Workout of the Day
2 x (1600m, 1200m, 800m, 400m)
Set #1 — 5:03.3 / 3:41.2 / 2:24.3 / 70.6
Set #2 — 4:58.2 / 3:40.4 / 2:22.3 / 63.4
Recovery: 400m jog after each rep.
Sara Vaughn — May 24th, 2013
Context & Details
For a period, Sara and I shared the same coach, Chris Cook.
On occasion, he would recruit the group's male athletes to pace women members through important sessions. This was one of those workouts.
After many years as a national class middle distance ace, Sara decided to dabble in the steeplechase in 2013. This workout came two weeks after she ran 9:47 at the USATF Distance Classic (aka OXY High Performance). It was an unexpected new personal best and she was still buzzing with confidence and excitement.
This session is a classic breakdown for the distance runner. It tests strength, speed, and grit. The increasing intensity of speed as the rep distance descends provides an honest crucible for both athlete and coach to clearly assess the runner's current capabilities.
It is important to keep a close eye on how the athlete handles the reps on the second set. If any unmanageable stress or excessive strain is presented on the second set during which rep — and where within that rep — can indicate any key area the athlete is insufficiently prepared. If caught early enough before the target race, the issue can be addressed with revised training. Should the target race be too close on the calendar, then the knowledge of their limiting factor can help astutely guide the creation of their race plan.
Sara progressed throughout, drilling the final 400m rep. She nailed this session. She showed a determined composure and a toughness signature uniquely her own that day, much like on the final 100m in the 1500m at the USATF Outdoor Championships in 2017 where she qualified for her first world championships team.