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.

September Workout Schedule.

Club Members and Guests:

The good news is that we apparently will have access to the track each Wednesday in September and October. The currently-posted Washington-Lee schedule indicates such. Obviously, rain-outs can change that scheduling, but we will clearly be able to get most of our fall workouts done on the track.

This month, we will alternate faster speed interval work in weeks 1 and 3 with 10K-pace work in weeks 2 and 4. This is all superb training for both marathons and shorter races from 5K to half-marathon.

Note for Marathon Training Program: Consult with your coaches on the number of repeats you should attempt for each of these workouts. A good rule of thumb at this workout pace is that the distance you cover during the "fast' portions of the workout should not exceed 12 - 15 percent of your weekly mileage total. (The figure is 10 percent if workouts are being done at 5K pace.)

September Workouts:

September 5: 4 repeats of 5:00 duration at 5K pace, with 5-minute recovery. The goal: Aim for a consistent distance covered in each of the 4 intervals, perhaps covering bit more distance each time. Recover almost fully during the rest interval. We will be very precise with the timing of the rest interval -- be there at the start!

September 12: 3-4 x 1-Mile Repeats at 10K pace. 400M jog interval. 3 x 300M to finish.

September 19: 5 x 1000M repeats at 5K pace. 600M recovery jog. (This should be done at a pace slightly faster than you averaged for your repeats during September 5 workout.)

September 26: 16-20 x 400M repeats at 10K pace. 100M recovery jog. OK to take a 2-minute break after first 8 or 10 repeats.

Preview of October:

Week 1: 2 x 15-minute tempo run. 400Ms to finish.

Week 2: Mile repeats at 10K pace. 300Ms to finish.

Week 3: 8 x 800M at 5K pace. 400M rest. (Final hard track workout for MCM runners.)

Week 4: 400M repeats at 10K pace.

Week 5: 1000M repeats at 5K pace.

Watch this space for updates.

Coach Ed

Track Work for November and December

Members & Guests:

We may finally get some chilly nights at the track, but it is no reason not to come out. November and December will largely be months for recovery and building back, with most workouts at Tempo or 10K pace. Use the Tempo Pace or Cruise Intervals readings on the McMillan Running Calculator to set your pace.

We will run each week this winter, with the exception of Wednedsay November 21, and Wednesday, December 26th. I do not anticipate any interruptions in our use of the track, and with any luck, we may see the lanes on the far turn opened up when the new section of the high school opens in January.

Workouts for spring races, including but not limited to marathons (Boston, National), will start in earnest in early January. Meanwhile, these workouts will provide a good base for the spring.

A word to the wise: Marine Corps Marathoners should lay off speed work until at least November 14. Waiting until November 28 will nto hurt you a bit. NYC marathoners definitely should hold off until November 28th. But please use Wednesday night for recovery runs, and if you want to do some speed work, I'd recommend some 100M stirdes on the infield turf. Take care of your legs.

November 7: 800M repeats. Number and intensity will depend on your stage in training or recovery process.

Philadelphia Marathoners will want to do these pretty hard, at 5K pace, with a 400M interval. Eight repeats if you can manage it.

Others should do 6 repeats, at 10K pace, with a 200M recovery jog.

November 14: 400M repeats. Again, number will depend on your place in training cycle. Those starting back from fall races can do as few as 6 and up to 12. Those training for December races can do up to 20 maximum, but 16 is probably sufficient. Pace is 10K (Cruise Interval) with a 100M jog interval.

November 21: Night off. Race or volunteer at DCRRC/PWBA Turkey trot on Thursday morning.

November 28: 1600M repeats. Cruise interval pace. 200M rest. 3-4 repeats.

December 5: 400M repeats. 100M rest. All marathoners should be ready to do 12-14 repeats, with exception of Philadelphia folks, who might want to limit to 6 or 8. See November 14.

December 12: 2 x 12 minutes tempo run. 2:00 break.

December 19: Christmas Relays with Hannukah Geld. 2-member teams seeded at Coach's discretion. Major awards. Each runner completes 10 alternating laps. Will Dremo's still be open for a celebratory drink afterwards?

December 26: Merry Chrstimas, see you on January 2nd!

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Directions to Track

Track workouts are held on the track at 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-Lee is a short walk from both the Virginia Square and Ballston Metro stations on the Orange Line.

Upcoming Events

nZone Back to School 5k
Sat, Aug 24th, 2019, @8:00am
DCRRC 3+mile Cross Country Race, Kids' Races and Club Picnic
Sat, Aug 24th, 2019, @4:00pm
DCRRC Larry Noel 15K Race and 3K Fun Run
Sun, Sep 1st, 2019, @5:00pm
Board Of Directors Meeting
Thu, Sep 12th, 2019, @7:00pm
National Zoo Fast & the Fierce 5K
Sat, Sep 14th, 2019, @8:00am
Book Club
Sun, Sep 15th, 2019, @4:00pm
 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.