Workout of the Day

High Performance West 800m club record holder (2:01.29) McKayla Fricker. 

High Performance West 800m club record holder (2:01.29) McKayla Fricker. 

500m, 300m, 200m, 100m + 250m 

Splits: 77.6, 45.1, 29.2, 12.6, 33.7

Recovery: full rec. between each rep

McKayla Fricker & Andrea Keklak — May 22nd, 2018


Context & Details

"Time to get in shape!"

Such is my typical reply when athletes express some doubt in their ability before a seemingly daunting workout. This is a saying I adopted from University of Portland coach Rob Conner. On the day of this session, McKayla and Andrea warranted such encouragement plus an additional directive:  "Run really, really, really fast."

They are both aiming to race a series of half-miles in June after different limiting factors prevented each from competing earlier outdoors. Thus the pressing need for legitimate speed work.

This is a descending speed session where the 500m, 300m, 200m reps are ran at goal 800m rhythm and the 100m and 250m performed at 90% and near max effort, respectively. 

The real purpose of the workout is to see how they run the 250m rep.

I've touched on the importance of 30" - 35" worth of near max running for the middle distance runners in the past on podcasts and previous WOTDs, but it is worth reiterating.

I, and a few of my coaching colleagues, have found that a consistent exposure of near max (nearly 100% effort) sprints of 30" - 35" in duration has a variety of positive benefits for the competitive middle distance athlete. Repeat exposures of this type of intense work for a half minute throughout a season, year, and career has demonstrated convincingly that it helps the athlete get faster and perform better on race day. 

Some people have asked me to back this claim up with scientific evidence, which is fair. Whereupon I submit evidence of consistent competitive race results enjoyed by athletes who faithfully do this type work as well as the High Performance West record books for consideration.

I can think of no better experiment and laboratory to test hypotheses than race day on the track.


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

Jonathan Marcus