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: Track Venue For Fall (REVISED!)

October 4, 2017

The Thursday Track Crew meets every Thursday at the Curtin-Burrowes entrance to Rec Hall at noon for a warm-up run to the Penn State track. You can run with the group from Rec Hall (about a mile-and-a-half warm-up). They leave around 12:10. Or meet at the track for the workout at about 12:25.

NOTE: Until we find the magic key to unlock the PSU outdoor track (we're working on it!), we'll be running speed repeats at the IM Fields on the north side Park Avenue between the Law School and University Drive as long as the weather is nice. On rainy days, or once the weather turns wintery, we'll be at the MSF Indoor Track, which is just south of the Bryce Jordan Center on University Dr. and Dauer Dr. PSU affiliates should bring an ID and sign in at the desk at the lower entrance. Others will have to hail a PSU person and sign in as a "guest" of that person.

Thursday Track Report: Summer's End

September 21, 2017

Summer is going out with a bang. After a few weeks of cooling weather after last month’s solar eclipse, the sun has recovered from the moon’s insult and is giving us unseasonably warm days. The last day of Summer saw temperaturs in the 80s, and Old Sol will continue pump out the warming rays into the first week of Fall. Unfortunately, the outdoor track remains closed, so those few who could take the thought of a sunless workout ran on the MSF indoor track. Judd Michael, Costas Maranas, Joel Niemann, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur did their workout indoors.

As long as we were stuck indoors, Bwana decided to call the benchmark indoor workout: NX3X300. Run 300 meters at mile kick pace. Rest for only 100 meters, then do it again, and then again for a set of 3X300. Take a longer rest and then do another set. Or two. The key is consistency. It may be a bit early to think about Winter. There are Fall marathons and ultras to get through. But this workout and some longer pace work are the keys to some great Indoor Mile times!

Bwana will be away next weekend again. Those using the indoor track should probably do sets of longer reps.

Thursday Track Report: Uneasy Lies The Head That Wears A Crown

October 19, 2017

Sunny, warm, and dry. And beautiful! We feel blessed when we get one or two days like in mid-October. But a whole week? And thankfully, the humidty has been turned down all week. About 15 or so runners, including Tom Cali, John Domico, Bob Cornwall, Bob Shafer, Mike Weyandt, Meira Minard, Mike Zimmerman, Judd Michael, Mike Martin, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur turned out at the IM Fields today for the weekly speed workout.

Bwana hasn’t been to the track workout in a few weeks, probably the longest he’s been away from the track in almost 20 years.. Busy, traveling, etc. In the meantime, the workout has moved, at least until bad weather comes, from the MSF Indoor Track to the IM Fields on Park Ave. And in the meantime, a new leader, with new protocols, new ways of calling the workout, has come to the fore. The trouble is, Bwana doesn’t even know who that is! He got to the workout site just as the workout was being discussed. “Discussed” being a term of art meaning "argued over", with Zeagle, Domico, Meira, and a few others trying to figure out what’s the what and who’s the boss of the square. The new protocol involves not recognizing latecomers (even Bwana, apparently). So Bwana and a couple of others were left to figure out by follow the leader. But, it was all good. The IM Fields are foot friendly, with plenty of marked out square fields for soccer or some other lesser sport. Lots of ways to do do reps of the same distance (even if you don’t know what that distance is). The day was great, and a good workout was had by all.

Whoever’s in charge these days will soon find out that the mantle of Bwanahood is not something to take lightly. You’re “in charge”, but nobody to take you seriously. You’re “in charge", but you’ll have lots of arguments and complaints about the workout. Looks like it’s happened already!

Thursday Track Report: Remnants

September 14, 2017

The sky was drab and misting, the remains of Hurricane Irma falling on Joel Niemann, Rich Harter, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur as they headed for the indoor track at the MSF. The weather wasn’t so bad that we actually needed to run indoors, but we’re still not allowed on the outdoor track. The Rec Hall Crew did a non-track workout, but the way the weather has been retreating from summer, they’ll be glad to be running indoor track workouts soon enough.

Adam Ilgen had warmed up the track with his continuing repeat 800s. As he left, the sad remnants of the Track Crew did a set of 6X400. Run the nearly-two laps in Lane 5 at a mile race pace, and take a 200+ meter slow jog rest of 1 lap plus the stagger to the 400 meter start. Bwana ran consistently, though a long weekend of wedding partying in Nashville left him pooped by rep 4. David Lloyd was not so consistent. He started slow, but got better each rep, finishing with two back-to-back PRs. Now, PRs, are not the objective of a track workout, but to run continually faster and be able to hammer the last two is a sign of improving workouts. David has turned a new corner on his running ability, going from consistent with tiny improvements to a marked jump in ability. Bwana thinks David will easily be able to go under 6:30 in this winter’s Indoor Mile Series. In fact, he should consider this his challenge from Bwana.

Update on the track situation: We do hope to be able to use the outdoor track. The University, however, has instituted a pay-to-play policy for most of it’s Rec Department and Athletics Department facilities. The outdoor track falls in the latter category. Why not pay-to-play on the indoor track? Who knows? My guess is it’s because the outdoor track is pristinely new, and harder to monitor. (The MSF does have a relatively new sign-in policy.) The NVRC is going back and forth on the “pay” part to see if we can make the “play” part happen. More as things unfold.