The Orange runner
The Orange runnerThe Orange runner

Training Log -- Zach Cole

Zach Cole is one of my very good friends, and enjoys both running and art as much as I do. We share an affinity for the derelict, the run-down, the black line and the poetic effort. He is a character in a Woody Allen movie (or maybe Wes Anderson) and typifies both "New York City Artist" and "New York City Runner."


What was your ideal weekly workout/practice schedule?

This is what I'd LIKE to get to do, not what I actually am able to pull off these days. I don't yet have a drawing routine or regimen, but if I was to outline one, here's what it might look like


  • Running - 7-8 miles easy pace, usually the Sunset Park loop

  • Art - I'd like to start the week with journaling and writing. I find that writing helps me understand my feelings, and process what I'm observing, which helps me make better art. 


  • Running - Speed workout on the track with big warmup and big cooldown, ideally about 10-13 miles total

  • Art - 30 mins drawing in the evening, allow to extend to 2 hours if feeling good.


  • Running - 5-6 miles easy pace, ideally run commute 

  • Art - 30 mins drawing in the evening, allow to extend to 2 hours if feeling good.


  • Running - 6-8 miles easy pace

  • Art - 30 mins drawing in the evening, allow to extend to 2 hours if feeling good.


  • Running - 6-8 miles easy pace or off entirely

  • Art - Freeform art, try new materials, try new styles, or just read and rest


  • Running - Long run with tempo in the middle, ideally anywhere from 14-22 miles (depending on if I'm in a marathon cycle or not)

  • Art - Dedicated big work time - large canvas progress in pen, pencil, or marker.


  • Running - 5-6 miles recovery

  • Art - Dedicated big work time - large canvas progress in pen, pencil, or marker.

What’s your warmup or cool down routine?

  • Running - Coffee, a series of stretches and mobility movements for my calves, glutes, hips, and quads, followed by foam rolling on my hamstrings 

  • Art - I don't really warm up for drawing, but I do try to get myself into a creative state of mind. This usually includes looking at art that I've saved that has inspired me, or an artist's work who inspires me, and even putting on some sort of weird music. I really like to draw to things that stimulate my brain. Lately that's been a lot of Stones Throw stuff.

Do you have any habits or extra-curriculars that help your running?

I loooooove to cook. I generally stay vegetarian at home, so it's a lot of pasta, bean, and lentil dishes. This gives me a great runner's diet high in fiber and carbs, and tons of healthy ingredients. I really think cooking is one of the most creative things you can do - it's literally an act of hands-on creation - and when you get good at it and can improvise and adlib a bit, it's just the most fun. 

Do you have any other hobbies, interests or habits unrelated to running? 

I love horror movies. And of course, drawing. 

Do you have a morning or an evening routine? 

I like to wake up early. I love seeing the sunrise if it's not at an ungodly hour. I love to make coffee and lay on my couch for a while watching the sunrise before I really have to move and use my body or my brain. I'll read NYT, or catch up on NBA highlights usually.

What are your favorite books, songs, movies, mantras, or other sources of inspiration?

  • Books: Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer; Just Kids by Patti Smith; Real Life by Brandon Taylor; On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong; No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood; White Fang by Jack London;  

  • Movies: Into the Wild, Good Will Hunting, Green Room, Mean Girls

  • Mantra: "Get what you like; don't like what you get." - Ron Morris. Ron was my high school photography teacher. He said this to me one day while reviewing a contact sheet that I wasn't realllllly thrilled with, and he wanted me to reshoot the project, even though I didn't. At the time, I thought this was just about photography, but in life I've learned that it's applicable to so much more.

Who are your influences?

  • Athletic - This one's harder to say. I love or have loved a lot of NBA players over time: Iverson, Jordan, Dwyane Wade, Jayson Tatum. But they don't really inspire me or my own behavior personally. From a running lens, I always love watching Robby Andrews 800m videos from Virginia before big workouts or races to get hyped up. That kick is just insane.

  • Artistic - SO many. A bunch that I've been loving lately include Nathaniel Russel, Jeffrey Sincich, Bill Rebholz, Zack Rosebrugh, Matthew Lisk, Sarah Mari Shaboyan, Luis Mendo, Julian Adon Alexander (Snakebone).