Workout of the Day
5 x (1200m @ 10K / 400m @ 3K)
- Set 1 — 4:02.42 / 72.85
- Set 2 — 3:56.68 / 72.43
- Set 3 — 3:58.15 / 69.91
- Set 4 — 3:58.25 / 70.57
- Set 5 — 3:59.90 / 68.20
Recovery: 200m jog after 1200m & 2:45 after 400m rep
Context & Details
Tara and Nicole had just come off of solid performances at the USATF Club XC Championships (27th and 29th respectively) contributing to a runner-up team performance for HPW. Both took 10 days of unstructured running as desired after the Club XC championship meet while travelling for the holiday season. Then a few light workouts. Until that day I hadn't seen either of them since the Club XC meet. So I wasn't 100% certain what to expect.
The session was designed for them to run at a hypothesized date 10K pace (80/400m = 33:20) for four minutes, take 75 seconds jog, and then run a lap at desired goal 3K effort (72/400m = 9:00). This workout was to help build their ability to tolerate running 3K speeds as fatigued mounted slowly. If executed as designed, sets #4 and #5 become tough, just outside the athlete's comfort zone, yet achievable, if they employ their resolve and grit.
Tara is strong & tough and, when fit, can crank out 5K - 15K pace work all day. She has an impressive motor. Nicole's dominant quality is her footspeed. She is a purebred 1500m - 3,000m runner and 400m reps at 3K effort are a familiar home. Seeing as they were both in similar competitive fitness, preparing to race indoor 3Ks, and complimented each other's strengths nicely, it made for a beneficial partnership that day.
As expected, Tara volunteer to lead the 1200m reps and Nicole took the effort ran over 1 lap. I paid witness that day to what soccer fans call "a friendly." They pushed each other rep after rep. Each taking turns pressing just outside the other's comfort zone for the given speed/distance. They were mutually callousing the other. Not racing in practice, but using practice to help each other become more race ready. They both got better due to the other's efforts.
They were true professionals that day. Making the difficult look effortless and enjoying their work without any complaint. Save, of course, Nicole's bellyaching moments before each 1200m rep and Tara series of eye-rolls before every quarter. Thus proving sometimes to run a successful session it helps to have the right partner for it.