How They Train! Keith Gates

October 2011


  • 30

How many years have you been running?

  • 15 years

Lifetime personal records

  • 1 Mile – 5:30
  • 5K – 18:58
  • 10K – 38:59
  • 15K – 59:34
  • 10 Mile – 1:07:15
  • 30K – 2:13:04
  • Half Marathon – 1:25:57
  • Marathon – 3:19:28
  • 50 Mile – 8:03:36

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?

  • In the last 6 months there have been many changes to my training.  I went from training for the Chicago marathon with high 40-mile weeks to training for the Tallahassee Ultra with high 50-mile weeks.  Then, while training for the ultra I found that I still had the energy to go longer.  Currently, I am averaging a 60-mile week training plan for my next ultra.

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

  • I like 5K races but I am not really great at them.  There is something about holding the red line as long as you can that I still love.  But I am better at the longer stuff. I have a few 50 milers on the calendar for this year. As for goals, I would like to finish in less than 10 hours in an off road 50 miler this year and try to go under 7 hours at the Tallahassee Ultra Distance classic.

What does your typical week of running look like?

  • Monday: AM about 5 miles,  PM about 7 miles
  • Tuesday: Track day.  Each week is different but I have a four week rotation of mile repeats, 1200 repeats, Yasso 800, and a cut down workout starting with miles going down to 400s taking 400 meters off every other repeat. Yasso 800 is a workout that if done along with your normal weekly marathon workouts will predict your marathon time.  For example, if you can run 10 X 800 meters in 3:30 with a 3:30 400 meter recovery jog, you should be able to run a 3 hour and 30 minute marathon.
  • Wednesday: AM  5 to 10 miles
  • Thursday: PM1:  3 to 5 mile run; PM2: Tempo run 1 mile warm up, 5k tempo, 1 mile cool down
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Either a race or 10 to 13 mile run
  • Sunday: Long run, generally over 15 or so; before my ultra races I try to run a 50k long run or about a 5 hour run

Do you take recovery or down time?

  • I will take it easy after a marathon or an ultra and base my mileage afterwards on how I feel.

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

  •  While the last few years I have been holding about 45 miles a week; I have been changing my training plan for the few ultras I have. So far the plan is just trying to hold about 60 mile weeks and try not to feel too tired after them. 

How much sleep do you usually get at night?

  • I like my sleep.  I try to get about 8 hours a sleep a night, sometimes more.

What time of the day do you normally run?

  • I run at all times of the day, it really depends on my schedule for the day.  There are early morning runs and late afternoon runs.  But I will say most of them are with great people, without them the miles would not go as fast.

What injuries have hampered your training over the past year? 

  • In the past year I have not really had any injuries (knock on wood).

Do you take any dietary or medical supplements?

  • Does post-run chocolate milk count?

What type of running shoes do you prefer?

  • I have been running in ASICS Cumulus for about 2 to 3 years now.

Do you race in a different type of running shoe?

  • I used to do 5k races in ASICS Dirt Dogs, but recently I started to use a pair of Fast Twitch.

Do you use weight training?

  •  No weights for me. 

Do you stretch? 

  • I try to stretch everyday and do a wide variety on the hamstrings, quad, and calf.  I also use “the Stick” daily with these stretches.

What are your favorite running routes?

  • .I love running on Old Centerville Road and the Miccosukee Greenway.

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

  • I like to read Running Times and I use for my logbook.

How has your training changed over the years?

  • I have slowly been adding miles over the last few years. 

What examples can you give of specific training methods?

  •  I try to get in my track workout in every week. But the one thing I think really helps is the long weekly distance runs.

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

  • Don’t give up, there will be hard times but it is worth it.