A Brooks Beasts Practice

Brooks Beasts (from left to right) Jess Tonn, Hannah Fields, and Katie Mackey. 

Brooks Beasts (from left to right) Jess Tonn, Hannah Fields, and Katie Mackey. 

Earlier this week I asked good friend and coaching colleague Danny Mackey, Head Coach of the Brooks Beasts TC in Seattle, Washington, to send me a few workouts for the WOTD

His reply, "Come to Seattle this Friday, the Beasts have their first big workout of 2018."

Thankfully, all HPW athletes had a restorative or rest day on Friday, with no commitments, I hoped in my car and drove up the freeway to the Emerald City. 

When I got to Seattle, Danny informed me of the workout set-up. But, the Beasts didn't know any specifics until they arrived at the Dempsy track that morning. All he told them beforehand was, "big workout Friday, be ready." 

He doesn't usually do this. 

Typically, he tells his athletes well in advance what the construct of workouts will be and explains the purpose behind them. I wish all coaches empowered their athletes like this, it is important and makes a difference. 

But this day, all he wanted was for them to bring their A game. Show up prepared to perform to their best, regardless of the workout design. He wanted an air of anticipation, excitement, nervousness, and buzz like race day. Indoor season kicks off soon, and he was aiming to prepare the Beasts as much mentally as physically for the upcoming realities of racing. 

It was basically empty in the Dempsy, save for the Beasts. But it was incredibly noisy the entire practice.  I thought a track meet was going on. As members of the Beasts circled the Dempsy track at breakneck speeds, propelling each other to memorable marks, multiple loud yells of encouragement for each runner was heard every rep. 

"Ahh," I thought, "this is a team that cares — about each other, about the sport, about doing their work well." It was impressive to see, warmed my heart, and brought a smile to my face. This what a professional running team should be. What Brooks and Danny have built is something special. 

Most of the Beasts ran the reps faster than asked. Yet they all looked smooth, controlled, and amazingly fluid. Many of their strides significantly cleaned up since I last saw them run this summer. Danny told me improved running mechanics was a targeted point of emphasis for the team this fall. The result of their work was indeed noticeable. 

It fired me up to see my friend's crew crush their workouts, cheering each other on, and merrily enjoying their labor as a part of something bigger. It was a better practice than Danny could have hoped. And for me, was well worth the 7+ hours of driving up and down the interstate on my day off. 


Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm 

Jonathan Marcus