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. Ran with Jeff, Mary Ann, Daniel, and Matt. Usual sequence of events. Did explosions. The total time for 10.1 was 1:19:22. Ear still congested. I have considered using an antibiotic, but decided against it. Let the illness run its course, let the body learn how to fight it. I have read a number of posts on health forums of people having much worse symptoms for months in spite of using antibiotics and their doctor having no clue how to make it better. In my case I can run, I can work, and aside from feeling like my left ear is underwater all the time and running a bit slower, yes a bit slower, 15 K in 54:39 vs 50:43 is only a bit slower, it could have been 1:15 or worse, I can still average 5:51 for 15 K, aside from those two there are no other symptoms. So I'll keep on treating it with natural remedies, and just be patient.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 15:58, 2 with Jenny in 18:51. Julia ran the first mile with us in 9:02. 0.34 with Joseph in 3:45. Jacob also wanted to run today. I took him for 200 meters in 1:43.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.10
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From kelsey on Sat, Mar 07, 2009 at 19:12:15 from

Hi Sasha,

I was just wondering if you could quickly explain "explosions" whenever you get a chance. I've seen you and Mary Ann mention them, so i was just wondering what they are (how you do them/how many/amount of effort), and maybe what you expect to get out of it.

Thanks and I hope the ear gets better sooner than later.


From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Mar 07, 2009 at 21:00:53 from


What I call an "explosion" is a maximum sprinting effort for about 3-5 seconds. I got the idea from thinking about how kids develop speed. Your typical speed demon kid spends a good portion of his time playing various kinds of games that involve very short bursts of speed. You hardly ever would see him go all out even for as little as 10 seconds. But quite often for 3-5. And he does it every day often for hours. So I decided to try to imitate that in my training to see what happens. I got good results so far. I was able to negative split a non-tactical truly all out 5 K for the first time in my life a month ago.

From azdesertmonsoon on Sat, Mar 07, 2009 at 21:20:40 from

I read an article about how kids have an accelerated training opportunity to develop alactic power between the ages of 6-8. They act like if you don't develop this capacity to the fullest it is very hard maybe even impossible to reach your genetic potential later in life. Interesting stuff. They encourage kids to play lots of tag and similiar games with the 3-5 second burts of maximum speed. They also talked about non-directional speed which I don't completely follow, but I assume means changing directions while going very fast. My daughter loves chasing boys, so at least some good may come of it.

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