The Moment Before

As you finish your strides and you approach the starting line, anticipation and excitement coursing through your veins, the shouts and cheers slowly fade into a soft buzz. “Runners to the line.” The final call, as the official goes through his/her standard; “keep your front toe behind the line… the starter will go over the commands.” The starter walks over, pistol in hand; “the first command with be runners to your mark and then the gun. Good luck.” The starter backpedals to the field as the official checks toes. “Runners, on your mark.” As you shuffle to the line a pause ensues. Time slows; your world comes to a pause. Everyone is still. Everything is still. The buzz muffles to a silence as your hair stands on end. A feeling of blurriness envelopes sound and sight itself. And just as you think the moment will last forever… The sound of the crowd rushes in, the movement of your surroundings rushes in, all at once overloading your senses. Then BANG.

Hitting the Reset Button

They say when it rains it pours, and that is just rubbish. It can mist, it can drizzle, it can deluge, it can spit, and it can fall. ( for the win) Actually though, I mention this saying because the past year has caused me to think the phrase “when it rains, it pours” has some validity. A plantar issue that spanned a full year, eventually ending in a tear, followed by a 6 month stint of battling a nerve entrapment in the same heel, only to end up with a sacral stress fracture a month into coming back. And recently I have been struggling with hamstring and gluteal attachment pain in the midst of coming back, which has been tough. That’s almost a full two years of running with pain. It has been a true trial of its own to say the least, mostly because it has postponed goals, which I had planned to achieve by now. Unfortunately, you have to move on. When you go through setbacks you have to reset the clock, go to the drawing board, and figure out a new game plan. Yes, you still keep the tenacity and grit to be able to fight and own your trials, but you have to reassess and reset some of the goals you planned to accomplish in order to keep your sanity and confidence. In other words, if you’re held up in the boot a week out from a race you wanted to go after a personal best in, then it does you no good to keep that goal.

Resetting and reassessing are not bad things to do either; you just have to make sure you are not settling when you are reassessing. The past few years have been riddled with reset buttons. Originally I was planning on competing for a spot on the 2016 Olympic Team in the marathon, with completing a half marathon prior for a qualification. When my nerve entrapment did not release until January we knew the Olympic Marathon Trials were out of the question. Alright, BRAINTRUST ASSEMBLEEEE! We’re back to the drawing board. Hmm, let’s hunker down, get some mileage in, and get some base for the track season. New plan, we go for a qualifying standard and spot on the Olympic Team in the 10,000 meters. After about another month of training BOOM, sacral stress fracture. 8 weeks no running, no cross training. It was one of those look up at the sky moments where I just let out a, “Oh come on!” Fast forward 16 weeks later and I was able to run on land for the first time post stress fracture. And now brainstorming session is back in action. (Little sidebar, if you’re in an area without much sunlight, you should definitely be taking a good amount of Vitamin D). Now as I am struggling to get my legs to feel good again, we are finally back to having new short term and long term goals on the table; a winter Cross Country season, ending in a go at the U.S. Cross Country Title and more importantly assessing my weaknesses and eliminating them in order to have four injury free years before attempting to make the Olympic team in 2020.

I have been able to reset my goals and always keep my eyes forward to the future; however, I wouldn’t ever want to blanket the struggle and hardship it has caused me because it has not been easy for me. It has been accompanied by a great deal of heartbreak. Running has always been the glue that keeps me from falling apart whenever I am having a hard time in life, and this year in particular I needed that glue and didn’t have access to it. I have been dreaming about these Olympic Trials since high school, and all of a sudden they’re gone, off the table. What?!   It makes me sad, it makes me angry, it causes me to feel defeated, but one way I have been able to mitigate that pain is through resetting my goals. Looking forward to 2020, keeping our focus forward. I am putting this one behind me because that’s what we have to do, right? I used to hate these rough patches, I used to despise the injuries, but without the struggle how can you know the joy of the good times? Now that I’ve reset… I’ll be fighting. I’ll be waiting. I’ll be lurking. I’m focused, and by 2020 I’ll be ready.

Almost forgot, Teammate Update!!!!!

Johnny Craine will be running in the Olympic Trials 10k tomorrow Friday July 1, 2016 at 9:15pm EST. If you have access to NBC, then you should be watching for a great showing by a Zap first year.

George Alex and Joe Stilin are still waiting to hear back from the Olympic Committee, but will find out on Saturday whether or not they will be competing in the 5000 meter Olympic Trials in the first round on Monday July 4, 2016 at 8:00pm EST.

Two new teammates! Brandon Doughty of Oklahoma and Matt McClintock of Purdue have just signed with Zap and it’s going to be a blast getting to know those guys as they transition into professional running.


….now time for shameless hashtagging and promoting….


  1. Try out some Reebok Distance 2.0s if you’re looking for a solid minimal shoe, seriously these things are the bees knees (reebok outlet or large sporting retail). Check them out hereà
  2. I just tried the new coffee flavored GenUCan bar, it’s delicious and has a solid little kick to start out your morning right and keep your energy solid throughout the day. Get them while they’re hot… but really they’re just room temperature. à
  3. Soleus also has some sick looking new watches this spring, one reminds me a lot of The Thing from the Fantastic Four, super rugged looking and easy to use (it’s called The Contender (I have the orange one)). Loving it.


#unlockingtheflowinglocks #bemorehuman #honoryourdays #soleusrunning #genucan #zapfitness #longroadtotokyo #25915 #flow #fitness #running #trackandfield

The Flowing Locks: Getting to the “Root” of the Mane

As this blog is titled “Unlocking the Flowing Locks,” today we will unbolt the locks, and talk locks, hair, mane, flow, lettuce, etc. From hair care to the do’s and don’ts of the flowing locks, we are going to get down to the “split ends” of this one.

Let’s start off with some pop culture surrounding the “long-hair-don’t-care” populous. We have to kick it back to the beginning. Some of the most prolific figures throughout history have rocked out with some flowing goodness. First you have the O.G.’s sporting the long-do back when the Neanderthals roamed the earth. If you had a rockin’ head of hair and could make fire, then you were the “Cat’s Meow.” Ancient Egyptian pharaohs even sported nifty headdresses, which emulated long hair. Native Americans, both northern and southern both had long hair. From the Mayans in Central America, to the Cherokees originally from the southeastern part of the U.S., long hair has been a symbol of dignity, strength, and power. Fast-forward some centuries and you’ll have brave and honorable samurais with long hair across the map in Japan. Finally, some of the most influential creative thinkers have also rocked the luscious locks. Leonardo Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, and William Shakespeare all sported shoulder-length hair or longer. That takes us to the past century. Luscious hair has dominated the musicians, the artists, and the unique personalities recently. Take any number of rockers during the 1960’s and 1970’s for example. Numerous actors and actresses have gone through longhaired stages through their careers. Moving along, you have the “in the face” long hair sported by the likes of Kurt Cobain that ruled the grudge scene in the 90’s. Most recently, the manbun craze has dominated the long hair populous in the past couple of years.

Along with all of the interesting people with long hair, there is a deep-rooted spirituality surrounding long hair as well. Native American culture explains long hair as a physical manifestation of our thoughts and furthermore an extension of ourselves. Representations of Mother Earth are often depicted as a woman with long flowing hair, which displays her sanctity.   Native Americans are known for their tracking ability and were at one point hired to track Vietnamese guerilla soldiers during the Vietnam War. When the trackers were forced to cut their hair according to the military guidelines of the U.S. Army, they were unable to provide proper tracking abilities. Only when they were left with their original long hair were they able to successfully track the guerilla soldiers. The Sikhs of eastern cultures believe long hair is a celebration of our natural self, and cutting said hair would be to reject the form given to us by God.

As I come to terms with the fact that the most research I have done in the past 2 years will now be on long hair, let’s get into my personal hair journey with some commonly asked questions about my long hair…









Q & A Section

Question 1: Why do you run with your hair down?


While most women and even some of the men of the running world like to sport the “updo,” I have always found it uncomfortable and heavy. And let’s be honest, flow is not really flow when it is constrained to something restrictive like a hair tie.


Question 2: Doesn’t your long hair slow you down a lot? Wouldn’t you be faster if you cut it?

(Jeff Buffkin, Chris Kane, Dave Dial, Patrick Lipscomb)


People, haven’t you heard of the story of Sampson? The power is in the hair, if I cut it, then the power will vanish. And really, when you truly look at the hair during a race it always bounces to the ideal aerodynamic form that cyclists pay thousands of dollars for in the form of a helmet. I get mine for free, ha!



Question 3: How long have you had long hair?

(Kristin Patrick, Gary Waynick)


I usually respond to this question with a light chuckle followed by an “oh geez.” To be honest it all depends on what you qualify as “long hair.” I cannot even remember what it was like to have short hair. I mean, truly, the path of my hair growth has been an evolution. It all started out as the childhood bowl cut (thanks mom!). Once I reached the third grade my bowl cut began its initial transformation into what it is today, but slowly. It went from bowl cut to above shoulder shag, definitely longer in the back and still sporting bangs. Think The Monkees or maybe a younger Justin Bieber. What followed afterwards were several awkward haircuts that shamed both James Blair and Berkeley Middle Schools. The bangs stayed about the same length and gradually tapered into the hair in the back, which got down to my shoulders. This cut was dominant throughout my high school years, and I even got adventurous and through some layers in there. Why not, right? And I know you might be yearning for some pictures of these stages, but don’t fret. I’ll put a few of these treasures at the end for your enjoyment.


Question 4: Why did you decide to grow (your hair long)? What were the different reactions you received when you let it grow and how did those reactions affect you?

(Angela Hardee)


First of all, tough question.   If I am being completely honest here, then I would say that I started growing my hair longer initially out of some sort of insecurity, to be “cool,” or to impress a girl… Granted this was in the 3rd grade, so nothing to crazy. It could just be that I was tired of the old bowl cut and got a few too many jokes about it, but I couldn’t answer it with a definitive answer. There were a few phases that were pretty awkward, and thus came along with the commentary from people, both good and bad. Of course, getting teased as a kid is just part of growing up, so it toughened me up, as I’m sure most everyone would. As the middle school years passed and less people had long hair, it became part of my identity and the reactions started to mean less to me. Though I won’t lie, having long hair gets you the looks as a guy in your mid-20’s, and if I get asked for a smoke less than once I week I am lucky.


Question 5: Can you talk about everything hair-wise, like shampoo, conditioner, haircuts, drying, and ways of wear?

(Catherine Herring, Aric Van Halen, Robbie Szczypinski, Allen Lawrence, Terry Lensenmayer, Kimberly Caldwell, Channing Oliver)


Shampoo and conditioner; the miles and workouts of your hair’s health. When it comes to shampoo, I go back and forth, but mainly stick to Pantene and TreSemme. However, what I try to do is get a type that contains natural oils, such as avocado or coconut oils. When it comes to the frequency of shampooing, you gotta go with once every two weeks. I mean, that’s textbook haircare for you. You don’t want to strip those locks of essential oils that give you a luscious shine, come on now! If you’re an active person though, then you’re probably thinking “Once every 2 weeks! My hair’s going to be gross.” That’s why you gotta hit your mane with some conditioner every day. That way it’s getting washed, but still retaining those essential oils. As for types of conditioners, I stick with Pantene and TreSemme once again. Also because I spend a good amount of time cross training in the pool, I try to get a specific type that has some repairing and protective qualities. Now when it comes to drying I keep it simple. I towel dry, brush, and then let the air do the rest. I’m not about that blow-dry game (not trying to get heat damage on these locks.) If you follow those rules, then you’ll have a head of hair your mom will be proud of.

Hair care is one thing, the way you rock the mane is a whole other ballgame. You got your manbuns, you got your freeflow, and you got braids, ponytails, and cornrows. There are many different hairstyle options, you just gotta figure out the best way to rock what you got. Personally, I stay away from wearing braids, ponytails, and rows. However, if you’re feeling innovational, then rock the front ponytail… aka the unicorn. When I’m running, freeflow for days (no exceptions), while when I am out and about I go back and forth from manbun and the all-natural flow. The manbun has some guidelines though. You have to keep it high and loose for best results in my point of view. If you tie it back too tightly, then you’re going to stress out that hairline in the future.


Question 6: Who is your hairspiration when the growing gets tough?

(Aric Van Halen, Garrett Majdic)


Though runners have had some pretty epic flow, from the longest of the long hair of Jordan Hasay to the shorter lettuce-like flow of Steve Prefontaine, I have derived my hairspiration from cultural icons throughout history. To name a few I would have to go with Thor, Willy Nelson, and Brad Pitt in Troy.


Question 7: How does your hair affect you when you are running?

(Michelle McCants, Sarah Crouch, Abe Oros, Dave Bolt, Patrick Lipscomb, Dany Racine, Allen Lawrence)


Having a flowing head of hair definitely has its perks and rarely gives me trouble; however, running on a blustery day in the mountains can give you the random taste of conditioner. The one time in particular (that comes to mind), would be at the Great Edinburgh Challenge in Scotland. In an 8k race that experienced everything from sunshine to snow with 40mph gusts, the hair was not happy. It was in my face for about 50% of the race, thus dawning it as my first “bad hair race.” I had to just rough it out and run blind for a little bit, but in the end you just have to bite down and rough it out. Usually though, the natural movement of running forward pushes the hair back, keeping the run smooth and free of “hair in the face.” My hair does get pretty tangled after runs because I run with it down. For this reason (among others), I condition every day to keep the flowing lock “unlocked.” When I had it long in college, I did see it affect my balance slightly when I was running. I part my hair on one side, so my head would slightly tilt to keep the hair out of my face. As I’ve matured I have started the behind the ear tuck, which has helped me become more balanced when I am running. Having all that hair flowing behind me would make you think that other runners would have trouble tucking in and drafting; however, I have heard from some of my teammates (particularly Sandy Roberts) that it is just delightful running behind me because it smells pretty darn good. With 152,876 hairs flowing in the wind, you have to make sure to keep them smelling fresh.


Question 8: What’s it like having long hair? Give us the ins and outs.

(Michelle McCants Adams, Lynne Laufer Adams, Tommy Curtin, Adam Kane, Mike Bono, Peter Millsaps, Jack Winthrop)


Well, ever since I have started growing my hair out I have had people discourage the growth and even try and pay me to cut my hair. I think almost every time I have visited my grandpa’s house he’s told me to cut it, and one of my high school teachers tried to pay me $500 to cut it, and of course I was like, “These locks are invaluable, son.” Just kidding, I respectfully declined his generous offer. If I do cut it one day, then I will most definitely be giving it to locks for love or at least respecting Tommy Curtin’s request and making it into a wig for him to wear. People have even suggested going Ellie Goulding or Skrillex with it and shaving a portion of my head, while leaving the rest long, but I am not about that life. I like to keep it classically long.

Otherwise, when you walk around as a guy with long hair you get a lot of looks from a lot of different people, some I’m sure in interest and some in disapproval. The way I look at it, I like to stand out, and I would rather be looked at then just passed over as if I don’t even exist. It definitely comes with its funny moments. There have been more moments than I can count of times where I have been mistaken as a girl, the funniest of those situations being when I was at the Morton Mile in Dublin. I was getting lunch prior to the race and, while I was sitting down at a table with a few of the other U.S. guys, I was bumped from behind by one of the U.K. sprinters. Right after he said, “Sorry, love.” Then I turned around and he was taken aback almost falling over. After seeing my face he said, “Damn man, I totally thought you were a girl.” It was pretty hilarious and we all got a kick out of it. It happens at least once a month.

Alright… Now, I’m talking to you Peter Millsaps and Bobby Mintz. As Bobby pointed out in his questions, I do get some comments from the ladies regarding my hair. Most of the time it is a simple, “Oh my gosh, I love your hair!” or a “You know girls hate the fact that you’re hair looks like that naturally.” In general, it is a great talking point for interacting with anyone, and yes I can relate with girls regarding the amount of work they put into their hair because I have to do similar things with mine. Anyone appreciates a compliment now and then, right? And my policy is similar to most shows and performances… You can look, but don’t touch.

Since having long hair I have found myself being more aware of things like humidity, dryness, and different weather conditions and how they affect your hair when you’re running. You also begin to notice how much the hair can get in your way, so you end up putting it back when you’re doing certain things like changing your oil or doing laundry.


Question 9: How would you describe the spirituality of your hair?

(Patrick Lipscomb and Coach Howard Townsend)


I’m glad that people were interested in the spirituality of having long hair. As I said in the beginning of this post, many spiritual leaders and warriors throughout history have rocked the long locks. As for Coach Townsend’s question, the spirit animal of my hair would have to be an eagle, to reflect a majestic freedom, while still containing ferocity. As for Patrick’s question, I would have to say my strength is in my spirit, which is driven by having those I care about believe in my running and potential. If we look at the belief of some, then the hair is an extension of the soul and spirit… So the strength would be in my spirit, which is in my hair.



—End of Q&A—


I have to give a huge thanks to everyone who responded on Facebook, you gave me some great questions and I tried my best to answer them all in an interesting manner. Below are some photographs documenting my follicle journey over the years.


Just remember, keep those locks flowing and when in doubt, grow it out!


Pool Running Workouts! (w/ some swimming on the side)

Due to the demand of the populous, I have put together a group of my workouts prescribed by my coach Pete Rea, which have been developed the years from multiple sources including Olympian Todd Williams!  These workouts are meant to challenge you and make sure if anything gets to the point of muscle failure or complete exhaustion, then it is okay to dial it back or take a day off.  I would recommend having a day of easy swimming, biking, or pool running in between workouts, so not to tire your body out. Alright, enough preface.  Let’s spice up your crosstraining game and get you these workouts!

Pool Running Workouts!!!

  1. 20 min. Warm up followed by 6 sets of [1:00hard – 20 sec rest – 45 sec hard – 10 sec rest – 30 sec hard – 5 sec rest – 7 sec burst (holding breath) – followed immediately by 1:00 hands out of water sprint] – 2:00 rest between sets
  2. 60:00 Steady (every 3-4 minutes a moderate minute)
  3. Form based 66:00 pool run 3 minute cycles throughout 1/1/1  with increasing intensity (i.e. 1 min. easy/1 min. medium/1 min. hard)
  4. Warm up 10:00 prior to 45sec hard/15sec rest x 8 – right into 6 sets of [90 sec snowball intervals (getting faster every 30sec) followed by 20 sec all out with hands out of water – 10 sec rest] then another 90 snowball into 20 all out / after 6 sets of this go right into 20/20 x 20 and then 8:00 tempo to finish it off.
  5. Warm up followed by 50sec hard/10 sec rest x 12 – 1:00 rest then 20:00 long tempo – 2:00 rest before 30sec hard/30 sec rest power sprints x 10, final 7 sec of each 30 sec piece with hands out holding breath  / 2:00 rest afterwards before lap swim 21 lengths  – length moderate / length hard / length all out – 3:00 rest before 12:00 descending tempo on the 4:00s (increase pace every 4min.) then cool down
  6. Pool run / spin combo (SAY WHAT!!) Post warm up 30sec hard/30sec rest x 12. 2min rest.  45sec hard/15sec rest x 12. 2min rest.  Followed by 90 sec snowballs (faster every 30sec) x 12. 2min rest.  then 20min tempo.  Hop out of the pool and IMMEDIATELY do a 66:00 spin on 3 gear changes  – 85% / 90% / 95%
  7. Warm up then 10:00tempo.  1min. rest.  30sec hard/30sec rest x 8. 1min. rest.  8min. descending tempo fartlek (faster every 2min.). 1min. rest. Power 20sec hard/20sec rest (hands out / holding breath last 6 sec) x 16. 2min. easy aquajogging prior to 2min. tempo to cap off the session.
  8. Combo of swimming & Pool running  – 20:00 lap swim (alternating moderate lap / hard lap / all out lap) then 2:00 rest before pool run of 45sec hard/15sec rest x 10. 2min. rest.  15:00 of lap swimming (the same style as above swim)  2min. rest.  Pool run 30sec hard/30sec rest x 8 2min. rest.  7:00 of lap swimming same 3 gears.  2min. rest.  Pool run 20sec hard/20sec rest x 14 followed by a cool down.
  9. Warm up then 20min. tempo, then 40sec hard/20sec rest x 12 (final 7 sec of each hands out hold breath) 2min rest.  30 sec snowball intervals x 12 (faster every 10sec) w 30 sec rest between each  – then 1min. rest after.  Then 18min. tempo – the final 10 sec of each minute within the tempo all out. 2min. rest.   6 x 90 sec snowballs (increase speed every 30sec) 1min. rest.   Finish with 7 x 15 sec all out/ 15sec rest.  Have hands out of water and DON”T FORGET THOSE JAZZ HANDS. Then do a short cool down.
  10. Warm up then assertive 15:00 tempo (slightly faster than normal tempo). 3min. easy jog.  10 x 20sec power all out with hands out of water/40sec rest after go immediately into 9 x 1:15 down cycles (faster every 15sec) w 45 sec between each. Immediately go into power 20sec power all out with hands out of water again/40sec rest x 6.   finish with another 15min. tempo pre cool down
  11.  Warm up 12min.  followed by 6 x 90 sec snowballs (faster every 30sec) with 30 sec rest.  Immediately go into 9:00 progressive tempo.  1min. rest.  8 x 60 sec snowball(faster every 20sec)/30 sec rest. Then 5min. progressive tempo (getting faster throughout)  1min. rest. Then 10 x 30 sec snowball (faster every 10sec) – REALLY POWER FINAL 10 sec! each w 30 sec rest.  Hard finish with 3min. all out tempo finish with cool down
  12. Warm up then 8 x 3:00 (down cycles on the 1:00s) w 30 sec rest between. Then go immediately into 10min. tempo (Final 20sec of every minute with hands up out of the water and the final 8 sec of every minute holding your breath)  Full 2min. rest.  Then power 30 sec all out sprints with 30 sec rest between x 14 – then 7min. tempo same style as tempo above.  Then immediately into 45sec hard/15sec rest x 10 – before cool down
  13. Warm up.  45sec hard/15sec easy x 15.  then 8:00 tempo. 2min. rest.  50sec hard/10sec rest x 11 – into 6:00 tempo.  2min. rest.   30sec hard/30sec rest x 9 Finish with 4min. snowball tempo (faster every 1min.) Cool Down.
  14. Pool run with swim to finish!! Warm up.  30sec hard/30sec easy x 15 then into 11min. tempo (2:00 rest) – – – 45sec hard/15sec easy x 10 then into 9:00 tempo (2:00 rest) 50sec hard/10sec rest x 8 (final 8 sec of each holding breath) / then 3min. rest Finish with a swim of  alternating hard laps easy laps for 30 laps.
  15. Swim into pool run!! 35min. lap swim then pool run hard 3min. downcycles x 8 (increasing speed on the 1min. with 30sec rest in between) then into 12min. tempo. 1min. rest.  then 6 x 1:00 with hands out of water – w 30 sec between each – cool down
  16. Warm up. Then power 20sec (hands out) hard/20sec rest x 20.     2min. rest.  18min. tempo (forward on the 6:00s) – then 2:00 rest before 50sec hard/10sec rest x 12 – immediately into 12:00 tempo (forward on the 3min.)  1min. rest. before 45sec hard/15sec rest x 12  finish w 6:00 tempo (forward on the 1:30s) – cool down
  17. Warm up  – 9:00 descending tempo  – 1:00 rest – then 50sec hard/10sec rest x 12  .2min rest. 30sec hard/30sec rest x 12 – then 2:00 rest before 15 x 20 sec power sprints with hands out of water w 20 sec rest between each one  – then 13:00 tempo before 45sec hard/15sec easy x 8.  cool down
  18. Warm up. 10 x 90 sec down cycles w 30sec rest – 2min rest- 8 x 50sec hard/10sec easy -2min. rest-  10 x 20 sec power sprints (final 6 sec of each 20 holding breath) w 20 sec rest   .followed by 1:00 rest.  18min. long tempo  – – then REPEAT all except the opening 10 x 90 downcycles.  Finish with a cool down.
  19. Warm up. Then 7min.descending tempo (getting faster as you progress) 1:00 rest.  10 x 30sec hard/30sec rest. then 6min. descending tempo (getting faster throughout). 1:00 rest.  8 x 45sec hard/15sec easy – 4:00 tempo before 10 x power 20/20 – 2:00 rest before 15:00 long steady tempo  – cool down
  20. Warm up. Then 90 sec down cycles(getting faster each 30sec) x 8 w/ 30 sec rest between each – followed by 15:00 tempo .2:00 rest.        Then into power 20sec all out/20 sec rest x 14.  Then another tempo 15min.  Followed by 50sec hard/10sec rest x 6 before cool down

Now for the faint of heart, some purely SWIMMING WORKOUTS!

Lap = down and back

Length = down (1/2 of a lap)

  1. Lap swim day warm up then 66 laps of 3 separate intensities 80% – 85% – 90% – cool down.
  2. Lap swim effort. Warm up 10 laps then (easy length/medium length/hard length) x 23 with 5 lap cool down.
  3. All lap swim  – Post 10 lap warm up. 4 cycles session (75% / 85% / 90% / 100% lengths) x 10 sequences – – then 10 laps recovery then repeat)
  4. Pure lap swim  – post warm up easy lap/medium lap/hard lap x 12 sets.  Rest for 9 lengths.  Then repeat 1 or 2 times based on feel.
  5. Lap swim.  Warm up for 10 laps.  Then do 60min swim of (easy length/all out length/easy length/underwater holding breath as long as possible up to a length) Cool down as needed.


All right, now my hands hurt.  I hope these workouts can be of service to those who are getting back to their running or just for those who want to mix up their training and get some impact free training in!  Now get yourself in the pool and make sure by the end you look like this!

pool running cat

Thanks to Susan Slingland for sharing this Gem.


#comebacktrain #fitness #Reebok #livewithfire #livefreerange #aquajogging #poolrunning #exercise #crosstraining #ZapFitnessReebok #SoleusRunning #generationucan

Hurt, not Dead

Here is a documentary that George Alex created.  We wanted to give an inside look at what it can be like going through an injury as well as how to continue to stay strong, stay motivated, and stay in tune with your goals throughout the process.  I usually am hesitant to let others see into my difficult times like being injured, but if it is able to reach one person and get them through a difficult time, then it is more than worth it to me.

Guest Blog Post is up on Tina Muir’s Website

Hey all,

It has been a while since I have posted anything.  To bring everyone up to speed with what has been going on, since my last post I have been struggling with foot pain.  I tore my planar in August and have had issues with the recovery process due to an entrapped nerve.  It has been quite an overwhelming roller coaster ride, and lets just say the hair/locks are frazzled, but still flowing strong.  During my injury I was asked to write a guest blog post for my friend Tina Muir, who is currently on her honeymoon.  Take a peek at the post, and check out some of her other stuff as well.  She has a great site!  Below is the link to the blog post and I think it is a post that can resonate with all types of runners at all different levels.  I hope you all enjoy!

Getting through the Rough Patches

There is always going to be times in anything we do where situations do not go our way. Inevitably we live in a world full of ups, downs, and mostly plateaus, especially when it comes to running. I was originally going to divulge in the unfortunate events (in excruciating detail) that defined my experience running for the USA team at the World Cross Country Championships, but now I am excited to briefly share about what happened in China, while also discussing the lows of running, and how to get through some of the more difficult scenarios, no matter how crappy (pun intended…foreshadowing intended).

In late March and early April I experienced one of the lowest points of training that I have experienced in a good while. It all started in China… I had been preparing for World Cross and training had been spot on. All of the workouts were right where Pete (Coach) wanted and I had a significant training base under my belt. Because you know “it’s all about that base, bout that base.” Unfortunately the training could not prepare me for what happened the morning of the race: An All-Out Digestive Assault. Throughout the morning up until the race my body was yelling, “Jump Ship! For the love of God get out, while you still can!” to every ounce of nutrients that entered my body. This resulted in a heavily abbreviated warm-up and an offered rental agreement in the Guiyang stadium restroom. According to the few whom I have shared this experience with so far, the racing experience from my perspective is quite entertaining. I put my stomach conditions in the back of my mind and attempted to execute my race plan. After 2k of racing I quickly realized that the idea was laughable at best. I made it through 7k with fully flexed glutes before leaving China a souvenir from yours truly right there on the course. Lets just say that 15 – 20 people got a view that they did not pay for. The worst part was that after another loop they got to see it again. A whole new level of discomfort was achieved that day.

Following the experience in China, I came back to the U.S. to prepare for a 5k at Mt. Sac. Literally the week before the race I got another stomach issue, this time a virus. I had about a 2-week stretch of training where I felt as bad as I have ever felt. I finished it with a poor performance at Mt. Sac, and I was pretty down on myself. I had lost about 12 lbs. from getting Giardia in China (which I found out later from my doc) and the embarrassment from both of my races was really weighing on me.

It’s really easy when unfortunate things happen to get down on yourself and kind of take on the “woe is me” complex, but what I have learned from this very brief low point in my career is that it does you no good to pity yourself. If we trap ourselves in these moments and dwell on them, we are just empowering bad circumstance. As they say, shit happens (and if the Guangzhou province didn’t know it, they do now). The only thing we can do as people to get through these scenarios is move on. Here are the 5 things I did and suggest doing in order to get over the rough patch:

  1. Talk to someone about how you are doing. It does not matter if it is your mom, your coach, your boss, or the guy you’re riding the subway next to. When you get frustrated, it’s hard to keep it inside and bottle it up. You have to find a way to literally let your circumstances evaporate through sharing. When I got back from China I called my dad and Coach Pete to let them know what happened, and it made me feel better. They told me that it was unfortunate, but they also explained how these things happen and uncontrollable variable are not to dwell on.
  2. Don’t get sad; get mad! Maybe not so much the second part, but it definitely helped me. Just avoid the self pity. After having a bad race in China and Mt. Sac I was furious. I pour my heart and soul into my running, and much like art my running is a representation of myself (no matter how lame that sounds). Having those to races illustrate my training and dedication made me really pissed off. One, I had to realize that nobody will define you by a three week cycle of unfortunate events. Second, the only way to change that perception is to get angry and train as hard as you can to smash the next race.
  3. Understand that minimizing hard times, not eliminating them, is the only thing in your power. The only thing you can do is try to get through rough times by doing everything in your power to alleviate the circumstance and knowing if you do so that eventually things will improve. These rough circumstances will help you to appreciate the highs more intensely.
  4. Know that somewhere, someone is experiencing a much worse circumstance. This is a hard one for me personally because when I am down I know that other people have it worse, but that does not change how I am feeling. However, when you look at someone else’s situation you can be happy that you do not have to go through what they are (which kind of sounds messed up now that I have typed it out). This will help you have a positive outlook and as a little surprise perk help you sympathize with others who are feeling down. For me I was very happy to be experiencing sickness and not being injured.
  5. Laugh at it. When I was able to start poking fun at what happened to me, I not only felt better, but also I felt as if I took the power away from my circumstance. Because when it comes down to it, I took a dump in the middle of the most competitive race I have ever been in, and I did so in front of 20 strangers…twice. I imagine on the second time around after “the incident” the people would see this longhaired guy crest the hill and say, “Look, look. He’s back. Oh my gosh, do you think he’ll… Oh no… he’s definitely going to do it again. Look at his face. Oh My God, he’s doing it again. Typical American, crapping on another country…” Or something along those lines.


I think if you can take these steps during a hard time or a rough patch in training it can help alleviate the stress and heartache that come accompany those scenarios. And briefly I have to take a moment to say thank you to all of the members of the USA XC team in China, who lied to me and said good job as I ran through the most uncomfortable race to date. All I could think in my mind was, “please do not think this is a performance worthy of a good job or a representation of my running.” But afterwards I came to the realization that everyone was fantastically supportive and I cannot speak more highly of them.

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