Marcelo Parra: Threshold, Peaky Blinders & 10-Mile Long Run

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. 

Next up is Week 3 with  Marcelo. Check out his first week of training below.

Week 1 Week 2 - Week 3 - Week 4

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WEEK 3 (August 21-August 27)

            Monday, August 21: 12 miles

            Morning:  WU 1 mile + 600m threshold; 2 laps in n out strides, 4x2k @tempo-threshold; CD 1 mile

            Night: WU 1m; 8 strides, 5x40m sprint, 3x 40m, 30m float, 30m sprint, CD 2m

            We decided to get the threshold out of the way in the morning this time. We ran at roughly 5:10 pace the whole time, the workout felt really great. It wasn't impossible, but it hurt just the right amount. I'm not gonna lie, the workout had me napping at school all day, but at least I was able to recover from it. After school, we headed home and ate some chicken and rice and then headed to practice. 

            At practice, we did a speed workout with our teammates, Luke Munoz, Hayden Scott, and Gavin Chapa. I love speed days since the reps are really short and really fast. It feels nice to fly on the turf. 

            Tuesday, August 22: 6 miles

            Easy run

            Tuesday was a really great easy run, besides the afternoon heat. We ran about 7:00 pace per mile for five miles, which is a really comfortable pace for me. The area we live in is extremely hilly, so most easy runs hurt a bit anyway, but we've definitely gotten used to it.

            Wednesday, August 23: 6 miles

            Easy run

            We ran on the boost treadmill on Tuesday. This time at 90-percent body weight, at a 6:50 mile pace. I watched more Peaky Blinders this time, but I'm almost done with it so I'm gonna have to find another show to watch (MileSplit note: Try Silo on Apple TV!)

            Thursday, August 24: 7 miles

            1 mile + 4x strides warm-up, 25-minute tempo, 1 mile cool-down

            Thursday was a 25-minute tempo. We ran at a flat park so it felt really great. The only problem is that there is basically no soft surface running in San Antonio; all the trails are paved with cement. 

            Friday, August 25: 5 miles

            Easy run

            I ran five miles easy at about 8:00 pace. I always do my easy runs by feel and when things aren't feeling great, I go really slow so that I can recover. This run was really chill, I saw some deer on the way back and I stopped to walk so they wouldn't get scared away. 

            Saturday, August 26: 10 miles

            Long run

            We ran 10 miles on Saturday, with about seven of the miles as a fartlek. 12x 1 minute @ 5k-3200m pace, 3 minutes off. I felt really great during the run, running about 7:00 pace for the minutes off, and 4:30-4:50 for the minute on. I felt really great so I ran 400m on the last one in 60 seconds. I've been feeling really great at the end of long runs and workouts so I'm pretty excited to see how good my kick will be this season.

              Sunday, August 27: 5 miles


              We ran five miles on Sunday to wrap off the week. This was a pretty okay run, I was really tired from the long run. I definitely felt recovered afterward though, and ready for Monday's workout tomorrow.

              Total Week Mileage: 51 Miles

              This is one 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 Plans: 

              Franco & Marcelo Parra

              Bethany Michalak

              Payton Godsey