Workout of the Day
4 x 250m sprint + 1 x 300m
250m — 29.78 / 29.98 / 31.31 / 31.20
300m — 37.47
Recovery: Full, 5 - 6' recovery walk/jog as needed between reps
Daniel Herrera — June 5th, 2017
Context & Details
This was Daniel's first workout after setting the Mexican National Record in the 1 Mile. He was eyeing another high caliber race at the Portland Track Festival 6 days later.
Sustaining fitness can be tricky during the competitive season when the athlete is frequently racing. As long as you have prepared them, you can't go wrong with a sprint session between races. I like them because even though the primary energy systems engaged is anaerobic, I've found the quality of this sort has a global sustaining impact as well for the middle distance athlete. The loss of fitness that comes with traditional, and in my opinion misguided, concepts of peaking is stunted or entirely muted.
For the elite miler running 30 seconds at a full sprint is honest work, no matter their fitness level. It requires a sharp focus, resolve, and readiness akin to what is needed on race day. If the groundwork for this type of work has been laid, then the ask is taxing at the moment, but the recovery penalty from the workout is no more than 48 - 72 hours. Just enough for him to freshen up before the next racing effort.
The final 300m at full speed in this session is a tall order. Daniel punched it at 49.8/400m pace.
Being able to do this is one reason why he ran 3:56.13 for the mile just a few days earlier. His capacity to express sub-50 second speed when tired is a clear correlative signal to nearly world-class competitiveness. Initially, when we started working together, Daniel thought he didn't have foot speed. He believed breaking 50 seconds for 400m wasn't in the cards for him. I challenged that interpretation. My belief was he simply had never learned how to sprint. It took him about 18 months to develop the skill of sprinting to this level of proficiency. And it is still an ability he is working on bettering. But this session was proof he was learning.