Ich hatte die Möglichkeit ein Interview mit Alex zu führen, einem Top Läufer aus den USA. Die unterschiedlichen Trainingsmethoden bzw. das doch etwas andere Training finde hoffentlich nicht nur ich interessant. In der Zukunft wollen wir weiterhin Interviews mit spannenden Läufer*innen unterschiedlicher Leistungsklassen führen.
Born in Southern California and currently 32 years old and still running. I was first interested in running in my last year of middle school (8th grade) but actually never showed up to practice because of middle schooler anxiety or something. Registered for cross country in high school though and because it was a class that replaced physical education I had no option but to show up. First day of practice I thought I was going to puke after running the mile warmup because I did not show up during the summer practice like everyone else did. I was also really annoyed because this kid was bugging me about not having the right shoes and kept talking to me even though I was gasping for air. Fast forward, I fell in love with running and that annoying kid became my best friend and best man at my wedding. So that’s how I got into running.
From starting off at a modest “feeling like a mile would kill me” kind of a runner through consistent training and running I was able to get my times down and became a natural long distance runner. My 5k PR is 15:34, 10K PR is 32:21, half marathon PR is 1:13:13 and my marathon is 2:36:56.
What motivates me to run has changed through the years, in high school and college it was mostly motivated by my competitive personality and the feeling of having an individual as well as a team victory. This began to weigh pretty heavily on me though because no matter how fast you are, there were always faster runners just in front of you. The pressure from the coach and the competitiveness even amongst teammates began to leave me mentally burnt out and less motivated. Life and the burnout of running 90-100 mile weeks (note: 140-160km) without getting that reward anymore I stopped running as I switched from one college to another.
After about 6 years of not running competitively, I found the spark again that got me motivated and that was running for myself and looking for the positive in every run, even if it wasn’t a good run/workout/race. My current coach and I really focus on life and getting the rewards that running offers me in order to stay motivated. Just this December I was feeling a little down with low motivation, every day was rainy and family life was getting hard and I was not running as much as I should have to help build up a base for Boston this spring. What got me motivated again was getting my first training plan from my coach and focusing on not running for the race but running to get outside and have time to myself at my own pace.
What I like most about running is how liberating it is, nothing feels quite like running through mountain trails in Northern California and seeing nature, or running through a new city in Boise Idaho on a business trip or getting to know new people while drinking a beer at the end of a half marathon in some town you might not ever visit again. Everyone is together as a community but we are all still running our own race and in charge of our own destiny. From the slowest runner to the fastest runner we are all somehow connected in this way.
What I don’t like the most about running is getting injured and how lonely it is at times. It’s taken years of running to be able to detect when some small pain could become an injury and it’s always at the back of my mind and weighing me down. Every run, every time I wake up or go to sleep or just walking and feel a little niggle in my foot or knee I am monitoring the feeling and wondering if it could be more than just a momentary twinge I felt. This keeps me healthy and has saved many seasons of training but it’s still a stress I don’t like. I also dont like how not having a team anymore for my runs and workouts is so lonely. I do my runs after work, often in the dark during winter and it’s not easy to find other runners willing to go 10 miles (note: 16km) at night at a 7-minute mile (note: 4:30/min/km) pace. Seek out running groups to fix this problem though, I have found a few friends this way and it’s worth it for the community.
My typical week of running changes based on how close I am to a key race. If I am having a recovery week after a race or just building mileage it’s often just easy running. If my mileage is less than 70 (note: 120km) for the week I will run 10 miles (note: 16km) Tuesday-Saturday and a long run between 15-20 (note: 25-30km) on Sunday. Mondays are always a rest day because I usually get injured if I don’t take a day off. As I go above 70 (note: 120km) and max out at up to 90-100 miles (note: 140-160km) I have to run 2 times a day. I’ll run a short 4-6 miles (note: 6-9km) in the morning or on my lunch break and 10 miles (note: 16km) in the evening. My long run at this mileage will often be between 18-22 miles (note:29-35km). I try to do about 4-6 strides 1-2 times a week after a run during the week.
Currently in the bulk of training for Boston running 90 mile (note: 140km) weeks in winter in the dark staying motivated is still a bit of an issue but I’m looking forward to daylight savings and have a very supportive wife and some family that are excited to watch me run at Boston. It’s your support group that often gives you the motivation that you need when you might not have enough, even as a highly motivated individual like runners usually are.
If I am doing workouts, a typical week will look something like this week that I am running where the goal is 85-90 miles. (135-145km) I have just recovered from a 20-mile (note: 32km) power run (like a slower tempo @ 6:15 pace (note: 3:50min/km) and a few weeks out from a tune-up half marathon. Before every workout I do about 4 strides and various drills to warm up along with usually a 3-mile warmup (note: 5km) and 2-3 mile (note: 3-4km) cool down. Easy to moderate 20-mile (note: 32km) long run Friday night 5-mile (8km) tempo @ 6:15 (note: 3:50min/km) pace with an 8-10 mile (note: 13-16km) morning run to get a little fatigued first Wednesday 4×1 mile (note 4×1,6km)@ 5:30 (note: 3:25min/km) pace with 400 meters recovery.
My favorite workouts would probably be 800 or mile repeats (note: 1,2km und 1,6km), cruise intervals fall into this range and they always leave me feeling accomplished after a workout. Even though 400s are probably the most important for me just because I have no leg speed, they are such a drag because they take so long with all the breaks, especially at the end of a season when you get to 16 or so repeats. Other than that I absolutely love the long run and look forward to it. I love my 20+ mile (note: 32km+) long runs and will sometimes get up to running 24 miles (note: 32-38km).
Do I do running drills to improve my technique? Yes, but I trick myself into thinking it’s for a warm up before a workout so that I actually do them. Before any fast workout I will do some a-skips, b-skips, high knees, butt kickers, karaoke and 4-6 strides at about 1 mile race pace.
I usually get about 1 injury a year that I will have to manage. I count small issues that I can take care of while still running but will need adjusting my training to still train but needs care or I will have to take time off. Last year I had a foot/ankle tendon issue that ruined my chance to run the Philadelphia marathon. This popped up right after a 1:14 half marathon on really tired legs before the training season was transitioning from base building to my specific marathon training so I was probably in route to get a PR. I had a flare up during December and have been monitoring it and rotating my shoes between 3 pairs and some light strength training seems to be taking care of it. I was really worried about how it would hold up in my 20 mile (note: 32km) power run because it was a little sore the next few days but it recovered well.
Do I warm up before or after a training session, sort of. On a normal recovery run or long run I will stop at 2-3 miles (note: 3-4km) in and do a few stretches and then continue running. That’s it, no stretching after unless i feel like i need it like a specifically tight muscle or something. Once or twice a week I will do 4-6 strides so I guess that would count for a cool down.
My training goals for 2023 are to run the Boston marathon and would like to get a PR but we will have to see how training continues. I haven’t gotten the best base building in so i will be happy if i get close to 2:36. After Boston i was trying to run Chicago and didn’t get in, so i tried New York and also didn’t get in so im still looking for a fall marathon that’s really fast. I might go for a small town, super flat marathon where I can get free entrance rather than a big city marathon. I really want to break 2:30 and if i get a good injury free base and a solid 12-16 week marathon block in i think i can do it. I have a few shorter races like the Falmouth Road Race and the Philadelphia Broad Street Run that i would like to get some good times in given the competition in those races.