Tag Archives: Sasha Pachev

Why Does Pachev’s Always on The Run Routine work?

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.

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Comparing training and race paces from different methods, coaches and materials

Various training approaches will give you comparisons of the times you can run at different race distances based on a recent finishing time in another race. For example, each method may take your 5K time and, from that, estimate how fast you would run a marathon.

They also provide estimates of your pace in easy runs as well as during recovery intervals between speedwork reps.

Of course, these approaches don’t estimate times the same way. Out of curiosity I decide to compare these different time estimates on a spreadsheet. I didn’t have any sort of scientific hypothesis or goal behind this, other than mere curiosity.

I compared:

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Sasha Pachev: A Humble, Prolific Distance Running Legend

You might already know Sasha Pachev, even if you don’t.

Ever hear of the Mormon running family who runs races in Crocs? Remember the teenage kid who crushed a half marathon running in Crocs?


Yeah, that’s the Pachev family, led by Sasha Pachev:


Sasha Pachev, left, gets ready to run the 2017 500-Festival Mini-Marathon with his son Benjamin, right. Benjamin’s the famous teen who crushed this race in Crocs.

One of the first running writers I read a lot after getting into running was Pachev. He hasn’t written any books to my knowledge, but he does keep a website and a forum dedicated to hardcore runners in his neck of the woods in Southern Utah. In fact, the site’s running calculators are largely specific to projecting your times for key Utah races.

Sasha himself is an accomplished marathoner, having broken 2:25 in the marathon, outright winning a few marathons. He has well-beyond BQ’d. He could, outside of the Olympics, probably run whatever marathon he wants.

The man knows his stuff. Though Sasha’s advice isn’t too complex, the basic underlying premise is sound: As your running volume safely increases, your overall speed and ability to maintain that speed at longer distances should improve, or at least be better than if you had run fewer miles. As I’ve learned more about projecting results from previous results, I’ve found the predictions of his somewhat esoteric calculators to still be quite accurate.


One impressive note is Sasha’s shoe tracking data… not his tracking in itself, which is quite ordinary, but the stats:

Sasha has a small handful currently rotating pairs. All, including his trademark Crocs, have logged several hundred miles beyond what one would consider a shoe’s normal lifespan. One pair has over 1500 miles! The average runner would have exhausted 3-6 pairs at that volume that one pair has taken. Apparently there are no problematic holes or other complications with the shoes, if Sasha’s still running in them to this day.

This indicates Sasha may be doing something that most other runners don’t. Even the most experienced and form-perfect runners seem to wear out a pair of shoes after a few hundred miles at most. I’m sure the Crocs themselves are durable (even if technically they’re not running shoes). Perhaps (despite an admitted hitch in his running form) his running form is sound to where he does not wear shoes out the same way others do.

However, that’s admittedly pure conjecture. I have no idea. But the life he gets out of shoes is as prolific as his running volume and accomplishments.

It’s also quite Mormon, and I mean that with all due respect, as the LDS culture is known for (among other things) getting a lot of life and mileage out of basic equipment and supplies.

I’m not big on “XYZ person is an inspiration”, but Sasha Pachev is a shining example of how anyone can train themselves into being a great marathoner, no matter what footwear they’re wearing.

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