Train like a savage

Tuxedo Lake. A very formal place for a long run.
Tuxedo Lake. A very formal place for a long run.

To open, I wanted to plug teammate Kevin Schwab’s new blog ( and echo a sentiment he made in his most recent post. He talked about refocusing his training with a more blue collar, throw caution-to-the-wind approach in order to reach his big goals. I do think that often we are so concerned with making sure we don’t wear ourselves out that we miss the point of training in the first place: to push our boundaries. To be fair, we run lots of miles and are often on the edge of being injured or sick, but I think approaching training with the heart of a savage (copyright Kevin Schwab) is very advantageous. Training and racing like a savage is a state of mind that simply means you approach the hard efforts with zeal and not trepidation, with bravery not meekness. Being an intelligent athlete is still important but holding onto this simple motivation is vital. If we look at races as opportunities to attack a given course and distance rather than sitting and letting the action materialize before us we are much more likely to make big gains. Yes, this attitude may lead to disappointment but, personally, I know if I finish a race and know I laid it all out there I will be able to live with a subpar performance. I second Kevin’s goal to train like a savage as I enter this new racing season!

Last week I did a fair bit of traveling but I was excited to be able to get my long run in with the group. With traveling back and forth between Greenville, SC and ZAP headquarters in Blowing Rock, NC I had missed out on doing my long run with the boys for several weeks. The long run is probably my favorite run of the week because I always get a great sense of accomplishment when I finish. I love getting out there for 2 hours and pushing myself. It is a time when I feel truly blessed to be able to run full-time. My office this week was Tuxedo Lake, a 9.48 mile (confirmed via Google Maps) loop about half an hour from Furman University. It is a dirt road that is mostly flat, save one steep hill at about 3.5 miles, with lots of really nice lake houses to observe along the way.

Tyler, Joe, Griff (former Syracuse Orange runner turned ZAP guest long run attender), and I ran the first loop around the lake in around 1:01 and then as we started the second loop we began a series of surges that Pete likes for us to execute on the long runs. These surges are a great way to teach your body to run fast when it is running out of fuel. Plus, it breaks the run up as we do surges of varying lengths with 7 minutes rest between each one. And the final bonus of surges is that you end up increasing your pace throughout the run as the pace yo-yo’s and you finish realizing you just covered a lot of ground fairly quickly. Tyler and I decided to complete two loops and were impressed to see we came through the second loop almost 6 minutes faster than the opening loop without a very noticeable effort increase. Also, Zika Rea (founder, president, CEO, CFO, and Czar of ZAP) came along for the long run which was a nice treat as she usually does not get a chance to run with us very often!

Almost the entire ZAP crew post long run.
Almost the entire ZAP crew post long run.

Later in the week, I did a fartlek workout back in Blowing Rock at Moses Cone National Park that went fairly well and then returned to Greenville for the remainder of the week. I came down with a head cold that had been making its way through the team just in time for a moderate tempo workout on Friday which sucked. The tempo wasn’t overly fast but my body was a bit wrecked by the cold and I got dropped towards the end unfortunately. I took a 4 hour nap after the run and coupled with a VERY easy Saturday run, I was feeling almost normal again.

Here is my last week of training (3/9-3/15):

Sunday: AM: 19 miles (w/surges 1-1-2-1-3-2-1-1-2-1 last 80 minutes of run)

Monday: AM: 8 miles   PM: 6 miles

Tuesday: AM: 14 miles (1-2-3-4-5, 5-4-3-2-1 fartlek at Moses Cone)

Wednesday: AM: 12 miles    PM: 5 miles

Thursday: AM: 14 miles (9×120 meters post run)

Friday: AM: 14 miles (20 min, 15 min tempo Swamp Rabbit)  PM: 4 games of HORSE with Burg (1-3 record)

Saturday: AM: 10 miles

Total: 102 miles, 9 runs


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