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.

Welcome to the DCRRC Track Blog

Club Members and Guests:

Welcome to the DCRRC Track Workout Blog. In conjunction with the Club forum, this will provide a quick, interactive way of getting news out about the Club's Track Workouts. First and foremost, it will allow me to instantly post workouts (not having to work through our website administrator, who has a lot of other work to keep him busy).

This month's sole remaining workout is July 18th. It will be, as posted on the Club's main blog page, 400M repeats with a 100M jog rest. A word about this workout: despite the "short" 400M repeats, the rest interval is also very short. This workout mimics a tempo workout, but run at a faster pace (8K to 10K race pace) and with frequent but short intervals. The goal as your approach your goal race (marathon, half, or 10K, is to be able to do 20 of these repeats and for the rest interval to be at the pace of your warm-up jog.

Nest week, we will host our annual Track Championships, at Wakefield HS -- note the change in location, necessitated by the construction at Washington-Lee. We hope to see you there. And, yes, volunteers are needed.

A final word: I'll have more to say about this from time to time, but our summer workouts are designed to meet the needs of those training for fall marathons. Due to the weather (which resulted in one workout-related hospital visit so far this summer), I am careful to adjust the length of the repeats. As always, we will switch to longer, tempo-pace repeats in August (on the theory that folks have by then adjusted to the heat and humidity) and to 10K/5K pace intervals in September and October.

Track availability, I realize, is not certain during these critical fall months. Unfortunately, we do not get as much advance notice as we like of the stadium schedule. Those wanting to do a workout at an alternative time should let me know -- we will try to accommodate and get as many people there as we can to make it worthwhile.

Run well and stay in touch.


August Workouts and Training Update

Club Members and Guests:

August will be focused on cruise/tempo intervals, including one dose of our repeat 400s at 10K pace. We will focus more on faster interval work during September.

A word of about track availability. We should have full access to the track during August. September's schedule is not yet known, but we hope there will be fewer conflicts than in the pasr two years due to the completion of the Yorktown HS track.

I will adjust September workouts to ensure that we do our interval pace training on the track. Repeat miles can be done on the trail -- I will mark the trail later in August with hash marks to designate the 1/4 mile points, which should aid in pacing. We also can do workouts, if need be, on an alternate night during the weeks that the track is not available on Wedneday.

Note for Marathon Training Program: Consult with your coaches on the number of repeats you should attempt for each of these workouts. A good rule of thumb at this workout pace is that the distance you cover during the "fast' portions of the workout should not exceed 12 - 15 percent of your weekly mileage total. (The figure is 10 percent if workouts are being done at 5K pace.)

August 1: 6 to 8 x 800M at Tempo or Cruise Interval Pace (approximately 10M to 20K race pace). 200 rest interval, at a brisk jog.

Key to this work is controlling pace. If you go out too fast of the first one or two repeats, you will pay for it. Rest intervals should be consistent in length. First couple of repeats should feel relatively easy, like the early stages of a race.

August 8: 12 to 16 x 400M at 10K pace, with 100M recovery jog.

August 15: 4 to 6 x 1000M at Tempo/Cruise pace, with 200M jog.

This is a step up in difficuty from the August 1 workout, but should be run at approximately the same pace.

August 22: Part 1. Mile repeats. 3 x 1-mile at 10K pace, 400M jog recovery. Part 2: 3 x 300M at comfortable speed, slow 100M recovery.

This is another workout to repeat during the trainng cycle, and we will return to it 3 more times before the end of October. It is a good idea to to these progressively faster.

Part 2 of the workout should be done at good speed, about 5 minutes after you finish the final mile repeat. Strive for good form, and again, run the first repeat a bit easier, and pick up the pace for the final tw0.

August 29: Tempo Run. Good warm-up, then 20-Minute tempo-pace run. After a five minute break, do 2 x 400M at 5K pace, with a 200M recovery jog.

Preview of September:

Week 1: 4 x 5:00 at 5K pace, with 5-minute recovery.

Week 2: Mile Repeats at 10K pace. 300Ms finish.

Week 3: 1000M repeats at 5K pace.

Week 4: 400M repeats at 10K pace.

Preview of October:

Week 1: 2 x 15-minute tempo run. 400Ms to finish.

Week 2: Mile repeats at 10K pace. 300Ms to finish.

Week 3: 8 x 800M at 5K pace. 400M rest. (Final hard track workout for MCM runners.)

Week 4: 400M repeats at 10K pace.

Week 5: 1000M repeats at 5K pace.

Watch this space for updates.

Coach Ed

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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.