Workout of the Day

photo ©

photo ©

1600m, 1200m, 800m, 400m, 2 x 200m

Splits: 4:46.8, 3:32.7, 2:19.4, 63.8, 32.3, 31.1

Recovery: 400m in 3' after each rep.

Kara Goucher — June 11th, 2013


Context & Details

Kara was readying to compete in the 10,000m at USATF Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, IA in late June of 2013. This was her final intense session before the meet, roughly 2 weeks forthcoming. My friend and I paced her throughout this workout under the attentive eye of her coach at the time, Jerry Schumacher.

The mile breakdown session is classic sharpening session (to use a Lydiard vocabulary term) which I've discussed in a prior WOTD

What I remember most about this workout was Kara's fire. I'd paced a few sessions for her throughout the early 2010s when she trained in Portland, but this was the most intense for a workout I'd ever seen her. She meant business. 

My interactions with world class professional runners throughout the years has taught me a great deal. Also, I've noticed a few patterns and similarities among those at the highest level of sport. One commonality I've noticed is a skill to create a focused, intense, and determined mindset for important races and workouts consistently at will. 

Kara was very good at this, and still is. She's honed the skill for decades. Like riding a bike, this ability is permanent, never to be forgotten.

Somewhat like the air right before a thunderstorm begins, the gravity surrounding that runner is different when they "switch on" into business mode. And like lightening, when it strikes, watch out — the impulse of force expressed is truly breathtaking, and forever memorable. Kind of like Kara's many performances of the past, and those no dobut coming in the near future. 


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

Jonathan Marcus