Breaking the Wall

August 04, 2020

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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: 16.00 Year: 2314.91
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: 1185.83
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Fast Running Friend Workout - 2019-06-04 08:37:30
Workout Totals: Distance12.878Time1:34:33.50Pace7:20.56
Did a tempo run with Benjamin in the morning. He paced me through 2 miles down the canyon with the first 1.5 at 5:40 pace, and then the target was 78, 75. I was able to do 78, 76, which gave us 11:05 for 2 miles. Then I went to get the car, and he - with some grumbling - did the second interval. The original target was 5:20 pace to 1.5, then 5:00 for the last 0.5. He told me he was tired, so I gave him the target of 5:30 pace for 1.5 with some kind of pickup in the last 0.5. Well, turned out he was not as tired as he thought - 7:56 for the first 1.5, and then 2:27 for the last 0.5 - total of 10:23.

Then in the evening we went to the track meet in Nephi. Except by the time we got there it was over. So we just did our own time trials. It was still warm - 80F. We waited some for the sun to set, but we could only wait so long. So Stephen ran a PR in the 800 - 2:52.9. Then Joseph, Jacob, William, and Bonnie ran 3000. I paced William. Joseph got 10:39, Jacob 10:40, William 11:27, Bonnie struggled today and ran 12:29. Joseph and Jacob had a good start - steady pace like I told them to 2000 (3:32, 3:31). Then something really odd happened - they both got lazy, neither one wanted to push the pace, and they ran the next 600 in 2:18. And then they kicked - 78 for Joseph, 79 for Jacob.

William got a small PR. He was doing well in the first 3 laps (89,89,90), but then started to fade (92,95,96). Thanks to 88 in the last lap he was able to pull off a PR, though. We still need to work on the mental focus, drive, and toughness. He really should not be running slower than 92 laps even if he is hurting.
Leg 1:Distance0.730Time5:41.70Pace7:48.08
With Benjamin.
Leg 2:Distance1.500Time11:40.40Pace7:46.93
With Sarah and Benjamin.
Leg 3:Distance2.500Time20:11.40Pace8:04.56
With Benjamin.
Leg 4:Distance2.000Time11:05.10Pace5:32.55
Down the canyon tempo run with Benjamin.
Split 1:Distance1.500Time8:30.40Pace5:40.27
Split 2:Distance0.500Time2:34.70Pace5:09.40
Leg 5:Distance2.040Time17:51.10Pace8:45.05
Part with Benjamin.
Leg 6:Distance1.000Time8:07.00Pace8:07.00
Warm-up with the kids at the Juab High track in Nephi.
Leg 7:Distance0.496Time2:52.90Pace5:48.59
Paced Stephen through 800.
Leg 8:Distance0.124Time0:47.80Pace6:25.48
Matthew - false start.
Leg 9:Distance1.864Time11:27.40Pace6:08.78
Paced William through 3000.
Leg 10:Distance0.500Time4:06.90Pace8:13.80
More distance with Matthew.
Leg 11:Distance0.124Time0:41.80Pace5:37.10
200 with Matthew.

Neon Crocs 2 Miles: 12.88
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Eva Splaine on Fri, Jun 07, 2019 at 18:25:53 from

I have noticed from your blog that you do a lot of running down the canyon. Do you feel there are a lot of benefits from running downhill? What is the best way to use downhill running in training, and what grade of hill is the best? I assume that too steep of a hill is not good.

Do your worry about injury to the knees etc. due to the extra impact from downhill running?

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Jun 07, 2019 at 22:56:05 from


I have noticed over the course of the years that I run best when I do the majority of my speed on 1-2% downhill grade. There are also some studies that have demonstrated that eccentric contractions (muscle contracting to resist being stretched) develop leg strength better than concentric (normal muscle contraction).

From Eva Splaine on Sat, Jun 08, 2019 at 15:35:22 from

Thank you for the information Mr. Pachev. I will do some research on eccentric contraction exercises. Sounds very interesting.

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