Workout of the Day
Pre Race Drill: 1 x 400m, 2 x 200m, 3 x 100m
Splits: 72.1 / 34.6, 33.8 / 16.2, 15.7, 14.9
Recovery: 200m jog between reps, 400m jog between sets
Nicole Blood — Feb 12th, 2016
Context & Details
Nicole performed these reps the day before the Invite 3,000m at the 2016 Husky Classic. She ran 9:14.5 there for 9th place, which qualified her to the USATF Indoor Championships that year.
Truth be told, this isn't a workout. Rather, it is what I call the "Pre-Race Drill." Full disclosure, I adopted the Pre-Race Drill term from Bowerman, as thousands of other coaches have. So it made sense to present my version performed by a Duck, Nicole, who, like Bowerman, is one of the all-time Oregon Track & Field greats.
The easiest way to explain the Pre Race Drill is it is a very light "shifting through the gears" aimed to ready the athlete's mind and body for the next day's competition. For the distance runner type (3K/5K like Nicole) the drill starts with a 3K goal race pace 400m rep, then two 200m reps at 1 Mile goal race pace, and finally a series of 2 - 3 by 100m reps at what I call "800m +" speed as the athlete desires. The rest between reps is always complete as dictated by the athlete on the day.
The Pre Race Drill, when performed correctly, should leave the athlete no worse for the wear, walking away excited to compete the next day with everything they can bring to the table. And Nicole did just that. She raced those 3,000 meters compelled, present, and with fire. It was her best race in the year we worked together as athlete and coach. She went for it. And her reward was a near personal best and a US Indoor Championships qualifier.
Post race she was grinning ear-to-ear, happy with her performance that day — and, honestly, that feeling of accomplishment is what matters most. I'm reminded of the wise words by another Duck legend, Steve Prefontaine, "Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started, to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement."