Workout of the Day

Lea Wallace (grey top) leads the field in the rounds at the 2012 US Olympic Trials. 

Lea Wallace (grey top) leads the field in the rounds at the 2012 US Olympic Trials. 

2 x (300m / 300m / 200m)


  • Set 1 — 45.0 / 45.028.8
  • Set 2 — 44.3 / 43.9 / 27.9

Recovery: 90" rest after each rep & 3:00 rest after each set

Lea Wallace — January 11th, 2016


Context & Details 

Watching an athlete perform intense middle distance training provides a beautiful contrast. On one hand, the power, speed, and grace that someone like Lea displays in her running stride while clicking off 45 second 300's is a joy to watch. On the other, the struggle between reps and the complete exhaustion afterward make it seem like she just went through torture.

In January 2016, the goal was to get ready pretty early to knock out a world-class mark. She had spent most of 2015 injured and then came on during the latter part of the year to run 2:01 for 800m in a small local meet. Because she hadn't raced much, we figured a full indoor season made sense. So to start off 2016, she came down for a training camp in Houston, and we went to work. 

This workout was one of her first big tests. Coming in she had a gradually built up her race pace work with 100s, 150s, and 200s. She had advanced to a point where it was safe and intelligent to test things out a bit with more extended (200m - 300m) race specific reps. This session served a dual purpose:
 1) I wanted to ensure she continued to progress in fitness.
 2) We needed a check-in to get an honest assessment of her current form.

Lea's performance that day surprised and delighted. I was pumped about her workout, not only because of the times but also because of how she looked. My collegiate athletes watched in wonderment on how fast she ran the reps and how relaxed she looked doing it. Her fitness was where it needed to be and she was in a good place heading into the upcoming indoor circuit. 

Unfortunately, two weeks later she pulled her calf racing at an indoor meet. It was a stark reminder of how fleeting fitness can be and how sometimes we as coaches need to respect the amount work athletes put in. There is a tax that comes with fast and hard work, and it must be respected, by both athlete and coach. 

Lea's untimely injury made me realize how fine of a line athletes are riding when in top shape. A misstep here, a wrong turn there, and one can find themselves on the wrong side of that line and sentenced to the sidelines for the remainder of the season. Sadly, Lea never got to express her fitness during 2016 fully, but coaching her through this time helped me grow in unimaginable ways as a coach. And for that, I'm forever grateful. Thank you Lea.


Any questions? You can send me a Direct Message on Twitter.  Thank you for reading.| SM

Steve Magness