Workout of the Day
2 x (300m, 200m, 100m, 400m)
Set #1 — 44.8, 29.4, 14.5, 67.5
Set #2 — 46.0, 30.8, 13.3, 67.7
Recovery: 2' after each rep. 5' between sets.
Context & Details
I recently posted a workout with a near identical design ran by Anna's HPW teammate, 2:00 800m ace McKayla Fricker.
I wanted to contrast how a subtle change in the design of the workout, here the placement of the 400m rep, can significantly impact and alter the emphasis of a session.
In this session run by Anna, the 300m, 200m, 100m reps were asked to be at goal 800m pace and faster. Her requested percent perceived exerted effort for the 300m was at 87.5%, the 200m, 92%, and nearing 100% (sprint) for the 100m. Anna, like McKayla, responds well to 800m and quicker work, or what I call critical speeds. But moving at the requested intensities with only 2' recovery is still fatiguing for her.
Once the conditions resulting in a state of relative fatigue had been created, Anna was asked to perform a 400m at goal 1500m pace. Here, the 400m rep is the heart of the session. While every rep counted and had merit, what mattered most was seeing if she could run 400 meters at 67" - 68". I wanted to offer her an opportunity to experience the 3rd lap of a 1500m, twice, in practice without having to run the proceeding 800m. And the best course I thought to offer her that exposure was to preface each 400m rep with 600m of speedy work with incomplete recovery.
Before each 400m rep, I reminded Anna, "treat this like the 3rd lap of 1500m. Be present. Be sharp. Deliver. You can do it." Anna locked in and nail her 1 lap assignment each time. She did so without wearing a watch.
Once she had collected herself after each quarter I would check in and see if she perceived each to mimic the 3rd lap of a 1500m. She did. Only after we had a conversation debriefing and unpacking her experience on each rep would I show her the time. I didn't want her judgment of the numerical record of her effort to color her feedback in any way.
She surprised herself. She thought she was running slower than she was, as the degree of difficulty was fairly high on each quarter. After seeing each 400m split you could see her self-confidence growing
Now the hope is that confidence, trust, and fitness translates to her fully expressing herself at such a competitive level come race day this outdoor season — which I'm optimistic it will.