Workout of the Day
1 x 1200m, 4 x 400m, 4 x 200m
1200m — 2:47
400m — 54, 53, 54, 54
200m — 23, 23, 23, 23
Recovery: 50" recovery between 400m and 200m reps. 7' recovery between sets
Asbel Kiprop — May 2016
Context & Details
This WOTD comes from the account Andy Arnold wrote for Letsrun.com in May 2016. It is phenomenal and worth revisiting today.
To paraphrase Andy — in short, this session was insane. Andy labels it the "Workout to End All Workouts," and frankly, he is not wrong with his statement.
Here is his recap, word for word, as reported to Letsrun.com:
[Kiprop's] group was especially quiet that morning, and after hearing the training schedule from Asbel, I understood why.
The Olympic champ wanted to start the day with 1200 meters at race pace. He would then take a seven-minute break, after which he hoped to do four times 400 meters with only 50 seconds’ rest. After a final seven-minute rest period, he would cap the workout off with some fast 200’s.
It was one of those workouts that middle distance runners mark on their calendars at the start of the season. A workout that NCAA teams whisper to recruits as a rite of passage. Coaches describe such days as the “signature workout,”or “going to the well” or “the ball-buster.” Every alum brags about these kinds of trials with a deep sense of pride, like war stories shared by veteran soldiers.
But what I witnessed on Lornah’s track that day was the workout to end all workouts.
Andrew Rotich got things started by pacing Asbel through 800 meters in 1:51, at which point Asbel took over and closed the final 400 meters in 56 seconds.
He had run 1,200 meters in 2:47…at 7,300 feet …in training.
Not one member of his training squad was even remotely close to him when he crossed the line. But as some of Iten’s finest athletes came staggering down the homestretch, Asbel had already started his watch and began jogging around the track. Seven minutes later, he was back on the line and ready to tackle the 4 x 400-meter segment of the workout. Every single quarter was run in under 55 seconds by Kiprop, going 54, 53, 54, 54. Once again, Asbel was basically on his own, as all other members of his team had either tapped out or struggled to keep the pace under a minute. Finally, after another seven-minute break, Asbel showed off his speed. He ran four 200s, on only 50 seconds rest, in 23 seconds each.