How They Train!

Tad David - October 2013


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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?

  • I started running as pre-teen when the original jogging craze hit the U.S.  I ran occasionally and ran a few races around the South Georgia area–Cairo, Georgia. 

Lifetime personal records

  • 1 mile – 5:24 (GWTC Summer Track Series)
  • 5K- 18:38 (2013 Run for the Cookies)
  • 10K – 39:05 (2013 Springtime)
  • 20K – 1:26:41 (2012 Pine Run)
  • ½ Marathon – 1:27:36 (2012 Boston (Ga) Mini-Marathon)
  • 30K – 2:15:17 (2013 GWTC 30K)
  • Marathon – 3:26:26 (2013 Tallahassee Marathon – 1st and so far only)

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

  • Although I run other events, I set up my training for 5Ks to half-marathons with only minor adjustments according to particular race schedules.

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 20-35 miles per week depending upon the distance for which I am preparing.

What does your typical week of running look like?

I generally do not run on 2 or 3 days in a week, but I usually only take one day totally off.

  • Monday: Rest or easy run 3-4 miles
  • Tuesday:Run 4-5 miles (AM); sometimes swim 1000 – 1800 yds (PM)   
  • Wednesday: Run 4-7 miles (AM); upper body strength training (PM)
  • Thursday: Rest or easy run 3-4 miles (AM); swim 1000-1800 yds if not done Tuesday (PM)
  • Friday: Rest especially if Race on Saturday, otherwise 4-5 miles (AM)
  • Saturday: Race or 4-5 mile run 
  • Sunday: Run 5-6 miles; OR Run 3-4 miles and Swim 1000-1800 yds or upper body strength training

Do you peak for certain races?

  • I try to peak for GWTC 30K, Springtime10K and Pine Run.

How has your training changed over the years?

  • I have realized that I do not have to put in loads of miles to train well.  It is the old adage – train smarter, not (necessarily) harder.

Do you take recovery or down time?

  • Sometimes I take recovery, down time, but probably not as much as I should.

How much sleep do you usually get at night?

  • 6-7 hours (not enough)

What time of day do you normally run?

  • Usually early morning, but in spring and summer I try to run in the afternoon to get acclimated to the heat.

What injuries have hampered your training over the past year? 

  • No major injuries over the past couple of years.  I attribute this to post-run static stretching and to adding swimming to my routine.  Recently had a very mild calf strain that I blame on rushing through my stretches after a couple of hot runs.

Do you take any dietary or medical supplements?

  • Multi-Vitamin and Vitamin D

What type of running shoes do you prefer?

  • Adidas, currently Aegis 3. 

Do you race in a different type of running shoe?

  • Not usually.  I used to race in Adidas Rockets.  They discontinued them, and I have not found a suitable substitute. 

Do you use weight training?

  • Sometimes, although my strength-training routine mainly uses push-ups, pull-ups, and other body-weight exercises. I use dumbbells in my strength training 1- 2 times a week.  This is mainly upper body, but I will do squats and lunges when trying to build strength and stamina without adding too many miles. 

Do you stretch? 

  • Yes, this is very important. A minute or so of dynamic stretching (hamstrings, calves, achilles and IT bands) before a run (longer before a race) and at least 5 minutes of static stretching after every run.

What are your favorite running routes?

  • Out of convenience I mainly run up and down Thomasville Road, which is not very scenic but it always ensures I get a few hills in.  My absolute favorite “route” is the Pine Run course at Tall Timbers. 

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

  • I occasionally surf the web on a particular subject, but Tallahassee’s great running community, especially GWTC members, are probably the best and friendliest resource available.

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

  • Cross-training with swimming and upper body exercises have provided enormous benefits for me.  As you can see above all of my PRs have come in the last year or so.

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

  • Something that I read in this column a while back–there are no junk miles; any run is better than no run.  On the other hand, you must rest when your body asks for it.