How They Train!

Bing Xu - May 2011


  • 42

How many years have you been running?

  • 2 1/2 years

Lifetime personal records

  • 5K – 19:05
  • 10K – 40:14
  • 15K – 1:00:54
  • 10 Mile – 1:04:38
  • 30K – 2:13:04
  • Half Marathon – 1:27:16
  • Marathon – 3:08:26

Consider your training over the past 6 months to one year.  How many miles a week do you typically run when not injured and consistently running?

  • I run 35 miles a week in the summer and 45 miles in the winter. I had a couple of weeks reaching 55 miles when I was training for the Tallahassee Marathon.

What running events (sprints to ultra-distance) do you train for or what are your training goals?

  • I don’t particularly train for any running event except the Tallahassee Marathon which I have run twice. I need to find which race I do better. I try to run at least one Marathon a year. I did put some long runs in January. Now that I am going to New York City Marathon in November, I will try to train for it.

What does your typical week of running look like?

I do most of my runs at lunch time, I run 3-4 days a week for 5 miles on Blair Stone/Capital Circle, cold or hot, rain or shine.

  • Monday: 5 miles at noon
  • Tuesday: Speed work at FSU track, half mile warm-up, 3 miles of intervals with different combinations of distances and rest intervals, then 1 mile cool- down
  • Wednesday: 5 mile run at noon
  • Thursday: 5 mile run at noon if I don’t travel on this day
  • Friday: 5 mile run or rest, if having race on Saturday
  • Saturday: Race or 5-8 miles medium level run
  • Sunday: Anywhere between 10 and 20 miles, depending on what race I am training for

How does your training vary over the course of a year?

  •  I just run by feeling. I don’t take time off. However, I run slower and fewer miles in summer and faster and longer in winter.

Do you peak for certain races?

  • No, I don’t.  Maybe I should. I try to run at least one Marathon a year. I am going to run New York City Marathon this November so will try to peak for it. Oh wait, for New York City Marathon, my goal is just to finish it and enjoy the race!

How much sleep do you usually get at night?

  • I get 6 to 7 hours sleep at night.

What time of the day do you normally run?

  • I try to run at lunch doing 5 miles 4 times a week.

What injuries have hampered your training over the past year? 

  • I have had injury on my left foot. Plantar fascitis? I am not sure.  I am going to see a doctor soon. It did hamper my training quite a bit in November and December last year and it almost cost me the Tallahassee Marathon.

Do you take any dietary or medical supplements?

  •  I take multivitamin pills when I remember it.

What type of running shoes do you prefer?

  • I wear neutral shoes. I am a big fan of Mizuno and all my running shoes are Mizuno and I have six pairs nowadays. I like Wave Rider and I used it for training and racing. I had a pair of Asics Nimbus 11. I like them but they are a little too heavy for racing.

Do you race in a different type of running shoe?

  • I have a pair of Wave Ronin 2 and a pair of Wave Universe 3. I have had them since last August. I have used Wave Ronin 2 for two races for Turkey Trot and 10 Mile Challenge. Wave Universe 3, it’s so light, only 3.8 ounces, but it is still in the shoe box with the tag on.

Do you use weight training?

  •  I use weight training 3 times a week for about one and half hours. I only use light weight for the upper bodies. I try to do push-ups and sit-ups for 100 reps each day.

Do you stretch? 

  • I try to stretch every time I run, before and after. I mainly focus on my quads, hamstrings and calves. My physical therapist said my calf is stiff and short. She was surprised that I could run with such short calves. I stretch them and try to make them longer, but it seems it has not worked yet.

What are your favorite running routes?

  • Forest Meadows and St Marks Trail. Forest Meadows is the best trail in the world. You have to love it. I like St Marks Trail too. The reason is: it’s straight and flat. I don’t have to worry about getting lost or the roots on the route and so I can focus on thinking about things or not thinking about anything at all.

What running resources do you like that would benefit someone else?

  • I read Runner’s World magazine. There are a lot of stories that really inspire me. I also go to some runners’ websites.

How has your training changed over the years?

  • I haven’t been running for very long. It’s about two years and 4 months so far. I am trying to do more speed work than last year and hope I am able to run longer than last year too.

What examples can you give of specific training methods?

  • I feel that interval training every week really helps me a lot.

What were the results?

  • I am not sure if the track interval training helped me in the marathon, but it definitely helped me in the 5k and 10k running.

What advice do you have for beginning or experienced runners to help them with their training?

  • For the beginning runners: Although I like to run alone, I also enjoy running with a group and I feel it’s really helpful and important. I strongly suggest that you find a good running group to run with. You will hear and learn from others and you will get encouragement and inspiration that you will need.
  • For the experienced runners: At times, I am amazed by some of our local runners running so well and yet they are so much bigger and heavier than the elite runners like Ryan Hall, 130 pounds or Haile Gebreselassie, 115 pounds.  It makes me think there is a lot we can do to improve just by losing weight.  Just imagine how fast we can get if we lose 30 to 50 pounds.