Friday, May 27, 2011

Training Update 5/27/11

   As I have said in my previous blogs, I have a sole focus of training for the World Championships in Daegu on September 4th. After today I will have 100 days until the race, so the time for training and building my base has begun.

   I am starting this training season coming off a 4th place finish at the US 25k Championships in Grand Rapids. 4th place was good enough, but it was not what I was hoping for. I was 3rd in this race last year and I was looking to improve off of that and possibly get my first US Title. But, I didn’t have what it took that day, after a pretty solid first 7 miles my legs were done, and I fell off of the lead group.

  After the race Greg (coach) and I decided that a break was in order before our long buildup to Worlds. So I took the next week very easy, 3 days off, then 3 days of 30-40 minutes and then another day off. Now I’m in the middle of week 2 of training, having run 40-65 minutes just once each day. Nice and easy build up, but don’t worry by the time July and August come around I will be doing 140 miles over 13 runs each week.

Here is a look at what a typical 140-mile week looks like for me:

Monday             AM:  12 mi (Workout)                 PM:  6 mi
Tuesday            AM:  14 mi                                 PM:  8 mi
Wednesday        AM:  14 mi (Workout)                PM:  6 mi
Thursday           AM:  14 mi                                 PM:  8 mi
Friday                AM:  12 mi                                 PM:  6 mi
Saturday            AM:  22 mi (Long Run)                PM:  Off
Sunday               AM:  12 mi                                 PM:  6 mi

  Most of my distance runs are done between 6:30 and 7:00 per mile, long runs will get a little bit faster towards the end. It is a pretty significant workload at 7000ft. altitude, it is both something that I look forward to and dread at the same time. This week I’ll only hit about 60 miles, so I still have a ways to go to get to this goal mileage.

Poll Results: Which Star Wars Character Am I Most Like?
1st Place – Tie: Luke Skywalker and Chewbacca with 11 votes a piece
3rd Place – Obiwan Kenobi with 9 votes

Sunday, May 22, 2011

World Champs Marathon: Team USA

In this edition of the IAAF World Championships, like all others, there will be the Marathon World Cup team competition. This is where the times from the top 3 finishers of each national team are added together, and the fastest combined team time wins the world cup. The Men’s US team has finished as high as 4th, both in 2005 and 2007. We will be racing for a Medal this time around, which over the past few championships took an average marathon time of 2:16:49 to break into the top 3 teams. Here is a quick breakdown of the rest of Team USA:

Sergio Reyes – Sergio and I have race each other on the roads for over 6 years now. He was one of my first rivals in road racing. Last fall, Sergio had a tremendous improvement in the marathon, running a personal best by a minute and a half. He won the US Marathon Championship in 2:14:02, which was his first US title and automatically qualified him for the World Championships. Sergio runs for the Aggies Running Club in Central California, and may be one of the best 'Club Runners' in the US…

Jeffrey Eggleston – Jeff has run 3 marathons since January 2010, with his first two both being 2:14 performances, the second placed him second at the US Marathon Championships to Sergio last fall in a personal best of 2:14:09. His finish also automatically qualified him for the World Championships. Less than a week ago Jeff was pacing Americans to qualify for the Olympic Trails at the Pittsburg Marathon. Jeff led at 2:19 pace for 18 miles, then after realizing he felt pretty good, went on to win the whole race in 2:16:39. A gutsy performance if you ask me. Jeff lives and trains in Flagstaff as well.

Mike Sayenko – Mike was the youngest ‘A’ standard qualifier for the 2007 Olympic Trails Marathon in New York City. Perhaps, may have been the youngest finisher as well. I’ll look into that. Mike has had steady improvement over the marathon, dropping his time from a debut of 2:19, to 2:14:38 this last fall in Chicago, where he was the second American finisher. Mike has about a half dozen top 10 finishes for the marathons he has run.

Mike Morgan – Mike Morgan and I were teammates at Hansons for 3 years, I feel like I know him pretty well and could tell you that he is ‘Today’s Tom Sawyer.’  This is Mike’s 2nd World Championships Marathon Team. In 2007, he represented the US in Osaka, Japan and was the 2nd American finisher in 23rd overall. Mike finish helped the team to finish a close 4th behind Kenya. Mike enters this World Championships with a 2:14:55 personal best set at Chicago in 2010.

We have a strong team with everyone having a PR between 2:11:30 and 2:14:55, all set within the last 8 months. On paper, I believe that this is the fastest and strongest team the US has put together for the IAAF World Championship/Marathon World Cup. Hopefully this will be enough to earn us all medals, I believe it will, and I am excited as hell to compete against the world!

Questions Answered:

To Anonymous, thank you for your questions, and your concern for my general welfare. You asked, “what are you going to do for a job when this running makes you no money?? How about retirement?”

Good and reasonable questions. Lets be honest, there is hardly any money in professional running unless you are at the very top. It is nowhere close to any other professional sport in America. Over the past 5 years, since becoming a professional runner, I have made enough money from my running to live off of, without having to sustain a part-time job. I believe that I can continue to do that for the duration of my career. I currently do have a contract with best company in the business and I am more than thrilled to represent them on a daily basis.

Once my career is over and I need to find a job, I will evaluate what I want to do at that point in my life. What I lack in job experience can be made up for with life experience, and if the employer doesn’t see it that way, then its not a job I would have wanted to begin with. Running has opened up numerous avenues in my life that I can pursue once I am finished, whether its coaching, working at a shoe store, physical therapy, or maybe just go back to doing accounting again. Whichever job is the most interesting to me will be the one that I will do.

As far as retirement goes, well, at this point saving for retirement would be a good idea, but I have bigger fish to fry right now. I could have potentially gotten a job working 9-5, established a 401k, making substantially more than I am making now, or I could be still looking for a job because the job market tanked right after I finished college. But I’m doing neither because jobs did not interest me, in fact money did not interest me either. The one thing that I concerned myself with was the Olympics, and to this day that has not changed. I am going to live out my dreams first, and if that doesn’t make me any money, then I’ll find some job to pay the bills and continue living the only way I want to live; as a runner.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Road To Daegu

This past Monday the US team selections for the World Champions Marathon was announced. I have know for the past couple of weeks that I would be selected for the team, but for it to finally become official has been very exciting for me. This is my first World Championships Team, hopefully the first of many more teams to come. So, in my excitement I have decided to start this blog to share with anyone willing to follow me what my training and daily life will be like over the next 3 1/2 months as I prepare for the biggest race of my career so far.

Lets start off with a little background: I grew up in Fountain Valley, Ca and attended Fountain Valley High School, where I first started running competitively. I earned a scholarship to Cal State University, Fullerton. At Fullerton I found out how to train smarter and more consistently while keeping myself injury free. After graduation I decided to try to become a professional runner, and I ran my first marathon in Chicago in the Fall of 2006. I finished as 10th american there with a time of 2:16:58, good enough to qualify me for the Olympic Trials the next fall. After Chicago I got in contact with various coaches and ended up finding a terrific team out in Rochester Hills, MI; the Hansons/Brooks Distance Project. I was a Hansons Runner for 3 years, and picked up 4 top 10 US Championship finishes and 2 Top 10 finishes at Major Marathons (Boston in 2008, and New York in 2009).

In 2010 I felt that it was time for me to move on to a new location and team, both personal and professional reasons. I Came out to Flagstaff in March 2010, joining the McMillan Elite training group. Shortly after moving to flagstaff, I picked up 2 more top 10 US Championship finishes and then a 3rd place finish at the San Diego Marathon with a 2:11:48 finish. These results earned me an individual contract from Adidas, which I represent proudly. After signing with Adidas I raced Chicago again, hoping to find the magic that I found there my first time around. Unfortunately it was not my day and I finished 15th overall with a disappointing 2:18:12. Shortly after that I ran the Houston Marathon, and after pace-setting for the first 25k, I hung on to finish 2nd overall with a 2:11:30, which qualified me for the World Championships. More recently I just took 4th place at the US 25k Championships and ran a personal best in the 10k on the track in 28:29.71.

So there is a brief history lesson. Please feel free to comment and ask questions about what you would like to know about my training and daily life as I lead into the World Championships Marathon on September 4th. You can also follow me on twitter!/NickArciniaga or facebook and ask me questions there. Take care and Thank You for reading!

- Nick

PS - Carolyn, I Love You. ;-).

Hi Mom!