Workout of the Day
3,000m TT + 2 x 400m, 300m, 200m + 3 x 800m
3,000m TT — 9:23.6
Set #1 — 64.3 / 45.7 / 28.8
Set #2 — 66.2 / 45.1 / 28.4
800m — 2:51 / 2:50 / 2:42
Recovery: 10' rec after 3K. 3' - 4' between each rep in breakdown. 75" between each 800m rep.
Eleanor Fulton — Dec 20th, 2017
Context & Details
Long foundation blocks of training can be wearisome on the competitive athlete. There is a lot of important work being performed but little or no gratification of transfer seen by the athlete. These stout preparation periods take a certain degree of faith to sustain. After consistent consecutive blocks of foundation work, I've found it useful and encouraging to employ time trials of familiar, but not frequently ran distances for athletes to gain encouragement from their progress. Regular readers of HPW WOTDs know the 3,000m time trial is my distance of choice for the miler up to 10K runner.
Before this session Eleanor owned a modest personal best of 9:40 as she was primarily an 800m/1 Mile runner in collegiate days, racing the 3K sparsely. In fact, it had been years since she attempted the distance, so the timing was right for a 3,000m time trial. It is a difficult distance to time trial, but she handled it with composure and grace, besting her previous personal record by 17 seconds with a final 200m in 32 seconds. However, there wasn't much time for her to celebrate the achievement, as the heart of the day's work was still ahead of her.
The sets of 400m, 300m, 200m breakdowns were not easy by any measure. The ask was goal mile pace (or better) for the 400s, 800m goal pace (or better) for the 300s, and as fast as able for the 200s. At times, as was the case here, it is beneficial to be aggressive in training to not only get a physiological response but — more importantly — a psychological response.
With each athlete, I wonder what it will look like when they change their mind.
When they decide they're not going to give in to the discomfort anymore, or no longer fear the difficulty of the task ahead, or when they start seeing themselves in a better light and elevated position. I'm always waiting, watching, and ready for that moment. And when it happens, it means the athlete has leveled up. And that, more than times ran in practice or on race day, is what matters.
During those sets of 400m, 300m, 200m breakdowns I saw her change her mind. She decided to go for it, decided not hold back, and decided to make the most of herself on that day. The outcome proved favorable and satisfactory even though she was only concerning herself with running well during those reps.
Sometimes a slight shift of purpose is all it takes for a breakthrough (no matter the magnitude) to transpire, as it happened for Eleanor this day.
Finally, to wrap up, the 800m reps were aerobic flushes designed to help springboard recovery and repair at the conclusion of this well run but honest day's work.