Thursday Track Report: Track Syllabus

April 14, 2016

The semester is waning, but there’s still a lot to learn, and not just about running. Do they teach the Golden Rule anymore? There was a lesson at the track today. A lesson about putting on the other person’s shoes, and treating them as you’d like to be treated if your fortune were different. The Marathoners For Medicine were having their Media Day at the track, partly as a send-off for those in the group heading to the Boston Marathon. “M4M” (saves syllables) raises money for Centre Volunteers in Medicine (CVIM), a local free clinic for those who can’t afford health insurance. Honorary Coach Greg Fredericks was there with Tom Cali, Judd Michael, Lance Bland, Costas Maranas, Marty Klanchar, Mike Casper, Tara Murray, Meira Minard, Michael Goldfine, Joel Niemann, Dan Coughlin, Mike Renz, Seth Senior, Mike Zimmerman, Bob Shafer, Alex Wouden, Mike Martin, Callie Burke, Doug Schunk, Rich Harter, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur, all of whom are either running for or donating to the M4M team. The photographer was having trouble herding Bwana’s flock, many of whom displayed a worrisome fragility (4 syllables), groaning and fretting about pulling a muscle to be one of the “crouching” subjects. It took long enough to get everyone in the frame that Bwana had to start using multi-syllable words (always questionable with this crowd) to pass the time.

With the photo shoot in the can, it was time for today’s lesson, and it involved a big word: monotonically. Six syllables, almost a sentence in one word. (For some, the workout ended up being a sentence!) With the aid of Hill Queen Emeritus Tara "Ultra T" Murray, Bwana had everyone do a downward ladder: 1000-800-600-400-200, starting at 5K race pace and monotonically increasing the pace as you descended the ladder (while also decreasing the rest, monotonically). It’s a tough workout, but satisfying, since it gets easier as you go. And it’s not as tough as it would have been if Tara had lived up to her moniker and had us run a monotonically ascending ladder!

Bwana will devote the last paragraph of his weekly epistle in exhorting you to donate generously, nay munificently, to the M4M team. And if you’re up to it, you can join the team for one of the later Spring marathons, half-marathons, or ultras. Details on how to sign up are here:

Thursday Track Report: Bandits At 12 O'Clock

April 7, 2016

It’s a confusing time of year. Somebody swapped March and April. And now we’re dealing with where to have Thursday Track. The outdoor track is “closed” except that it’s been “open” for the last month, except for today when it was closed up tight. Still, a few rebels did a no-no and found their way in, perhaps by tunneling, I don’t know. A crew of James Deans (and a Jane) were banditting around the track, while the well-behaved availed themselves of the indoor facility. Meira Minard, Seth Senior, Davis Michael, Mike Martin, Bob Shafer, Mike Zimmerman, Dan Coughlin, Mike Casper, Marty Klanchar, Alex Wouden, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur all did workouts today in various places.

Bwana had the indoor crew do some repeat 3 lappers in the outside lane with 1 lap rests. That’s around 700 meters per rep. For this workout, consistency is good, and the distance is short enough so you can do 5 or 6 of them (though we didn’t). Pace should be mile race pace.

It’ll be hard to know when the “closed” outdoor track is open. But if it’s closed, we will use the indoor track at all times. No banditting!

Thursday Track Report: Maundy Thursday

March 24, 2016

It was warm, sunny and breezy as John Domico, Tom Cali, Judd and Davis Michael, Mike Casper, Costas Maranas, Marty Klanchar, Michael Goldfine, Meira Minard, John Wilcock, Mark Lee, Dean Capone, Kevin Becker, Rob Peterson, Mike Renz, Andy Maguire, Mike Martin, Bob Shafer, Mike Zimmerman, Tony and Marlee Kwasnica, Ally Kiefer, Rick Ducharme, Callie Burke, Dan Coughlin, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed for the track on Holy Thursday

Bwana has gained a lot of disciples of the track over the years (decades!). And for what Bwana thinks are good reasons. It’s a way to throw a change-up into your workout regimen, to pick up the pace. It’s a great bunch of people. And track really does help you get faster! Besides, Bwana’s burden is light, his yoke is easy. He doesn’t make you do something you can’t do! Today’s “mandate" was a new creation, a different twist on the “front-loader” workout: 1200-(3X600). The front loading is provided by the 1200 at 5K race pace. The rests are short (200 meters after each rep, including the 1200!). Do your 3 successive 600s at the same pace for the first (if you can), and faster for the latter two (if you can). You are basically running a 3K with a few short rests thrown in, and you’re recovering (just a little each time)) from your 1200 as you proceed.

Attendance at the track has been up for the last several months. Today we had nearly 30. Let’s keep this up. Go and make track disciples of all!

Thursday Track Report: Lurking

March 31, 2016

Spring has been lurking around the corner since, oh, about December. But so has Winter, having never really made a proper entrance. And lurk the Old Man still does, as we await the weekend weather, with its dip in the Polar Vortex. Be that as it may, it was very Springlike as Judd and Davis Michael, Lance Bland, Costas Maranas, Mike Casper, Meira Minard, Mark Lee, Mike Martin, Bob Shafer, Seth Senior, Dan Coughlin, Joel Niemann, Alex Wouden, Rob Peterson, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed for the track.

Bwana was trying to get the workout of the day across to the Crew, but gawkers and lurkers were hanging like Spring jackdaws, squawking toward the runners inside. Bwana shooed them off (it usually takes a few bottle rockets) so he could get on with giving out the workout: 3 X (2 X 400), Medium - Fast - Medium. Do the first pair at about 5K race pace. Then move on to do the middle 2 at a hard pace, mile race pace or better. Finish with 2 back at the easier pace. Do them all with just 200 meters very slow rest between sets.

Bwana hopes at least a few of you do more than just lurk at the coming Spring races. This Sunday's Egg Hill run is a great tradition. And you don’t need to win your age group to get a prize. all you need to do is lurk by the door when they pull your door prize number!

Thursday Track Report: Greening Up

March 17, 2016

It’s already greening up. I mean it is St. Patrick’s Day, and John O’Domico’s birthday, but those of us who have been around this town for a few years recall the St. Patrick’s Day Snow Storm of 2007, and other mid-March blasts of the Old North Wind. We remember that some of the worst storm’s in Winter come in March, and that Winter didn’t end last year until April. But it was mild, sort of sunny (with passing sprinkles) and humid as Jim Myers, John Domico, Lance Bland, Dan Coughlin, Davis Michael, Marty Klanchar, Meira Minard, Mike Renz, Bob Shafer, Mike Martin, Seth Senior, newcomer Matt Masullo, Adam Ilgen, Joel Niemann, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed to the track. The long-range forecast has us thinking (knock on wood) that this amazingly mild Winter could be over.

The Crew has been taking the secret side entrance into the “officially” closed outdoor track the last two weeks. In a few months, the track will probably be torn up, to be replaced for the 2017 Big 10 Outdoor Track and Field Championships. But for now, it’s good to run on a quarter-mile track after spending all Winter getting dizzy going 8 loops to the mile. Bwana called the Default No-Brainer Workout, which is number one in the dusty book of track workouts, the one we always opened the outdoor track season with even back when all we had was an outdoor season (i.e. pre-MSF). That is: 400-800-800-400. Run your reps at 5K+ pace, but make the second half of the workout faster than the first. Rest: a generous, slow 400 between each rep.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to stay outside awhile. Spring is here. There are a lot of races, and a lot of good weather coming.