Workout of the Day
3 Mile, 2 Mile, 1 Mile Cutdown
Splits: 16:50 / 10:32 / 5:17
Recovery: 3' recovery jog between reps
Sarah Dean — May 12th, 2014
Context & Details
This is one of my all-time favorite workouts. I find it most useful for the 5K/10K athlete. Depending on the pace targets and recovery intervals, it can be adjusted to engage and stress a variety of physiological systems and varying degrees of emotional composure.
The design of the workout on offer that day was meant to be a fitness sustaining session for Sarah (she had run 34:00, 16:42, and 4:22 that season) before the NCAA West Regional Track & Field Championships. The timing of the session was on the heels of a 1500m conference championship win for her in Flagstaff, AZ at 7,000 ft. Now she was readying to tackle 10,000m in her bid to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
The ask was modest that day for Sarah. I wanted her to progress in speed from rep to rep, but being in control and maintaining her fitness instead of taxing it. The 3 Mile rep was at her 15K pace, the 2 Mile at 10K, and the 1 Mile at 5K effort. Nothing crazy. Just clicking through the gears. With the date of the regional meet in close proximity, no big adaptation gains could be made by this point. All she could do was sustain the fitness she had.
In my younger coaching days, I made the mistake of prescribing too hard/too intense of sessions for athletes too close to championships meets. Erroneously, those workouts left them overly fatigued on meet day and unable to express their best effort. Thankfully, by the time I coached Sarah, I had learned from my prior missteps.
Sarah skipped through the session, still beaming from her win at the Big Sky Conference meet days earlier. On the final 100m of the 1 Mile rep, she opened up and ran it in 16 seconds. That wasn't the plan, but I wasn't mad, just perplexed. There was no reason for it. When she jogged over to me I asked her about it. She said, "Oh. Well, I was just thinking about the Big Sky meet and how much fun I had sprinting down the homestretch." Fair enough. Fond memories are meant to be relived and visited, even if it is the last 100m of a low key workout.