PTXC Journal: Gary Martin Details His August Training So Far

Today, we introduce Gary Martin. Gary is preparing for his senior season at Archbishop Wood. He's coming off a major breakthrough of a junior season. He won the PIAA Class AA state championship in cross country and then won PIAA state titles on the track in the 3,200 meters and 1,600 meters. He ran the fastest 1,600m (4:02.15) and mile (4:03.53) times in Pennsylvania state history this past spring, and is primed for a big fall cross country season.

Gary has shared his thoughts on his summer so far, and included a training log for the first few weeks of August. Check out what he has to say, in his own words.


By Gary Martin (Archbishop Wood)

Hi everyone, my name is Gary Martin and I'm a rising senior at Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster. I'm thankful to have been given the opportunity to journal some of my summer training and experiences for PennTrackXC. I'm hoping to provide some insight into what my summer has looked like both in training and off the track.

My summer training experience thus far has been unlike any other summer of my life, and certainly unlike my previous cross country training. Last year was my first summer focusing on training for cross country and Covid-19 provided me with the opportunity to truly focus on putting in the miles. With races canceled, school closed, and lockdowns still in place, I was able to start my summer training in late May and train for the fall with nothing else going on. Being able to focus solely on running made some weeks feel like I was training as a professional runner, and I enjoyed every minute of it. This summer has been just as enjoyable, but the polar opposite of that 2020 summer in many ways. 

Since my track season went late and ended with a trip to Seattle for the Brooks PR Invitational, I began the summer training grind in July, a full 5 weeks later than the previous year. Unlike last year, the past month and a half has been filled with organized chaos from the recruiting process. Traveling to schools, making phone calls, and sitting on zooms has not only taken up much of my time this summer, but also a lot of mental space. I've been incredibly lucky to get to know so many coaches, programs, and runners from different schools, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't also stressful. As someone who's naturally indecisive and usually takes 20 minutes trying to decide what I want at a restaurant, I'm sure you can imagine how much mental energy goes into deciding where I want to spend the next 4+ years of my life. I know it's the best possible problem to have, but choosing one school to commit to when I've been given multiple incredible opportunities is far from easy. Thankfully, despite the chaos, I've been able to keep the same excitement for daily training that helped push me to success last year. 

A huge part of what keeps me motivated to run every single day is my teammates. Thankfully, I've had the opportunity to run with some guys on my team a few times a week this summer to get ready for the season. My coach, Paul, has kept me engaged this summer and excited about training. He's taught me the importance of listening to my body and being able to gage the type of run or effort I should be putting in on a given day. This is huge because it allows me to stay healthy going into the season but also push myself a little in my daily training runs when I feel I'm capable. Because of this, much of my weekly schedule for runs is based upon feel on a day to day basis.

With that said, here's an example of what my past two weeks of training have looked like:

Week One

Monday (8/2): 4.3 miles @ 8:30 pace in AM, 6.9 miles @ 6:04 pace in PM (1 mile warmup, 5 miles settling in at 5:45 pace, .9 mile cool down)

Tuesday (8/3): 6.5 miles @ 7:28 pace

Wednesday (8/4): 3.6 miles @ 7:23 pace in AM, 5.7 miles @ 7:42 pace in PM

Thursday (8/5): 8 miles @ 6:16 pace (Feeling good as the run went on so decided to cut down a bit and got down to 5:28 pace for the last mile)

Friday (8/6): 6.1 miles @ 7:02 pace

Saturday (8/7): 10.8 miles @ 7:12 pace (Hit the hills at Lorimer park and got in some hill sprints)

Sunday (8/8): OFF

Week One Total Mileage (8/2-8/8): 52 miles (Good week of training, close to the most mileage I've ever done and still had an off day in there)

Week Two

Monday (8/9): 9.1 miles @ 6:33 pace 

Tuesday (8/10): 6.0 miles @ 7:30 pace (Got home late from traveling and hopped on the treadmill to get a run in)

Wednesday (8/11): 3.1 miles @ 6:59 pace in AM, 7.4 miles @ 7:03 pace in PM

Thursday (8/12): 7 miles @ 6:53 pace (I went out to run at 12 and it was unbelievably hot and humid so I ended up cutting it a mile short because I wasn't feeling great)

Friday (8/13): 8.9 miles @ 7:22 pace

Saturday (8/14): 10.3 miles @ 6:51 pace 

Sunday (8/15): 6.6 miles @ 6:41 pace

Week Two Total Mileage (8/9-8/15): 58.3 miles (This is the most mileage I've ever done in a week and it felt smooth so I'm definitely happy about it)

It's been a great summer of training so far and I'm really looking forward to getting to race with my team again when the season starts. It's definitely been nice to grind some summer miles, but there's a different feeling when you finally lace up the spikes and get out on the course to race. I'm looking forward to a great senior year and I'm excited to see what it holds!