Workout of the Day
6 x 1,000m cutdown
Splits: 2:59, 2:54, 2:52, 2:48, 2:45, 2:42
Recovery: 90" rec after every rep
Alan Webb — Oct. 12th, 2013
Context & Details
Alan was always a fan of cutdown/progressive workouts. Alan's long time coach, Scott Raczko, who guided him through much of his career and to the American record in the 1 Mile, instilled this fondness in him. As I assisted with the final chapter of Alan's professional running career, I strove to incorporate a healthy degree of familiarity in workouts to give him, if nothing else, a mental boost.
I remember speaking with Alan about this recently. He told me, "I liked the feeling of getting better. Whether it was race by race, day by day, or even rep by rep, I always stood taller when I could see improvement."
This mindset is brillant. Fundamentally it encapsulates a key element of what sport is about — enhancement. Plus there is momentum gained when an athlete can track their improvement. It is a natural human desire to feel as if we are gaining or advancing in some way. And structuring workouts in this fashion feeds this basic need and affords a potent affirmation to be had by the athlete.
I am a big fan of this approach. Even today, many workouts I design have a progressive thematic element. Yes, I want the athlete to be challenged and work at the desired capacity each workout, but if anything I try to ensure they finish their session standing a little taller, just as Alan did much of his career.