serious running: trail running, races, shoe reviews

Running and Training Tips from a BADD Runner (1 of 2)

posted by Chris Barber

BADD, as in good.  I know, the kids these days never say what they really mean. This BaddRunner, Bryan Baddorf, is no kid though.  He turned in a 2:39:48 at Boston a couple of weeks ago!  I know, that’s pretty serious.  It’s cool to be a serious runner, that’s why you are here, but have you thought about also being a BaddRunner?  A BaddRunner describes running as not just a hobby, not just a job, but an ethos, lifestyle, and addiction.  And you thought you were the only one with this addiction.  See, I told you, you’re not alone.  I recently caught up with this BaddRunner, Bryan, and here’s what he told me about being Badd (my previous knowledge of being Badd was only from Micheal Jackson):


What are some of your PRs? My fastest marathon was ironically my first one.  My freshman year of college I earned the nickname “The Debut Kid” because I always managed to run a good time at my first try at a certain distance.  My PR for that first marathon was 2 hours 34 minutes and 58 seconds.  I’ve completed 2 more marathons since then at 2 hours 48 minutes and then Boston at 2 hours 39 minutes and 48 seconds.  Other PRs include 5K: 14:44 (College), 15:25 post collegiate. 4 Mile: 19:58, 10K 31:09 (college,) Half Marathon 1 hour 12 minutes.

Whoa, those times are pretty Badd.  So, what does it mean to be a BADD runner?  Any particular reason for the two Ds? The main reason for the 2 Ds is because of our last name being “Baddorf.”  But the idea of being a BaddRunner is more or less someone who really lives the lifestyle of a runner.  Not necessarily a “weekend warrior” but an every day warrior.  Someone that’s willing to sacrifice the extra sleep for the extra mileage on the roads or trails.  Anyone that has to take their running into consideration when making huge life choices is probably a  BaddRunner.

I know what you mean, I almost married a mermaid once but decided that running was too important to me.  I didn’t want to become a swimmer.  So I’ve heard you say, “You have to train mean before you race mean,” what exactly do you mean (pun intended)?

I definitely don’t push every day hard.  Some people claim that they are hardcore when they do that, but really they are is stupid.  I love pushing myself hard and running fast.  It really is fun, but when you reach a certain pace level it can also be dangerous.  Not to toot my own horn, but if I run at a hard tempo pace for 5 miles or so, I can hold about 5:30 pace without dropping off that effort.  This scenario is fine to do once or twice a week but definitely not every session.  That’s how stress fractures and burnout happens.  I have several friends that do that.  But I do love to train mean.  I always feel good after pounding out a hard training run.

My typical marathon training has 3 hard sessions during a week.  Monday is relatively easy, hitting at least 10 miles in the am at about 7 minute pace (most of our runs we try to hold 7 minute pace for “easy” days.)  Tuesday we would do some repeats.  We try to vary the distance to keep it fresh.  Sometimes 8 x 800s, sometimes mile repeats.  But usually our  mileage for the day would be about 10 miles.  Wednesdays we would do an easy hour or so in the morning and lift afterward (when we lift we mostly do upper body with not real heavy weight, but high reps…we are distance guys not body builders…we don’t mind being laughed at for being skinny.)  Thursdays we would do a tempo run of 5-6 miles hard.  After warm up and cool down it would be about 8 miles for that day.  Friday would be another 10 miles easy in the am.  Then Saturday would be considered our 3rd hard day with our distance being most of the hard part.  Our longest run during training for Boston topped out at 23 miles.  Usually at some point we would work down to 6 flat pace for 4-6 miles…usually towards the end of the run.  Our goal pace for the marathon was 6 flat, so we would try to emulate that as much as possible.  Sunday was an optional run.  I had some minor injuries so I usually rested that day.

Good idea.  Even God took Sunday off to rest.  So you said you like to take 4 weeks off of running a year so you don’t burn out, which makes sense, but do you completely stop running or do you fill that void with another physical activity? Do you change your eating habits?

One strategy that I like for off time I heard from Bob Kennedy.  He said his high school coach told him to take time off between seasons.  He said to wait until you felt like running again.  Supposedly that is why Kennedy retired…he had taken a break and didn’t feel like starting back and so thought it was a good indication to stop.  Anyway I try to do about a 2 week break.  Depending on how I feel I might do some light cross training, but it is always fun stuff.  I’ll play a little ultimate frisbee or frisbee golf.  We also play on an ice hochey team in a Men’s League here in Memphis and sometimes that falls in our off time.   I try to really cut loose during my off time and that sometimes includes my eating habits.  Nothing too extreme, but more fast food than usual and that kind of stuff.

Nothing too extreme?!  Frisbee golf is pretty extreme to me man!  You said you do two training cycles a year, does that mean you race/train specifically for two big races a year?  Do you often train for different distances?

It really depends on my mental status.  Normally I will focus one one race or distance and train mostly for that.  I’ll pick a race and work backwards on an outline for a training schedule.  Right now after training for six months for Boston, I’m not setting any goals.  I’ll just train until I feel like I’m in shape and then race.  I’ll probably do 5ks for a while until my leg speed weakens a little, then hop back to the longer stuff.

More to come about competitive running, running shoes, and the running life from Bryan Baddoff.  But if you want to know more about being a BaddRunner then check out the BaddRunner blog.


  1. tom says:

    Thanks for getting rid of the annoying modal that kept flashing golf courses on top of your website.

    1. Chris Barber says:

      You’re welcome. We don’t directly control some of our advertisements but we do try to regulate the annoying ones. I’m glad your happy Tom.