These Two Workouts Will Make You Strong or Kill You Trying | OPB Sep 2023

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Also rest time between races, easy hill workouts for gains, feeling good about feeling bad and my training updates

🏃🏽‍♂️Skim time (5k pace): 55 Seconds

Hey there, fresh blood and familiar peeps! Let’s make some gains and shake things up. TLDR about what’s coming up;

  1. 📚 Rest between races & Vo2 Max Workouts That Might Kill You | Present Training Tip for you to try right now
  2. 🏃‍♂️Training Updates | Past things to learn from me
  3. ⛰Easy Hill Workouts For All The Gainz & Feeling Good about Feeling Bad | Future stuff for you to try

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📚Present Stuff


Ever since I started my audio podcast SO many people ask “Is this on Youtube?!” I’ll spare you how much work it is to turn an audio podcast into video and also publish on Youtube but… I’ve finally moved over to YouTube and will be first sharing video podcast episodes there with Mike Trees and slowly moving into my own “deep dives” and answering burning questions about training and life that will surely make you a better human.

I believe everyone learns differently and while you might like reading all your running edutainment, some like listening via podcast while others like to watch it.

Pro Tip: Do all three (watch, listen and read) for one piece of content and you will retain it better/faster. You’re welcome.

Go on over and check it out and subscribe so you get updates as I won’t be posting it all here in the Newsletter.

How long should your break from running be after an A Race? Learn it all here

What is it

The best recovery period/time. Spoiler – it all depends.

Why is it important

Understanding when you should go back to “normal/hard” training is important for a lot of runners so that you don’t come back too soon (or wait too long).

A lot of us (sometimes not me all the time) like racing. Most people train to race, I race so it gives my training meaning. But this isn’t about me, this is about people that race.

This is a great framework to use BUT know your body, work with a coach/specialist, and always go on the side of caution when coming back from “A races”.

What you’ll learn

The general rules around (the variables) like how long the race is, what the surface is that you’re running on (off-road vs. on-road), temperature, and hydration.

Also, what is your peak weekly mileage and how long in the game have you been doing this?

The “days to miles” formula; If your race is a half marathon (13 miles) you should be mostly recovered to come back to “hard training” in about 13-14 days.

This is super subjective but there are WAY more details in the video.

Vo2 Max Run Workouts: These Will Make You Strong or Kill You Trying

Learn it all here

What is VO2 Max?

VO2 Max is a number that tells you how much oxygen your body can use during exercise.

It’s important because it can help you understand your fitness level and potential.

Basically, it’s how much air you can breathe in and use to power your muscles.

Why is it important?

Knowing your VO2 Max can help you train smarter and more effectively.

A higher VO2 Max means you can work harder and longer during exercise.

Plus, it’s a cool number to brag about to your friends.

What you will learn:

The difference between VO2 max workouts, VO2 max, and VO2.

How to use VO2 Max to improve your fitness and performance.

The benefits of aerobic exercise and how it can increase your VO2 Max.

🏃‍♂️Past Things: Training Updates

Earlier this month I ran my annual half marathon where I’m trying to get 1% better each year (which is about 54 seconds better per year). The overall goal is to run a 1 hour 22 minute half marathon by the end of the 10 years. I did it last year (year #5). This is year number 6 out of 10. I could technically walk away, but I won’t because my real goal is to do 1 hour 19 minutes. Runners are always pushing that goalpost, eh?

This year’s time was technically my 3rd fastest time ever (yay) but unofficially I think it was close to my 2nd (adjusted for extra running.

What’s interesting is that I was the least prepared and least fit but ran close to my fastest time. It goes to show that it doesn’t take much to be close to peak fitness.

This is the end of my “racing” season and tbh I’m looking forward to a break from the stress that I put on myself from training properly, hitting my workout goals, recovery, nutrition, etc. When I do things I do them 100% but it’s taking a toll on other areas of my life.

With that said I’ll be taking a six to possibly twelve-month break from racing but will still be doing a bunch of base work, vo2max work, top-end speed work (I want to focus on 200s and 400s), strength work, cross-training, hiking and even playing more of my first love – basketball! In short, I’ll be enjoying my ability to do cool things with my body.

Will I miss racing? Probably not. I don’t really love it BUT like I’ve said before, I race so that I can train. I love the training part (the journey) more the destination (the race). Which is a good thing because you obviously train more than you race.

If I get the bug to race I’ll jump into a local yocal park run or track 5k with whatever fitness I have and see how it goes (usually not as good as I want but it’s always fun to negative split).

⛰Easy Hill Workouts For Dope Gainz & Feeling Good About Feeling Bad | Future Stuff

Physical Thing

Hills That Don’t Hurt (short edition)

What Is It

  • Short intervals uphill as hard as you can with a very long rest
  • This works the ATP-PC system which is GREAT because you do little damage

Why Is It Important

  • While these are short intervals, if you do them hard enough (95-100% effort) you can get immense benefits out of them
  • They build up strength and power to your legs making you a more economical (efficient) runner without the stress of flat sprints (which are harder on your body)
  • Early in the season hill repeats are like building the foundation for a skyscraper. If you build on marsh mudland… it will not survive the taller you get.
  • Also develops your Vo2Max

How To Do It

  • Run up the steepest hill you can find for 20 seconds (A bridge or stairs are fine if you don’t live in a hilly place)
  • Walk down and make sure you rest for at least 60-80 seconds (this is a 3-4:1 rest-to-work ratio)
  • Beginners; Start with 4. Intermediates; 6, advanced 8-10 (no more than 10!)
  • Feel free to modify the time to shorter for easier (10-15 seconds) or longer for advanced

Traps To Be Aware Of

  • For advanced – I wouldn’t go longer than 30 seconds for a very advanced/elite athlete as you are working the wrong system aka anaerobic, past this point)
  • Do this as a standalone workout with warmup and cooldown of 10mins each or incorporate it at the end of an easy run early in the season
  • You may be sore the next day, but this is fine and normal.
  • WARNING – You need to be moderately fit or you might injure yourself/come up extremely sore after. If you have been doing nothing for the last month or more, please have a base period of 4 weeks before you implement.

Mental Thing

Quote I’m Revisiting To Help Me Run Better

This statement from Mark Manson is exactly what all athletes and fitness people chase;

“Stop Trying To Be Happy. Ideally, it feels bad but makes you feel good about having felt bad. This is the sweet spot. This is where we want to live. This is who we want to be.”

The physical metaphor is equivalent to feeling good about the bad feeling of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) that you got from a hard workout that felt “bad”.

Most athletes secretly love that feeling.

🛠 Mastering some of your life

I haven’t done a Master of some community post in a while – but let’s get back into highlighting some folks and making it a 2-way convo.

Wanja (Jackline N.)

Beginner runner – started in June 2022

I set a goal to run a 5k every day for 30 minutes at the gym. It has been more challenging than I expected to reach this goal. The fastest time I’ve run this month is a 5k in 36:28, which is not quite ideal.

To be efficient at working out, that’s all I’m training for. The ability to be faster would be fantastic.

Follow her on her journey to a faster 5k every day here!


… for September 2023.

PS – If you were in need of a coach, I’m finally offering limited coaching spaces. Go here or email me if interested –

PPS – What happens when you run behind a car?