Archive for May, 2013

Workout 5-30

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

It is going to be hot.  So we’ll shorten up the length of the interval.  In the heat your paces should be a little off, don’t worry if you’re going a touch slower than you think you should.  Your body is working just as hard.


Warm up 15-20 minutes.

6 x 100 strides

12-16 x 400m w/ 90 seconds (200m) jog.  Starting at 5k pace and progressing to mile pace.  It is only a 400, so you’ll be tempted to go too fast, control yourself or you’ll pay later.

If you want to start at the same place just jog the whole turn then turn around and jog back.

Break the 400’s into 4 sets, if your doing 12 that would be sets of 3, 16 sets of 4 etc…

1st Set @ 5k pace

2nd Set @ 5k  -2-3 seconds

3rd Set @ 5k -4-6 seconds (this is about 3k pace)

4th Set @ 5k  -6-9 seonds (this is about mile pace)

The progression should take you to about Mile pace.

Target 8-10% of your weekly mileage.

20 MPW or less: 6-8 x 400

30 MPW: 10-12 x 400

40 MPW: 12-14 x 400

50 MPW or more : 14-16 x 400

Warm down 15-20 minutes.


Sample paces for regular attendees.

Larry 5k 8:15 (2:04)

Carleen 5k 7:53 (1:58)

Dorota 5k 7:40 (1:55)

Joe 5k 6:30 (1:37)

Ed 5k 6:16 (1:34)


For inspiration this week we’ll look at a 17 year old girl.

Mary Cain setting American Junior record for 1500

Workout 5-23

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

15-20 minute warmup

6 X 100 Strides

Group A: People who average more than 30 miles per week, or are experienced competitive runners

3-5 X 1200 @ 10k pace.  400 rest after the 1200.

After those, 400 rest then

1 X 800 (1st 400 @ 5k pace, 2nd 400 @ 3k pace)

Target 8-10% of your weekly mileage.

For people doing 30 miles per week: 3×1200+ 1 x 800

For people doing 40 miles per week: 4X(1200) + 1 x 800

For people doing 50 miles per week: 5X(1200) + 1 x 800

10 pace is about 4 seconds a lap slower than 5k and 4 seconds a lap faster than LT.

3k pace is 3-4 seconds a lap faster than 5k pace.


Group B: People who average less than 30 miles per week.

This group we will do one more week at repetition pace, then we’re going to move to interval pace.  This gets a bit harder because the recovery time is less, but the pace is slower.

3 x 400 @3k pace equal distance recovery

3 x 200 @mile pace


15-20 minute warm down

Mile Results

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Four intrepid souls took on the challenge of the Mile time trial at least 2 of whom had never before raced a mile.  Here are the results.

Ed the most experienced of the group, ran relatively even splits and finished 6 seconds ahead of his intended pace.

Dorota reacted with surprise at the pace I’d assigned her, and proceeded to obliterate it by 9 seconds.  A competitive race and a little more experience and a 6:30 mile is within her sights.

Carleen was clearly concerned about my ambitious plan for her to stick with Dorota, but was clearly faster than she believed finishing only 3 second off the pace I’d given Dorota.

Larry made the all too common mistake of mile racers everywhere and went out too fast, but hung tough, and fought till the line.

Below each result is the splits for each of the 4 laps.  Ideally these should be the same.

Ed 5:34

(82, 83, 85, 84)

These splits tell me Ed is very close to even splits, but probably needs to focus a little more during lap 3.

Dorota 6:51

(1:41, 1:45, 1:44, 1:41)

Dorota didn’t go out too fast evidenced by the fact she was able to come back in lap 4 at the same as lap 1.  She just needs a little extra effort/focus during laps 2 and 3.

Carleen 7:03

(1:42, 1:47, 1:46, 148)

Carleen went out a little too fast, but was then very consistent.

Larry 7:25

(1:44, 1:51, 1:55, 1:54)

Larry similar to Carleen, was out too fast.

Workout 5-16

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Last week there were 3 hearty runners that joined me in the rain for the workout.  What was a significant downpour turned into light rain, and then cool and overcast, really perfect for running.  Unless there is hail, or an obvious lightning storm, I’ll be at the track.



15-20 minute warm up

6×100 strides

Mile Time Trial:

I could use an extra pair of hands to record results, and splits, any takers?

This is optional.  If you’ve been doing the workouts all along I encourage you to do it.  The purpose is to give us a real baseline for future workouts and to practice at the intense focus you’ll need to get your optimal performance.  If you have a long history of competitive running, this will be less useful for you, but you may want to jump in anyway.

If you’ve never raced a mile before, don’t be intimidated, this is just a fitness test.  If you make a mistake, it is a learning experience.  That being said, please give it a full all out effort.  You will need to bring extra focus to this, if during a 5k you allow yourself to day dream about mile 2, that won’t work here.

The optimal way to run a fast mile is for all four laps to be the same split, this can be very difficult to accomplish, since your effort will have to ratchet up after each lap.  I will scream my head off at you, don’t talk to me you need all your oxygen.

Lap 1: Control your pace, don’t go out too fast.  Know what split you want to run take 1/2 of that and check it at the 200 meter mark.  If your off, there is still time to recover.  Don’t over adjust, slightly more or less effort will be enough.

Lap 2: The effort that had you breeze through lap 1, is going to need some extra effort here.  You should need to push some to maintain your pace.

Lap 3: This is where you will need to use all your reserves, this is the hardest lap in the mile.  Extra focus, extra effort.  At the same time keep your form together, even when you’re fatigued.  Think focused and relaxed, and push like hell.

Lap 4: This will be a blur, you will be so tired you don’t believe you’re going to make, but it is only 400m to go.  If you’ve got anything left start winding up a kick with 200 to go, with 150 to go unleash it.  You don’t need oxygen anymore, you can go into debt.  Use the form we’ve been working on during strides.  Swing those arms as far as they will go, they will carry you down the final stretch, don’t let your head get wobbly.  If you time it perfectly, you’ll nearly pass out as you cross the finish line.

Congratulations you’re a miler.

It can take many attempts to do this race correctly, don’t be too hard on yourself if you make a mistake or two on your first attempt.

Afterward: Walk a lap or two catch your breath.  Tell some war stories.

If you do more than 30 miles a week, we’ll add on 3-4 X 400 @ 3k-5k pace and then a normal warm down.

If you do less than 30 miles a week, go for an extra long extra slow warm down.  At least 25 minutes.


Others Options:

If you’re opting out of the Mile, and for some of you this make sense.

Group A:

(1600, 1200, 1000, 800, 600) @ 10k pace recovery equal to 1/2 the time of the interval (1/4 of the distance is a good estimate).  Total interval distance should be about 8% of your weekly mileage, we can add and remove intervals depending on your mileage.

Group B:

4 X 400 @ Mile pace + 2 seconds per lap. Full lap recovery in between each


Pace Differentiation

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

One of the most common traits of beginning runners, is all their paces are the same.  Easy pace is the same as race pace is the same as Tempo pace etc…

The reasons for this are straightforward.  When you’re beginning, running is so hard that the idea that running is anything other than agony is foreign.  What develops is a sort of in between pace that is hard enough to tire you out but not really hard enough to push your VO2 max or Lactate Systems.

By coming to  track workouts, you will get a feel for different fast paces, mile, 5k, 10k, LT all feel a little different and tax different physiological systems.

The purpose of days that are not intervals, or long runs or tempo runs is to build your aerobic base and help you recover so  you can do your next challenging workout.   They should be slow, easy and not fatigue you unnecessarily.

What I’d like to encourage is when you’re not running hard during a workout, you run easier than you usually do.

Here is your homework:

I want you to feel some fatigue in your legs, while doing this.  So the day after either a track workout, race or long run.  Go for a run much slower than you’re accustomed to, if you usually do 8:30 miles do 9:30 miles.  If you have a GPS, turn it off.  Run by feel, keep slowing down until you feel like you can’t go any slower.  Run for 25-40 minutes depending on your fitness.  You should finish feeling refreshed.  I want you to feel how to recover and still run.




Workout 5/9

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Next week we’ll be doing a 1 mile time trial on the track, the effort will be all out.  This is optional, but I encourage people who’ve never raced on a track to give it a shot.

This week:

Everyone 15-20 minute warm up very slow

6×100 strides (focus on form you should be completely recovered between each one)

Group A:  Those doing 30 or more miles per week.

3-6 x (800 @10k, 400 @5k) 200 rest between 800/400.  400 rest between sets.

Target 8% of your weekly mileage, for the interval portion.

30 miles a week = 3

40 miles a week = 4

If you plan on doing  the mile time trial next week, skip the last set and instead do.

200, 400, 200 all at mile race pace with a full recovery between each one.  This will at least give you a feel for what mile pace is like.


Group B: Those doing less than 30 miles per week.

200, 300, 400, 400, 300, 200 all at mile race pace with a complete recovery, generally an easy jog the same length as the interval is enough.

Next week, we’ll see where we stand after the time trial.


Everyone: 10-15 minute warm down.