Thursday Track Report: Can We Go Outside And Play Now?

May 19, 2016

It was pretty nice out, with sunny skies and warm temperatures (unusual so far this month!) and low and behold Jim Myers, Lance Bland, Costas Maranas, Judd Michael, Rich Harter, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur found that the PSU outdoor track was open! A big change from the last few weeks. The spotty availability of the outdoor track has been killing Thursday Track the last couple of months. Everybody is grateful to have the MSF indoor track available to us when it’s cold and blowing out, but who wants to run indoors once April hits?

Costas was punishing himself with repeat 1/2-miles, so the rest of the group decided to join in. Bwana called out 4X-1/2 Mile. That’s where you run in the very outside lane, and use the funny secret Imperial Unit markings to gauge. A half-mile is just under 1-3/4 laps in that lane. Bwana prescribed a VERY short rest, back to the starting line (a little over 100 meters). So run your half-miles at a slow 5K pace and take your time on a really slow jog to the start of the next one.

Marty Klanchar has been trying to get more information about future availability of the outdoor track. We know there’ll be construction of a new track soon, but we’re hoping to be able to use it on a more predictable schedule until that happens (and after!). Stay tuned.

Thursday Track Report: Inside Looking Out

May 12, 2016

It was sunny and warm today, quite a break from the last few weeks. Judd Michael, Lance Bland, Marty Klanchar, Mike Casper, Costas Maranas, Michael Goldfine, Callie Burke, Joel Niemann, Rich Harter, Adam Ilgen, and Marty Mazur headed for the track. It’s starting to look like we’re being relegated to the indoor track. The outdoor track has been shackled shut for a few weeks. On a nice day like today, a good portion of the Rec Hall crew took a look at the options and went on running in the sun. Bwana took the remainder indoors for a bit more structured workout.

Today’s track adventure came from California, Berkeley to be precise, via FloTrack’s Wednesday Workout feature. Tony Sandoval coaches Cal’s women’s middle distance runners and had them on a “Date Pace” workout. It’s a workout for the meet portion of the training season, where the ladies are put through a race pace workout of 3X300 followed by 400-800-300 at race pace, and then a hard 200 at “kick pace”. The gals run their workouts a good deal faster than us. Their 1500 meter race pace is, after all, close to 4 minutes. Bwana’s take was 3X300, followed (after a short rest) by 4 laps in lane 5 (~900m), 2 laps (~450m), 1 lap (~225m) all at mile race pace with short rests between. This workout has options for higher volume: Do the whole thing twice, or repeat either the 3X300 or the descending ladder.

After the workout, Bwana ran into Sam Thompson, who promises to join our indoor crew as his schedule frees up, and Jo Ohm, who’s always been “outdoorsy”. It’s going to be a long summer indoors. We’ll try to do some workouts at the SCASD High School track after their school year is over. Keep an eye on the track emails.

Thursday Track Report: En-"lite"-enment

April 28, 2016

April is back (just in time for its coming exit), and with it, cool, “lite” showers. Good! We need the rain. Tom Cali, Lance Bland, Mike Casper, Costas Maranas, Michael Goldfine, Joel Niemann, Mike Martin, Kevin Becker, Rob Peterson, newcomer Ritchie Hume, Alex Wouden, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur got themselves to the track. The indoor track. Nice that it’s there on a day like Thursday.

Bwana showered some group attention on the newcomer, Ritchie Hume, who was interested in some running philosophy, particularly regarding the marathon. Bwana was skeptical that the group could enlighten him much given the paucity of our talent in that arena. Only several hundred marathons run among regular Thursday trackers, including some nationally ranked placements. But, naturally, Bwana would test the idea empirically by giving the “lite” version of a marathoner’s workout: 4 X 3 laps (lane 5) run at 5K to 10K race pace. On the indoor track, 3 laps in lane 5 is around 680 meters, so the rep lengths were short of the usual 800 meter volume, and the number of reps short of the usual prescribed volume (6-10) as well. But this was just a taste. Since many of our marathoners are either in recovery from Boston or tapering for Pittsburgh or Poconos, a taste is all that was appropriate. After the summer swelter, we’ll pick up the volume workouts again just in time for Hume to ramp up for his chosen debut at Philadelphia.

Good luck to the runners who’ll be heading to Pittsburgh this weekend and to the Poconos in a couple.

Thursday Track Report: Sporadic

May 5, 2016

It was cloudy and cool, continuing the return of Spring that we missed when June was here last month. Lance Bland, Costas Maranas, Kevin Becker, Rob Peterson, Tony Kwasnica, Rich Harter, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed for the track. With the PSU track kids working on exams, the PSU outdoor track was closed. Most of the Rec Hall Crew took one look at the padlocks and decided an indoor workout was not for them. It looks like we’ll be spending more of our time indoors the way things are going. Maybe that won’t be so bad when it’s 90 degrees and hazy in a couple of months!

Bwana had the small group that stayed do a variation of the Front-Loader workout: Break up a long repetition by front loading the first part with a big share of the distance. Then, after a very short rest, do the remainder in small pieces, each with a short rest and getting faster as you go. Today’s Front-Loader: 3 laps in lane 6 (about 700 meters) followed after a 120 meter rest by 3X300 with a short, 120 meter rest between each. That’s running 1600 meters, about a mile, with short breaks. Pace should be 5K to mile race pace. Bwana said the ideal was to do the whole thing twice, though he doesn’t think anyone took him up on it.

As I said above, it looks like the outdoor track’s availability will be sporadic for some time. If you get to the track on a Thursday and don’t see anyone on it, head to the indoor track!

Thursday Track Report: Track Erupption

April 21, 2016

It was a beautiful day, as it has been for a good week or so since the snow stopped flying. Jim Myers, Tom Cali, Judd and Davis Michael, Lance Bland, Randy Jepson, Marty Klanchar, Costas Maranas, CJ Wagner, Dean Capone, Mike Zimmerman, Alex Wouden, Mike Martin, Seth Senior, Dan Coughlin, Rob Peterson, newcomer Jeff DeLotto, Rich Harter, David Lloyd, Joel Niemann, and Marty Mazur headed for the track under mostly sunny skies and warm temperatures.

The NVRC Boston Marathon survivors were at the track to give their report and limp through the workout. They had a great time in Boston, but the weather was not their friend. Cool near the shore (downtown), but that was the end of the race. For the first half, the temperatures were too high for good marathon times. From elites on down through the field, most runners, it seemed, ran positive splits. Tom Cali did do the Happy Valley an honor by placing 4th in his age group. Great run, Tom!

Most of the top US runners were not at the marathon. They were either recovering from the Olympic Trials or saving themselves for the Olympics. Galen Rupp proved he could handle the heat with his victory in LA. But could the Thursday Track Crew handle one of his workouts? Bwana caught a FloTrack archive video of Alberto Salazar putting a younger Rupp through his paces. The workout was NX(600-400-300-200) with short rests. Galen ran N=3 at some ungodly rep paces (600@1:26; 400@ 58; 300@43; 200@26). Bwana told the Crew to do N=2 at their own 5K race pace. So each rep is a 1500 broken up with short rests. A tough set of short, downward ladders. Nobody rupptured anything, so the workout was a success.