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 Workouts: March 26 - April 30

Members & Guests:

The "Spring Displacement" is upon us again. Thankfully, the conflicts with Washington-Lee HS sporting events only lasts through the end of April -- with the exception of April 16, when it seems we WILL have the track available to us.

Unfortunately, there are no easy alternatives available to us. The W-L track also is booked on Tuesdays and Thursdays through the end of April, as are the tracks at Yorktown and Wakefield. It's just a bad month for us.

So, we will do workouts on the trail. I will send people off as early as 7:00, but will stick around until 7:15 to catch any "stragglers." But you will run with mnore light, and more people, if you arrive by 7:00.

For those who do not know, we meet outside the W-L Stadium, and access the Custis Trail at Stafford Street, proceeding west on the trail.

We run to the "0.0" mark at the Custis, then take a right turn onto the spur that connects with the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. We take a right turn onto the W&OD. There is enough "room" to complete 50 percent of our workouts before hitting the complicated turns on the W&OD near the East Falls Church Metro.

When you come back, remember to take the left turn onto the spur, and then the next left onto the Custis Trail. And don't forget to leave the Custis Trail at Stafford Street to get back to Washington-Lee.

Here's some suggested workouts for the next 5 weeks:

March 26: Warm up about 10-12 minutes. Three minutes on/two minutes off. Run about six repeats; some may want to do as many as eight repeats, but that's a tall order on this course. (Remember the hills you have to climb coming back!)

April 2: Warm up by jogging to the 1.0 mile mark on the Custis. Then, do 4 x 1-mile repeats at 10K pace. Run from 1.0 to 0.0 on the Custis. Then, jog to the 4.0 mark on the W&OD, and run hard to the 5.0 mark. Recover by jogging a bit farther on the W&OD, then turn around in time to pick it up again at the 5.0 mark, and repeat the effort going back.

Hold something in abeyance here -- that 4th mile repeat will be tough!

April 9: Similar to March 26, except do repeats of 2 minutes "on" and 1 minute "off." Aim for up to 10 repeats. These should be done at 5K pace. Take a longer break (2-3 minutes) after repeat #5).

April 16 (On the Track): Four repeats -- 5:00 in length at 5K pace. 5:00 minutes rest in between.

April 23: Same workout as April 2.

April 30: Similar workout to March 26 and April 9, but do 5 repeats of 4:00 duration, with a 3:00 recovery in between. Aim for 5K pace.

These workouts will be a good test of your "sense of pace," particularly on rolling terrain. Do these workouts, and you will be quite fit when we hit the track again in May.

See you on the trail!


Summer & Marathon Training Workouts

Club Members, Marathon Training Participants, & Guests:

Following is the workout plan at the Washington-Lee HS Track for the next three months.

The schedule is subject to change, primarily due to weather conditions. This may include lengthening the suggested repeats in case of unusually cool or dry weather, or truncating the workouts a bit if the heat and humidity are severe. In rare cases, usually associated with Code Red air quality or near-certain thunderstorms, the workout may be cancelled altogether. Such announcements will be made in advance (if possible) on the "President's Blog" of the DCRRC home page.

A word about the workouts: to account for the heat, and to acclimate the Marathon Training Program participants to the rigors of regular speedwork, the recommended repeats will mostly be in the 400M to 800M range in June and July. Longer intervals will appear in August, and will be a prominent feature in September and October. Keep in mind that our standard 10K pace 400M workouts -- with a mere 100M jog rest interval -- achieve virtualy the same training effect as a "tempo" workout, while giving you more frequent breaks.

Suggested workouts to substitute for those posted here are always welcome. Please contact the coach in advance, and we can adjust the postings here.

Without further ado, the workouts:

June 4: 8 x 500M at 5K pace. 300M rest. NOTE: Severe T-storms already are predicted for this evening. Please watch Home Page for any annoucements with regard to that on Wednesday afternoon.

June 11: 8 x 600M at 5K pace. 400M rest.

June 18: 400M repeats at 10K pace. 100M jog interval Beginners should aim for 8 repeats. More advanced runners should aim for up to 14 repeats.

Junr 25: 6 x 800M repeats @ 5K pace. 400M rest.

July 2: 400M repeats at 10K pace. 100M jog interval. Aim to complete 2 more repeats than you did on June 18.

July 9: 5 x 500M @ 5K pace. 300M interval rest. 5-Minutee Break. 5 x 400M @ 5K pace. 200M rest interval.

July 16: 400M repeats at 10K pace. 100M jog interval. Aim to complete 2 more repeats than you did on July 2.


July 30: NO TRACK WORKOUT -- CLUB CHAMPIOSNHIP 1-Mile and 3000M Track Races.

August 6: 4 x 1600M @ "Tempo" pace. 200M jog interval.

August 13: 8 x 600M @ 5K pace. 400M rest.

August 20: 3-4 x 1600M @ 10K pace. 400M jog interval.


September 3: 400M repeats @ 10K pace. 100M rest. Aim for minimum of 16.

September 10: 5 x 1000M @ 5K pace. 600M rest.

September 17: 2 x 15:00 tempo-pace run. 2:00 rest break.

September 24: TBD: Preparation for 20-Miler on September 28, 2008.

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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.