Thursday Track Crew

2007 Thursday Track CrewThursdays are track days for a small group of men and women. This is not a formal thing -- the exact workout depends on who's there (usually numbering from a dozen to as many as thirty or more) and what they feel like doing -- but the group is very reliable about showing up. A typical workout might be something like six 400 meter intervals at 70-115 seconds (that's a pretty big spread, but we get a big spread of ability, too), or a 400-600-800-600-400 pyramid, or laps that include 100m striders, with folks doing more or less, faster or slower. We even got covered in the Centre Daily Times! If this appeals to you, meet under the Rec Hall bleachers at noon, or show your face at the Penn State outdoor track (indoors in winter, at the new Multi-Sport Facility) around 12:20 or so on Thursdays. Say "hey!"

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Thursday Track Report: Fartlek Farrago

May (?) 4, 2017

We’ve had the most mixed up weather, with May in February, April in January, January in March, and a whole bunch of mixed-upedness in April. Well, it’s May, and so on Monday it was July and today it’s April again. Judd Michael, Andy Maguire, Mike Martin, Bob Shafer, Jaimie Wright, Elsa Hansen, Joel Niemann, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed for the track under cloudy skies, cool temperatures, and the threat of rain.

The weather has been a savory stew, a crazy casserole, a mad medley, and so Bwana gave a fartlek farrago for today’s workout: A downward ladder, 5-4-3-2 laps in Lane 5, with 2 lap rests after the first two reps and a 1 lap rest before the last rep. Start at 5K race pace and pick it up with each rep, finishing at a mile kick pace on the 2-lapper. That and a little salsa picante (Bwana recommends Tapatío) will really spice up your regimen. Maybe Bwana will let the flavors marry a little more and mix it up next time (3-5-2-4?).

Next week is rare off-week for Thursday Track. With Penn State hosting the Big 10s and State High still in session, there will be no suitable venues except for Rec Hall, and who wants to run there in May? (Or August, or whatever month it decides to be next week.) We’ll get together again on May 18, venue TBA.

Thursday Track Report: Lost Sheep

April 20, 2017

It was another amazing if slightly warm Thursday as runners from various locations tried to find an oval to run a workout on. The MSF was busy with a kids’ event, so it was not clear what to do. Bwana, as previously announced, could not be there to lead his flock this week, so aimful wandering began. Mike Casper, Judd Michael and Joel Niemann found an alternative location to meander in a circular fashion. Mike and Joel did 4x400 and Judd did 3x1600. David Lloyd was glimpsed doing valiant hill repeats on Porter Road. And others, including Costas Maranas, Elsa Hansen, Tom Cali, Meira Menard, Mike Weyandt, Mike Martin, and John Domico, well they surely were doing some sort of speedy repeats, somewhere.

Bwana will be back in charge next week, and hopefully we'll have the MSF, or some nearby suitable location, at our disposal.


Thursday Track Report: Steamy!

April 27, 2017

The weather is warming up and it would be a great time for an outdoor workout. But the Penn State outdoor track is still not officially open. (My guess is it won’t be until after Big 10s in a couple of weeks.) So Lance Bland, Mike Casper, Dave DeGroote, Michael Goldfine, Jaimie Wright, Torrie Raisch, Adam Ilgen, Joel Niemann, Elsa Hansen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed for the indoor track, where it can get pretty humid in the warm months. Tom Cali, John Domico, Mike Martin, and several others poked their heads in, but took off for a non-track run in the great outdoors.

Bwana’s workout was the relatively easy 6X400. It’s easy because there are no mountains to climb either in terms of volume or long reps. But do the reps quickly, close to mile race pace. And with about 250 meters of slow jogging rest, there is plenty of recovery to do each rep at that quick pace. If you have time, you can extend this workout to 8 or more reps.

Big 10s are just two weeks away. Penn State has one of the best middle distance crews in the country, both men and women. There should be some great races. Get out to the meet!

Thursday Track Report: Beantown Send-Off

April 13, 2017

It was a glorious Spring day, the Thursday before Easter and, notably for our Crew, one more day than that before the Boston Marathon. The Marathoners For Medicine runners are all special in terms of the work they put into running for a great cause, but there will always be a special place in the NVRC’s collective heart for the Boston Marathoners. It’s the marathon that John Domico ran when he started M4M (as it was not yet called) back 14 years ago. Traditionally, at least a few of the Boston runners show up on the Thursday before the race, not so much to top off their training (though you couldn’t tell that to Costas), but to get the well-wishes from the Crew. Jim Myers, John Domico, Lance Bland, Judd Michael, George Lesieutre, Mike Casper, Costas Maranas, Andy Maguire, Mike Zimmerman, Dan Coughlin, Mike Martin, Seth Senior, Joel Niemann, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed for the track under mostly sunny skies and Spring temperatures.

Costas, for reasons unknown, did his obsessive’s workout of 2 X 1 Mile at race pace. The rest of the Boston runners did a perfunctory track jog. And the rest of the Crew did Bwana’s workout, a mini-Front-Loader (Indoor version): Two times the following: 3 laps in Lane 5 (about 700 meters) at mile race pace, then with just a half-lap recovery, 3X1 lap (about 230 meters) at mile kick pace. The 3-lapper front-loads you for the rest of the rep. If you run your 3-lapper hard, you will still be recovering through the 3X1 lap, so each one of those should get a little faster, though not easier. Take a long rest after the rep, then do the whole set again. This type of workout can be scaled: A Full Front-Loader is 1 mile (about 7 laps in Lane 5) followed by 4 X 400 (a little under 2 laps in Lane 5) with 1 lap rest.

It’s also traditional for at least some of the Boston runners to come to the track workout after the marathon to tell their tales and to hobble around the track at a jog. Wish them, and all the M4M runners good luck on their coming races!

Bwana will not be at the track next week. He hereby appoints/dubs/anoints David Lloyd “Bwana For A Week”. It’s all yours, David!