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.

Philosophy

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.

Paces

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.

Wednesday Track - 3 x 1600m in 10k Pace, 400m jogs + 2 x 400m in 5k 200m jog

Wednesday Night Hawks

Tonight will be a bit chilly, with temps in the low 50s, and very windy with gusts from 18 to 22 MPH and much lower wind chills, so plan accordingly. We picked a longer interval workout so that we don't have anyone straining muscles because they tried to sprint in this wind chilly weather. The only open Arlington Track is at Yorktown, but I understand that McLean and Falls Church HS tracks are usually open except for games or track meets – and even Yorktown is closed for that.

April 21, 2021 ON THE TRACK ON YOUR OWN: 3 x 1600m in 10k Pace, with 400m jogs between, then 2 x 400m in 5k with 200m jog

Fastest: 5:45 to 6:30 Pace, 15 to 30 seconds faster on the 5k Pace

Fast: 6:30 to 7:15 Pace, 15 to 30 seconds faster on the 5k Pace

Intermediate: 7:15 to 8:00 Pace, 15 to 30 seconds faster on the 5k Pace

Coaches/MTP Trainees: 8:00 to 10:00 Pace, 15 to 30 seconds faster on the 5k Pace

When your track intervals lengthen to a mile, it is sometimes difficult to remember that you really want to change your form, style, cadence, etc. from your standard runs, but you really should. It makes a big difference if you switch your form to speed work – focus on lifting your knees, getting up on your toes, and using your arms in sync to lift the opposite leg. Don't fall into the trap of lengthening your stride – cadence should increase measurably on the track as opposed to the road and trail. Keep your core still and relaxed, and do not cross your arms over your body mid-point – this will swing your core (thus not still) and throw your stride off. On these longer intervals, break them down – for example, on Lap 1 focus on form – am I up on my toes and lifting knees? Lap 2 – am I relaxed – am I pushing while not getting to tense? Lap 3 – how is my breathing – through my nose and mouth - deeply? Lap 4 – Finish strong, but remember we are doing the traditional 2 x 400m in 5k Pace to finish, so let's try to leave a little in the tank for those.

 

Wednesday Track - 6 to 8 Yasso 800s, 400m jogs

Wednesday Night Hawks

Tonight, will be a bit warm, with Temps in the mid 60s, higher humidity, and a very good chance of rain – not the best running weather, but doable. W&L Track is officially closed from 3 to 8 PM during the week according to the sign we reviewed yesterday, so Yorktown, McLean or even Falls Church HS for track work tonight is your best bet, although some of you will insist on jumping the gate at W&L – we can't recommend that when there are open tracks elsewhere.

April 14, 2021 – ON THE TRACK ON YOUR OWN: Yasso 800s – 6 to 8 Yasso 800s - at a pace where your expected marathon time in hours and minutes is your 800 pace in minutes and seconds, with 400m easy jogs between each 800 in the exact same time as your 800, not faster or slower

To reiterate how to calculate your 800 time take the hours and minutes of your expected (hoped for) marathon time – in my case three hours and 50 minutes (Dream on!) and convert that to an 800 time of three minutes and 50 seconds, followed by a slow 400m jog in three minutes fifty seconds. It is VERY easy to jog that 400m too fast – but don't do it! Much more critical to run ALL of the 800s at the same pace/time, even as you tire, and fully recover if possible, on that exact same time on the slow 400. Yasso 800s are a favorite of Coach Ed and Coach Big Guy, developed by the legendary Coach Bowman from Oregon who coached Steve Prefontaine – and one of the best workouts you can do for the marathon!

Coach Ed, Coach Big Guy and Coach Rich

 

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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).

Upcoming Events

DCRRC Women's Distance Festival 5K and Run After the Women 5K
Sun, Jun 5th, 2022, @8:00am
Book Club
Sun, Jun 12th, 2022, @4:00pm
DCRRC Hugh Jascourt 4-Miler
Tue, Jun 21st, 2022, @7:00pm
DCRRC Age Handicapped 4-Miler
Mon, Jul 4th, 2022, @8:00am
DCRRC Paul Thurston 4.5 Miler
Tue, Aug 16th, 2022, @6:45pm
 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.