HIGH PERFORMANCE WEST

WOTD

Workout of the Day

 Long before they were known as Bowerman TC, the cohort of professional runners coached by Jerry Schumacher were simply known as "Jerry's Guys" around the Portland area. This photo is from 2013 (left to right: Matt Tengenkamp, German Fernandez, Simon Bairu, Alan Webb, and Chris Solinsky). 

Long before they were known as Bowerman TC, the cohort of professional runners coached by Jerry Schumacher were simply known as "Jerry's Guys" around the Portland area. This photo is from 2013 (left to right: Matt Tengenkamp, German Fernandez, Simon Bairu, Alan Webb, and Chris Solinsky). 

1200m Cut-Up / 4 x 400m / 1200m Cutdown / 4 x 300m

1 x 1200m / 4 x 400m / 1 x 1200m / 4 x 300m

Splits:

  • 1200m cut-up — 58.66 + 60.25 + 64.47 = 3:03.38
  • 400m reps — 61.04 / 61.97 / 61.50 / 61.15
  • 1200m cutdown — 63.32 + 60.57 + 57.86 = 3:01.75
  • 300m reps — 44.72 / 44.96 / 44.28 / 44.18 / 42.13*

Recovery:

  • 400m jog after 1200m cut-up 
  • 100m in 30" between 400m reps
  • 400m jog before & after 1200m cutdown rep
  • 100m in 30" between 300m reps

Alan Webb, Chris Solinsky, Matt Tegenkamp — June 4th, 2013

 

Context & Details 

In the early 2010s, at times traveling conflicts would prevent either Coach Schumacher or long time assistant, Pascal Dolbert, from being present at track workouts for their Bowerman TC professional runners. On those very rare occasions, I'd get a call to proxy coach. And every time I jumped at the chance. 

This session provided me the privilege to call splits for 3 American record holders in the sunset of their careers. Alan held the 1 Mile record, Teg the 2 Mile, and (at the time) Solinsky owned the 10,000m. You hate to see Superman's power fade, but for all three their best competitive efforts were behind them. However, they were determined to take a swing at making another World Championships team at the upcoming 2013 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. None of them qualified. Injuries had plagued their preparations. Father time, whom they had spent a career running from, had finally caught up. 

Jerry gave me two clear instructions for this session:

  1. Ensure they stayed disciplined and ran the target paces
  2. If any of them did run faster or more reps than prescribed, kick them out of practice. 

OK. Got it, Jerry. Can do.

I can't speak to why Jerry constructed the session and chose the paces he did for these guys at this time. I could speculate but won't. Rather, I'll simply note one element I found intriguing: the 1200m cut-up is a fascinating way to begin a workout. At the time, I would have never considered such a design.

As you would expect, they aced the session. Hitting every split asked of them with precision, including the tricky 1200m reps which demanded significant change of paces. I on the other hand, I failed miserably as proxy coach. 

You'll notice the workout calls for only 4 x 300m, but in the splits a 5th 300m rep is recorded. Unbeknownst to me, they had all agreed to do a 5th 300m rep, running pace for the first 220m and then racing — all out — the final 80m straightaway. For American Record Holder barging rights I suppose. It sure was something to see. A very close contest. Alan pulled away in the final 15m, inching out Tegenkamp, who snuck past Solinsky in the final strides.

With their best races in the rearview mirror, that day might have been the final Battle Royale that really mattered. A last hurrah. And who I am to stop three of the greatest American distance runners of all time from having a little fun? Besides, practice was over so I couldn't kick them out.

 

Any questions? I'm happy to answer. You can send me a Direct Message on Twitter or email me at jmarcus.hpw@gmail.com

Thx //  jm

Jonathan Marcus