Workout of the Day

 Kara Goucher boldly strides to a 4th place finish at the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon.  Photo courtesy of  Michael Scott . 

Kara Goucher boldly strides to a 4th place finish at the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon. 
Photo courtesy of Michael Scott

10 x 1 Mile w. 400m rec. 

Splits: 4:59.5 average

Recovery: 400m in 3'-4'

Kara Goucher — Spring, 2011


Context & Details

Sadly the training specifics of this workout are lost to father time. I only wrote down the average pace (4:59.5) and fastest mile rep (4:44). However, I clearly remember the session as I learned many valuable lessons from Kara that day.

This is not a workout I wrote, but instead one I ran, experiencing it firsthand. I paced Kara for the whole thing on a mile stretch of road that was gradually uphill on the way out and downhill on the way back. I can’t speak to the reasons behind the construct of the session, but what was fascinating to me was witnessing firsthand how Kara handled that workout as we were subject to significant, unexpected external adversities.

During this 10 x 1 mile workout, the weather must have changed five different times. It was spring in Oregon, which means you can get all seasons in a 3-hour span — which we did. It went from cold and clear, to warm and sunny, back to cold and cloudly, then wet, then sunny, plus for good measure, two separate bouts of hail hitting us, hard, while in the middle of some of the mile reps.

Yet, throughout the topsy-turvy weather workout, Kara was locked in and hammering away, focused on her work, and with a peaceful smile. She never once complained. Her sunny disposition was enough light to keep us both warm that day.

During the rest periods, we kept the mood easy by taking bets on what weather we’d get next rep. But, once the watch clicked the start of a mile repeat she zoomed back in and was all business. A true professional.

And that’s the most important takeaway from today's WOTD: yes, working hard is a requirement to be top class. But if you bring a focused joy to your training, appreciate the process of getting fit (without mind to what you can't control, like mother nature), keep a level head on your shoulders, and only focus on one rep at a time, you'll get better. 

And that is really the game being played in training from world-class to rookie runners: The Getting A Little Better Every Day Game — despite the weather. 


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

Steve Magness