Breaking the Wall

July 14, 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: 51.55 Year: 2011.51
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: 881.43
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Total of 12. Took Logan to the track to do a 3200 meter time trial. I wanted to see the exact measurement of his improvement since he started training with us a little less than two months ago. He raced 3200 on the track in 12:01 in May. It was clear from his performance on Friday that he improved, but now was very curious by how much. So Benjamin and I paced him through a time trial. I was in charge of the pace and calling out splits, Benjamin was in charge of cheering. The target was 86 seconds per lap. Logan ran 11:27.8 with the following splits:

86, 86, 85, 88 (5:45), 86, 88, 87, 81 (5:42)

On the fourth lap I sensed that Logan needed a break after my mispaced 85. The sixth lap was slow because Logan was struggling. But he had a kick, so we ended up dipping by 0.2 under 86 seconds per lap average.

Logan is 14 years old. His training over the last year prior to the start of the summer consisted of average of about 3 miles a day with a lot of high intensity running. Prior to starting to train with us he reduced his training for a couple of weeks drastically and hardly ran at all for two weeks due to the stress of studying for the final exams, and it showed. Immediately after he raced 2 miles in our ward 2 miler in 12:55 which was probably worth around 12:30 on the track for 3200 meters. His training consisted of 4 miles a day of easy running for the first week, then he upped to to 5 miles a day and held it steady. Just a few days ago he moved ti to 6 miles a day. Most of the volume was easy, but on average once a week we did one-time test efforts for distances between 800 and 1200 meters to measure his fitness. 

We ran some more. Andrew ended up doing 6.5 miles, Logan 7, Benjamin 8, Joseph 3, Jenny 4, Julia 3, Jacob 2, William 1.

I did a pickup for 0.51 uphill in 3:00.

This experience with Logan was rather revealing to me. I had never tried to work with a typical high school/junior high runner during a summer break. I have always sensed that removing a typical school runner from the traditional high intensity program and working primarily on his aerobic base would cause a 3200 meter breakthrough with less magnificent but still solid improvements in 1600, but I never previously had anything to quantify the intuition.



Green Crocs 6 Miles: 12.00
Night Sleep Time: 7.50Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 7.50
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