Workout of the Day

2014 Scotland_Males01 Diriba-722492.jpg

4 x 2,000m, 4 x 200m  


2,000m — 5:40.2 5:40.5 / 5:42.8 / 5:43.7 
200m — 29.1 29.7 / 29.4 / 27.9

Recovery: 200m jog after each rep

Diriba Degefa — July 7th, 2013


Context & Details

Not every workout Diriba ran under my guidance was lights out. Some, like this session, were maintenance in nature. And I think this is an important point to address. 

Today, now more than ever, sensationalism can hijack a culture. When only slam dunks are reported, it misleads. Nowadays most competitive athletes have a secondary workout in the week or cycle which is easily manageable. Despite our desire as coaches, athletes are not machines. They cannot sustain an endless clip of home run workouts in short succession. An attempt at such typically results in burnout, injury — or both. 

Therefore, to safeguard against getting too greedy with workout progressions, I earmark roughly one workout within every 3 - 4 as a moderate effort. Something performed at 70 - 75% of their perceived effort, no higher. I've found this practice to be of positive impact. Most importantly, since I instituted this rule of thumb, the rate of injury under among my athletes has sharply declined. One can be in career fitness, but if sidelined, who cares? Well, I do. And I don't want them on the bench due to avoidable overuse injuries. So it is worth taking intelligent measures to safeguard against.

At first, it was tough to program in a "reboot workout" as it goes against the work-til-you-drop culture of distance running. But we know that paradigm is outdated. Once I gave myself permission as a coach to offer an easier workout on the training menu, the athletes progressed much more rapidly. They felt better. Ran better. And got better. 

And frankly, that was all the evidence I needed to sell me on the validity of this approach. 


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

Jonathan Marcus