How They Train!

Tony Guillen - July/August 2011


  • 42

How many years have you been running?

  • Since 1986 – My freshmen year of college

Lifetime personal records

  • Mile – 5:07
  • 5K – 16:59
  • 10K – 35:26
  • 15K – 53:58
  • Half Marathon – 1:20:25
  • Marathon – 3:03

All records set after age 40

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?

  • .25-40

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

  • I don’t really focus on any one event, just follow the race calendar and race my way into shape.  I throw in a couple of triathlons in during the season for variety. 

What does your typical week of running look like?

  • Monday: Pilates 45 minutes, Swim 3000 yards
  • Tuesday: Speed Work Morning at Maclay School Track: Track intervals 2-3 miles warm-up, 3 miles of intervals on the track including fast, intense repetitions interspersed with short rest periods; the repetitions vary each week and include combinations of distances from 400 to 1600 meters on the track; for example one workout is 3 times 1600 meters, another is 4 times 1200 meters, another workout is 6 times 800 meters and another is 2 times 1200, 2 times 800, and 2 times 400 meters, ending the workouts with 2-3 miles cool down
  • Wednesday: Pilates 45 minutes, Swim 3000 yards
  • Thursday: Run (6 to 9 miles) depending on who I am running with
  • Friday: Pilates 45 minutes, Swim 3000 yards
  • Saturday: Bike (25 to 40 miles) or run (typically race), afternoon swim for recovery   
  • Sunday: Long run at Forest Meadows – 10 to 15 miles, Church, breakfast, 1 hour of Pilates, go home and build Legos with kids

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

  •  Over a year the distance of my long runs vary depending on what races are coming up and I may bike or swim more or less depending on the what triathlons are on the schedule. 

Do you take recovery or down time?

  • YES!!!! – Take my typical training week and randomly remove 1 to 2 workouts per week – and you really get a more realistic picture of my training.

Do you peak for certain races?

  • I try to, but I tend to do better when I don’t worry about it.

How much sleep do you usually get at night?

  • 6 to 8 hours

What time of the day do you normally run?

  • As my boys have gotten older (4 and 7) I have shifted my workouts to early morning, however work does sometime require me to get into the office early either forcing an afternoon run or a recovery day.

What injuries have hampered your training over the past year? 

  • Few injury problems other than a stress fracture in my left foot last summer and IT band issues that pop up occasionally. Oh yeah, there was that pneumonia thing earlier this year.

Do you take any dietary or medical supplements?

  •  Is coffee a medical supplement?  A multivitamin when I remember.

What type of running shoes do you prefer?

  • Lightweight Trainers. I am currently running in the K-Swiss K-Ona’s and really like them.

Do you race in a different type of running shoe?

  • Yes, I have used the Brooks T6’s (now the T7) for the past several years and have absolutely loved them.

Do you use weight training?

  •  Occasionally. A couple times of year I back off on the swimming and replace it with weight training – typically a 4 to 6 week cycle.  Obviously I focus mainly on upper body (ha!)

Do you stretch? 

  • Yes but not as much as I should. I try to stretch really good a few times a week.  I use Active Isolated Stretching with a rope.

What are your favorite running routes?

  • .Lake Overstreet any time of year.  That place refreshes my soul!  University of Florida Campus for sentimental reasons.

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

  • There is so much information out there, that I suggest folks get as much or a little as they feel they need.  I am a bit of a magazine junkie (cycling and running) and really enjoy reading books about running history. 

How has your training changed over the years?

  • I have become more focused when I train as my work and family responsibilities have increased.  I have also learned to enjoy and cherish every opportunity I get to run.

What examples can you give of specific training methods?

  • My most successful stretch of running came off 12 very focused weeks consisting of Tuesday speed work or hill repeats, Wednesday easy run, Thursday easy run, Saturday race or moderate run, Sunday long run (with a hard effort if no race on Saturday).  I averaged 35 to 45 miles per week during this stretch.

What were the results?

  • All my PR’s and a stress fracture.

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

  • I would recommend two things. First, find a group of training partners that will challenge you both physically and mentally (runs go much faster that way).  Second, find something or someone that will inspire you to do things you never thought you could (I found her in 1986 – my freshmen year of college.)