Workout of the Day
3,000m TT + 3 x 1.5 Miles Cutdown
3,000m — 9:38
1.5 Miles — 8:50, 8:24, 8:13
Recovery: 1 mile jog after 3K, 400m rec between 1.5 mile reps
Kristen Rohde — Nov. 15th, 2015
Context & Details
Some athletes, such as my wife, thrive from the feedback of time trials, while others do not. I've learned when employing time trials the coach needs to know their audience. They're not for every athlete, but for some, time trials can provide a big boost.
Kristen has been a competitive runner for 20 years. She knows herself well and how she needs to prepare to be ready come race day. And for her, 3,000m time trials give her a clear benchmark of her fitness. We've employed them for years in her training.
My aim with time trials is to create the circumstance for the athlete to finish standing a little taller than before they started. To achieve that effect, the effort is ran in phases, typically 3 - 4. There is a theme for each phase and usually, it is progressive in nature.
For this time trial, she ran the first mile at 6K XC effort, then shifted to an honest 3K effort until roughly 500m to go when she sped up to mile effort, and finally giving her best effort in the final 200m. Her last 1400m was at roughly sub-9:20 pace, which was a crisp indication she was in career fitness.
The 1.5 Mile cutdowns were designed to be a longer aerobic flush and ran by feel. The aim was to start at 1/2 Marathon pace for the first one and possibly progress to 15K effort on the final rep if she was feeling somewhat restored.
This was her last challenging session before the 2015 USATF Club XC Championships where she placed 9th in a classy field, leading the High Performance West Elite Women to a 2nd place team time to B.A.A. The final 500m of the course in San Francisco was on the famous polo grounds which is a long soft dirt track. The time trial, she said, prepared her to push from a long way out. She knew she could last.
And when an athlete has that knowledge about them, to me, that indicates the training has been effective. And if it takes a time trial to solidify it, so be it.