Our first Summer Track Series is this Thursday! Please shoot me an email or text if you can help the club out! It takes about 15 volunteers to run the meet. I need at least 8 at 5pm and the rest by 5:30-ish. Email: [email protected] or text at 802-318-5235
More info here:
“You practice how you want to play and you play how you practice” – John Wooden Legendary HOF UCLA basketball coach
SO tomorrow is an interesting opportunity to put the last 2 coaches corners into practice. 12×400’s is a workout we are all familiar & comfortable with. It is a chance to “practice” the 2 main racing theories I talked about in the last few weeks in preparation for an upcoming 5k.
The Negative Split approach: Look back 5 weeks ago at the last 12x400m workout and see what your avg time was. If you missed that workout, use one of the last few weeks and see what your avg pace was, or if you have a recent 5k time, use that. Run that pace for the first 8 – 400’s. From there, drop the time for the next 4 – 400’s by 4 seconds (that correlates to a 15 second drop in mile pace). If you feel extra frisky after 3, drop the pace even more for the last one! Don’t forget to practice your kick in the last 200m of that last 400!
The Go Out Fast & Hang On approach: Grab your avg pace from a recent 5k race, 12×400 or other recent workout. Drop the pace by 15 seconds per mile (thats 4 seconds per 400). Go out in that pace and hold it for as long as possible!
EXTRA CHALLENGE: With the planned breaks the first 6-8 reps will probably not feel as difficult as you think. You can make this a bit more challenging by adding an “active recovery” to the the workout. Once you cross the line give yourself 5-10 seconds to grab some water and then do a very light jog until the time comes back up for you to take off again. This will better simulate race like conditions and give your workouts an added boost. Plus you will have extra confidence come race day as you have simulated the experience at a higher level!
Here is a pace chart so you can figure out how fast you should run:
Forever in speed, Coach P
Wednesday Track Attack!
12x400m: Time to check back in with our old favorite and see how much our fitness has improved! We are now 3 months into the track season and all those 800’s we ran the last few weeks should make this workout feel really good!
Always a good idea to check back on our past data and look what we ran those previous 12×400’s in. I bet you will be feeling WAY stronger at this point.
Weather: 5:30am – 62 and cloudy
6:00pm: 83 and sunny (hydrate during the day!)
So a few folks asked last week after track if the neg split was the only way to race. It certainly is not. There are a few other strategies that are useful on the track or a road race. And a few other considerations.
1.) The course profile of a particular race: Probably the most famous race in our region is extremely hard to throw a neg split on. The Boston Marathon is known for its fast, mostly down hill opening 13 miles. And the most famous part of the course, Heart Break Hill (and the Newton Hills) come after the 16 mile mark. So if you have a course that is significantly harder in the second half a negative split will be really hard to pull off. Focus on effort in those cases. It may be a bit slower, but having some gas in the tank will reap rewards.
2.) If you are trying to PR, going out just under your PR pace and hanging on for as long as you can. This is a strategy can reap rewards. In fact, a recent study at UNH by the XC coaches found that they had better success obtaining PR’s on their home course if they sent their runners out at 10 seconds per mile quicker than their current PR pace and asking them to hold it as long as they could. Usually they got through 2 miles and used the “only 1 more mile left” as the boost they needed to hold on. Most runners fell apart a bit in the last mile and ran over their PR pace by 5-10 seconds. But since they had 20-30 seconds in the bank, they still had themselves a nice PR. A WORD OF CAUTION: They noticed if athletes went out 15-20 seconds or more faster, they crashed harder and over 2/3rds didn’t make it. So be careful when you go out and race on the razors edge. It cuts deep when you fall off.
3.) Racing for places. For some of the fitter runners in the group, sometimes you are competing for a podium finish in your age group or the top spots overall. In some track races they may only take the top 3 to the next phase of races (States or MOC’s). Or you just find yourself in a competitive pack in the middle of a race. I have been in races where 5 or 6 runners are cruising along together and someone decides to pick it up and try to drop the group. At this point you have a choice. You can stick with your strategy, or you can scrape it and race the race your in. Sometimes it is fun to throw caution to the wind and match another runners move. Once they know they have not dropped you, I recommend throwing a surge at them to see if they have the mental fortitude to follow you. If they catch you, hit them again! It is also a good idea to plan some surges at key points. When rounding a turn I like to throw 10 hard strides at folks to see what they will do. I have also found that when you get close to the top of a hill, picking up the pace is very effective. It shows the hill didn’t phase you and when you crest the hill you can fly down it and away from the competition.
Gives these strategies a try and let me know what you think!