Workout of the Day

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8 x 1 Mile


5:10.2, 5:09.8, 5:10.6, 5:09.9, 5:07.1, 5:06.0, 5:06.3, 5:04.4

Recovery: 90" after each rep.

Portland State Distance Men — Sept. 24, 2013


Context & Details

As a college coach, this was one of my early cross country season staple workouts. It is not flashy but is simple and effective. 

The aim of the session is to familiarize the team to steadily grinding at date XC 10K race pace, so they are accustomed to the sensation come championship season. It is an honest rhythm which slowly wears on any athlete because the recovery is quite incomplete as the work to rest ratio is roughly 1:1/3. The reality is the short rest is nothing more than a mental reset, affording the athlete an opportunity to focus solely on the rep at hand without worry about the remainder of work left. I always encourage each athlete to take each rep one at a time. It is sounds cliche but I think being immersed in one's work in the present is an important fundamental to practice.  

I like this type of workout in the early cross country season because it builds mental skills while increasing energy system proficiency concurrently. It truly is a high bang for your buck session. And one that I typically revisit once every 2 weeks in the first half of the season, usually Thursday or Friday in a non-race week.

As a bonus, when the athletes complete 8 miles of work, a 5 mile XC race in the regular season doesn't seem quite as daunting. And the 10K distance in the championship season becomes more manageable both mentally and physically. Thus, honoring the intention of training: to better one's condition to best meet the demands of the test which is racing.


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

Jonathan Marcus