Workout of the Day
5 x 1 Mile w. 100m rec.
Splits: 4:35 / 4:36 / 4:36 / 4:35 / 4:28
Recovery: 100m jog in 40"
Diriba Degefa — June 14th, 2013
Context & Details
Coaching Diriba was a lot of fun. He had a great attitude, a strong work ethic, and a sharp intensity I've seen in only a few athletes which I have coached since.
Diriba was preparing for the summer road racing circuit in June 2013. His goal was to compete well in the 1 Mile to 10K road races. This session was designed to enhance his Specific Stamina at critical race speeds.
He had run 14:10 for 5,000m on the track about a month prior, but his fitness had improved. Seeing as he wanted to effectively race everything up to 10K on the roads, I thought he needed to be able to sustain 4:35/mile pace with enough gas in the tank to be able to sprint at race's end.
You'll notice his first 5K of this session is 14:27, and then he keeps going. I nicknamed him The Energizer because of his marked ability to sustain rhythm at challenging tempos.
The plan on the final rep was to sprint the last 400m as best he could. No lie, he was fatiguing sharply on the session's fifth mile, the grossly incomplete recoveries of 100m in 40" had caught up to him. After 3 laps my watch read 3:30 with one to go.
I yelled, "Diriba, you've got to run a sub-60!"
And right on cue, he sped up. Accelerating in less than 10 meters.
Coming down the final stretch he was all out, running with every ounce of energy in him, but you wouldn't have known it by looking at his face. It was a portrait of serenity. "Such composure is incredible right now," I thought.
I looked at my stopwatch — 58.21 for the final lap. I shook my head. Unreal. But for The Energizer, such was the norm.