Workout of the Day
5 x 1 Mile
Splits: 5:40.9, 5:35.5, 5:29.9, 5:23.2, 5:17.7
Recovery: 3 minutes jog
Anna Connor — Dec. 28th, 2015
Context & Details
It was a cold winter at the track for this session. Almost too cold. Typically when temperatures dip below 35 degrees, I either cut or alter a session, as the cost|benefit ratio of executing a session in such frigid conditions isn't worth the effort. Working out at honest speeds is difficult enough, one needn't fight the cold, chilled breath, and shivering muscles. There is not much to be gained by "being tough" and running through the cold. Or at least that is what I think.
On deck for Anna was a classic mile cutdown session. The aim was to start at her Lactate Threshold (15K race pace) and simply try to run 1 second per lap faster each rep. This isn't anything groundbreaking. It works, so I use it. Sometimes we can get too cute as coaches when we design workouts. Nowadays I always aim to simplify, simplify. Fighting the urge to be too complex.
Anna demonstrated discipline and control that winter's day. Her precision of effort given the temperature was impressive. The hallmark of a seasoned runner is what Bill Bowerman called pace judgment. It is not an easy thing to do to, run 4 laps steadily at a requested speed. But as the runner gets better, so does their pace judgment and uniformity of effort. This day was another in a series of positive steps for Anna. Previously she would express wider variance of pace rep to rep and even lap to lap in a workout. Now she was much more dialed in.
By employing a simple, straightforward session, her mind was cleared to focus on the task at hand. Run 4 laps. Five times. Run each rep better than the one before. Nothing more. Nothing less.