Breaking the Wall

December 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: 304.65 Year: 3606.17
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: 806.96
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

A.M. Ran with Tyler. Did a warm-up, then 8x400 on the trail with 200 recovery. The purpose of the workout was a nervous system reboot. It has worked in the past in some cases, and my body was suggesting it was time for this particular workout. The focus was to learn a smooth but powerful and wide stride and how to maintain it with the anaerobic bear on the back. The value comes from being able to apply the wide stride skill when the anaerobic bear is not there, but you have to run longer. Usually with a lot of tempo runs the skill carries.

Ran all on the same stretch alternating direction. Tyler did a few 200s with me. Times: 73.1, 73.0, 72.0, 70.0, 71.6, 71.2, 72.6, 69.4. Felt the stride was choppy in the first two, and somewhat in the third. Then it got wider and more relaxed. Lost concentration on the 7th trying to get around a group of walkers. Could not go any faster, but was recovering very well. Felt ready to go again after 100 meter jog, but gave it more rest anyway. Was originally planning on taking 400 meter rest at times to encourage more sub-70s, but realized it was not going to help. Decided I needed to let the times happen naturally, not force them. On the last one coasted through the first 200, then pushed the last 200.

Ran a long cool-down, total distance 12 miles.

The excitement of the day was seeing two police cars on the trail and some teenagers getting arrested. Instead of handcuffs they had some form of a strait jacket around them.

T4 Racer - 645.05 miles

P.M. 1.5 alone in 11:37. 1 with Benjamin and Julia in 10:46. Benjamin's knee is still hurting from soccer, he would not even try running with Jenny. Then 1.5 with Jenny in 13:10.

Went to the temple with Sarah. I told her on the way that somebody was going to ask us if she was pregnant with our first child. She was skeptical. Sure enough, the sealer did.

Five Fingers - 1407.63 miles

Night Sleep Time: 8.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 8.00
From Phoenix on Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 13:16:24

Nice workout. How does you body react so say, 65s, with a 4-5 minute recovery?

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 13:41:15

Right now, it would be hard to do more than a couple in 65 regardless of the length of the recovery. With some tuning I could do about 5. Even then those feel hard, too hard to be productive. And after jogging 400 meters no additional recovery short of trying the next repeat a day later is ever helpful.

From Phoenix on Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 14:03:05

It takes at least 5 minutes for muscles to recover (fully replenish phosphocreatine, etc), no matter what your fitness level is.

Three days before my 1500m PR I ran 3 x 400 in 53 with a 2-lap walk. I was going to do 5 until the head Coach, who was watching, pulled me off the track and told me that I would be traveling with the team that Saturday. I feel like that workout, strictly from a neural potentiation perspective, was very valuable and allowed me to heel-strike throught the first 800 in 2:01. If only I had had the aerobic base to support that kind of speed. . . Now I still don't have an aerobic base and don't have any speed either.


What is the fastest you could run 3-4 x 400m relaxed?

From tyler on Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 14:05:52

Hey, I sent you a message late last night, I was up till about 2:30 working on a project. I guess it didn't go through. Do I have your cell number? Would you mind emailing it to me?

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 15:23:07

Tyler - home number 801-788-4608, cell 801-372-0470. Home works better, try that first.

Eric - some food for thought. I have been able to do 50x100 alone averaging 15.5 with a 100 meter jog recovery. In the first 5 or so I had a hard time breaking 16.0, then warmed up and started hitting around 15.1 - 15.2, then as the fatigue set on slowed down to around 15.5 in the last 10-15 or so. My all out 100 PR is 13.9, and that was set racing Steve Ashbaker. I have done tests with all out sprint racing somebody vs by myself, and the difference has been around 0.7. Without racing a peer in a close race I have a very hard time going under 14.5.

I wonder if for one reason or another I am not able to fully deplete phosphocreatine when sprinting.

Another thing that I find odd is that with all the aerobic base I've got, giving me a 100 meter rest between each repeat 49 times produced a 5 K of 12:54. At that time I was not in shape to break 16:00 on the track. If I had to do in in quarter increments with 200 recovery, I probably could have done around 14:30. The aerobic base was was as always good, though. Of course, we do not know if this difference is normal or not, as this is a very unusual workout.

That workout made me very very sore. It was worse than the St. George marathon, and probably as bad as one day after DesNews. I must say that is the only interval workout that has made me sore in the last 10 years. I've done it twice with the same results.

From Sasha Pachev on Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 15:42:24

Eric - the fastest I could run 3-4 400s relaxed depends on the amount of tuning I've done. When properly tuned, probably around 68. But then again, I could do as many as 8 or maybe even 12 if it is relaxed.

From RivertonPaul on Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 17:38:17

Love it when a sealer makes good on inspiration.

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