Hump Day is for Humping

No, this isn't about the caloric value of sexual intercourse or ways you can work it into your weekly training schedule. But don't lie to me and say you've never seriously considering wearing your heart rate monitor to bed.

New weekly column. Hump Day humping. We'll suggest a workout or two that's sure to make you tired, and maybe even a little faster when you're done.


This year I've been obsessed with the less is more approach to training. And nothing epitomizes this more than a good old high school style track workout. Now, I never did get a chance to compete for the Averill Park High School track team. I started one season of indoor track, because I heard the sophomore girls liked to do hallway repeats shod only in sports bra and racing flats. I was soon disappointed, and also asked to leave the team due to conflict with my one and only true love of skiing.

But, in recent months I've spent a lot of time at the Dartmouth track chasing male coeds around the grecian oval trying to find out how exactly they can stomach 65 second 400m repeats and still get out of bed the next day. The secret still eludes me.

A lite set of 400s, 800s, or 1000s at the track can do wonders for your foot speed and overal composure while running an all out 10k. They can also horribly maim you and ensure that you never run another day until the total hip replacement is perfected somewhere in Canada.

Take this workout with a grain of salt. If you don't run 1/4 mile repeats in a circle very often, it's really really hard on your outside hip to get started. Along with your hamstrings, metatarsals, and obliques too. Starting out you might want to take the first few weeks of track work slow and be sure to reverse direction on recovery laps to help your body stay in balance.

This is a mid-distance workout that's good for sprint tri, 5k and 10k runners. It's a pyramid scheme, and you're the ponzie if you hit these too hard to start.

Pace:
I-pace for all but the 1000. Run the 1000 at threshold pace. More on pace and the real Jack Daniels to follow in more Hump Day workouts, but pretty much I pace feels like your 5k race speed plus a little more.

Workout:
Warm up with 10 minutes of reverse running on the track. Then -

Main set:
200m, 400m, 600m, 800m (I-pace)
1000m (T-pace)
800m, 600m, 400m, 200m (I-pace)
Rest with a very low aerobic paced 400 between repeats

Skills set:
6-8 diagonal barefoot sprints across the grass in the middle of the track, building to top speed throughout.

Cool down:
10 minutes reverse running easy on the track

Modification: if this feels like a lot, skip out on the 600m I-pace and 1000 T-pace

And don't forget. Team Scrappy never ran in high school. So don't sue us, because we're definitely not experts. Oh yeah, and if it feels like this, you're doing it wrong.

2 comments:

  1. What are I-pace and T-pace?

    Also, I actually reverse direction from one repeat to the next. Hitting those turns hard, just isn't the same as hitting them EZ. I've found that hitting them hard from both directions keeps things balanced, and reduces the stress on that outside hip.

    Also, also... I would like to argue that if it feels like that picture you ARE doing it right. :-)

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  2. Good point on breaking in the legs. The more reverse time the better.

    I-pace is 98-100% of your max heart rate, or said differently, just a touch faster than you'd run a 5k. The goal here is to increase your oxygen uptake efficiency (improve VO2).

    T-pace is your threshold pace. It's 88-92% of HR For most runners, it's the pace you can maintain for a 5k. Elite runners (not team scrappy) can hold this for an hr or more.

    As to how I and T pace feel after the fact, better in than out, I always say.

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