Workout of the Day

Kristen Rohde (right) warming up for a XC race with High Performance West teammate Anna Connor. Photo:  Win Goodbody

Kristen Rohde (right) warming up for a XC race with High Performance West teammate Anna Connor. Photo: Win Goodbody

3 x (800m, 400m, 200m), 2 x 1 Mile Tempo


Set #1: 2:38.5 / 74.3 / 32.0
Set #2: 2:37.5 / 72.7 / 32.0
Set #3: 2:35.0 / 72.0 / 31.8
1 Mile: 5:40.7 / 5:39.8

Recovery: 400m jog in 3' after each rep

Kristen Rohde — Dec. 9th, 2015


Context & Details 

This was the final workout for Kristen before the 2015 USATF Club XC Championships. She placed 9th there against a national class field. 

The 800m reps were at 5K effort, the quarters at mile effort, and the 200m reps were simply crisp and quick, with the 1 Mile tempos serving as a flush. She was in control on every step of each rep. As Bowerman famously said, "The hay was in the barn." More than anything, the session served as a diagnostic to see if anything was off, her energy, a sore muscle, her mindset, etc. 

The final few workouts before races, especially championship races, are always tricky to write. Often, I am searching for that Goldilocks "just right" space which can be a moving target and tough to find. You don't want to do too much work and depress the organism nor too little and send conflicting signals to the body. Therefore, I've developed a principle I'd like to share here: Do enough, no more. 

What that means is do enough work to sustain the athlete's fitness and affect, but no more. And don't ever shy away from doing less if the session is rocky. The last thing you need fewer than 7 days before a championship race is a "big workout" of any sort, as you risk having the athlete leave their race on the practice track. By doing just enough you ensure the athlete feels fresh, excited, and energetic going into race day. And each individual's enough is different. For the 800m runner, like McKayla, that is 6 x 200m, for Kristen, it was almost 5 miles of work with the bulk at 5K pace of faster. 

It all depends as there is no right way, though there are plenty of wrong ways. By doing enough, no more, you safeguard against any harm being done before the target competition.


Any questions? I'm happy to answer. You can send me a Direct Message on Twitter or email me at
Thx //  jm

Jonathan Marcus