Runssel: People, or lets says running nerds, do know you and your achievements quite well. You subscribe a great blog and transfer a good understanding of your racing activities. On the private side you are an attorney with the Environmental Law Institute. How would you describe yourself outside of running?
Roche: Outside of running, I work with coastal communities in the U.S. and abroad to better understand how the law affects them and the places they live. So I have a law degree, but I'm much more comfortable in a pair of shorts in Barbuda or a parka in Alaska talking to people than I'd ever be in a suit talking to a judge. I own 1 tie, and it doesn't match any of my clothes, so that is probably a good thing. Also, I say the word "awesome" a lot, which probably wouldn't be appropriate for the courtroom.
|Mr.Roche in full flight. Maybe the most imprtant Nike signing since this rookie B-Ball player back in 1984.|
I started the blog way back when I was but a young pup without much of a clue. I was living in New York City, having moved there from the farm where I grew up. City life was so stifling that writing stupid things ostensibly about running gave me an outlet to a broader world. While my body was trapped in Manhattan, the blog let me interact with people and ideas from everywhere (like Markus!). In retrospect, I guess it all began with hating New York City and missing the simplicity of farm life. From there, it just evolved over time, especially after I met my wife and that need for a creative outlet vanished.
How would you explain yourself as a runner using just 3 verbs?
Go, go, go, poop. That last one is also a noun so I'll count it as bonus.
|Team Roche - 3rd overall at the XTERRA Worlds 2014|
To be honest, the races I'm most proud of are those I didn't win. At the XTERRA World Championships in Hawaii last month, I was coming off a week in Alaska for work, and had to race the next day in hot and humid conditions. I felt crappy from the start, but went out hard and gave myself a chance (eventually finishing 3rd behind a Nike teammate). I think the good days are usually pretty easy--the crappy days are when we show what we're made of.
If I had to choose a win, it'd be the U.S. National Championship in the Trail 10k. I went out in a 2:44 first kilometer on a rocky trail, which was both stupid and fun. But mostly stupid.
I’m consistently outraged when I check my Strava feed (Check David's Profile). You seem to bang out some bloody fast training jogs on a regular basis. Do you have a certain training routine or plan? How does a standard training week look like?
I am self-coached, and over time I've developed a general philosophy, but I never have a plan. (note: that's a terrible thing for a coach to admit, and the athletes I work with probably will be unhappy to read that!). What works for me is really, really easy recovery days and consistent rest days mixed with hard speed workouts, lots of high-volume fartleks, and consistent strides.
I always begin from the recovery--usually a Monday rest day and a Friday "Kenyan shuffle" (often at 9 min mi pace). Saturday and Sunday are longer days (12-20 miles) on trails with lots of elevation or a race. And Tuesday-Thursday is dictated by work, usually with 12-14 miles relaxed progression on 2 of the days and a tempo/speed session the other. No matter what distance/terrain you race, I think it's important to keep in touch with top-end speed, so I do lots of 20-30 second strides year-round.
|Mountain Running Worlds in Italy last year: "Having a strategy was liberating. It was going to be a beautiful victory for Team USA, or a beautiful disaster for me."|
Last year at the Mountain Running Champs, I went out too hard and was struggling a bit on the upper reaches of the climb. I was huffing and puffing, running with all my might, when I got passed by 3 Italians. While I was running my heart out, they were walking. It looked like they were just on an evening stroll. That was the point I knew I had a lot to learn before committing to a season in Europe.
This year, my wife and I are hoping to do one European mountain race (possibly the Zermatt Marathon or another race that Nike supports) before hopefully qualifying for Worlds again. European racing seems like a different level of intensity and fun--people CARE across the pond. That is really attractive in some ways, and daunting in others. I'd bet that my wife Megan and I will be pooping and/or falling down in the Euro trail racing circuit within a year or two :)
|Cashing in: Brazen Championship Race - Two 1sts!|
Adventure! That is always my first response, because I always think I'll be able to achieve that goal at least.
This year, we're starting the season with our 2nd ultra, the Way Too Cool 50k in California (I finished 4th at the US 50k Champs last year and Megan won). From there, we'll refocus on prep for the US Mountain Running Champs and hopefully Worlds. But like my training, there's never too much of a plan. We usually decide on big races (including races like National Championships) a week or two in advance.
I guess you are into music. What’s your current choice?
Taylor Swift. If anyone gives a different answer, they are probably lying.