Thursday, April 29, 2010

Your toughest workout you have done this spring?

Would love to hear from athletes and coaches out there about their toughest workout that they have done this track and field season.  Please include the distances, type and length of rest, workout benefit etc.


Coach Small said...

Albert, are you fishing for secret workouts? Haha.

We have had a few good ones I'll share, I wouldn't say they are the "hardest" but they were tired at the end of the day:

Mile Breakdowns:
4 x 400

@ 2 mile Date pace, 1 min rest between reps, 400 jog in 4-5 min between sets.

This one killed them yesterday, due more to speed than volume:

4 x 150 accelerations
5 x 300-200
4 x 150 accelerations

300 done @ 800 date pace, 200 done at 800 goal pace. 30 seconds rest between reps; 300 walk in 4 minutes between sets.

Coach Small said...

PS. Its not all about your drop dead hard workouts, it is how you recover after and the mileage day in and day out. That is my disclaimer and I'm sticking to it!

My best workouts? The two I did every day...

Albert Caruana said...


Thanks for posting the workouts. I do agree with you that it's about the consistency which you hear about all the time. Trials of miles. Everyday you are not training, you are detraining. Don't take two consecutive days off (what if all xc kids did this during the summer). Staying away from injuries.

And yes I am fishing. There are so many great workouts being done out there. When you have runners on your team for four years, it's good to throw something new at them once in a while which probably have the same effect as your staple workouts.

So let's keep those workouts coming folks. Comments along the same lines are welcome as well.

Anonymous said...

6 x 1000m @ 2 mile pace with 90 seconds jogging recovery


5 x 1 mile @ 5k pace with 90 seconds jogging recovery

Anonymous said...

20 x 400m @ 2 mile pace
recovery: 100-120 m jogging recovery

Anonymous said...

You can actually go up to at least 5 days without losing fitness... so you are not detraining, just stagnant.

Kevin L said...

5k stimulation workout
5x1k @ 5k pace w/60 sec rest

If you want the shortest 1 min of your life, get to the recovery after the 3rd or 4th repeat of this workout.

Peter Brewer said...


Today we did 16 x 400 at 2 mile pace with 30 second rest. (If the kid wanted to go faster then each one had to be consistent.) Every set of 4 had a 3-4 minute walk/jog. The top dog did his in all 69's. The littlest puppy did hers in 98's.

What we do every day to prepare is the extended warmup: 800 run, active stretching and drills for 10-12 minutes, 1600 run, 8-12 x 100 strides. Then we get into the day's workout.

Peter Brewer

Carrie said...

Peter --

We do something similar but with some variation. We do sets of 4, but we mix it up within the set a bit.

For example, the first set might be all at 2 mile pace/1 min rest.

The next set might be 2mile pace/1 mile pace/2 mile pace/1 mile pace (again, on a minute rest)

The next set might be 2mile pace/all out/2 mile pace/1 mile pace (the rest would be 2 min after the all out).

And so on... as you can see the paces can be mixed up in many different (and torturous!) ways. We've done it where the 3rd or 4th set might go back to being all at 2 mile pace.

The benefits of doing 16-20 ALL at 2 mile pace are obvious. We also like to see how the kids do with pace changes... but let's face it, a workout with those kinds of changes is going to benefit a stronger runner than it is a newbie. So typically we wouldn't ask for that kind of pace change workout with a newer runner.

Reesey did 20x400 in February in which we played with the pace changes, but he was also coming off an indoor season and was ready to handle it. Let's just say the results of that workout clearly indicated he would get to where he is at the moment...

Albert Caruana said...

The "if you are not training, you are detraining" quote is from Dr. Joe Vigil who knows something about coaching runners.

Keep the workouts coming and they do not need to be track workouts per se. Lots of good stuff being done on the roads as well.

Anonymous said...

6x200 @ 800 pace (200 jog rest)

4 min rest

1x2400 @ 3200 pace +2 secs per 400
i.e. 10:00 boy @ 77, 12:00 girl @ 92

4 min rest

6x200 @ 800 pace - last 2 as fast as they want (200 jog rest)

Anonymous said...

The "you can go at least up to 5 days without losing fitness" quote is by Jack Daniels, who knows more than "something" about coaching runners.

My Calves Hurt said...

Okay. Here was our toughest workout, definitely not the best, but it hurt the most. Key factor is that takes place one day after the first big track meet of the season where we doubled in the mile and two mile.

Next Day:
2400 @ 90% of 2 mile target pace
1600 @ target 2 mile pace
2 x 800 @ 90% of target mile pace
4 x 400 @ target mile pace

1 lap active recovery between sets and 200yrd active recovery between repeats.

The last 800 and all the 400s really started to hurt. This helped our endurance more than speed. Only one guy hit his target pace for all the 800s and 400s. This was a big confidence building workout as well.

Albert Caruana said...

Here is an interesting article about rest which includes said quote from Dr. Joe Vigil:

Coach Small said...

Quote: The "you can go at least up to 5 days without losing fitness" quote is by Jack Daniels, who knows more than "something" about coaching runners.

As someone who worked with Daniels while he was on the Farm Team I think you are skewing what he was saying. He was talking scientifically, when injured or can lose 5 days and the season is not over. But that is at the college or professional level where you run 80-120 miles per week usually for years at a time with rarely a day off. THEN, 5 days because of being sick and not running you will be ok and not lose fitness.

The high school runner who probably takes the summer or winter running 4-5 days a week (if you are lucky) or the freshman who has only run for 2-3 months and then loses 5 days is not the same thing.

Also he was talking physiologically, there is a lot more to running. Would you have a runner take 5 days off before the big meet? Why?

The problem is you miss a day here, two days there, 5 days... It adds up and you will never be your best. That is Daniels, Vigil and anyone else who dreams of being their best.

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