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.

2 x 20:00 Tempo w/5 Minute return walk and water break

Wednesday Night Hawks -

The weather Tonight will in the mid 70s with little humidity – ideal summer conditions! Unfortunately, W&L is in session one more day, so the track is "officially" closed (Although some have been known to jump the fence). Yorktown is open until dark if you want to try there, however, and Falls Church and McLean High Schools are also apparently available. Following tonight's workout there is a schedule below for the next two months of workouts.

June 16th, 2021 – 2 x 20:00 minute Tempo Runs (These at 10m or better pace), with 5:00 minute walk back to start and standing rest with Water Break

Water breaks are important ALL year round, especially when it is warm as tonight, so remember to hydrate before, during and after your runs - after each interval

NOTE: I expect to see your heart rates in the Mid 80% of Maximum range, and if your rates are higher, you need to slow down!

Fastest Runners: 6:15 to 7:00 Pace

Fast Runners: 7:00 to 7:30 Pace

Intermediate Runners: 7:30 to 8:30 Pace

MTP Trainees/People in Coach Big Guys Pace Group: 8:30 to 10:45 Pace

This week's workout is a solid base workout, and this is a nice break from the more intensive speed work we have been doing. Take it easy on the first interval, accelerating slowly up to 10m pace. When you hit 17:30, stop and walk back to the start if on a track (stop and walk if on the streets), get some water, and then start the second 17:30-minute interval where we want you to do the same - accelerate slowly but steadily to 10m pace, with perhaps a couple of final laps (or the last 5 minutes if on the streets) at 10k pace. Both of these runs are great opportunities to learn to make moves in longer races where you accelerate to catch and pass runners who are running a steady pace.

Coach Big Guy


Early Summer Track Workouts

We received some requests for some advance notice of the track workouts, so the next two months are planned below. While track workouts sometimes conflict with Club races, we usually hold practice even when there is a race for those who are not competing in that particular race. As to availability of tracks for practice, right now we are set at Yorktown for early Thursday mornings with the TMBC Crew. We are still working with Arlington County to see if we can get the W&L track opened on Wednesday nights. According to the School schedule, W&L is supposed to end the school year tomorrow, June 16, so we are hopeful the track will become available next week (June 23) at our usual Wednesday 7 PM start time, but we will see and stay tuned. In the meantime, Wednesday night regulars can run at Yorktown/Greenbriar track on Wednesday nights, or apparently, McLean and Falls Church High School tracks.

June 16/17 - 2 x 20:00 Tempo runs, 5 Minute walk to start and hydrate rest interval

June 23/24 - 4 to 6 x 1000m in 5k Pace, 400m jog intervals

June 30/July 1 - Sprint Medley Ladders – 200m/400m/600m/800m/1200m all in 10k Pace, then down at 5k Pace 800m/600m/400m/200m, all with 400m easy jogs except 200m easy jogs after the first 200m and between the last 400 and the final 200m

July 7/8 - 12 to 16 x 400m in 10k, 100m jog intervals

July 14/15 - 10 to 12 x 500m in 5k, 300m jog

July 21/22 - 3 to 4 x 1600m in 10k, 400m jogs, then 2 x 400m in 5k, 200m jog

July 28/29 - 6 to 8 x Yasso 800s


Wednesday Track - 6 to 8 Yasso 800s

Wednesday Night Hawks

Tonight, will be hot with Temps in the mid 80s, very high humidity, and a very good chance of thundershowers – tough enough conditions to consider running tomorrow morning when things will be better. If you run tonight – hydration will be even more important! Moreover, 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.

June 9, 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

May Happy Hour/Snowball Series Awards Ceremony
Thu, May 23rd, 2024, @6:00pm
DCRRC Women's Distance Festival 5K and Run After the Women 5K
Sun, Jun 9th, 2024, @8:00am
Book Club
Sun, Jun 16th, 2024, @4:00pm
DCRRC Hugh Jascourt 4-Miler
Fri, Jun 21st, 2024, @7:00pm
DCRRC Age Handicapped 4-Miler
Thu, Jul 4th, 2024, @8:00am
DCRRC Bastille Day 4-Miler
Sun, Jul 14th, 2024, @7:00pm
 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.