How They Train!
Brian Corbin - January 2013
How many years have you been running?
Did you compete in high school or college cross country or track?
How many miles a week do you typically run?
Lifetime personal records
- 1 Mile - 4:58
- 5K - 17:17
- 10K - 36:04
- Half Marathon - 1:20:58
- Marathon - 2:57:42
What running events do you train for and what are your trainingn goals?
The Donna Half Marathon in February and a 50 miler in March. I just want to improve on what times I ran the last time I did those distances.
What does your typical week of running look like?
- Monday: 5 miles, easy
- Tuesday: 8 miles with some type of quality, either on the track or trail (3 minutes on/ 3 off)
10 miles easy
AM - 5 miles easy; PM - 5 miles easy
5 miles with some 10-12 100m striders
15 miles easy
- Sunday: 3 miles easy
I just try to make it to the gym whenever I can, usually a couple of times a week on average doing core, dips and pull-ups.
How does your training vary over the course of a year?
- I try to keep my mileage fairly level throughout the year with increases in intensity and/or distance if I have a goal race in mind.
Do you take recovery or down time?
- No, but I usually have a few “life induced” down times made from just getting too busy with other things.
Do you peak for certain races?
- Yes, but not as often as I used to. I've come to love the Donna Half Marathon in February and my hometown in WV hosts a championship half marathon every August that I try to make. It's always fun to run well in your hometown especially since I wasn't anything close to a runner growing up.
How much sleep do you usually get at night?
- About 6 hours, but I need a nap after a hard race on the weekends.
What time of day do you normally run?
- I’m fortunate because my job allows me great flexibility about when I train. I run at all times. I do prefer mornings, though, just because a run starts my day on a good note.
What injuries have hampered your training over the past year?
- No injuries over the past year have kept me down (knock on wood!).
Do you take any dietary or medical supplements?
- Gummy vitamins but I think it’s because it gives me a good excuse to eat gummies first thing in the morning. Before they came along, nothing.
What type of running shoes do you prefer?
- Nike Pegasus Trail or Moto. I’ve recently discovered the Brooks Cascadia and love them as well.
Do you race in a different type of running shoe?
- It depends on how serious I am about the race. If I’m training through it, I’ll just wear my regular trainers. If I’m really going after a certain time, I’ll wear a lighter shoe--Nikes.
Do you use weight training?
- Yes. Once or twice a week. I do core work and mostly body weight stuff targeting many groups at once with dips and pull-ups.
Do you stretch?
- Yes. Every time I run, before and after. I focus on hamstrings and hips. Working these two groups seems to limit my down-time from injuries.
What are your favorite running routes?
- I train almost exclusively on trails. Phipps Park is close to my home, but when time is no object or I want to run long, I love the connectivity of the Fern Trail, Tom Brown, Piney Z, and the Alford Greenway. Ft. Braden is a great place to just get lost. I’ve never seen another runner out there. The Apalachee Regional Park course is very dear to me as well and a great place for any kind of a quality workout.
What running resources do you like that would benefit someone else?
- Letsrun.com, Flotrack.com, TrailRunner and Running Times. Running Times isn’t afraid to tell you to run more to run better. It seems to be a no-shortcut type of publication.
How has your training changed over the years?
- I train more miles than I ever have but have cut back on the intensity. Mileage doesn't affect me negatively nearly as much as too much speed. I'm more than willing to trade a little speed for better health.
What examples can you give of specific training methods, and what were the results?
- Leg turnover work that doesn’t beat you up. Striders after easy runs and 200s run between 1 mile-3K pace.
What were the results?
- I was able to drop my mile and 5K times without breaking down my body too much. These workouts train your muscles to move quickly without the pounding you get from quarters. I give Gary Droze total credit for this philosophy. If you are sore after these workouts, you have run them too hard. He has said this many times.
What advice do you have for beginning or experienced runners to help them with their training?
- When I was a new runner, I was afraid to run too many miles. Since I didn’t run while in school, and therefore, didn’t have a coach my original running philosophies came from Runner’s World. While it’s a fine magazine, they tend to be conservative with their training plans.
As I’ve aged, I can’t train as hard as often. My higher mileage has made up for some of my missing speed work. Listening to your body does not work for me. If I did that, I wouldn’t be running very often as I frequently start my runs tired or sore. I’ve learned to know the difference between being too tired for a workout and being tired from life, but still able to run. Just learn your body and how it responds.