Workout of the Day

Camelia Mayfield competes at her first US Mountain Running Championships in 2015. Photo:  Joe   Viger.

Camelia Mayfield competes at her first US Mountain Running Championships in 2015. Photo: Joe Viger.

6 x 1,000m @ Threshold + 5 x 200m  


1,000m — 3:38 / 3:36 / 3:383:37 / 3:36 / 3:36 
200m —  34.7 / 35.4 34.4 / 33.4 / 32.9 

Recovery: 200m jog between 1K reps, 400m jog after 1Ks, 30" rest between 200m reps

Camelia Mayfield — May 1st, 2013


Context & Details

There are certain athletes who define eras of a coaching career. Camelia Mayfield is one such person. Coaching her for three years at Portland State University plus a handful of months post grad helped make me into the coach I am today. She taught me more than I did her and I am forever thankful our paths intersected for the time we spent together as athlete and coach. 

Today we enjoy a rich friendship. Camelia lives in Bend, Ore. and is one of the nation's most promising young Mountain/Ultra/Trail competitors. Whenever I go to Central Oregon I call her up to hammer me on runs through the trails in this scenic town. 

Before she took her racing off road, she was a 10K/5K ace for the Vikings at PSU from 2012 to 2015.

This session was the final workout before Camelia competed in the 10,000m and 5,000m double at the Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championship meet in what would be her true junior year (she redshirted the following outdoor season). Nine days after this workout was the conference 10K on the track, followed the next day by the 5K. For those familiar with collegiate conference championship meets, this is a husky double asked to be done in less than a 24 hour period. To be competitive in both events and score team points is tough. 

Knowing she was ready to compete full throttle over 9+ miles on the track, I designed this simple session to keep her engine warm. The 1K repeats are at threshold rhythm (15K race pace as I define it) which translated to roughly 5:45/mile pace for her at the time and the 200m reps are 1,000m worth of volume ran at ideal closing speed. Cam had college PRs of 17:00/35:17 at that time (she later went on to run 16:58/34:35 her redshirt senior year), so the 200m paces were asked to be achieved in 34 - 33 seconds. 

I call this a "Goldilocks " pre-race workout. The stimulus exposed should not be too much, nor too little, but just right. The athlete should leave the day's task energized and no worse for the wear. During these types of sessions, when in doubt cut the volume of work. You want to save the competitive bullet for race day. I train athletes to race, not train them to train. This session was designed to provide just the right stimuli to maintain her aerobic capacity, long built up over months of stout training, as well as offer her a little turnover to prime her body to move at quicker paces when tired, as she would need come race day. 

Cam executed the session as intended. Her affect was high and mood chipper as she skipped through the threshold work and motored at a nice crisp clip on the 200s. At the conference meet she scored crucial team points in both the 10K and 5K, sprinting the final laps to pass competitors and improve her position. I couldn't have asked to coach a finer performance or person.


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Thx //  jm

Jonathan Marcus