A blog by runners. For runners.

Runner of the week: meet Bret Spears

runner of the week bret spears

This week's runner of the week is a father of four from Las Vegas who fell in love with running back in high school. These days he's trying to see how competitive he can be in the master's division.

Tell us about yourself
I am a 42 father of 4, originally from Colorado but living in Las Vegas for the past 19 years.

How did you get started running? What's your running “story”?

I started running as a senior in high school when we first brought cross country to our school. We qualified for the state championships that year and I qualified again in track in both the 1600M and 3200M. I was hooked after that. I ran cross country and track in college then off and on for a couple years after I graduated. I stopped completely for about 15 years. When I was 40 I had a blood test that revealed my cholesterol was beginning to get high so I decided I needed to do something about it. I took up running again and I have been at it ever since.

Why do you run?
There's no way to describe it but I just love to run. It's just my thing.

What's the best thing about running? What's the worst thing?

I love the feeling that it's 100 percent me and I feel 100 percent free, especially when I'm out running early in the morning and it's still dark outside. It's my great escape. When I have an injury that prevents me from running, I hit the elliptical or stairclimber at the gym pretty hard to stay in shape but I hate every minute of it. I recently had a bad strain in my calf and the 6 weeks it took to properly heal it was torture.

Do you have any advice for a running newbie?
Build up slowly, create a plan and set goals, be consistent, and be patient.

Tell us a bit about your training — what does a typical week look like?

I limit myself to 4 days per week of running because at 42 I don't recover as quickly as I used to and I was always prone to injuries. The other 3 days per week I have an intense cross-training routine I do at the gym. Tuesdays are my speed day in which I'll do either hill repeats, cruise intervals, fartleks, or intervals. The type of speed work depends on what kind of event I have planned in the near future. Thursdays are a medium distance day where I run 5 to 7 miles. Saturdays I do a short maintenance run of 3 to 4 miles where I might pick up the pace to about 6:00-6:15 in the last mile or do some strides. Sundays are a long run where I run anywhere from 8 to 13 miles depending on if I'm ramping up to a race or coming back from an injury. In the long run I'll also occasionally throw in three or four random miles at about 6:30 pace. As I mentioned earlier all of my running is done very early in the morning, especially in the summer when the low temperatures are still in the 80s.

Tell us about your running or fitness goals.

My main goal is to compete in big races I used to read about in Runner's World but never ran in. In the last couple of years I ran the Carlsbad 5000 and Bay to Breakers, both of which were races I always wanted to run. I also ran my first half marathon at the Disneyland Half Marathon. I just want to keep running and see how competitive I can become in the Master's Division.

Bret's favorites

  • Favorite candy: Chocolate
  • Favorite quote: When it comes to running I like the old Nike slogan “just do it.” I do all my running early in the morning and I usually utter some version of that slogan the help get me out the door.

Thank you, Bret, for sharing your story! If you'd like to nominate yourself or another runner to be the “Runner of the Week,” email us! We'd love to hear from you.

Recent runners of the week: Beth Barbara | Jason Schmitt