I’ve talked before about Sasha Pachev, the prolific patriarch of the prolific Pachev running family in Utah. To this day, I still consider his simple advice among the most effective for marathon training. Much like Hal Higdon and John Hadd, Sasha Pachev preaches starting with a consistent diet of easy running. Then you progress to a simple but consistent variety of speed and tempo workouts.
One of Pachev’s preached staples is what he calls his Always On The Run Routine. Basically, after training in the morning, every few hours he will take a break and go jog a mile. Pachev, to paraphrase, says this is to get the body moving. We as humans were not designed to sit all day. A short run every few hours is more natural, plus adds running volume and practice.
Keep in mind Pachev at his peak trained 80-100 miles a week, and was capable of running a sub-2:30 marathon. He was an elite-caliber runner and even in his older age probably still is. Even with such a high volume it didn’t take him more 10-12 hours a week to train. So, sure, Pachev’s scheduled short jogs between workouts were probably not too taxing after 10-20 mile workouts in the morning.
Though I’m nowhere near the prolific runner Pachev is, I’ve taken inter-workout jogs during work breaks to generally positive effect. I used to occasionally do them towards the end of my time in Chicago.
I’ve been doing these short jogs during the workday, around the neighborhood during 15 minute breaks and after eating lunch. I previously walked outside during breaks, but I wanted to do more than walk. I also didn’t like being out in the Vegas sun as long as it took to take these “short walks”. I can finish jogs 5 minutes faster on breaks, well before the end of my lunch break, without being in the sun long enough to cause distress. Though sun exposure is good for your body, the decreased time in the hot sun was better for my skin.
I run up to 3-4 miles during the workday. I can also train during the morning and weekends. I have effectively, though somewhat inadvertently, adopted Pachev’s Always On The Run Routine.
Despite my current weekly mileage rocketing upward from these little runs, I don’t feel any significant signs of burnout. I have no issues other than a bit of random soreness here or there, or occasional fatigue accumulation (as you would after a few days of multiple runs).
Plus, my running has shown more substantial week over week improvement than it was during earlier conventional training. I simply took one day off this weekend, and my running improved dramatically once I returned on Monday. Bear in mind I’m not coming off a break in training: I’ve been running and endurance training for a while.
So obviously this had me considering what about this routine contributes to run development. I did land on a few ideas.