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, 400m jogs, then 2 x 400m 5k with 200m jog

Wednesday Night Hawks

Tonight will be warm, with temps in the mid 70s, and fairly windy with lower humidity, so plan accordingly. 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. We are trying to clarify the W&L track availablity situation for a full restart of Wednesday night as we did for Thursday Morning track.

June 2, 2021 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.

Coach Big Guy

 

Track: 8 to 10 x 500m in 5k Pace, 300m jogs

Wednesday Night Hawks

Tonight will be hot, with temps from low 90s to upper 80s, a good deal of humidity, and a significant chance of thunderstorms. Frankly, you might want to think about running in the morning with the Thursday Morning Breakfast Crew, warmups at 5:40 and workout at 6 AM. W&L is still closed, but Yorktown and the Fairfax County tracks should be open.  If you run, make sure you have plenty of water and drink during the workout. We will try to restart Wednesday night organized workouts on the terms outlined in last week's email once Arlington reopens W&L track for more than an hour a day.

May 26, 2021 - 6 to 8 x 500m in 5k pace - with 300m jog recovery in between

• Fastest: 5:45 to 6:15 Pace, 10 Intervals
• Faster: 6:15 to 6:45 Pace, 9 – 10 Intervals
• Intermediate: 6:45 to 7:30 Pace, 8 – 9 Intervals
• Yeoman/MTP Trainees: 7:30 to 10:00 Pace, 8 Intervals

This is another speed workout guaranteed to build both strength and stamina for your summer races – and let's hope we get some! These are tougher than they look, so try to finish strong - push that last 100, and make sure you focus on form, so you run efficiently, effectively, and injury-free. I would ease into these by running the first couple in 8k or 10k pace, but also feel free to crush the last couple in 3k pace if you are still feeling frisky.

Happy Running!

Coach Big Guy

 

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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.