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Huntsville Half Marathon

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South Weber,UT,

Member Since:

May 09, 2012



Goal Type:

Local Elite

Running Accomplishments:

Personal Records:

800 Meters 1:50.14 (Track-BYU)

1500 Meters 3:42.07 (Track-Stanford) Likely the best race of my life; converts to a 3:59.85 Mile

5000 Meters 14:20 (Track-Stanford)

8000 Meters 23:53 (Cross Country-Pre Nationals Iowa)

10000 Meters 29:57 (Track-Stanford)

Half Marathon (Mesa-Phoenix Half) 1:05:11

Marathon (St George) 2:16:09

Short-Term Running Goals:

2017 Races:

Mesa-Phoenix Half - 3rd Place 1:05:11 PR

Ogden WRC 10-Miler - 1st Place 55:46

Provo City Half - 1st Place 1:06:33

Ogden Marathon - 2nd Place 2:25:46

Long-Term Running Goals:

My main goal is just to stay healthy.  I was injured every year in my college career except for one.  I would like to reverse that trend and always stay injury-free.



I am a family man.  I am married to my beautiful wife Amy (who also ran at Weber and is quite the runner).  We have four beautiful daughters named Evelyn (6 years old), Hannah (4 year old), Nora (2 year old), and Iris (5 months).

Twitter handle: @RunnerRiley7

Instagram RunnerRiley7

I am supported by Brooks

I am a Generation Ucan elite athlete

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
Salomon Pro Wings 2 Lifetime Miles: 161.10
Brooks PureCadence 5 Lifetime Miles: 101.85
Brooks Adrenaline 17 Lifetime Miles: 161.85
Brooks Transcend 4 Lifetime Miles: 219.45
Brooks Ravenna 8 Lifetime Miles: 225.10
Brooks PureCadence 6 Lifetime Miles: 188.10
Brooks Launch 4 Lifetime Miles: 107.50
Brooks Glycerin 14 Lifetime Miles: 101.47
Brooks Hyperion Lifetime Miles: 92.13
Brooks Caldera Lifetime Miles: 31.10
Race: Huntsville Half Marathon (13.109 Miles) 01:07:31, Place overall: 2
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance


I used the Huntsville Half Marathon as the setting for my 20k lactic shuffle workout. The goal is to run half marathon pace or just faster and get some lactate going, then flush it out with a marathon paced kilometer. It should teach the body to clear lactate more efficiently at marathon pace.

At the start I saw Mike Hardy, who just ran the steeplechase at the Olympic Trials. So, my hope for a $500 payday for a workout was in serious jeopardy. I convinced myself to stick to the plan no matter what for the 20k and then if he was close, either in front or behind, I would race the last 1k and change for place. This sounded good pre-race, but late in the race it was really tough to stick to the strategy. But I did stick with it. He made a move at 9 miles to get a gap to where I was no longer passing him on my faster kilometers. So at 20k it was a 20 second lead. I had 1k left and decided to keep it rolling and closed with another fast kilometer, but was only able to cut the gap to 5 seconds.

So, overall I ran the even kilometers at 4:55/mile and the odd kilometers at 5:19/mile until 20k, and then closed the 21st k at 4:55/mile also. So, no payday. But I got my workout that I needed in and I still got a free pair of shoes and hotel stay, which beats getting nothing for a workout. Thanks to Utahrunning.com for the free entry!

Brooks PureCadence 4 Miles: 17.00
Weight: 152.20
From Sasha Pachev on Sat, Sep 17, 2016 at 18:04:19 from


That is some self-control. For $500 I would have modified the workout - at 9 miles, run the last 4 at whatever it takes to win or maybe even harder if deemed beneficial :-)

Jokes aside, I think the proposed workout with the fast finish modification is actually a very good workout and might be worthwhile even when $500 is not on the line. Over the course of the years I have observed the greatest payback from workouts that have challenged my nervous system to keep firing hard in a state of fatigue mitigated by adequate recovery (sleep,reduction in life stress,food,easy runs being truly easy,give enough days to recover between the workouts). I could get away with pushing it really hard, though, due to a combination of a weak nervous system and a high level of pounding resilience. I imagine for a runner like you things have to be more controlled as you have the firing power of a 3:42 1500 guy which would take a much more resilient body to get away with frequent neurological all out efforts. That, plus I imagine there is a neurological equivalent of more powerful engine overheating more easily - that is if your firing limit is higher and you reach it more damage of some kind is done that if the limit was lower and you reached it. But I think the idea of getting tired and then just revving it up to the highest that will still avoid the excessive pounding can still apply.

From RileyCook on Sat, Sep 17, 2016 at 18:23:14 from

Thanks Sasha. I honestly thought that Mike wasn't going to be able to hold the pace late in the race. He was breathing quite heavily when he passed me and he was laboring a lot. So, that made me believe I could stick with my workout and catch him after. But, he held on a lot better than I thought he would. So, props to him.

It's all for the best though really. Dropping the workout at 9 miles would've defeated part of the purpose of the workout. I'm running STG in two weeks and I really need to dial in the marathon workouts. If I do too much half marathon paced or faster stuff I undo all the training I've done with my body to become more efficient. It starts chugging glycogen more than I want it to. So in the final 4-5 weeks I try not to do anything to undo the training I've been working so hard to do. That's why I was "ok" letting the $500 run away. Keeping my eye on the prize (STG and a marathon PR).

From Jason D on Sat, Sep 17, 2016 at 18:43:54 from

Excellent focus, Riley. Great "shuffle" workout :-)

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