Teammate Talk with Tyler Pennel

I wanted to do something a bit different this week. For those that do not know, after early December the entire group is able to head back to their respective hometowns and we don’t come back together until early January in Tallahassee, FL. During that time we stay in touch with each other through texts or Facebook but are often not entirely sure of what everyone is up to for this month apart, with the exception of reading Pete’s training email each day.

Personally, Tyler ( and I keep in pretty good contact over this time and often bounce texts back and forth about how training is going. Unfortunately, Tyler has been dealing with some pesky Achilles Tendonitis and I thought it would be interesting for people to see a little free flowing conversation we had about his injury recently (with added annotations in italics when needed). Enjoy!

Cole: What has the achilles been doing since Club XC (Tyler’s last race)?

Tyler: Basically it is text book Achilles Tendonitis. It is sore while running and then after the run. It hurts to put pressure on the calf. Over the last four weeks it has slowly been getting better, to the point now that I do not feel it at all.

C: Yea, my first year at ZAP it was 4 to 5 weeks until it was 100% gone.The achilles was a very annoying one for me.

T: Yeah it did not go away until I took a solid 5 days off with no running. I’ve done all kinds of rehab.

C:  I did like 10 different things and they all just helped a little bit….ice, heat eccentric stretching, massage, stem, iontophoresis, blah blah blah.

(Tyler has been in Tampa, FL the past week getting treatment from Dr. Brian Fullem, former collegiate runner, longtime friend of ZAP, and a fantastic podiatrist.)

C: What has Fullem been doing with you? Anything mystical or unheard of?

T: I first started off with the standard Eccentric calf raises and have been doing those continuously. Some of the other things I have tried is massage, seeing a chiropractor, etc. Dr. Fullem has been giving me shockwave treatment. I think it basically is sending high intensity shockwaves directly into the area. Unlike stem which is lower intensity.

This website talks about what shockwave therapy: . Each treatment only takes 5 minutes but it’s pretty intense.

C: I was gonna have it on my plantar but then I tore it so it was a mute point. (I tore my plantar fascia tendon in 2011 during a track 10k.)

T: It is supposed to work well on areas that don’t get a lot of blood flow like the Plantar and Achilles.

C: Did you feel like this when you tried to run when it was hurting? This is how I feel every morning.

T: Yeah it was frustrating to be very healthy and then all of a sudden out not running much. It definitely changed my plans for the winter season of racing.

C:  But you do get fit fast….maybe not George Alex (13:29 5k, ZAP teammate) fast but fast. you know, the classic 20 days off, 3 pool runs, tempo under 5 minute pace the next week.

 T: I do get fit fast, and have been doing some running and a bit of cross training, so I will not be coming from nothing. Yeah, George is just a freak!

C: I guess it’s good that you’re not in the collegiate system and don’t need to rush back for anything really.

T: Yeah, I may miss our on some races, but in the long run it’s not a big deal.

C: Well, I’m sure Fannin might be selfishly happy about this development ha ha. (Richard Fannin is the excellent and always persistent Gate River Run elite athlete coordinator)

T:  Yeah he will, that means that I will most likely be running Gate rather than USA Cross. Just add another name to the already long list.

C: I think the bigger question is that although you won a national title and all that; the rat tail is gone…achilles is sore…Sampson?

Plus, we have Colley now who has GREAT hair and is tearing it up right now. You’re old news.

Great shot of @colleyandrew this past weekend at Edinburgh.

A post shared by Flynn Sports Management (@flynnsports) on

T: I could have great hair too!

C: Riiight. Anyway, what have you been doing for cross training?

T: I haven’t been doing too much, usually is a about an hour of spin bike along with whatever I am running that day. Much of it has been dictated by if I have had access to a gym.

C: Are you grossly fat now?

T: Yup, I ballooned to a whole 143…No, I actually haven’t weighed myself since I left ZAP in December.

C: Yeah, I’m sure you’re in no danger of letting yourself go. Like Jabba the Hut.


T: Yeah, not a distance runner. Or Chris Christie.


C: Nice, topical tubbiness! Although I think Farley (RIP) is a good goal when you’ve retired.


T: I agree.

C: Alight, I’ll see you in a couple days down here in Tally. Good talk.


Well thanks for reading this week. Griff and I had a great workout at the St. Mark’s bike path last week. We are both ready for the Houston Half Marathon this weekend. Check back next week for a recap.

St Mark’s workout data:

-2 mile to open: 4:45, 4:50, 9:35 total
-5 minute easy jog
-5x1k: 2:59, 2:55, 2:58, 2:55, 2:57 (all with 90 seconds rest)
-4 minute easy jog
-4x1k: 2:57, 2:51, 2:59, 2:50

Here is my last week of training (1/4-1/10):

Sunday: AM: 19 miles (1-1-2-1-4-1-3-1-2-1-3 surges)

Monday: AM: 9.5 miles

Tuesday: AM: 12 miles (8×20 seconds)   PM: 6 miles

Wednesday: AM: 13.5 miles (2 miles+9x1k workout)   PM: 5 miles

Thursday: AM: 9 miles   PM: 7 miles

Friday: AM: 12 miles (6×200, 31-29)  PM: 5 miles

Saturday: AM: 10 miles

Total: 108 miles, 11 runs


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