How They Train!

Chris O'Kelley, December 2017


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Did you compete in high school cross country or track?

  • I competed in high school cross country at Lincoln High School.

Did you compete in college cross country or track?

  • Haha, not even close. However, I did run throughout much of college.

How many years have you been running?

  • About 14-15, picked up the sport sometime around 4th or 5th grade.

Lifetime personal records

  • Half-marathon: 1:22:02
    15k: 54:46
    10k: 36:22
    5k: 17:04
    1 Mile: 4:48

What running events do you train for or what are your training goals?

  • I have mostly been focused on the Grand Prix, and Trail Series this year, but would like to start training for a marathon by the end of the year. The goal with training is to stay in shape year round without having to take much time off.

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?

  • There have not been many typical training weeks over the past 6 months. Ideally I would like to get in 50-60 miles a week, but have not been able to consistently achieve that goal because of injuries, school, and work responsibilities. The past few weeks I have been more in the 40-45 miles per week range.

What does your typical week of running look like?

  • Monday:  8 miles at 7 minute pace    
  • Tuesday:   Track day: 3 mile warm-up, followed by whichever hellish work-out Gary Droze chooses.
  • Wednesday:  8 miles at 7 minute pace
  • Thursday:  8 miles at 7:45ish pace.
  • Friday:   Off day
  • Saturday:   Race day!
  • Sunday:  Long day: 12-18 miles.
    My schedule is usually pretty fluid based off my other time commitments, if I have to miss a day or two I rarely make it up that same week. Depending on how training is going and depending how I’m feeling that day I may up some of those 8 mile days to 10 miles

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

  • The type of training I do has stayed pretty consistent over the course of the year, because I haven’t had a big build up to any one race.

Do you take recovery or down time?

  • There are enough weeks where I miss a couple runs for school, work, etc. that I do not need to build in much additional recovery or down time. But if I’m ever feeling a little worn down I’ll shorten or skip a workout.

Do you peak for certain races?

  • I’ll try to peak for a few races throughout the year, but haven’t had a strong focus on any one race this year.

How much sleep do you usually get at night?

  • I average about 7-8 hours a night.

What time of day do you normally run?

  • I usually start running by 6 and as early as 5 during the week, but sleep in a little on the weekends and start closer to 7.

What injuries have hampered your training over the past year? 

  • Have had a few injuries slow me down this year. For most of January I was recovering from a lingering IT band injury that started bothering me last December. The end of June and beginning of July I missed a few weeks of training after nearly fracturing a toe on a friend’s couch (wish there was a good story to go with this one).

Do you take any dietary or medical supplements?

  • Only if chocolate lucky charms count.

What type of running shoes do you prefer?

  • Adidas has been my go to for the past year. I train almost exclusively in the Supernova’s.

Do you race in a different type of running shoe?

  • Still like Adidas for races. Over the past 6 months I have used the Boston’s for races.

Do you use weight training?

  • Not a big fan of training with weights. If I can motivate myself before/after I run I will do about 5 minutes of planks and 50-100 push-ups.

Do you stretch? 

  • Don’t have the best stretching schedule/routine. I’ll try to stretch all my muscle groups before/after a run and will sometimes stretch throughout the day if I’m feeling tight.

What are your favorite running routes?

  • Miccosukee greenway is absolutely my favorite place to run. I also run in my neighborhood most mornings because I can’t get to the greenway before work, but definitely prefer running on trails instead of the roads.

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

  • I benefit tremendously from the network of runners within Gulf Wind. There is an incredible amount of experience and knowledge within the club of which to benefit from. I also enjoy books related to running. Most of my running library consists of biographies, but I’ll read nearly anything related to the sport.

How has your training changed over the years?

  • The type of training I do has stayed mostly the same over the years, I have just added more days and more miles per day to my training schedule.

What examples can you give of specific training methods, and what were the results?

  • Usually do not enjoy track workouts when running them, but my speed has definitely improved over the past year and a half that I have been doing them.

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

  • Have fun, training can be a grind so don’t feel like you have to run on a given day if you don’t feel up to it. Overtraining doesn’t just lead to injuries but can also burn you out.