Week 1 Training Blog: Brayden Marshall Gets After It In WV

It could be an epic final season -- and calendar year -- ahead for Brayden Marshall, the high school senior from Winfield High School in West Virginia. The Big Ice Track Club co-founder is coming off a junior campaign where he won his second straight West Virginia Class 2A state cross country title, qualified for Champs Sports Nationals and then went on to set PRs in every outdoor distance he competed in this past spring, including performances of 4:13.82 in the 1,600m and 8:56.62 in the 3,200m. He went on to claim the distance double outdoors in the 1,600m and 3,200m. Now all that's left is his senior season, which Marshall hopes to capitalize on. He's tracking four weeks of preseason training for MileSplit in August and September. We hope you enjoy. You can follow Brayden on Instagram @braydencmarshall

Week 1 - Week 2 - Week 3 - Week 4

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WEEK 1 (August 6 - August 13) 

    Everyone, there are a few things I want to talk about before disclosing some of my training to you.

    First, know that no one training plan is going to work for everyone. Just because it works for me doesn't necessarily mean it's going to work for you. The wonderful thing about running is there's multiple ways to accomplish the same thing, so try different training methods until you find one that works for you.

    That's what I've done over the past several years. I've optimized my training to a point where I'm very confident in it, though I'm sure in the coming years there are things I'll have to change to improve myself further. Thats what I love about running. You're constantly progressing in terms of fitness and strength, as well as your knowledge of the sport.

    Second, I'd like to let everyone know that this is not where I started my training. What I'm doing now is the culmination of over six years of hard work and dedication to the sport. I have slowly increased my mileage and intensity each year to be where I am now. I largely attribute my success to this progression because it has allowed me to train healthily and consistently while avoiding injury and burnout for most of my high school career.

    With all that said, let's get into week one of my training blog.

    Sunday, August 6 & Monday, August 7: 7 miles

    Long Run Sunday & Recovery Monday

      I started the week with a nice recovery run because it followed an intense long run on Sunday in the Little Miami Half-Marathon. I went after it a bit, more than I would've typically on a long run, partially because I wanted to make it a good workout and partially because I was wearing Vaporfly's for the first time ... and partially because anytime you're in a race situation you have more adrenaline than you would on an average day of training.

      Regardless, it was still a very good progression workout; I felt very smooth the entire half marathon and didn't feel like I was straining myself too much at any one point -- even the last mile, which was a 5:05.

      Long run - 1 mile warmup

      13.1 mile "race" - Average pace 5:30, Total time 1:12:10, Elevation gain 73 ft

      0.9 mile cool-down

      My recovery run on Monday was a nice seven miles on my hotel treadmill before we left to go to King's Island. On my designated recovery days I try to keep the pace anywhere between seven-minute pace to seven-thirty pace just because that's where I feel most comfortable while still feeling like I'm benefitting. If you're looking for a good indication of whether the pace is too fast, I always say you should be able to have a complete conversation on these runs without struggling to breathe. Plus, a great thing about recovery pace is that it is a very wide range so whatever feels most comfortable is probably the right one for you.

      7 Miles - Average pace 7:34

      Tuesday, August 8: 10 Miles - Threshold Mile Repeats + Hill Sprints

      Today our team had a really good workout that consisted of a 1.5 mile warmup before some hill sprints, and then another 1.5 miles back to the high school for mile thresholds.

      We had 3 x mile with the rest between each mile being a lap jog. Our paces were based off 5K threshold pace, so mine were between 5:13-5:21. These were meant to feel really smooth, which is exactly how they felt. Even though the legs were still a little tired after Sunday's long run and walking around the amusement park on Monday, I was able to cruise through the reps and go 5:13, 5:10, and 5:12.

      The whole team did really well with this workout; most of the guys felt confident they could've gone five, even 10 seconds faster on the paces, which is a good indication of fitness at this point and shows that the workout accomplished what it was supposed to. The team cooled down afterward for a mile and I went for two miles extra for a total of 10.

       At home I grabbed my second banana of the day for a little snack before hitting a light core workout and some more stretching. Bananas have got to be my favorite food ever; I have been known to eat around three a day (my record is six I think), so if you guys want me to add a banana count along with the mileage I'll need you to let me know on Instagram @braydencmarshall. Overall, a very good day of training for the team with most of us ready for a good recovery run tomorrow.

      10 Miles -

      3.70 warm up + hill sprints

      3.50 mile repeats + lap jog in between: 5:13, 5:10, 5:12

      2.80 cool down

      Wednesday, August 9: 13 miles - 8+5 double

      Today was a much-needed recovery day in between workouts, and being able to split the runs up to get more mileage out of the day is a huge plus. Working doubles into my training has been great this summer because it allows me to recover while still doing a larger amount of mileage. After practice in the A.M. several teammates and I went to Tudor's - a local breakfast chain that is incredible - then back to the park to play a few holes of disc golf. After some core work, I took an ice bath, rested for most of the day, edited some Big Ice Track Club videos, and did my double later in the evening. Having access to a treadmill to get out of the West Virginia summer... and winter... and spring... and fall is... you know what, scratch that. Having a treadmill to get out of the elements for a good, controlled recovery run is clutch. It helps make sure I keep the pace slower than I would on my own - a very important thing for doubles - and throw on some YouTube to pass the time.

      13 Miles:

      8 in the morning - average pace 7:27

      5 in the evening - average pace 8:03

      Thursday, August 10: 9 miles - 4 mile tempo

      Today we met at a different park with a LOT of hills and nice trails ... which we didn't use because of some heavy rain the night before. So instead of running trails we stayed on the road and cranked the tempo nice and fast. We still had some big climbs though and everyone's elevation gain was right where it would have been if we were on the trails. Overall it was a great workout for the team and everyone did great, the improvements from even week 1 of team practice are showing as we continue to add workouts into training more and more.

      My workout went as follows - 2 mile warm-up 4 mile tempo (5:17, 5:17, 5:19, 5:09) total elevation gain - 296ft 3 mile cool-down

      Friday, August 11: 9 miles - Recovery + Strides

      Today was just about getting the legs underneath us and putting some miles in. They felt good despite yesterday's tempo, but we kept the pace nice and slow and at an easy conversation pace. After the run, a few of us spiked up for some strides to get the legs moving -- and to also make sure they fit nicely before our first meet next weekend. BTW, I'm still reppin' the Victory XC's because I only wore them for 3 races last year.

      The conversation consisted of fantasy football arguments for over an hour (we continued after the run) because our team does a league that gets VERY competitive. We're still deciding on the punishment for the league's loser, so I'll let you know when that is decided.

      After my run I almost got scammed inside of a gas station, then proceeded to go coach my little sister's softball team for eight hours.

      9.16 miles - Average pace 7:17

      Saturday, August 12: 15 miles - Long Run

      Today was my weekly long run, which I've had at 15 miles for the past several weeks. It was also the official yard sale day of Hurricane, West Virginia, which made the first several miles through neighborhoods very crowded ... yet entertaining. Several of my teammates and I met with some friends who run for another local high school just to have a bigger group in order to make running for over an hour and a half as fun as possible, and I will say the topics you get into after running together for over an hour definitely get quite fun.

      We had Chocolate milk waiting for us when we finished -- which just so happens to be the BEST thing in the world after a long run. I could write pages upon pages about the emotions that chocolate milk brings me post-run, but since this is a training blog I will refrain ... for your sake.

      After my run I almost got scammed inside of a gas station, then proceeded to go coach my little sister's softball team for eight hours. I have a lot of fun being the team's hype man, but these days seem a lot longer after running 15 miles. Overall, I felt great and the run felt very easy, even as we progressed down closer to the 6 minute mark.

      15 miles - average pace 6:55 - elevation gain 656ft - total time 1:43:49

      Sunday, August 13: 7 miles - Recovery

      Sunday was another recovery run, but I chose to make it quite interesting by doing all seven miles on the turf softball fields prior to day two of our team's softball tournament. Having access to turf fields, even if I'm dodging girls warming up on them, is a huge plus and helps keep the legs from getting destroyed on the concrete seven days a week.

      Within minutes of finishing my run, my coaching duties ensued. My specialty? The pre-game Cha-Cha Slide.

      You might say it looks silly, but if there's one way to hype up 9-year-olds at 9 a.m., it's dancing.

      And with this dancing cool-down, my third and final week of peak mileage is complete.

      Running 70 miles these past few weeks has been great. I feel like I'm in fantastic aerobic shape and I'm not feeling a lot a wear-and-tear (shout-out to the recovery chocolate milk). With that being said, I am ready to drop the mileage a tad and get ready for racing. This first week of training logs has been great, huge shout out to Milesplit and Milesplit Cory for giving me the incredible opportunity to do these. I look forward to continuing this series for the next three weeks so stay tuned for more!

      7 miles - average pace 6:59, 35-ish total laps

      Total Mileage: 70

      This is the first of several training blogs written by various athletes as the 2023 cross country season begins to ramp up. Check out our training blog series page for more content.

      Training Blog: Bethany Michalak

      Training Blog: Payton Godsey