Week 1 Training Blog: Marcelo Parra Hits Threshold Work

For the next month, Marcelo Parra and Franco Parra, the elite twin distance runners from San Antonio, will take turns offering their training insights on MileSplit. Dual Princeton recruits, they are among the top runners in Texas and will return with national ambitions. A season ago Marcelo qualified for both Nike Cross Nationals and Champs Sports Nationals while Franco, the TAPPS Class 5A state champion, was one spot short of an NXN bid and finished sixth at the NXR South Regional. Both had stellar spring seasons, with Marcelo clocking a 4:11 mile while Franco ushered through a top time of 4:16 for the mile and 14:43 for 5K. 

First up in Week 1 is Marcelo. Check out his first week of training below. 

Week 1 - Week 2 - Week 3 - Week 4

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WEEK 1 (August 7-August 13)

    Monday, August 7

    Morning:  WU 1 mile, 10x 20s hills, CD 1 mile

    Night: WU 1m + 600m threshold; 2x2.4k threshold (5:00 per mile); 3x1k (3:00); 3x400m changing pace every 100m (18,17,16,15); 5x200m (30s); CD 1m

    12 Miles

    Monday is definitely our hardest workout day of the week. The workout is usually pretty complicated, though, which makes it fun. This time we did hills in the morning. The hills felt really good until the last couple of reps, but we pushed through and were able to nap afterward.

    Our afternoon workout was at around 6 p.m. in 100-plus degree Texas weather, but since we live in the heat anyway, it's not impossible to hit pace.

    We worked out with Farrin Mangelson, Hayden Scott and Devin Duran on the Baylor track team.

    We played music during the 2x2.4K threshold, which made it pass by really quickly, hitting exactly 7:30 every rep. The K's after felt really good, hitting 72s every 400m and 3:00 at the K. The 400s were really hard to pace at exactly every 100m split and we messed up a lot but we're getting better every week.

    After the 400s we had 5x200, which felt pretty easy and fast. I loved this workout because I was able to try out a new Oasis run singlet that they sent me; the retna kit (see above). 

    Tuesday, August 8: Easy run

    5 Miles

    We ran five miles at a pretty chill pace. It felt all right, so we averaged a little over 8:00 pace. Tuesday/Wednesday easy runs emphasize recovery as much as possible so that we can be ready for the tempo/threshold on Thursday.

    Wednesday, August 9: Easy run

    5 Miles

    Our coach, Kenny Dirkson, was able to get a Boost Treadmill for training, so we do at least one easy run + a threshold on the boost every week. Today we ran five miles on it at around 6:50 pace. I watched a show I've been binge-watching called Peaky Blinders on Netflix while I ran, so it was a pretty fun run. After running, we did some hip mobility work and rolling to get ready for the workout the next day.

    Thursday, August 10: WU 10 mins + 600m Threshold; 2x 2 miles threshold; CD 2 miles 

    8 Miles

    We worked out on the boost this time, running 2x2 miles at threshold at 92-percent body weight. We increase the mph by 0.6 for every 10-percent taken off so every two mile rep was around 9:25. The workout felt nice since there wasn't much impact and it felt pretty short. Overall it was a short workout but it felt great and we got really good threshold work out of it.

    Friday, August 11: Easy run

    5 Miles

    Our run felt really great since we did it early in the morning to get away from the heat. Friday easy run days are great since we only really have to run for about 35-40 minutes, and the rest of the day is ours.

    Saturday, August 12: Long run

    10 Miles

    We did a lot of really intense work the entire week, so the long run on Saturday was not meant to be fast. We ended up running 7:15 pace, through an extremely hilly route, keeping us at an honest effort. At one point on our way back, there was about an 800m downhill where we split under two minutes. 

    Sunday, August 13: Speed

    4 Miles

    We've done one of our weekly Sunday speed sessions where we get 400m worth of work at a full sprint effort. This time, we did the session at our old middle school track. This track is pretty special because it has over an 8-foot difference in elevation from one side to the other.

    Because of this, we ran downhill, increasing impact, so we reduced the volume to 360m, doing 5x40m + 5x50m flying sprints. After the sprints, we did some plyo's which included some bounds and split jumps.

    Total Week Mileage: 49 Miles

    This is the second 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.


    Brayden Marshall 

    Payton Godsey

    Bethany Michalak