Workout of the Day

Daniel Herrera, pictured mid-session on January 15th, 2017. 

Daniel Herrera, pictured mid-session on January 15th, 2017. 

2 x (10 x 300m @ 5K w. 100m recovery.) 


Set 1 — 47.47 49.18 / 49.51 / 50.82 / 50.50 / 50.14 50.14 / 50.11 / 49.50 49.90

Set 2 — 46.96 49.72 / 49.07 / 49.86 / 50.68 / 48.68 / 4947 / 48.67 / 48.39 48.11


  • 100m slow jog in 40" between 300m reps in a set 
  • 400m jog in 5:00 - 6:00 between sets 

Daniel Herrera  — Jan. 15th, 2017


Context & Details 

Before Daniel Herrera was the owner of a 3:56 personal best for 1 Mile and the event recorder holder for Mexico, he was just another guy working his butt off to make his dreams come true. 

It was early in Dan's training for the 2017 Outdoor season (he had elected to skip the indoor racing scene that winter) and it had just snowed heavily in Portland. In the Northwest, we know rain well, but snow is a foreign concept. The city shuts down at the first sight of white flakes. But the work had to be done. Lane 1 at the local high school track was shoveled and cleared, so he could sharpen his axe. 

I term this workout a Basic Stamina Session. Designed to strengthen the aerobic engine as well as callous the mind of the miler by exposing him to consecutive sets of higher volumes of workloads, but at moderate intensities. The main mental theme is to endure. It is essentially 20 x 400m (8,000m of work) total as the 100m recovery segments are so grossly incomplete of recovery that it is cruel to literally think of them as a "break." Better to see them as a slight reprieve, nothing more.

Instead of running a longer "tempo run" of 4 - 5 miles continuous, I often employ broken threshold work, like this session with middle distance runners. My reasoning is the athlete can run faster, focus more sharply, and get the same, if not slightly better, physiological impact from breaking up their aerobic focused stamina work into manageable chunks with hyper short recoveries interlaced. The majority of middle distance athletes I've coached employing this strategy seem to have profited from it consistently. It is a staple menu item.

The target this day was to run 49" - 50" range for the 300m reps (which is roughly 66.0/400m or 13:45/5,000m pace) at his desired goal 5K speed. Dan didn't race a high-level 5K in 2017, but he had a 13:45 race rhythm that would have been within his wheelhouse. 

Dan hit a home run that day. He ran like a true pro, staying disciplined and consistent in (for us) abnormal conditions. Four months later he broke 4 minutes in the mile for the first time, setting a national record in the process.


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

Thx //  jm

Jonathan Marcus