Workout of the Day
4 x 800m / 2 x 400m, 300m, 200m / 4 x 800m Flush
800m reps — 2:24 / 2:25 / 2:25 / 2:24
400m, 300m, 200m, Set #1 — 69.5 / 46.1 / 29.2
400m, 300m, 200m, Set #2 — 68.2 / 45.6 / 29.7
800m Flush — 2:55 / 2:54 / 2:57 / 2:56
Recovery: 400m jog recovery in 3' between each rep
Context & Details
This workout was a meeting of the minds.
At the time of the session, Nicole was mounting a comeback to the track from a five-year hiatus from competitive distance running. She was hoping to work herself back into 15:30 5K fitness after so many years away in order to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Trials.
For Eleanor, this was one of her first sessions as a member of HPW. She had just graduated from UW and moved down to Portland to join our growing community. She was a 1500m/800m ace which we were fortunate to pick up. Her college coach gave me a thorough briefing on her, but to me she was an unknown entity, so I was curious to see how she handled the day's ask.
I remember Eleanor looking over the session and commenting to me, "Uh, JMar, this is 5 miles of quality work." I nodded. "That's a lot," she stated. "Welcome to the Big Leagues, kid," I replied. Nicole hadn't batted an eye. I had been working with her for over 9 months at this point, so she had acclimated. "El, don't worry, you'll get used to it," Nicole offered. Eleanor would, in time.
The 800m reps were at Nicole's 5K goal pace and Eleanor's goal 3K pace, or Specific Stamina. It was a harder ask at the time for Eleanor than Nicole, but she ran brilliantly, contributing to the session, rather than doing what most rookies do, which is hang on and get towed around the oval by the veteran. The 400m, 300m, 200m breakdowns were at 1 Mile, 800m, and Fast, respectively. Those two flew. Both Nicole and Eleanor have natural foot speed, so this was the fun part of the session for them. They traded leading back and forth, crisply zipping down the track. It was a joy to watch.
Finally, to complete the session they finished up with 4 x 800m flush at a relaxed Threshold effort of just under 6:00 mile pace on a nearby trail. I've found ending workouts which include Specific Stamina speeds or faster with a series of aerobic flush intervals springboard an athlete's response to the session and results in a quicker rebound, especially with women. It is a useful practice I employ to this day to the athlete's benefit.