How They Train!
Roger Schmidt - May 2016
Did you compete in high school cross country or track?
- Regrettably, I’d not participated in formal high school competition. I’d errantly deduced at the time that because my older brother had worked diligently to become a standout in the sport, and considering that he and I were utterly different personalities, that clearly running was not for me. In reality I was timid of setting my own course, and thus I’d placed irrational limitations on what I wanted to do and who I wanted to become. The seeds of my involvement in running date back to regular track repetition work outs performed during pre-season conditioning prior to high school baseball season. Lucky for me, the baseball team consisted of talent-rich ball players who possessed marginal interest in working hard at the running component of our fitness regimen. Therefore by relative comparison, I exuded an aptitude (and subdued enjoyment) for running that would not thrive into pure enjoyment for quite a few more years.
Did you compete in college cross country or track?
- Once again, not in the formal sense, however I’d competed in a handful of collegiate open events throughout my time at Florida State. I hold out hope that Bob Braman and FSU graciously continue to encourage participation of local unattached amateur athletes at the FSU home meets. This is an essential avenue by which promising road racing scrubs like myself can showcase their toughness against a higher level of competition than is typically available in the average road race setting.
How many years have you been running?
- Perhaps 8-10 years if you choose to include annual holiday (4th of July, Turkey Trot) and local Tampa Bay Area road race participation. Fervent interest and regular participation in running really began for me 6 years ago upon making Tallahassee my home.
Lifetime personal records
- 1-Mile - 4:47
- 5K – 16:39
- 10K – 34:06
- 12K – 40:52
- 15K – 52:38
- HALF – 1:14:01
- 30K – 1:55:02
- MARATHON – 2:40:58
- 50-Mile – 7:42:59
What running events do you train for or what are your training goals?
- 15K through the Marathon is my wheelhouse. I enjoy the steady flow of pace and the challenge of remaining composed in spite of stupid high levels of prolonged discomfort. The mile and 5K frighten me. If you were to approach me just prior to a 5K-race start, rest assured that you’re not talking to Roger, but rather an overly uncomfortable figment of Roger’s personality who’s completely uneasy and totally out of his element.
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?
- As few as 30 miles when motivation is low and as many as 110 miles when at peak weeks of marathon training.
What does your typical week of running look like?
- Monday: EZ Run of 5-8 miles
- Tuesday: Maclay AM Track Intervals totaling 10 miles including warm-up, work, cool-down
- Wednesday: Comfortably Hard 10 miles
- Thursday: EZ Run
- Friday: Race Week: Recovery Pace 3-4 miles, Non-Race Week: 6-12 mile Threshold Run
- Saturday: Race Day
- Sunday: Long Run of 14-24 miles or up to 180 minutes
How does your training vary over the course of a year? Do you take recovery or down time? Do you peak for certain races?
- I’ve settled into a schedule of taking on two major events per year including one spring and one fall. Spring is casual for me, summer is the time to endure big miles in the heat, and Fall is when the temperatures drop, running exertion recedes, and I’m at my best.
How much sleep do you usually get at night?
- 8-12 depending on the night
What time of day do you normally run?
- Morning is my preferred time to run. My dad used to say that morning is god’s time. The fresh air, the symbolism of starting anew is utterly profound. Morning is my venue for tuning into one’s own serenity.
What injuries have hampered your training over the past year?
- None except for the routine aches and discomforts of a distance runner
Do you take any dietary or medical supplements?
- Not in pill form, however I as well as my in-house dietitian Anna Busby, hold whole food items in high regard as an influential component of feeling nimble, nourished, and pleasant. I envision our dietary regimen in six segments:
1. Dark Roast Coffee and Sierra Trail Clif Bars are my morning staple.
2. Any and all forms of fruits smothered in natural crunchy peanut butter constitute part of the post-run snack.
3. Oatmeal with fruits and protein powder has magic powers and serves as a once daily rejuvenation food for me.
4. Green Vegetables such as Kale, Brussels, Broccoli, and arugula are the cornerstones of the dinner table arrangement.
5. Probiotic Containing Fermented Foods such as Greek Yogurt (Mix with Ranch power and Sriacha for a potent dipping sauce), Kimchi, Sauerkraut, and Organic Kombucha have replaced our less desirable indulgences (i.e. alcohol) with novelty food items that we can seek out and enjoy guilt free.
6. Our pre-race dinner consists of steak and yams.
What type of running shoes do you prefer?
- To date, the hands-down best men’s training shoe on the market is the Adidas Supernova Glide Boost. This shoe used to be absolutely awful, but has proved its worth over the years to become the footwear equivalent of Mark Wahlberg (i.e. used to be complete garbage, but proved to be an outstanding citizen). In light of the ever-evolving technology and product development, I’ll likely be looking back on this article in five years from now laughing at how Neanderthal these trainers were “back then”. At present however I’m convinced the Glide Boost is the quintessential neutral cushioned training shoe on the market. Not for everyone, but for me (and most in their right mind) is off-the-chain!
Do you race in a different type of running shoe?
- To date, the hands-down two most well regarded racing shoes in my mind are the Adidas Adizero Boston Boost and the Adizero Adios Boost. Boston is my chariot of choice for longer racing/workout efforts when protection is preferred, but speed is essential. If the difference between achieving a PR and not were a literal matter of life and death, the Adios Boost would be my go to speedy companion to get the job done.
Do you use weight training?
- Since the introduction of the exquisite Anna Grace Busby into my life, I’ve negligible necessity to pump iron any longer for the purpose of impressing the wonderful women of the world. At times when I become restless however I will perform sets of single leg balance exercise (perhaps a minute at a time), sets of walking lunges (Perhaps 20 on each leg), single leg bridge sets (10 reps on each leg w/ 5 second hold on each), push-ups (To the tune of how many reps my puny body will tolerate), and front to side plank sets (typically minute at a time). Functional strength work using one’s body weight that is running specific is paramount.
Do you stretch?
- Through Anna I’ve inherited some lumbosacral press-up exercises from Marci Gray into my routine. I’m a big advocate of myofascial mobilizations using a combination of massage tools including a foam roller and lacrosse ball. Prior to each run whilst indulging in the all important morning dark roast coffee I’ll perform a full-body foam rolling routine to work out the early morning tightness and kinks across large muscle groups. The intention of these morning sessions is to deliver a light flushing massage with intent to warm-up muscles and to recruit blood flow. Following the run I’ll work in more focal areas of tightness where latent trigger points are hiding. My most sensitive spots are the lateral lower leg and anterior hip flexors.
What are your favorite running routes?
- Two years ago I’d developed an 8K-road loop for our Turkey Trot Training Group that winds through the better part of Betton Hills. I still consider this route to be my home course for the majority of my training runs. As far as nostalgia goes, running through Waverly Hills en route to and through the Roselawn Cemetery on Piedmont Rd. is tough to beat. This route through Waverly touches on a good part of the ‘Waverly 2 Fun Miler’ course, which goes off road at the Brinkley Glen Park and encounters some challenging climbs along the way. Concerning off road courses, I’ve got a special place in my heart carved out for the JR Alford Greenway.
What running resources do you like that would benefit someone else?
- Good friend, PhD expert on breathing, and GWTC member Harry Van Der Lei is probably the most informed, interesting, and utterly influential dude that I’ve ever met. Harry has revolutionized my ability to calm my anxiety and manage discomfort through discussions on the tenants of monitoring breathing rate, rhythm, and depth while running. If you get a chance to pick Harry’s brain, don’t miss the opportunity.
How has your training changed over the years?
- I’ve scrapped the bad ideas and held the good ones dear. Case in point: I have an awful time at maximizing the benefit that I obtain from threshold work if performed on Thursday when following a Tuesday interval session. Friday, as I’ve come to discover is a far better day for me to get the most out of my threshold workout.
What examples can you give of specific training methods, and what were the results?
- Following a prolonged build up of aerobic base mileage, 6-8 weeks worth of 5K paced interval work under the instruction of coach Droze and a steady dose of once weekly long run efforts will get you prepared to have, in Stan Linton’s words, “the eye of the tiger”.
What advice do you have for beginning or experienced runners to help them with their training?
- It’s okay to hate running at times. Being a runner is like being in a healthy relationship, if you can’t deal with being open and honest with your feelings about the sport, you’ll never see through to the other side of the rough patch. If however, you humbly admit that “today was awful”, “I sucked”, or “I didn’t give it my all” maybe running will afford you another chance to make it all work out.