than 3 consecutive days. Joined the LDS Church in 1992, and came to Provo, Utah in 1993 to attend BYU. Served an LDS mission from 1994-96 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Got married soon after I got back. My wife Sarah and I are parents of eleven children: Benjamin, Jenny, Julia, Joseph, Jacob, William, Stephen, Matthew,  Mary,  Bella.  and Leigha. We home school our children.

I am a software engineer/computer programmer/hacker whatever you want to call it, and I am currently working for RedX. Aside from the Fast Running Blog, I have another project to create a device that is a good friend for a fast runner. I called it Fast Running Friend.

Favorite Quote:

...if we are to have faith like Enoch and Elijah we must believe what they believed, know what they knew, and live as they lived.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie


Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 160.46 Year: 2462.47
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs Lifetime Miles: 2133.34
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1263.81
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Met Jeff on the trail. Ended up with a total of 12 in 1:34:05. Did a couple of pickups. A mile that was supposed to be fat, but ended up a bit quicker in 5:33 with quarters of 85,85,83, and 80. Then we were messing around with the stride rate count. I came up with a new method of counting stride rate, more accurate that what I've used in the past. You time 180 steps then divide 180 by the time in seconds and multiply the result by 60. The reason this is more accurate is if you try to count how many steps you can take in 20 seconds you start your 20 seconds half way through a step and you end it half way as well. The time for 180 steps can be measured much more accurately. So on Saturday at 6:30 pace the stride rate was 177. Today at 8:00 pace it was 166. Then I wanted to know what Jeff's was at 5:00. So we did a pickup. First 200 in 34, but Jeff lost count. Then we used my method and ran for 54 seconds at around 4:40 pace. Jeff's stride rate was 200. I messed up my count, but I really did not care that much as I already know it is around 200-205 at those speeds. However, this was a good illustration as to why Jeff cannot sustain this for a half. It is very very difficult to sustain a stride rate above 190 for the half.

Jenny ran 2.5 with Sarah.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:10. Julia ran 1.5 with us in 13:02. 0.5 with Joseph in 4:37. 0.25 with Jacob in 2:52.

Eva Clogs Army Miles: 14.75
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From Seth on Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 16:21:56 from

Thanks so much for this post! I noticed I fatigue pretty fast on most of my tempo runs, and knew it was because of my form, but not sure exactly what the deal was. I'm usually right around the 180 per minute rate for my regular runs, and now I know I was subconsciously bumping up my stride rate during tempos, which was wasting a lot of energy. I just did a tempo remembering to keep the correct stride rate, but focusing more on power, and it seemed to work great! I'll have to keep experimenting with this, but I think I'm on the right track. Thanks again!

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 11:38:23 from

Seth - I believe forcing the stride rate to something unnatural is wrong. Instead you should focus on running smooth and relaxed. A good way to test if your form adjustment does you any good is see if you are able to run the same pace at a lower heart rate in the same workout.

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