Workout of the Day

Erica Contos (left) all smiles with her Portland State teammate Tony in the early 2010s.

Erica Contos (left) all smiles with her Portland State teammate Tony in the early 2010s.

100m, 200m, 300m, 200m, 100m

Splits: 14.9, 31.5, 46.8, 30.9, 14.1

Recovery: 3' walk/jog rec after each rep. 

Erica Contos — April 29th, 2014


Context & Details 

Coaching, I believe, is about playing a small, helpful role in the development of people. Often we concentrate on performance but I think it is wise to remember the works of the late running philosopher George Sheehan — 

A French sociologist points this out. Sports, he wrote, was part of the education of the citizen. He was expected to engage in exercise for a whole series of reasons that had to do with the shaping of the citizen; the relation between moral good and physical good; and the growth of a person.

Erica Contos was a 1/2 miler whom I worked with during my time at Portland State University (2012 - 2015). She was capable and earnest about running to her capacity but kept track in balance with her studies, employment, and college experience. She was a strong, intelligent, and kind young woman. And I respect her for bringing everything she could to the table while juggling a variety of other significant commitments. She was a true student-athlete, in every sense of the word. 

She developed from a 2:28 her freshmen year to graduating with a 2:14 personal best in the 800m. 

During her upperclassmen years, she developed a palate for speed work. We emphasize it weekly, sometimes 2 - 3 times per week (albeit in small doses) to dramatic effect. 

This was a short ladder of speed for Erica. The outdoor conference track & field championships were 2 weeks away and she had a pending race 3 days away, so we kept to what worked best for her, running fast — with manageable recoveries. 

Towards the end of track season I go back to basics. The hard work and aggressive training blocks are far in the rearview mirror. with the athlete as fit and ready as they can be. Now the aim of training sessions are to help them feel ready and excited for every race. 

And that was the case here. The design of the workout was to echo the theme developed by Erica for her running that season: keep it simple, fast and fun. 


It is as track should be.


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

Jonathan Marcus