Breaking the Wall

August 15, 2020

Recent EntriesHomeJoin Fast Running Blog Community!PredictorHealthy RecipesSasha Pachev's RacesFind BlogsMileage BoardTop Ten Excuses for Missing a RunTop Ten Training MistakesDiscussion ForumRace Reports Send A Private MessageWeek ViewMonth ViewYear View
15% off for Fast Running Blog members at St. George Running Center!


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: 88.07 Year: 2386.98
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Neon Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1257.89
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Jeff and Mary Ann. Warmed up 1.3. Then paced Mary Ann through a long tempo on the 10 K race course. 6:20 pace to failure or to 30 K. Splits by 5 K:

20:03 - (slow start, we gave her an easy warm-up mile) - 19:47 (lost some time on the bottle pickup) - 19:53 (lost some time on the bottle, Mary Ann still does not know how to drink while running fast, also towards the end she started slowing down to 6:30, so I told her to stop at 15 K and jog back). Afterwards, I picked up the pace. 18:47 (that was all I could do) - 18:38 (figured out how to relax better) - 19:11 (fuel shortage/neural fatigue coming out).

Total time of 1:56:19 for 30 K,  6:14 average.

A couple of observatons. A whole lot of difference in the perceived muscular effort between 6:00 pace and anything faster between 15 K and 25 K. In the last 5 K that threshold moved to around 6:10. That threshold kept fluctuating, and did not always change in the slower direction as the run progressed. It had a lot to do with the art of relaxing.

Also, my first 15 K was done in 59:43, while the second in 56:36. I could not have gone any faster in the second. But I am very certain that if I had run the first one in 56:36, my second one would have been quite a bit faster than 59:43. Very possibly another 56:36.

So from that some ideas. We take a runner and have him race an all out marathon. Give enough time for recovery ,  and while in the same shape, he run a half 5-10 minutes slower than one half of his marathon time, and then a half all out. We call that "tired half" PR. Now Sasha Science Marathon Pacing theory. A marathon is properly paced when the first half is run at the fastest possible pace that still allows you to be within one minute of the tired half PR in the second half. Of course we assume equal terrain and condition for both halves which is never the case in any Utah marathon except maybe Ogden on a cool day.

This does can often mean a positive split depending on the runner. I suspect for a properly trained athlete the range is from 1 minute negative split to 5 minute positive split. For a less fit runner it could be as much as 10-15 minute positive split.

Afterwards paced Benjamin through a 5 K in 21:31. He took thrid place overall. Jenny won the mile with 8:00, Julia was second in 8:23. Jacob ran the 200 race in 1:34. Joseph did it in 1:22.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 23.05
Night Sleep Time: 7.75Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.75
Add Your Comment.
  • Keep it family-safe. No vulgar or profane language. To discourage anonymous comments of cowardly nature, your IP address will be logged and posted next to your comment.
  • Do not respond to another person's comment out of context. If he made the original comment on another page/blog entry, go to that entry and respond there.
  • If all you want to do is contact the blogger and your comment is not connected with this entry and has no relevance to others, send a private message instead.
Only registered users with public blogs are allowed to post comments. Log in with your username and password or create an account and set up a blog.
Debt Reduction Calculator

Featured Announcements
New Kids on the Blog
(need a welcome):
Lone Faithfuls
(need a comment):