Breaking the Wall

January 28, 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: 252.01 Year: 252.01
Saucony Type A Lifetime Miles: 627.15
Bare Feet Lifetime Miles: 446.12
Nike Double Stroller Lifetime Miles: 124.59
Navy Crocs 2 Lifetime Miles: 1576.28
Neon Crocs 1 Lifetime Miles: 1353.22
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Big group today. Chauncy, Mary Ann, Jeff, and Daniel. First 6 with everybody, then Chauncy and Daniel were done, and the rest of us ran 4 more. 10 miles in 1:19:58. Did explosive sprints.

Did some standing broad jumps and vertical jumps yesterday, and in the process observed something and had an idea. I noticed that how far or how high I was able to jump did not quite correlate with perceived exertion. The best jumps happened not when I tried the hardest, but when somehow I was able to properly channel my force.  That led me to an idea for Quality X. The hypothesis is that a good portion of Quality X comes in how well the firing of individual motor units is synchronized. So with that assumption we want to train this ability in hopes that it will improve the performance of a runner in all distances at the same time.

So here is a rough idea. We start with a standing broad jump. Any jump that provides immediate and precise feedback on the amount of power generated will work. But broad jump is the easiest in terms of practicality - you just need a solid surface to land on, and a measuring tape. Keep jumping for maximum distance. Pay attention to how you felt when you jumped further. Try to duplicate the feeling and measure the success by the length of the jump it produces.

Once you know the feeling, in the ideal world, find timing gates, and do 10 meter sprints from a running start. Try to duplicate the feeling that produced the best jumps. Perfect that feeling in the context of running. Again, measure the success by how fast you are able to run.

Next step. 200-400 meter repetitions. Again we try to experience the same feeling of smooth and focused power, but now over a longer distance. We measure the success by the interval times. Solid aerobic base will help prevent aerobic fatigue from being a factor in the interval performance thus allowing the interval times to become an accurate measure of how we are doing on Quality X.

Next step - take it to 800 meter - 1 mile repeats and try to experience the feeling. Solid aerobic base becomes even more important.

Finally, we take it to the tempo run. Now the aerobic base is even more important, so let's hope it's there. Once we can do it in a tempo run, we are ready to race better.

P.M. 2 with Benjamin and Jenny in 18:00, 1 with Julia in 9:41.

Brooks T4 Racing Flat Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From dave holt on Fri, Jan 16, 2009 at 14:52:15

I believe what you are talking about is very similar to what Yoda put Luke through.

Luke: "What's in there?"

Yoda: "Only what you take with you.”

From tarzan on Sat, Jan 17, 2009 at 22:24:31

I was listening to some similar concepts in Mind Body Mastery today. The author posed the suggestion that sometimes we put too much effort into things and they become unnatural. We need to work on the idea of becoming more childlike or animal like.

For instance, William can grab your finger very tightly with his hand, but keep his body totally relaxed at the same time. Or trying to pick up a toddler when they don't want to be picked up - they have the ability to channel their force such that they can make themselves dead weight.

Looking at an animal example - a cat can jump vertically or take off explosively without having to gather its forces - it just naturally relaxes into the force.

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