How They Train!

Nate Kaiser - June 2014


  • 33

Did you compete in high school cross country or track?

  • 1994-1998 Alpena High School Alpena, MI

Did you compete in college cross country or track?

  • 1998-2002 Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, MI

How many years have you been running?

  • 19 years

Lifetime personal records

  • Mile 4:28
  • 5K 15:07
  • 10K 31:49
  • Marathon 2:35

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

  • All of my training would fall into the 5000 to 10,000 meter range.  Right now, I do not want to put in the speed work required for anything shorter or enough distance runs for anything longer.

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?

  • Approximately 40 – 45 miles a week

What does your typical week of running look like?

My training varies significantly over to course of the year.  Here is an example of a week as I was getting ready for the Springtime 10K

  • Monday: 5 miles easy (6:45 pace)     
  • Tuesday:  At Tom Brown Park, 7 x half mile repeats at 2:30 – 2:35 pace with about a 2 min. rest in between.  The workout included a 2 mile warm-up and about a 1 mile cool down, followed by chasing my 2 year-old around the playground at the park.
  • Wednesday:  6 miles easy (6:45 pace)
  • Thursday:  Tempo run, about 4 miles at about 5:40 pace.  My tempo run is typically done on a loop around the neighborhood in the morning. 2-3 mile warm-up followed by 1-2 mile cool-down.
  • Friday: Off
  • Saturday: 6 miles easy (6:45 pace) 
  • Sunday:  12 miles out and back at Miccosukee Greenway.  On the way out I ran at about 6:40 pace and pick it up to about 6:15 pace on the way back.

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

  • Since moving to Tallahassee, I have significantly reduced my mileage in the summer time to about 20-25 miles a week.  The down time typically extends from after Palace Saloon 5k to end of August.  Then up to the Turkey Trot I typically work on getting my mileage back up with very few structured workouts mostly just getting outdoors and running.  After that I try to get in a tempo run of varying distances (3-10 miles) and some sort of interval workout each week to get ready for the spring races.

Do you take recovery or down time?

  • Currently, I take the whole summer as down time with only easy running. 

Do you peak for certain races?

  • Yes, for the last couple of years I have tried to peak for Springtime and Palace, though not always successfully.

How much sleep do you usually get at night?

  • With a 2 year-old and a newborn at home; not very much.  About 5 hours if I am lucky.

What time of day do you normally run?

  • In the morning before the sun comes up.  That way I am able to spend the evenings with my family.

What injuries have hampered your training over the past year? 

  • None

Do you take any dietary or medical supplements?

  • None

What type of running shoes do you prefer?

  • I have been running in Adidas shoes for the last fourteen years.

Do you race in a different type of running shoe?

  • Saucony fasttwitch

Do you use weight training?

  • No

Do you stretch? 

  • No

What are your favorite running routes?

  • My all-time favorite running route was approximately a 10 mile loop called Lindgren’s loop that I ran while working on my degree at Washington State University.  The route snaked through the large rolling hills of the Palouse; it was both scenic and challenging.  It was also exciting knowing that the route was used frequently by some of the all-time great runners (e.g. Gerry Lindgren, Henry Rono and Bernard Lagat).  In Tallahassee I try to run often at the Miccosukee Greenway.

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

  • I would recommend the book “Jack Daniel’s Running Formula”.  I have read it cover to cover on more than one occasion.

How has your training changed over the years?

  • Basically, my training has switched from trying to improve my times every year to trying not to get any slower from year to year.  In college and immediately thereafter running was a top priority and it was easy to find the time to get out and run every day if not twice a day and average 65-85 miles per week, with everything typically faster than 6:20 per mile.  Now, I have significantly cut back on the intensity and mileage as I currently do not have that much time and energy to devote to running and I would rather run a little slower race times than train really hard and risk getting injured.   

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

  • The only specific training method that I can point to that has produced positive results is “hard work”.  I ran my fastest times when I was training the hardest.

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

  • The only advice I would give is that running should be fun.  Enjoy getting outdoors and running.  It is good to mix in a variety of workouts to keep things interesting and stimulating to avoid the monotonous grind of long distance running.