Who Am I?

I am an avid runner and have been running since I was 15 years old. I began running low to medium distances while on my high school track team, running the 800 meter and 1600 meter races (I was a sub 5 miler and a 2 minute 800 runner). In addition to the track team, I also joined the cross country team. After high school I still wanted to run and decided to start doing road races. I have probably ran a couple hundred 5k races (16.29 PR)along with many 10k's as well. In 2009 I decided to step up my game and try to tackle my first marathon. I will be honest; the only reason I did this was because my father ran a few and I wanted to show him that I could do what he did. I trained poorly for my first one and regret it. If you are going to run a race, train like you want to win. I still continue to run marathons and other distances as well, and every race is a chance for me to better myself.
I started this blog to hopefully communicate with other runners and to shed any knowledge I may have about the sport that can help other runners. I believe running is the best sport and can be a great stress reliever. I encourage all runners to spread the word of our sport and show people why running is so good and why the community of runners has such great people. You can follow me on twitter @byrne1324 or find me on facebook- Shaun Byrne

Thursday, July 9, 2015

1 Mile To Make Your Mark

One of my next big (I use the word big because it gets a lot of runners and brings in some high profile runners) races is the Liberty Avenue Mile. This is one of my favorite races of the year and one that I really can say I feel at home when I am running it. In high school some 18 years ago I ran track and the mile was one of the races I ran. I did fairly well in the race because of a strategy that worked very well for me. When I heard the gun I would jump out and set the pace for the 1st 100 meters of the race and then I would let someone pass me and set the pace. I would then hang on their shoulder for the rest of the race and as we rounded the bend for the final 100 meters I would sprint and usually win the race. This strategy had some benefits and some disadvantages. I normally would win the race because my sprint was faster than most people’s, but my time would depend on what the front runner was running. Even times when I knew I could pull away I would sit back and conserve energy for the end when in reality had I taken the lead I would of won by a great margin.

The Liberty Avenue Mile is on a road rather than a track so my normal strategy goes right out the window. People will be spread across the road and with more room it makes drafting off the other runner far more difficult to do. The only way to do really well in this race is going to be properly trained and know what to expect. I have already heard a few people say “It’s only a mile, I am just going to go hard for the whole thing”. Please do this, you are just giving me that much better of a chance of winning the heat. Take it from someone who has ran the mile race numerous times, you are not going to be able to just sprint this race. I am going to tell you how I train for these short races. I am not saying this is going to work for you, but it works for me and even though I am off the sub 5 minute miles I used to run in high school, I can still run sub 6 and continue to improve my time with each race.  

Run your normal long runs: Don’t just go out and run a mile every day and keep seeing if you can beat your previous time. Stamina is a huge factor in a mile race and the long runs will help build the stamina. I only dedicate 2 days to just speed workouts, so even if it is just 3 or 4 miles that I am running during the week and 1 really long run on the weekends, this is building the stamina. Choose one of the days that you are going to run 3 miles or so and at the end of your run rest up for a minute and then go right into doing 50 yard sprints with a few seconds to catch your breathe. Once again build the stamina, and this will help with a kick at the end of the race.

Speed Workouts are a must: No one really looks forward to the speed workouts, but these are crucial for a mile race. I like to do ladders, which is start with 400 meters then do 800 meter followed by 1200 meters then 1600. I only run the 1600 meters once then I go back down the ladder, 1200, 800, and finish with a 400 all out sprint. This will beat you down, but it works. Another good workout is intervals. I like to do 10 X 400’s at 75% speed. I am not doing an all-out sprint, but I am pushing myself. After each 400 I will walk a lap in between. Most training plans will tell you to only rest for 40 seconds or so, but this is what I use to do and something that I got accustomed to doing. Normally I will choose one of these workouts for one speed day and use the other one to do a tempo run.

Throw in a hill workout from time to time: If you can breathe well in a mile race then you have a better chance of doing well. One way to throw your breathing off run hills, master running hills and you will master your breathing.

Do a practice race: This doesn’t need to be done every week but every once in a while do a practice race and see where you are. You want to know what feels right on race day. How fast to go out and get into your stride, When to stride out and stretch your pace, and how long you can hold your kick at the end of the race for.

On race day you just have to remember to stay calm and run your race. The biggest mistake is people tend to go out to fast and burn out to quick. If you train right and throw in a practice race you will know what you can do and on race day you will be better prepared.


  1. Great tips! Interesting about hill training helping with breathing. I will be doing hill training, which I desperately need because my lungs always give out before my legs in shorter races. My throat was destroyed after last year's Liberty Mile! Of course, I had no strategy & did all the wrong things you said not to do in this post. I will not be running it this year but will be there cheering you all on.

    1. I can't believe you are not going to run, don't you want to almost have a heart attack like half of us felt last year, lol. Well at least you will be there to cheer us on