5k tune up workout for the TURKEY DAY RUN:)


I will be racing in the 35th annual Turkey Day Run in Charleston, SC on Thanksgiving morning. The Knights of Columbus put on the event and last year over 6,000 registered. The winner of the event receives a framed painting by Tate Nation.

I took a week off after the UWC Bahamas triathlon, so I have been getting back into mainly only running. Today I did a workout to prepare for the 5km road race. It was a shock to the system, but I think it got the cobwebs out. If anyone is planning on running in a local Thanksgiving 5k then perhaps try out this workout sometime over the weekend. I really enjoyed it and it will let you know if you are on track to run your goal time.

Warm up is 25 min with a few strides mixed in near the end

Main set is 4x1200m at 5km pace with 2min rest in between each repeat.

15min cool down

My goal for the 5km is to break 17min; I did my repeats at a little faster than pace.

1 2 3 4
4.05 4.03 4.04 4.03

How to figure out 1200m pace?

Insert your goal time into the 5km calculator  . Take the mile pace time and divide by 4 (this gives you 400m pace). Multiply 3x400m and this is your 1200m time.

If you want to hold 8 minute miles (24.51 5km) then the 400m pace is 2.00min and the 1200m time for this workout would be 6.00min.

Happy running and thanks for visiting.

Q & A with Brad Williams

LaurenQ & A

Since I am not racing for the next few months, I am going to take some time to learn from some amateurs in triathlon-ranging from all levels. The first guy I am chatting with is Brad Williams..an elite amateur. Take some time to meet Brad as he answers some questions I had and also asked me some things he wanted to know.

Brad will be starting his fifth year of racing in 2013. Over the past 5 years Brad has been stationed overseas 
working for the US Air Force in South Korea and Turkey. He has been in the Air Force for 8 years and works
 as an aircraft maintenance technician. While juggling work and athletics he is also pursuing his bachelor’s 
degree in Professional Aeronautics through Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. 
In 2011, Brad turned his focus to long course triathlon and set out to qualify for the IRONMAN World 
Championships. Brad qualified at his first attempt to
 qualify at IM Korea. He then showed up to Kona and finished in the top 10% of amateurs in his rookie
 appearance in Hawaii. Next year Brad will focus more on Olympic distance.

Ask Brad…

What was the riding like in South Korea?

The training in South Korea was great in many aspects, but it had downsides as well. The positive side of things was that I had access to country roads within 2 miles of the base and had some great local riding. The cars were very friendly and actually honked quite often, but it was more of a warning that they were coming then the typical angry obnoxious honking you get back in the US. The road condition wasn’t bad at all and I actually kind of miss riding out there.

I had a great group of guys to train with on the bike, and actually raced for a bike shop out of Seoul. We were the top amateur team in Korea and mostly contained foreigners with a few Koreans on the team.

I think Korea is a hidden jewel for anyone in the military that is an athlete. The racing scene is great over their as an amateur and a lot of the cycling and running races have prize money for amateurs, but still nothing on the triathlon side.

What is your favorite workout on the bike?

I can’t give away all of my coaches secret’s, but I guess I can give away one 😉 One of my favorite workouts is the 30-30-30. 30mins at IM pace, 30mins at HIM pace, and then 30mins of whatever you have left. That last 30mins is a pure mental game and it is a torture on the legs. Every once in a while I get lucky and get to run off of that workout, and that always makes for an interesting run.

Most people switch from short course to long course racing. What made you want to focus more on short course next season?

I wouldn’t say I am switching back to short course, I still plan on racing Kona if the opportunity presents itself. But I went with a cycling focus for the first part of the season this past year and it really worked for me. I realize I am still young and hopefully have some speed in my legs and body that I haven’t tapped into yet. I want to put in a short course focus to find that speed and hopefully it will carry over to long course. If I didn’t have the opportunity to race Kona for the AF I wouldn’t even consider racing IM again until my mid 30’s. But it is hard to turn down an opportunity to be on the start line representing the military and AF at the biggest race in triathlon.

Questions for Me …

It seems that you made your biggest improvements over the past season, and I would have to say it has been a breakthrough season for you as a pro. What would you say changed this year compared to the previous year that lead to the success?

This year I changed my lifestyle. I decided if I had more control of my life then I had more control of my results. Therefore, I maintained a strict diet, got 9 hours of sleep a night, stopped drinking, got weekly massages, took vitamins, communicated with my coach, and made sure to stretch every evening. Swim,bike,run is the easy part of tri. It is the little things that get you to the podium.

After 2 full seasons as a pro, what have you learned in the transition from amateur to pro? What would be the best advice that you could pass on to an amateur athlete trying to make the jump to the pro level?

When I was racing amateur, I would “race” every workout. I would half wheel on the bike, half step on the run, and sprint warm up in the pool.

Recovering with the dog

I guess if you are pressed for time and trying to squeeze in as many workouts as possible, then you think that the faster you go then the fitter you get. Well, I learned that this only leads to injury, a plateau in racing, and annoyed training partners. It is so important to take easy days easy and to do hard workouts hard.

 If you were stranded on an island all by yourself, what is the one thing you could not live without?

Besides food and water (obviously), I would have to have a toothbrush/toothpaste. I am OCD when it comes to brushing my teeth. I brush before and after eating ANYTHING. Annoying habit.

Thanks Brad! Keep up with Brad and his professional and athletic endevors. Follow him on twitter: @AFbadbrad


End of Season Wrap Up


3 half distance races, 11 Olympic distance races, 1 sprint race, and 1 team super sprint—2 DQs—3 drafting penalties—2 missed flights—6 pairs of Newtons—1 magazine cover—a ton of new friends—and A LOT of knowledge

This was my rookie year doing non draft racing. After I FINALLY got the stagger rule down, I started to enjoy the freedom of controlling my own race. It took the whole year to understand how to pace myself; and I still have far too much to learn in the half distance. However, I really enjoyed every minute and learned so much from the other athletes who have been in the game for a while.

This was the first year I have had stability. I trained in the same place, surrounded myself with positive and talented training partners, and lived a professional lifestyle. Ten things I did different this year:


  • Swim with a group– swimming with a group keeps you from getting bored and from letting the mind wander. It is good to have a group of positive people to push you during swim workouts so that you can reach your maximum potential.
  • Make sure every run has a purpose– I used to just “run”. I had no goal paces or HRs and I just ran for time. Now, I have been doing all of my runs on the treadmill at very specific paces that simulate racing. Now, going into races I am confident that I can run 10km at my goal time because I have already done it in training.
  • Train with a power meter– Another way to feel prepared for a race is by training with a power meter. Training by “feel” is not accurate and cannot be carried over into racing. Now, going into a race, I know that I can hit a certain number of watts for 40km because I have done it already in training.
  • Sleep-This season I have forced myself to get 8-9hr of sleep every night no matter what. I have not let myself go to sleep and wake up during the same day. (after midnight )
  • Dial in nutrition It is important to train with the exact same gels/drink mix/gummies/bars that you plan on using on race day. There is no reason that anyone should ever say they had stomach problems from nutrition. You must be prepared and know that what you are using works for you individually.
  • Cut the alcohol- I cut out alcohol completely this season and I feel SO much better in training, racing, and just in life in general. It is amazing how much you don’t miss that evening glass of wine or beer after a long day of working out. I have substituted these things by rewarding myself with a chai latte or a smoothie.
  • Think about everything that could go wrong on race day and have a back up plan-You can never be over-prepared. Always have spare tubes/tires, back up race suit, back up goggles, back up nutrition, flat kit, salt tabs for cramping, etc. Nerves often come from not feeling prepared. If you show up on race day with a back up plan then those nerves will go away.
  • Study the course map and drive the bike/run course– As athletes, it is our responsibility to know the course. It is a good idea to drive the bike course the day before the race so that you can note any potholes, train tracks, sketchy turns, or elevation changes. Once again, it is better to know what is coming instead of seeing it for the first time while racing. I also like to ride the run course to make sure I know the turns so I do not skip or take a wrong turn.
  • Take airborne and stay hydrated while traveling The immune system is so depleted after a hard race and you are very susceptible to getting sick. I have started taking airborne and vitamin C on every flight to boost the immune system so that my chances of getting sick are decreased. I also pay attention to staying hydrated so that I do not feel fatigued.
  • Massage/foam rolling the body is only going to get older and more worn down. Maintenance is key in injury prevention. I see a massage therapist once a week and I foam roll/ use my Norma Tech every night to keep my legs loose and ready to perform the next day.

This season was a year in growth. I feel like I made the jump from a college 20 something to an adult who lives professionally. I learned from watching the girls I train with…tried to really understand how they were successful and what they did differently.

I ended up 3rd in the Rev3 series and 4th in the Lifetime Fitness Series. I rolled the dice when I decided to do both series instead of focusing on one. I am happy with the choice I made because I got to compete with a diverse group of athletes and race in both half and olympic races. It was a great journey and a very long year. I could not have done it without the support of my family (esp Mom and Dad), sponsors, friends, training partners (Sara McLarty,Taylor Cooke, Gwen Jorgensen especially), my understanding roomie (Misty Becerra),  and  all of the people I have met along the way. There is so much more to come—thanks for believing in me!

Never settle—keep going until you get what makes you happy.

Squash Boats



  • 2 fresh acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 1tbl of butter, melted
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • 1.5 cups of wild rice OR quinoa
  • 2 oz of goat cheese
  • ½ cup of toasted pecans
  • 1/3 cup of cranberries or raisns
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • ¼ tsp of black pepper


Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the squash halves on the baking sheet, cut side up and brush with some of the melted butter. Sprinkle with salt. Roast 25-30min until squash is tender. Remove from oven.

In a bowl, combine the rice (or quinoa), cheese, pecans, cranberries/raisins, olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir to mix. Place some of the mixture into the center of each squash. Return to oven and broil for 2-3minutes until the cheese is melted.

Swim Workout


This set was designed to be at Lactate Threshold. I started the session off with an easy 1200 warmup and then some build to fast 50s to get my heart rate up. The main set consisted of 5×600 where the odds were broken up into 6x100s and the evens were at 1500m race pace. This most challenging part of this set was that it was continuous and there was no break after the 100s.

6×100 yd @ 1:15
1:04 1:05 1:06 1:07 1:07 1:07
600 yd @ 7:30
6×100 yd @ 1:15
1:05 1:07 1:07 1:07 1:07 1:07
600 yd @ 7:30
6×100 yd @ 1:15
1:06 1:07 1:07 1:06 1:07 1:07

After completing the 3000yd main set at race pace or at faster than race pace, not only do I feel stronger but I also am confident that come race day I am overly prepared and ready to go!

Norma Tec PRO


I use my Norma Tec every day for injury prevention and to maximize performance. My schedule is extremely hectic and I am traveling almost every other weekend for half of the year. When I am not racing, I am training 20-25hours a week with large amount of stress on my lower body. After getting to try the Norma Tec recovery system I knew I had to have one so that I would be able to quickly recover from a session so that the next session would be equally as good.

Many athletes think the key to success is training hard. I agree with this to some point-there are no short cuts. However, there are things that can put an endurance athlete many steps backwards. The main setback is usually injury—frequently the Achilles, knee, calf. So far in my career I have not struggled with any type of injury. I credit this to my focus on the importance of recovery. I encourage anyone looking to take a step up in training to try out the Norma Tec recovery boots.

Norma Tec just came out with a more affordable set of boots called the MVP. You can check them out at www.normatechsports.com