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 for March 2019

Club Members and Guests,

Due to the scheduling conflicts with HS games noted in my prior post, most of our Wednesday night workouts will STILL take place at Washington Lee HS, but we will use the local sidewalks and trails for the workouts themselves. Meet same time (7:00 for warm ups, 7:15 workout start) just outside entrance to the stadium on Stafford St. For the benefit of the Thursday morning crew, and anybody working out on their own, I will post both a TRACK workout and the ALTERNATE workout we will be doing on Wednesday night.

MARCH 6: TRACK: 5 x 1000M, 5K pace, slow 400M recovery (use outermost lanes). Acceptable to take an 800M jog after repeat #3. ALTERNATE: 5 x 1000M using sidewalks around WL campus. Recovery jog back to start. Recommended to take an extra lap recovery after repeat #3.

MARCH 13: TRACK: 4 x 1600M, 10K pace. 400M jog recovery. Finish with 2 x 400M at 5K pace. 200M recovery. ALTERNATE: Mile repeats on Custis Trail. Exact course TBD, but will likely start at Mile 1.5 (just west of entrance to trail) and run East to Mile 2.0, turn around and return to M1.5. Save something for the hill at end! 2-3 recovery jog on local street.

March 20: TRACK: 8 x 600M, 5K pace, 400M recovery. ALTERNATE: Custis Trail. Eight repeats of 3 minutes “on” and 2 minutes recovery.

MARCH 27: TRACK AVAILABLE: 12-20 x 400M @ 10K pace, 100M jog recovery.


Winter Workouts Dec. 2018-Feb. 2019

Members and Guests:

After a very successful Fall racing season, it's time to re-group and focus on new goals for the coming year. In addition to the rota of track workouts posted below, I'd like to share/re-emphasize a few basic things to remember as you put together your own training schedule for the coming months.

  1. All Workouts Are Flexible: The slate of track workouts is designed for the "regular" competitive runner -- whether you are a sub-3 marathoner, working to break 4, or not running marathons at all. The number of repeats stated is a recommended maximum, as is the recommended pace. If you need to back off the number of repeats or pace, do so.
  2. Be Strategic on Long Runs: Mike Tosto has done another excellent job putting together the SLR schedule for the winter. Here's some advice to make your long runs even more profitable. First advice to think of long runs in terms of time logged instead of distance covered. I know, counterintuitive, and I can explain in person at track. You can use the suggested SLR routes in this fashion. Second advice is to vary pace: a SLOW long run in Week 1; a SLOW run with stretches of Tempo-paced (or faster) running in Week 2 (building up the length of those faster stretches as the season progresses); and a long with increasing-length stretches at Marathon race pace (even if you are not training for a marathon) in Week 3. Find a running partner to do this with. Third advice, in Week 4, is to back off the mileage and intensity to recover. Again, we can discuss particulars at the track. Fourth advice: Back off mileage/time run (long runs and total for the week) in final 4-5 weeks and focus on workout quality -- our track workouts will be attuned to that for both DC Rock n Roll and Boston runners.
  3. Consistency Wins Out: While almost any winter is certainly more favorable weather-wise than what we experienced this past summer, the season still poses its challenges. Stay consistent. Remember in the event of bad weather or a head cold that even 20-30 minutes of aerobic work is sufficient to maintain basic fitness. "Make hay" when there are good days, and remember, every Wednesday night (or Thursday morning) is a good day to run track!
  4. Use McMillan Running Calendar: Plug in your most recent best performance, along with a (realistic) future goal, and you'll receive a personalized schedule of training paces. NOTE WELL how easy some of the long run paces are, and how challenging some of the track paces. It's a good idea to start the training cycle at the top end (slower) of the suggested pace ranges, and work down as the season progresses. KEYS: Tempo Run/Interval Pace = 10M race pace; Cruise Interval Pace = 10K pace; Speed Pace = 5K (those are rough estimates; go by the suggested paces for your goal).

NOW, to the schedule. I've included notes on following DCRRC races, as well as the SLR distance for the following Saturday.

November 30, 2018: 12 x 400M @ 10K pace (Cruise Interval) pace. 100M recovery. SLR: 10M, Rock Creek.

December 5, 2018: 4 x 1200M @ 10M-10K pace (Tempo Interval-Cruise Interval). 400M recovery. DCRRC RACE: Bread Run, December 9. SLR: 12M, Pentagon, Army-Navy

December 12, 2018: Hannukah/Christmas/Festivus Relays. 2-person teams, each alternating 10 laps (20 total). Happy Hour to follow! DCRRC Race: Gar Williams Half Marathon, December 16. SLR: 14M, MBT/CUA

December 19, 2018: 6 x 800M @ 10K pace (Cruise Interval). 200M recovery. SLR: 12M, Christmas Tree Run

December 26, 2018: Boxing Day: NO WORKOUT. Suggested workout: Hill repeats, choose a hill 200-300M in length. 8 repeats up, recovery by jogging down. DCRRC Race: Predictions and Resolutions 5K, January 1, 2019. SLR: 14M, Festivus Run.

January 2, 2019: 20-minute Tempo Run. Finish with 2 x 400M @ 5K pace, 200M interval. Coach Ed absent. SLR: 16M Arlington Triangle

January 9: 4 x 5:00 @ Speed Interval (5K) pace. 5:00 recovery. DCRRC Race: Al Lewis 5- and 10-Miler, January 12. SLR: 12M Piney Branch

January 16: 14-16 x 400M @ 10K pace. 100M recovery. SLR: 15M

January 23: 4-5 x 1000M @ 5K pace. 400M slow recovery. DCRRC Race: JFK 20K/MLK 5K, January 26. SLR: 18M, Anacostia River Loop

January 30: 4 x 1600M @ 10K pace.400M recovery. Optional 2 x 400M to finish.DCRRC Race: Langley 8K, Feb. 2. SLR: 13M, Cathedral Loop

February 6: 14-18 x 400M @ 10K (Cruise Interval) pace. 100M recovery. SLR: 16M, Battery Kemble Loop.

February 13: 6-8 x 800M @ 5K (or "Yasso") pace. 400M recovery. DCRRC Race: GW Birthday Marathon, Feb. 17. SLR: 20M, Towpath.

February 20: 2 x 15:00 Tempo Run (2:30 recovery). DCRRC Race: 10-Mile Club Challenge, Sunday 2/24. Those NOT doing the Club Challenge, but who are doing RnR Marathon, should consider doing a third 15:00 Tempo Run. SLR: 14.5M, Ross Drive

February 27: 4-5 x 1600M @ 10K-10M pace. 400M recovery. DCRRC Race: 3/3: Burke Lake 12K. SLR: 10M, Chain Bridge Loop.

March-May schedule will be set once we have schedule of W-L HS games.


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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 Langley 8K
Sat, Feb 8th, 2020, @10:00am
George Washington's Birthday Marathon and Relay
Sun, Feb 16th, 2020, @10:00am
RRCA Club Challenge 10M
Sun, Feb 23rd, 2020, @8:00am
DCRRC Burke Lake 12K
Sun, Mar 1st, 2020, @10:00am
Annual Club Banquet and Membership Meeting
Sun, Mar 1st, 2020, @6:00pm
DCRRC Fort Hunt 10K
Sun, Mar 8th, 2020, @8:00am
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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.