Workout of the Day

Amanda Bowman (#154) and Camelia Mayfield (#165) of Portland State University. 

Amanda Bowman (#154) and Camelia Mayfield (#165) of Portland State University. 

12 x 400m w. 100m rec. + 5 x 200m


400m — 82.7, 82.7, 83.2, 82.4, 84.9, 84.6, 87.0, 83.1, 84.1, 85.5, 82.6, 81.6
200m — 36.3, 35.5, 35.0, 34.5, 34.4

Recovery: 25" after each 400m rep. 2' after each 200m rep. 10' minutes between sets.

Amanda Bowman & Camelia Mayfield — Sep. 30th, 2014


Context & Details

Amanda and Camelia were two standout distance runners for Portland State University. They both made the NCAA west regional track & field championships in the 10,000m as well as set school records, or ran top-5 all-time marks, in a variety of distance races for the Vikings. But more importantly, they were fantastic young women and true team players who viewed the well being of their peers on par with their own. In short, they cared about others, a lot. They were an absolute pleasure to coach. 

In the NCAA calendar, this workout came during the heart of cross country season. Roughly 30 days separated the Vikings from the Big Sky XC Championships at the time of this workout, so they were being subjected to their heaviest volume and intensity of the year. Even in cross country, I like to have athletes run on the track. There is something about the track which keeps the effort honest and true. Plus, I'm really a track coach at heart, and never like shying too far away from the oval if I can help it. That is why you see some crisp 200m reps at mile pace added at the end. I believe in exposure to speedier running (mile pace and faster) year round as my experience has shown consistent faster running to be of benefit to the athletes under my tutelage.

The quarters that day were designed to be run at roughly date 5K pace. And the 100m jog is more of a float, or roll-on if you are aware of the New Interval Training (NIT) methods championed by British coach, and a mentor of mine, Peter Thompson. I've found constructing workouts for the 5K - 10K runner from the NIT method to be the closest thing to instant offense. If there is a workout that has a quick effect and transfer (roughly 8 - 12 days response time in a fit and capable distance runner) it is this type of session. However, these workouts rank high on the intensity scale, so from experience I've found it useful to afford 2 - 4 days of gentle restorative running and activities post workout to allow the most potent response. 

Amanda and Camelia traded being the Vikings #1 & #2 runners that fall. Their leadership and front pack racing lead the PSU's harrier women to their highest finish (6th) ever at the Big Sky XC Championships. For a sea level school to compete with high-altitude juggernauts like NAU, Southern Utah, and Weber State, I considered the team result that year a win. Plus when you are privileged to work with young persons of rich character and high standards of excellence like Amanda and Camelia, then every day tends to be victorious. 


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

Jonathan Marcus