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.

12 to 16 x 400m in 10k Pace, with 100m jogs

Wednesday Night Hawks

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!! Before the green beer or Guinness, let's get some miles in! Wednesday night's weather will be nice, with temps in the low 50s, with a little wind from 6 to 8 MPH. Dress accordingly, and still hydrate! W&L is supposed to be open until 6:30, but I've gotten reports that it closed soon after school at W&L. Speaking of school at W&L, we've noticed that the custodians have been closing off the track not just when school starts at 7:45 AM, but all morning from 6 AM on, and as noted above, earlier than the official 6:30 closure time during the Pandemic that we've gotten used to – shrinking track use at W&L to just a couple of hours in the afternoon from about 3 to 5 PM. For the time being, perhaps your best bet would be to run at Yorktown HS in north Arlington (aka Greenbriar Stadium), which is generally open 6 AM to 6:30 PM, or even Falls Church or McLean HS, which from the look of things on Strava, seem to be generally open at those times.

March 17, 2021 – ON THE TRACK ON YOUR OWN: 12 to 16 x 400m in 10k Pace, with 100m jogs

Fastest Runners: 5:45 to 6:30 Pace, 14 to 16 Intervals

Fast Runners: 6:30 to 7:15 Pace, 14 to 16 Intervals

Intermediate Runners: 7:15 to 8:00 Pace, 13 to 14 Intervals

MTP Trainees/Others: 8:00 to 10:00 Pace, 12 to 14 Intervals

As Coach Ed always says, the focus here is on 10K pace – actual 10k pace, not what you WISH your 10k pace was or should be. The first couple of 400s should feel downright easy. Keep close tabs on your time for each 400 and for each recovery 100. If you find yourself slowing down appreciably, either stop the workout, or at least adjust your pace so that you can finish at least 10 repeats. We decided to actually run these the way they are supposed to be run today, by slowing the 400s and jogging – not walking (I Admit it, it's my fault, I'm the walker of the group!) – the 100s, and I must say – the workout was a lot tougher but I realized that running it this way will lead to much better fitness – so slow down until you can maintain a good, steady, similar time for the 100m jog intervals and you will find these are much more helpful to your training. You should also focus on your form – get up on your toes and Lift your knees!

Coach Big Guy

 

Wednesday Track - 3 x 1600m in 10k Pace, 400m jogs

Wednesday Night Hawks

Tonight's weather is glorious – near 70, sunny till sundown, light winds and humidity. Tracks are open, but it still seems that no "organized" activities may take place in Arlington, but Yorktown and W&L are open for track work, but both tracks will be shut early – about 6:30 PM, so you could do this workout anywhere on flatter trails where miles are marked off.

March 10, 2021 ON THE TRACK ON YOUR OWN: 3 x 1600m in 10k Pace, with 400m jogs between

Fastest Runners: 5:45 to 6:30 Pace

Faster Runners: 6:30 to 7:15 Pace

Intermediate Runners: 7:15 to 8:00 Pace

Solid Runners/MTP Trainees: 8:00 to 10:00 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 – since we aren't doing the traditional 2 x 400m to finish, let's try to run these last 400s in a faster pace, pushing to 5k pace to finish strong.

 

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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.