Breaking 3:05 – The Motivation and Work

On September 24, 2014 I received an email from the Boston Athletic Association regarding the 2015 Boston Marathon. On that day, the email stated that my registered qualifying time was not fast enough to toe the line on Patriot’s Day 2015 (read my initial post about it).

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 6.26.02 AM

the email from the BAA on September 24.

After getting that email, I announced that CIM 2014 would be a target race to make sure that I would get into Boston 2016. So I decided to come up with a plan and training method that I felt would get me most prepared for running the sub 3:05, which I did this past Sunday. If you haven’t had a chance to read my race report CLICK HERE.

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 6.27.32 AM

The portion of the email that stuck in my head about “the pursuit of running in a future Boston Marathon.”

I would go back to my “drawing board” and devise a schedule and plan that would get me mentally and physically prepared to go after what I believe to be a pretty lofty goal. However, that goal wasn’t out of reach, I knew somewhere in me that sub 3:05 existed, even a sub 3:00 wasn’t a stretch based on previous trainings and races.

Along with getting my game plan together, for added measure I printed out that email from the BAA that rejected my qualifying time and pinned next to where I keep my running shoes. So every single day I would lace up, I would see that email and remind myself of what I am working for …


the daily reminder …

So here is a week by week break down of what trained me to break 3:05 …

Week of September 22 – Partial Week dedicated to training 28.3 miles

Wednesday – received the email from BAA

Thursday – 10.2 miles with middle 5 at Goal Marathon Pace (GMP)

Friday – 6 miles easy

Saturday – 5.4 miles easy

Sunday – Hot Pink 5k Race 2.2 miles Warm up, 3.1 miles, 1.4 mile Cool Down


Week of September 29 – 45.3 miles

Monday – 5.1 miles easy

Tuesday – 5.1 miles easy

Wednesday – 4.9 miles easy

Thursday – 4.7 miles easy

Friday – 6 miles easy

Saturday – 2.6 miles shake out

Sunday – Total 16.9 miles (middle miles consisted of Rock n Roll San Jose)


Week of October 6 – 57 miles

Monday – 8.2 miles easy

Tuesday – 8.6 miles total (8 x 600 w/400 recovery)

Wednesday – 3.7 miles easy

Thursday – 7.9 miles total (3 x 1600 w/600 recovery)

Friday – 5.4 miles easy

Saturday – 6.7 miles easy

Sunday – 16.5 miles total (middle 13.1 miles at American Spirit Half Marathon)


Week of October 13 – 67 miles

Monday – 10.1 miles easy

Tuesday – 9.9 miles total (6 x 800 w/ 400 recovery)

Wednesday – 7.6 miles easy

Thursday – 9.9 miles total (6 x 1mi w/ 400 recovery)

Friday – 8.3 miles easy

Saturday – 10.1 miles easy

Sunday – 11.1 miles today (8 miles at GMP)


Week of October 20 – 70.2 miles

Monday – 9.9 miles easy

Tuesday – 10.7 total (5 x 1k w/ 400 recovery)

Wednesday – 10.5 miles easy

Thursday – 10.8 miles total (4 x 1.5 miles w/800 recovery)

Friday – 3.4 miles easy

Saturday – 11.7 miles easy

Sunday – 13.2 miles total (9 miles at GMP)


Week of October 27 – 78.5 miles

Monday AM – 10.2 miles easy

Monday PM – 4.6 miles easy

Tuesday – 10.6 miles total (4×1200 w/400 recovery)

Wednesday – 7.9 miles easy

Thursday – 11.9 miles total (3 x 2 miles w/800 recovery)

Friday – 3.4 miles easy (travel day to TCS NYC Marathon)

Saturday – 3 miles shake out run (day before TCS NYC Marathon)

Sunday – 26.9 miles total (TCS NYC Marathon official time 3:09:01 a new PB & BQ)


Week of November 3 – 59.5 miles

Monday AM– 3.7 miles easy

Monday PM – 6.1 miles easy PM (in NYC)

Tuesday – 1.5 miles easy (travel day back from NYC)

Wednesday – 8.4 miles easy

Thursday – 9.7 miles easy

Friday – 8.8 miles easy

Saturday – 7.7 miles steady on hills

Sunday – 13.6 total (Berkeley Half Marathon w/ GMP)


Week of November 10 – 80.2 miles

Monday AM – 10.3 miles easy

MONDAY PM – 3.3 miles easy

Tuesday – 9.4 miles total (3 x 1-mi w/600 recovery)

Wednesday AM– 7.7 miles easy

Wednesday PM – 4.1 miles easy

Thursday – 12.8 total (3 x 2 miles w/ 1 mile recovery)

Friday – 9.4 miles easy

Saturday – 14.1 miles total (10 miles at GMP)

Sunday – 9.1 miles steady (hill workout)


Week of November 17 – 80.9 miles

Monday AM – 10.3 miles easy

Monday PM – 4.2 miles easy

Tuesday AM – 9.2 miles total (6 x 800 w/400 recovery),

Tuesday PM – 8.5 miles easy

Wednesday – 7 miles easy

Thursday – 12.3 miles total (4 x 1.5 miles w/ 800 recovery) – failed to hit my marks for this workout

Friday – 9.1 miles easy

Saturday – 10.2 miles total (8 miles at GMP)

Sunday – 10.1 miles easy


Week of November 24 – 65.1 miles

Monday – 11 miles easy

Tuesday – 8.7 miles total (3 x 1600 w/ 600 recovery)

Wednesday – 11 miles easy (ran CIM finish line area)

Thursday – 7.2 miles total (6.2 at Run to Feed the Hungry, failed to hit my marks)

Friday – 8.4 miles easy (ran CIM finish line area)

Saturday – 8.3 miles total (final 2 miles at faster than GMP)

Sunday – 10.5 miles steady (~25 seconds slower than GMP)


Week of December 1 – MARATHON WEEK – 58.1 miles (includes race)

Monday – 5 miles easy w/ strides

Tuesday – 6.9 miles total (4 x 1 mile at GMP w/ 400 recovery)

Wednesday – 4.7 miles easy (ran CIM finish line area)

Thursday – 5.4 miles total (middle 5k at GMP)

Friday – 6.8 miles easy (ran the CIM finish line area)

Saturday – 3.1 miles shakeout

Sunday – MARATHON DAY 26.2 miles 3:04:06 – PERSONAL BEST & BQ -6! This gets me into Boston 2016 since my Boston Qualifying Standard time required is 3:10, which allows me to register in the first week of registration.

Other factors …

Along with busting my bottom to point of puking during some training runs and looking for consistency in training. I focused on other factors during the 11 weeks of training. These factors included nutrition, recovery and strength / mobility exercises.


I was turned onto Inside Tracker, which is a science based program to help me better understand what my body needs based on my blood samples. The program uses “biomarkers” to help go from normal levels to optimal levels for achieving better athletic performance. These “biomarkers” provide me recommendations in diet and supplementation to optimize my living and performance. It was as simple as adding more spinach, mushrooms and avocados to my daily intake along with a few other manageable recommendations.

I also consumed Nuun Hydration regularly during, before and after workouts focusing on my overall hydration.


breakfast & snacks; almond butter, avocado, Vega protein, clementines, Nuun Hydration, plain granola w/ almond milk


spinach w/ shiitake mushrooms and a black bean patty for lunch


I have come to the conclusion that recovery is just as important as the training themselves. Especially when I am training and keeping my running streak going (over 730 days). On the daily I resorted to my Addaday roller, my TP Grid, Zensah High Compression Tights, and kinesiology tape.


daily use of these items is a must!

Along with these daily devices I visited my sports chiropractor once a week as I started to hit the high mileage / peak weeks to get adjusted and get some A.R.T. (Active Release Techniques). This was also combined with visits by my massage therapist to take care of any tight areas in the weeks leading into the marathon. Having Dr. Jesse Saenz from Epic Chiropractic and Coleman Phillips Massage in my corner are key to the success on training and race days.


IMG_1303Twice a week I would incorporate some body strength exercises with my Sacramento based meet up group known as 9RUN6. The workouts ranged from 30-35 minutes with a little bit of running and a lot of body weight exercises including push up, sit ups, burpees, lunges and other such movements. This group allowed me and held me accountable to do strength based exercises twice a week (Wednesday & Fridays) that fell on easy running days. I would get a general aerobic run in with a group of members from 9RUN6 before we would meet with the rest of the group at 6:25AM to do the daily workout.

IMG_1302Along with my A.R.T. and general chiropractic care, Dr. Jesse Saenz also provided me with a hip mobility routine that I did 3-4 times a week the would help with strength and most important the mobility / stability aspect of the hips.

Going after that 3:05 wasn’t easy, there were some ups and downs and took a lot of commitment to reach it. So what’s next? Well I’ll be chasing that sub 3 hour mark, but I know that it will take even more preparation and more focus in training and more time recovering.


4 thoughts on “Breaking 3:05 – The Motivation and Work

  1. Awesome job, Chris! Great breakdown of your strategy, and very motivating read! Congrats!


  2. Pingback: What’s on the Inside (Tracker)? |

  3. Pingback: Blood Don’t Lie … |

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