Workout of the Day
1500m—800m—3x400m breakdown + Tempo Miles Mixture
1 x 1500m / 1 Mile Tempo / 1 x 800m / 1 Mile Tempo / 3 x 400m / 1 Mile Tempo
Splits: 4:29.48 / 5:40 / 2:16.65 / 5:33 / 63.40, 64.00, 65.14 / 5:18
Recovery: 400m jog after the 1500m, 800m, & 1 Mile Tempo reps. 200m jog after the 400m reps
Nicole Blood — Feb. 24th, 2016
Context & Details
When Nicole ran this workout, she was 17 days away from competing in the Women's 3,000m at the 2016 USATF Indoor Track Championships — her target race for that indoor season.
This session was her last intense effort before the championship meet. I would have liked her to race instead, but she couldn't get the time off from her full-time job. So we had to create an effort on par with a high level race experience. I came up with a 1500m—800m—3x400m breakdown with tempo miles intermixed as a buffer to ensure the breakdown components were appropriately intense, but not too overwhelming. I didn't want her to run her championship race that day in practice.
The breakdown portion was to be ran at current race speeds but only 50% of the respective race distance.
- The 1500m rep = current 3K race speed
- The 800m rep = current 1 Mile race speed
- The 400m reps = current 800m race speed
The Tempo Miles where ran at what felt like her Aerobic Threshold (which I definite as 15K race pace) on that day. The Tempo Miles had no set mark, her instruction was to run them 100% by feel, without looking at her spilts along the way, letting her watch simply record, not direct, her efforts.
Her recovery interval between each rep was 400m, which she took in roughly 4 minutes — save between the 3 x 400m reps, she only took 200m walk/jog in 2:30.
The main workout design concepts were:
1) From the physiological framework I employ, the intent was to stimulate the demands of going out at 9:00/3,000m rhythm (her desired race pace) and then negotiate handling faster speeds while providing a light aerobic stimulus of 1 Mile Tempo reps to incompletely buffer the acidosis she'd undoubtedly incur after bouts of 1500m @ 4:30, 800m @ 2:16, and 3 x 400m @ 65s. By subjecting her to progressively more demanding speeds over increasingly shorter distances, the desired response was to reinforce and cement a preparation theme we had been practicing that entire indoor season: racing at respectable US national competitive speeds (9:00/3K rhythm). This was also to be under the realities of increasing degrees of fatigue, but ready & capable to accelerate the final 1:45 and "be in the race," not left behind.
2) More important was the psychological aspect. She viewed this session as a tall order, but I knew she could manage it. All of her training and progress leading into it indicated such. Therefore, my aim was to make what she interpreted as a demanding ask an opportunity for her to elevate her current worldview, step up, bring her A+ game, and nail it. I knew if she could accomplish something she perceived as difficult, she'd enjoy a big confidence boost and have more faith in her abilities, resulting in an increased excitement to race. For Nicole, her enthusiasm to compete was her greatest asset. So, I wanted to be sure her spirts where as high as possible going into the indoor championships.
As you can tell by her splits, she did nail it. In fact, she exceeded the original pace targets asked of her. She left that session with a restored zest and belief she could again compete at the national class level in distance running after several years away in semi-retirement.
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Thx // jm