Keegan Smith is all smiles

Kegan Smith had one of the best freshman seasons in cross country history in 2021, recording the fastest 5K ever for the class in 14:53.79 at the Southern Showcase. Outdoors, he set a freshman record in the 3,200 m in 8:52.96 and clocked a mile record in 4:14.37. But Knoxville’s second rising Catholic student — a qualifier for the Eastbay Nationals in 2021 — knows he’s ready for more this fall. For four weeks, the Tennessee native will share his training with MileSplit as he prepares for the upcoming season. Week 2, Smith said, will feature a legendary workout, as well as his first time trial.

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Training Blog: Joe Sapone

(August 29 – September 4)

monday august 29: MONDAY MICHIGAN! 7 miles

Today was one of two Michigans I will do this season. For those who don’t know, Michigan is a series of descending intervals, preceded by a “recovery” mile on the road: track mile, road mile, 1200 m, road mile, 800 m, mile of road (optional), and finally a total of 400m. My times were as follows:

Mile Track: 4:38; Road mile: 5:22; 1,200m: 3h29; Road mile: 5:21; 800m: 2h19; 400m: 54

It was hard. However, I felt strong and ended up surprising myself with the 400m. After being away for a few weeks due to an operation, I am finally starting a much needed job.

Tuesday August 30: 7 miles

Today was an easy day. I felt bad, but what else can you expect after racing Michigan? I ran seven miles today at a 6:56 pace.

Wednesday August 31: 7 miles

I had morning practice today before school. Today was the most painful I have felt in a long time. Combine recovering from surgery, Michigan, a 7 mile day, and now practicing at six in the morning, I was beaten. Little did I know that I still had a long week ahead of me. I ran another 7 miles today at a 6:34 pace.

Thursday, September 1: Time trial Thursday! 6 miles total

It wasn’t so much a time trial as it was a glorified workout. I ran hard two miles on my own on a tough course. I still felt bad from the long week, but overall I lived up to my expectations. I feel ready to tackle my first upcoming 5K on September 10th.

friday september 2: 7 miles

Today was an easy recovery day after yesterday’s time trial. I ran another 7.0 miles at a 6:54 pace. I felt really good today; the time trial seemed to ease my pain.

Saturday September 3: 8 miles

I had a “long run” today. Since I am still in the recovery phase of surgery, my mileage for the week is low. That means I only had 8.0 miles today. Even though it wasn’t a real long run, it was still my longest run of the week and a harder effort. I raced with two of my underclass teammates, Tony Ortega and Radek Molchan. We ran in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. It was a nice run with some pretty views. I ran my 8.0 at 6:24. After the race, we went swimming and taking an ice bath in the Petite Rivière.

Sunday September 4: 3 miles + strides

The last race of the week was an easy 3.0 miles. I have a practice session on Monday, so today was just a feel-good day. I averaged 6:13 per mile and finished with a few quick strides on the grass.

Total mileage: 45 miles