Wednesday Track Workouts

Welcome to the DCRRC Wednesday Night Track Workouts. In conjunction with our year-round distance-specific training programs, and our regular Saturday Long Runs, these workouts aim to give runners of all abilities the fitness to reach their goals. For the novice or casual runner, these workouts will challenge you to a higher level of running fitness. For the competitive runner, track workouts are an essential means to reaching personal bests and to succeed at whatever level you are competing.

Where & When

Unless otherwise noted, workouts are held on the track at Washington-Liberty (formerly Washington-Lee) High School in Arlington. We meet near the concession stand (northwest corner) at 7:10pm and start the workout at 7:15pm. Warmups, drills, etc. are on your own.


Our workouts focus on two of the three forms of speed work used by distance runners from the 5K to the Marathon: Stamina Training (10K race pace or slower) and Interval Training (around 5K race pace). We also do a limited amount of Speed Training (faster than 5K race pace) especially during the summer.

Do not worry if this is new to you, and especially if you feel that track workouts are for "fast" runners. Our posted workouts are suggested "maximums," and can be individually tailored to your current level of fitness and specific running goals. Our coach, Ed Grant, has been leading these workouts for 20 years, and is happy to customize a workout plan to meet your needs.


To get a sense of how fast you should run during these workouts, we encourage you use the McMillan Running Calculator. You can plug in a recent race time and a goal race time, and the Calculator will churn out Training Paces (click on that term) for everything from long runs to speed paces. We recommend applying Mark Hadley's temperature + dew point adjustments in warm and humid weather. Temperature and dew point forecasts are available from the National Weather Service.

Track-Trail Workout Update

Due to scheduled high school and collegiate soccer/lacrosse games, the Washington-Lee Stadium Track will not be available for our use until Wendesday April 28. 

There is always the possibility that a game will be postponed or, contrary to the posted schedule, end in time for use to use the track.  However, runners should be prepared for the fact that our workouts will use the Custis Trail as opposed to the track. 

We will meet outside the stadium gates at our usual time, and aim to head out to the trail between 7:10 and 7:15.  There good ambient ligbht now (March 24) until about 7:45, and this will obviously extend as the weeks go on. 

For those who are new to this, we access the Custis Trail by jogging north on Stafford Street, turning left, and following the sidewalk onto the Trail.  The entry point is just prior (a few yards) to the Mile 1.5 mark on the trail. We generally run west on the Trail, although one suggested workout below has you running east.  We ask that runners try to "buddy up" so we are sure that everybody gets back safely.  However, run as much as possible single file, due to the bike traffic and other uses of the trail.  When you return, remember that you need to get off the trail at Stafford Street justr past the mile 1.5 post -- you should be able to see the high school from the trail. However, if you "miss your exit," do not panic -- you can get off the trail at the next entry point, Quincy Street, and easily make your way back to the school.     

Coach Ed will not be at the track either Wednesday March 24 or March 31.  The suggested workouts for those two weeks:

March 24:  Mile Repeats.  We do these by jogging west on the Custis to the Mile 1.0 mark on the Custis Trail. Start first repeat at Mile 1.0, and finish at Mile 0.0, the end of the Custis Trail.  Turn right and follow the Connector Trail  to the W&OD Trail.  Turn right again (heading west) and start second mile repeat at 4.0 makr on the W&OD Trail.  Finish second repeat at Mile 5.0 -- this involves following signs as the trail meanders a bit around the East Falls Church Metro.  Take a couple of minutes standing or jogging break, turn around, and repeat back.  You can do 2, 3, or 4 mile repeats using these markers. 

March 31:  Hills of Custis/Rosslyn:  This time, follow trail EAST from Stafford St. entry point.  Run to end of Custis Trail at corner of Lee Highway and Fort Myer Drive in Rosslyn, right in front of Key Bridge Marriott.  Then, reutrn to W&L.  Do this as a fartlek run, working the uphills, and going easy on the downhills and flats.  There is a steady half-mile climb just after the turn-around; that's the highlight of this workout.  However, there a a number of hills after that climb as well, so don't spend it all on that one effort!

April workouts will include one repeat of the March 24 workout, probably on April 14.  The April 7 workout wuill likely be "ladder" time repeats of 1, 2, 3, 4 minutes, then 4, 3, 2, 1 on the return.  April 21 will likely be "3s ans 2s" or "2s and 1s". 


Coach Ed  




2010 Jan-March Track Workouts

Happy New Year! See below for workouts January-March 2010.

The workouts are divided into two categories: regular and novice. The latter category is intended for those in the National Marathon and Half-Marathon Training Programs who have less experience in track workouts, or for anybody else who would have difficulty completing the “regular” workouts. Also, keep in mind that the recommended number of repeats is a maximum – there is no obligation to do the full number. It is better to do fewer repeats at the recommended tempo and interval (rest) duration, than to attempt the “full” workout and not be able to keep up the pace/interval length. Those who are winding back into shape are especially encouraged to do fewer repeats and work their way back up.

As always, the workouts are subject to change due to weather conditions. On days when there is a potential of snow/ice on the track, I will check conditions during the day and, if necessary, have an advisory posted on the website on Wednesday afternoon.


6-Jan 20:00 Tempo Run (All) TRP 3-4 minute jog after Tempo Run,
then 2 x 400M at 5K w/ 200M jog in-between.
13 Jan. 4x1600M (Regular “REG”)
4 x 1200M (Marathon Training Novice “NOV”)
CIP (10K Pace) 400M jog
20 Jan. 6 x 1000M (REG) 6 x 800M (NOV) TIP 200M jog
27 Jan. 4-5 x 2000M (REG) 3-4 x 2000M (NOV) TIP 400M jog.
3 Feb. 2 x 15:00 (ALL) TRP 2:00 jog.
10 Feb. 16-20 x 400M (REG) 12-16 x 400M (NOV) CIP 100M jog.
17 Feb. 4 x 5:00 (ALL) Interval (5K) Pace 5:00
24 Feb. 1 x 20:00; 1 x 15:00 (ALL) TRP 2:00 jog
3 Mar. 8-10 X 800M (ALL) CIP to IP 400M (slow) jog
10 Mar. 3-4 x 1600M (ALL) CIP 400M jog
17-Mar Training Program: Race Prep
Regular:8 x 600M
Interval Pace (5K) 400M jog
24-Mar 16-20 x 400M (REG) CIP 100M

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Directions to Track

Track workouts are held on the track at Washington-Liberty (formerly Washington-Lee) High School.

From Washington DC: take I-66 east to the Glebe Road exit, turn right on Glebe, right on 15th Street for about 0.4 miles, to Stafford Street, turn right and cross over I-66 and the school is on your left.
From Vienna and points west in Virginia: take I-66 east to the Fairfax Drive exit, follow Fairfax Drive for about 0.8 mile to Stafford Street, turn left for about 0.3 miles and the school is on your right.
From Alexandria: take Glebe Road going north until turning right on 15th Street, and proceed as from DC.
Metro: Washington-Liberty is a short walk from both the Virginia Square and Ballston Metro stations (Orange/Silver lines).

 DCRRlogotypeRRCA member

The DC Road Runners Club is a member of the Road Runners Club of America and is also affiliated with USA Track & Field. We provide a year-round schedule of running events that offer everyone a chance to participate regardless of age, gender, or athletic ability.