Breaking the Wall

August 08, 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

Feeling better, but still not 100%. Ran easy with Ted, 8.6 miles. Pretty much the entire run we debated the issue of the correlation between 100 meter sprint and marathon potential in the same runner. His point of view - there are way too many factors that could either make a good marathoner sprint slow, or a fast sprinter run  a poor marathon for the correlation to exist. My point of view - while a fast sprint does not guarantee a fast marathon, and a slow sprinter has some hope in the marathon, a slow sprint puts a cap on your marathon performance. Being able to sprint not too terribly slow is a necessary but not sufficient condition for a good marathon performance. We agree with each other to a point, the disagreement is in the numbers.

My contention that Ted disagrees with - unless you have an extreme proportion of slow-twitch fibers ( Alberto Salazar style) which is found probably in no more than 3% of all distance runners, 100 meter time of 15.0 means you will not run much faster than 2:30 in the marathon. This actually makes a nice rule - take your 100 meter time in seconds, do it times ten. That is your limit in the marathon in minutes.

We also had a disagreement on how fast a slower runner (that runs a marathon in over 3:00 even with some decent training) could run 100 meters. So I thought it would be helpful to gather some data for our future discussions, and perhaps also for inspiring some more serious exercise physiology research. If you would like to contribute, please submit the following data in the comments - does not have to be current, but needs to come from the same time period: your marathon performance, the training you did to achieve it, your 100 meter performance from the same time period, and the specific 100 meter training you did to achieve it (for most of us it will be nothing more than some strides and short speed work intervals at best).

Ran with the kids in the afternoon. Feeling a bit better towards the evening, good sign, sinus infection pain is going away.

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Maria on Sat, Mar 17, 2007 at 16:15:16

I think that research on correlation between 100m time and marathon time would be pretty hard to conduct. The problem is that to get your best 100m time requires completely different training than to get your best marathon time. That's why you cannot seriously look at equivalent performances from, let's say, McMillan's calculator. Performances from 800 (maybe even 400) and up are correctly correlated, but 100 and 200m are not. In fact, Greg stated himself that these distances are included for fun, and times given are nothing more than educated guess.

If you're looking at marathoners, they train in a way that maximizes endurance and makes even fast twitch fibers take on characteristics of slow twitch. It is impossible to get the best 100m time out of yourself with such training. Maybe the best sample for such research could be middle distance runners (800-1600m) who need very decent speed and good mix of endurance and speed endurance. They probably train better to have meaningful correlation between sprints and longer distances.

I think that if I moved up in distances when I was able to run 100m in 13sec, I would lose some of that speed, UNLESS I put in extra effort to maintain it. But the problem is that to run your best in sprints you need to do a lot of weight lifting that would be detrimental to performance in longer distances. You need a lot of muscle mass and strength that would only slow you down in 5K+ events.

So I think there could be pretty dramatic differences in times that you would get for 100m sprints from long distance runners. I read somewhere that most runners have roughly 50/50 fast/slow twitch fibers, so vast (1-3 sec/100m)improvement in sprints is possible if they train specifically for sprints. Even if runner spends a months doing drills and sprints his time in 100m will improve. If you take people that are just doing strides twice a week, and people doing some specific training, how can you compare them?

From ArmyRunner on Sat, Mar 17, 2007 at 21:47:44

These are exactly some of the points I brought up as well. I tend to think that for amarathon runner there is really no direct correlation between 100m time and marathon time. For the most part I do not think ones marathon potential is limited by ones 100m time and if one were to improve there 100m time this would not mean they would improve there marathon time as well.

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