Nike runner and former Badger from Stevens Point, WI opened up his 2010 season with an impressive 3:55.75 mile at the oversized indoor U. of Washington track. According to Chris, with the exception of 2 track workouts, all he's been doing is "base" distance work.
I recall back in my college days developing a huge distance base going into my last year preparing for the N.A.I.A marathon. Indoors, I managed to pick off 5th place in the 2- mile running 9:25 (very fast for me!)on nothing but distance work (OK I jumped in for a few 800s once a week but that was following a morning run and another 6-8 miles before practice).
One of our outdoor meets was Conference Relays, including a 4 x 1 mile, and somebody talked me into running a mile at UW- Eau Claire. I guess we must have been short-handed, because I was slow and never competed in such a short race in college. In what felt like a painful all out sprint I ran 4:30 to make the 4 man team, only to tie up and run a disappointing 4:35 relay leg when it counted.
Trust me when I say I was slow, but somehow I ran half way respectable off nothing but strength distance work. Not near Solinsky's level, but I know it doesn't take much speed to run a decent short race off huge volume and tempo. It will be interesting to see how he does this season- no secret Chris is on a mission to break 13 min for 5K, and he's off to a great start.