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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

On the track

So, I'm back to Harrell track. After briefly joining the Varsity track group on Monday nights, I reverted to Tuesday mornings. Monday track shifted to Audubon Park - not a track at all! - at 6:15, and as I close my downtown store at 6pm, that just isn't possible. So I am back to Tuesdays.

Sometimes our Tuesday track workouts are too short for me: the group is great, but they're mostly older than I am and have started cutting mileage (most are in their 50s. And I don't mean to disparage, because they're awesome runners in their 50s: in fact one in my group was first grandmasters female at the Crescent City Classic this year!). When we have a short workout (anything under 3 miles worth of speed), I usually branch out and add to or change the workout.
But today I didn't need to, because Sometimes Coach (he sends our workouts out...sometimes) prescribed Yasso 800's! Except I don't think he Googled that first, because as I recall, Yassos have active rest, and he had us do 1:30 to 2:00 standing rest - whichever was closest to half our 800 time. I did 1:30s rest with the exception of one rest in which Joe, the artist of the group, was trying to take a picture of the glorious sunset right on the start line. So that rest was more like 2 minutes.
Anyway, Sometimes Coach said that the best way to do this workout was to aim for a time you wanted to run, not a current race pace, so I ran 3:10's - and I hit it every time except the first lap. I wandered down to 3:08 or 3:06 a few times, but mostly I was at 3:10 for ten laps.

At the end of the workout I was DRAINED. Exhausted. I did my usual 1-mile cool-down, and the other people using the track were like, "You look like death" as I passed. Not even joking. And then I did my post-workout stuff: strap stretching, myrtles, form drills. But I still felt exhausted. THEN I went home and did a strength workout from Runner's World. I like this workout - I'll do ten reps of each exercise and a few rounds. This workout is very, very hard and gives me very, very huge muscles.
What do you mean, no muscles?! 

Just kidding. It's not hard at all. It's a good easy, cool-down sort of exercise. Just right for after a workout that almost killed me dead.


  1. Morning track is probably good anyway since I think the warm days are only going to get warmer!

  2. According to Pete Magill's book, it's a good idea to do some strengthwork right after a workout - it can promote the release of certain hormones that help you recover better.

  3. I always figure that if you're exhausted after a speed workout you've given your best. Nice of the other track users to let you know just how great you look when you've given your best.

  4. Oooh, I really loved doing Yassos. Our club does those a lot, too. We did active recovery between 800s. I think recovery = the time you ran the 800 in, and we'd 'shag' or slowly run during that recovery time. Great job on hitting your paces on the workout. I'm impressed you had the motivation to do some strength training afterwards! That takes some serious will power!!

  5. Aren't Yassos 10x(800, then walk for the same length of time to recover)? At least, that's orthodox Yassos as I know them. Other coaches can vary the set or whatever. :) Isn't it so satisfying to really nail a workout? Even if you look like death warmed over afterwards.

    1. Yes, I think he got it wrong. He's a big fan of standing rest, though. I, for one, prefer active rest: it's easier to get going again!