Workout of the Day
6 Mile Tempo + 6 x 1 Mile
6 Mile Tempo — 5:25 + 5:22 + 5:23 + 5:17 + 5:19 + 5:12 = 32:00
1 Mile reps — 5:03 / 5:03 / 5:04 / 5:02 / 5:01 / 5:05
Recovery: 1200m jog to track after 6M tempo on grass, 90" rec between 1 Mile reps
Kara Goucher — May 10th, 2011
Context & Details
This is one of the most impressive sessions I have ever seen, well half seen. I only saw the 2nd part of it.
In 2011, I was still a semi-competitive local runner, training hard, running 80 - 100 miles a week, and racing on weekends. I was on the track that day with a handful of my running club mates. We had just finished our workout when Kara showed up.
I asked her coach at the time what she was readying to do at the oval office, he said, "Six by 1 Mile at 5:05 - 5:00." I replied, "Wow! That is a tough session." He gave a smirk, "Yes, it is. Especially considering she just did a 6 mile tempo on the grass at 5:20/mile pace right before this."
My jaw dropped. I had just ran a PR of 30:38 for 10,000m three weeks earlier, and there is no way I could have done that session. So I decided to run my entire 35 minute cool down in lane 8 to watch and cheer on Kara.
She was in the zone. Kara ripped off 5:05 to 5:00 miles like a metronome. No fuss. No theatrics. Just 75-76/400m lap after lap after lap. My mind was blown. I couldn't believe she had just run 2:24:52 for fifth at the Boston Marathon a month earlier. But this is what Kara is known for doing more often than not — the remarkable. So I shouldn't have been surprised.
Witnessing that session cemented in my mind Kara's status as one of the all-time greats. She ran with a certain kamiwaza, a style and grace so powerful yet so peaceful. Few I've seen since have been able to match it. That day was a gift and treasured memory I am happy to share.