Breaking the Wall

January 27, 2021

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: 266.81 Year: 266.81
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: 1657.61
Brown Crocs 3 Lifetime Miles: 1438.17
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy run with Ted and Nick in the morning. 10.04 in 1:11:55. Picked it up on the last quarter to beat the 1:12:00 guy, ran it in 1:26.

Ran with the kids in the evening and added more to make it 5 miles. Provo River 10 miler tomorrow. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Aaron on Sat, Jun 16, 2007 at 15:22:09

Sasha, question about lactate tolerance. When doing an LT workout, does a person get the same effect regardless of whether he's in the upper or lower range of the anaerobic HR zone? I ask because looking back through my logs I find myself hanging out around 168 (~80% MHR)--it's only when I inch up to 179-180 that I remember feeling like I'm "pushing it." Granted the "pushing it" has its own benefit for muscular development. But in terms of building endurance, is 80% more or less as good as 90%?

From Sasha Pachev on Mon, Jun 18, 2007 at 13:46:17

Aaron - I think a good strategy is to start your tempo run slower than threshold, and gradually increase the pace as you go. Many coaches believe that crossing the threshold is a no-no for a tempo run. I do not necessarily agree with it. There is some research that shows there is really no such thing as a hard threshold. They had some Kenyan runners do a tempo, and measured their blood lactate - it kept going up well into the forbidden zones, while they felt comfortable and had no problem sustaining the pace. As for myself, I've noticed I have two thresholds. The first one limits my half-marathon (HR 158) speed until I do some lactic acid tolerance workouts (hard 400s), and then it goes up - I can push my HR higher (to 163), it feels exceptionally miserable, but I can race a half-marathon at that pace. Then the first threshold becomes my marathon pace.

From Aaron on Mon, Jun 18, 2007 at 15:48:47

Sasha, thanks. That helps a lot.

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