Workout of the Day

Tara Welling (blue top) leads Alexi Pappas at the 2016 Oregon Relays in the Women's 5,000m. Photo Courtesy of  TrackTownPhoto .

Tara Welling (blue top) leads Alexi Pappas at the 2016 Oregon Relays in the Women's 5,000m. Photo Courtesy of TrackTownPhoto.

2 x 1Mile, 2 x 800m, 2 x 400m


  • 1 Mile — 4:58, 4:56
  • 800m — 2:21, 2:21
  • 400m — 66, 66

Recovery: 400m in 3' - 4' each rep

Tara Welling — June 8th, 2016


Context & Details

Tara had just returned from a month-long altitude camp in Flagstaff, AZ. This was her first legitimate workout back at sea level.

There is a rule of thumb that when distance runners who live at sea level come back down from an altitude camp, they have an immediate 72 hour window where they feel good. Then, for the next three to ten days, as the body readjusts to sea level, many feel sluggish and run down. It is a best practice not to race or do any hard workouts during this, "altitude lag" period. This workout was performed on the 11th day after Tara return from 7,000 ft. So we were confident she would feel energized, and thankfully she did.

The aim for the session was to see how controlled she could run the paces asked of her. The 1 Mile reps were performed at a controlled 5K pace, the 800m reps at 3K rhythm, and the 400m reps at 1500m effort. A win that day was if she could click through the gears and be no worse for the wear. Tara had the Portland Track Festival 5K on deck four days after this session. She had targeted running 15:25 or better there to achieve the Olympic Trials A standard (she already hit Olympic Games A mark in the 10,000m earlier that season). 

Tara nailed this workout. Executing it solo. No teammates. No pacers. Just her. 

Unfortunately, she tanked at the PTF 5,000m. Her lackluster showing was not due to fitness or fatigue, but negative thoughts getting the best of her late in the race and defeating her efforts. She now had one more shot to get the Olympic Trials 5K standard in the 5,000m. It would come a week and a half later at the Stumptown Twilight meet. She raced brilliantly there, finishing the 5,000m in 15:26 and securing herself a spot on the starting line at the Trials in the 5K.

It was pouring rain at the Stumptown meet. That didn't deter her. She took it upon herself to make the race, taking the lead early and shepherding the entire field over the final 3,000m at a steady clip of 74-point every lap until the bell. Afterwards, we pointed to this solo session as a springboard which gave her the gumption to take matters into her own hands when needed. And because she persisted, she set an all-time 5K best mark just days before the US Olympic Trials. 


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Thx //  jm

Jonathan Marcus