Workout of the Day
5 x 1,000m + 1 x 800m
1,000m — 3:36.2, 3:31.0, 3:29.6, 3:34.8, 3:32.7
800m — 2:40.1
Recovery: 400m jog rec.
Sarah Medved — April 4th, 2015
Context & Details
Sarah was a walk-on freshman I recruited to Portland State University in the fall of 2014. She was an overlooked talent, as she went from unheralded to a top-10 finisher in the Big Sky Conference in Cross Country in 2016. It warmed my heart to see her progress from afar, and I championed her every step as she possessed an unmatched sincerity for competition and self-betterment.
This workout came in the spring of Sarah's freshman year. She was redshirting the outdoor season, but competing unattached. Sarah was built for the 5,000m to 10,000m distances. As we coaches say, she has an "engine" and an ability to run at her redline/threshold for days. The intent of the day's ask was five 1,000m repeats at her current 5K pace (17:30) and then 1 x 800m at her "next year" goal 5K pace, roughly 16:50 (I had high hopes for a rapid progression in fitness for Sarah in a year's time. I was a younger coach at the time and upon reflection, a little too optimistic). I picked that pace because at the time that would put her in contention to earn all-conference honors on the track in the Big Sky.
The rest was a 400m jog at roughly 3:00, so Sarah was disciplined to about a 1:1 work:rest ratio. The idea behind the 800m at "next year" goal 5K pace is to give the athlete an idea about what speeds lie ahead. I like to offer it at the end of sessions when an athlete is fit and ready to handle running at that estimated next level speed of play. And Sarah was. She smashed the "next year" rep. Zooming in and taking an assertive posture every step. I knew she had all-conference running in her future. And I like to think, after that day's session, she started to believe it herself.