How they Train: Caleb Carmichael

Age 33

Did you compete in high school or collegiate cross-country or track?  Ran 2 years of high school track (800,1600,4×800,4×400) and 1 year of high school cross country at Florida High School in Tallahassee, FL. Ran for 4 years of cross country at the University of West Florida.

How many years have you been running?  I have been running on and off since my senior year of high school. I just recently suffered a sports hernia, which kept me out of running for a few years.

Lifetime personal records:
  • 800: 1:59 high school
  • 1600: 4:27 high school
  • 3k: 9:19 Midsummer’s Night 3k (Tallahassee)
  • 5k: 15:12 -college (on the track)
  • 8k: 25:27 college cross-country
  • 10k: 32:27 college track (somehow still have the UWF school record on the track)
  • 15k: 50:13 Double Bridge Run 2004
Running Achievements for which you are Most Proud:  Winning the Fiesta 10k in 2012 knowing the history of the event. Winning the Springtime Tallahassee 10k in 2003 also an historic event. In high school, I won the regional championship in cross-country, a race where I had to make up 200-meter gap with 600 meters to go.

What running events do you train for or what are your training goals?  I have a goal of breaking 15 minutes for the 5k before I turn 35 (2 years). I will be running a 15k in November, a half marathon in December and then I plan on going for sub 50 for the 15k at the Double Bridge Run in February. When I turn 35, I plan to focus on the half and full marathon and shooting for high volume.
How Many Miles Do you typically run when not injured and consistently running? Before I was injured, I tried to maintain 65-70 miles per week. After my injury and more recently, I am building my mileage back up but typically stay between 50-60 miles per week.

What does your typical week of running look like?
  • Monday:  1-3 Mile Warm Up,  PRA Intervals (workouts vary) 3-4 Miles of Work, 1-2 Mile Cool Down, 7-10 Miles typically
  • Tuesday:  8 Miles on the roads or trails @ 7 min pace or faster
  • Wednesday: 8 Miles during my daughter’s practice. @ 7 min pace or faster
  • Thursday: Run from my house to City Grocery (just over 6 miles), then run with my daughter and friends for a 5k at Craig Henry’s “We Run this City Run”, usually get 9-10 miles total @ 7 min pace or faster
  • Friday: 8 Miles along the Langley, Summit, Spanish Trail Loop @ 7 min pace or faster
  • Saturday:  Typically like to get on the trails for 8-10 miles @ 7 min pace or faster
  • Sunday:  Long run on Pate Street Trails 10-15 Miles, paces vary but usually @ 7:15 or faster
How does your training vary over the course of a year?  Base building and less racing during the summer. In the fall, I travel a lot with my team so I do not race much but usually keep the mileage up. In the winter, I will prepare for some longer events. During the spring, I will try to fit more races in and focus on shorter and faster events.

Do you take recovery or down time?  I do not like to take days off, but I will just run easy when I need an off day. When I am feeling beat up, I will ice bath or jump in the pool for aqua jogging. Most of my recovery is rolling out and stretching.
What injuries have hampered your training over the past year?
Sports Hernia-kept me out for about 2-3 years (just started running normally within the last 6 months or so)

What type of running shoes do you prefer?  I normally will run in Nike Pegasus or the Structure. I really prefer the Nike Zoom Elite as it is lightweight and offers great cushioning. I like what New Balance is doing with the Zante and just started running in them. I have raced in the Nike Lunar Racer, Nike Flyknit Racer, and the Zoom Elite. Nike makes great lightweight racing shoes and I have not been able to be swayed from them.

Do you stretch?  I look back on my early years of running and realized I didn’t take care of my body quite as well as I should have so I spend the extra time to stretch as much as I can and roll out. Most of my fast days will start with me doing some dynamic stretches to get loose.

What are your favorite running routes?  Pate Street Trails, Langley-Summit-Spanish Trail Loop, 6@6 Loop, 8 Mile Loop just off UWF campus

What running resources do you like that would benefit someone else?  Best resource is your body; it will tell you everything you need to know if you pay attention. There are great resources online but I would warn anyone to use them as a basis of understanding not just to take what is written and use it. Jack Daniel’s has a great book, and Joe Vigil is another coach who has a great book. Most of my books have to do with training and coaching athletes but there are books for every aspect of running (nutrition, psychology, flexibility, time management, motivation). To be a complete runner, you will need a basic understanding of all aspects.

What advice do you have for beginning or experienced runners to help them with their training?  As a coach, I encourage everyone to run with people as much as you can. The team aspect is what drives my cross country to push each other to perform at a higher level. If you are just starting or have been running for years, it will help you so much. The sport used to be about secret training amongst small groups but even the pros will join teams to help one another. I would advise everyone to understand that running is about the journey and it is quite a long one that requires several years to see the results that you strive for. If you can maintain consistent training through all the high’s and low’s that you will most certainly encounter you will find meaning in your run and hopefully achieve some of the goals you set for yourself.  Finally, and it may be a shameful plug but on Monday nights at the UWF track, I coach the PRA weekly intervals. Intervals may sound scary to some of the community but I can almost guarantee some major improvements if you include interval training in your normal weekly routine. It is not just for the folks who are winning races but it will help improve the so-called “back of the pack” runners as well. We have a Facebook group and I will let you know what the workout is ahead of time.