How They Train!

Seeley Gutierrez - May 2014


  • 37

Did you compete in high school cross country or track?

  • No

Did you compete in college cross country or track?

  • No

How many years have you been running?

  • 15

Lifetime personal records

  • 5K-18:23 (2013 Palace 5K)
  • 10K-38:00 (2013 Tallahassee Turkey Trot)
  • Half Marathon-1:23:54 (2014 Donna Half Marathon-Jacksonville)

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

  • I race primarily Olympic distance triathlons (1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run). I enjoy training for a winter half marathon, as it gives me a goal during the winter when I don’t compete in triathlons.

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 don’t track my mileage, but rather my training sessions. I aim for 4-5 running sessions, 4 bike sessions, 4 swim sessions and 2 strength training sessions a week.

What does your typical week of running look like?

Within a 14 day block I make sure to avoid taxing the same energy system too much, especially at higher intensities. A typical week during the 8-10 weeks prior to a priority race looks like this:

  • Monday:  Swim, Bike    
  • Tuesday:  Quality Run, Quality Bike
  • Wednesday:  Swim, Long Run, Lift
  • Thursday:  Quality Bike, Run off bike, Swim
  • Friday:  Quality Run, Swim
  • Saturday:  Long Bike, Run off bike
  • Sunday:  Long Run, Lift

Swim about 90 minutes; bike about 1 – 3.5 hours; run about 30 – 2 hours

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

  • Triathlon season usually lasts from March-October, so that is my focus during those months. I always look forward to a break after my last triathlon of the year, usually a 2 week down period of not much exercise, followed by a month of unstructured activity. I try to be back in a consistent routine by Christmas time.

Do you take recovery or down time?

  • Every 3-4 weeks of hard training is followed by 4-6 days of lower intensity and/or volume. This is when my house gets cleaned! And part of October/November.

Do you peak for certain races?

  • I like to train for a winter half marathon, as it gives me something to aim for when my first triathlon seems far away. I typically focus on peaking for 2-3 triathlons a year, usually one in late spring and another one or two in late summer/early fall.

How much sleep do you usually get at night?

  • 7-8 hours. I’ve tried hard to get in bed earlier the past year or so.

What time of day do you normally run?

  • Since I’m getting multiple workouts in a day, I train both in the morning and afternoon. I like my priority workout of the day to be done in the morning, on fresh legs and before anything else can get in the way. I’d rather do a track workout at 5am than 5pm.

What injuries have hampered your training over the past year? 

  • I had a short bout with hip bursitis last spring.

Do you take any dietary or medical supplements?

  • Multivitamin, iron. Before big races I load up on immune support vitamins, as I tend to get sick leading up to races.

What type of running shoes do you prefer?

  • As I’ve become a more efficient runner, I’ve been able to run in more neutral shoes. I’m not particular to any brand, as long as they fit well. I rotate shoes between long runs, speed work, and tempo sessions.

Do you use weight training?

  • The past year and a half I’ve moved away from the gym towards using a suspension trainer, kettle bells, bands and medicine balls.  Two days a week, all muscle groups.

Do you stretch? 

  • Yes, but probably not enough according to Robin Gibson or Kim Ortloff. I try to make time for rehabilitation exercises (foam roller, TriggerPoint, stretching with rope) to ward off any potential injuries.

What are your favorite running routes?

  • Any of the trails in town.

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

  • My husband is my primary running and cycling resource. He is extremely knowledgeable about the whos, whats, and whys behind anything sports science-based. I also find insight from interviews and profiles of elite athletes.

How has your training changed over the years?

  • I’ve become more focused on getting something specific out of each workout. Instead of just running to run, there’s a purpose in everything I do. I have learned a lot over the years through trial and error. I have also been very fortunate to improve through consistent training by staying mostly injury-free.
    A few years ago, I started swimming with ATAC. While my swimming still isn’t particularly speedy, my overall fitness has unquestionably increased. The coach, Terry Maul, always has good motivational tidbits and reminders about staying positive and setting high expectations for yourself.

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

  • My recent running PR’s have come during my base period, with little structure other than building volume and gaining strength through tempo work. Maybe I respond better to this type of work? More than likely, the cooler weather and less intense cycling, allows me to run on fresher legs.

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

  • Find a group to run with, as having other people to meet keeps you accountable and makes running fun. Having a race that you’re training for can keep you on track and motivated.