Today we’re checking in with Wes Doty from Back on My Feet! If you missed our first post with Wes, you check it out here. Three and a half years ago, Wes turned his life around with the help of Back on My Feet. Wes was training for the Boston Marathon when COVID-19 hit. Today, Wes shares with us his reaction to the Boston Marathon being postponed, how he’s adjusted his training and what his favorite Topo models are.
What was your reaction to the Boston Marathon being postponed?
When I first got news of the postponement, I was disappointed, as were others around me at work who have been living my journey vicariously (God love them). My disappointment quickly turned to concern, not for long cold days spent training going down the drain, but for the toll this pandemic will take on our country and the rest of the world. There will always be races. Millions of people have much worse happening. Boston can wait.
How has training changed for you given the current situation and the postponement of the Boston Marathon till September?
Training was immediately taken down a few notches. I took a week off and then started back up only running easy with no hard workouts. I’m keeping my volume pretty low for now. I still will run LR’s but will not go over 15 miles and I keep them at an easy effort. I don’t want to burn myself out and over-train too soon. I will go back into a regular training block in June.
Do you develop your own training plans, or do you work with a coach?
I do have a coach and I run on a team. A few years ago, I was introduced to Coach Matt Ebersole through the annual Back on my Feet Birthday Bash. He’s been training with me ever since. The team is called PBT (Personal Best Training). I love the community it’s helped me build and the doors it has opened for me. They are stuck with me.
If with a coach, what words of encouragement did they give you? If yourself, what words of encouragement would you give to someone else in your shoes?
My coach has encouraged everyone to be safe and do what we individually think is the best for our families during this crisis. I think we have all hit the brakes and dial way back from our typical training plan. The whole world has had to do the same, I guess. Hit the brakes. I think it’s a good time to reflect on what all we take for granted. Those things have become extremely apparent.
Do you have any goals for the Boston Marathon?
I would love to beat my Boston qualifying time of 2:55. I also want to make sure I soak in the whole experience. Live it like it may be my only opportunity to do so. Everyone attending this year will already be going down in the history books of the time Boston was ran in September. Last but not least, I want to make it a point to take some time to nerd out on all of the history of the city. I’m lowkey a history geek. Although, I would bet the people closest to me would argue that it’s not lowkey, at all! 😊
Has the postponement given you the opportunity to do something that you wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise? (silver linings!)
The postponement has given me the opportunity to re-center myself. To slow down and remember what’s important in life. With all of this time alone it’s allowed me to learn more about me (and others). I think it has allowed me to rest and hit reset. Physically and mentally. I will get to start training on a cleared mind and even fresher legs than I had prior.
What do you like about Topo footwear?
The quality that stands out the most about Topo footwear are the wide toe box between all of the models. I personally have had a history of blisters from my feet being too bunched up in my running shoes, but I never have that issue with Topo. I love how I can feel my toes splay with every landing and strike of my foot. It gives me better control and feels like I’m able to grip the road.
What Topo shoes are you rotating through and which models do you use for what workouts?
I’ve been rotating between the ST-3, Fli-Lyte 3, Zephyr, and the Ultrafly 2 for my running and the Rekovr for my rest days. Each has their own purpose in my training regimen. I use the ST-3 for my track and speed work because their light weight and because of the zero-drop in the midsole. Believe it or not, I like to run in them occasionally on an easy, recovery day too. I feel the zero-drop is good for stretching out my calves on those days after a hard workout.
I’ve been using the Fli-Lyte 3 and the Zephyr for my tempo runs and my long runs. I like the lightweight feel of the Fli-Lyte and the cushioning from the Zephyr. The Fli-Lytes are one of the most comfortable shoes I have ran in. The toe box leaves my feet feeling relaxed and loose the entire run. The Plantar Flexion Stabilizer imbedded in the midsole of the Zephyr is what stands out the most for me. You can really feel the return of energy that you get from each push off of the ground. That and the cushioning you get from the midsole foam make for a unique combo.
I use the Ultrafly 2 for my slow, easy recovery days. My off days that I am not running I wear the Rekovrs. The design of the shoe insert feels amazing on the bottom of my feet and I feel they promote good recovery, not just of my legs but my feet too.
Which Topo shoe is your favorite? Which workout is your favorite?
My favorite Topo shoe is hands down the Zephyr (if you couldn’t already tell by my description above haha). It’s just a good all-around shoe. I feel like it can be used for any of the different types of running that comes from training for a marathon. From the long run to the easy, just bopping-along days.
My favorite workout is hill intervals. They give me a ton of benefits without having to go as fast as I otherwise would need to go. Brutal, however! 😊