Thursday Track Report: Call The Movers!

May 31, 2018

It was mostly cloudy and humid, though thankfully not as grown-ass summery as it was earlier in the week as John Domico, Tom Cali, Bob Cornwall, Judd Michael, Costas Maranas, Michael Goldfine, Rich Harter, Bob Shafer, Mike Zimmerman, Rob Shaver, Jaimie Wright, Ryan Burke, Elsa Hansen, David Lloyd, newcomer Erin Loy, and Marty Mazur headed for the IM Fields. We had a nice group today, including a newcomer, though the arrivals were sporadic with people jumping into the middle of the workout. The summer re-schedule due, to Rec Hall’s parsimonious summer hours, has really messed us up!

Even though we’ve done the workout Bwana prescribed today before, Bwana has not yet given it a name. The workout is a variation of our Front-Loader workouts that we do on a track: Do a set with a long rep to start out. Then, with minimal rest, do a rotation of short reps (with minimal recovery between) where you are essentially recovering from the long rep as you progress through the shorter ones. Today, we did a big “U” (three sides of the IM Field rectangle, with two of those sides being the long ones - about 600 meters). You run the “U” at a 5K race pace or better. After a short-side rest (~65 meters), we did 4 X 1 long side (270 meters) with 65 meter rests. Try to haul ass on these, say at a faster mile race pace. That’s one set. After a longer slow-jog rest around the whole field, do another set. Total volume at pace is over 3200 meters, so not a bad workout. Bwana will call that one the U-Haul Front-Loader from now on. Some people were really truckin’ during today’s workout, even the ones with a hitch in their stride! Bwana was definitely the trailer!

Per an earlier email, we’re going to stay at the IM Fields for much of the summer. Our usual summer venue, the HS track, will be sporadically closed due to infield replacement. I’ll let you know if and when we move to that venue.

Thursday Track Report: To L and Back!

May 24, 2018

IIt was sunny and warm, but thankfully not too humid, a great day for an almost-summer track workout. Oddly, the turnout was down significantly from last week. Maybe people were taking off early for the Memorial Day weekend? John Domico, Tara Murray, Meira Minard, Mike Casper, Andy Maguire, CJ Wagner, Monica Acosta, and Marty Mazur were the Crew today.

Bwana was rolling over ideas for a new workout on the rectangles of the IM Fields as he drove to the track, but upon arriving he found there was already a consensus that he could take his ideas and go to L with them! Domico, seconded by Tara and others, wanted to make a return trip through those gates that say “Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here!”, even though we’d just gone through them two weeks ago. Bwana said, “Ah, what the L!”. Off we went, without Virgil as our guide. The workout is: Run an “L” on the rectangle. Distance 330 meters, Then rest the next side of the rectangle. Rinse and repeat. Eight or so times. The kicker is that the rest alternates between a long side of the rectangle (270 m) and a short side (60 m). Try to maintain a consistent mile race pace despite the varying rests. The varying recovery really messes with your head, but situations in real races, that deliver varying doses of terrain and challenge, are like that!

We might be able to run on the Penn State outdoor track next week. It’ll be open for Special Olympics and Dave Eggler, an official, usually waves us in to warm up the track for arriving athletes. I’ll let you know soon!

Thursday Track Report: What The H-E-Octuple-Hockey-Sticks?

May 10, 2018

After that last couple of flakes on the last day of April, May is here with warmth, birds, and flowers. It was warm, humid and polleny as John Domico, Judd Michael, Andy Maguire, Tara Murray, Jaimie Wright, Elsa Hansen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed for the IM Fields. Josh Litofsky, Mike Zimmerman, Bob Shafer peeled off to do some non-sanctioned workout.  

Today’s Bwana-fied workout was to do “L”s, just for the H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks of it. The IM Fields are long rectangles. Start on a long edge and run the long edge with the following short edge. That’s about 340 meters. Then take the next (long) edge as a rest (about 275 meters). The next rep is the same length as the first, but it’s a short followed by a long edge. No difference in distance. The real difference is now you only get a short edge to rest (only 65 meters). Keep that going: 340 meter runs followed by a short or a long rest. Do about 8 reps. With today’s stiff breeze, half of those long edges were pretty tough!

Our track workouts are about 20 minutes earlier until the Fall semester begins due to the curtailed hours at Rec Hall. Hopefully this isn’t a huge schedule inconvenience for people, though today’s light turnout might indicate otherwise.

Thursday Track Report: Straight, No Chaser

May 17, 2018

It felt, for a change, like the season: mostly sunny, kind of humid, but not too hot, with a light breeze and lush green grass under our feet. Just like mid-May. John Domico, Tom Cali, Bob Cornwall, Judd Michael, Mike Casper, John Pringle, Tara Murray, Bob Shafer, Dan Coughlin, Mike Martin, Mike Zimmerman, Josh Litofsky, Elsa Hansen, Monica Acosta, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed for the IM Fields. A few of that group went off to do their unsanctioned workout. The rest went straight into Bwana’s workout.

Today we did a straight-up bunch of straight-aways. Each long end of the IM Fields is about 270 meters long. Six of them is just over a mile. So the workout was to do two sets of 6X270. The short ends of the field (about 65 meters) at a slow jog were the rest. Keep up a mile race pace on the long straights. Between the two sets take a long rest of once around the IM Fields (about 660 meters) at a slow jog. The volume of just over 2 miles was a pretty good workout for a humid day. Everyone worked hard today, and Bwana in particular, trying not to finish last on each rep. Mostly he was chasing, with no chaser behind him.

When Bwana got back to his suburban worksite, Amy Blake was finishing her run. She and Marty Klanchar had done some speed repeats in Autumnwood Park. She looked like she had worked as hard as Bwana, and when she showed me the splits on her watch, she proved it! Try to make the track workout if you can, but if you can’t, be straight and roll your own!

Thursday Track Report: Track U

May 3, 2016

The weather made a U-turn. After a few flakes on Sunday, summer arrived full force this week (at least for now). It was hot, humid, and breezy as Tom Cali, Andy Maguire, Meira Minard, John Pringle, Logan Madill, Elsa Hansen, Monica Acosta, Adam Ilgen, Tara Murray, and Marty Mazur headed for the IM Fields. Bob Cornwall, Mike Weyandt, Mike Zimmerman, Bob Shafer said an obligatory howdy and took off for some other kind of workout.

Bwana welcomed Monica and Elsa back for their first workout in over a year. The grind of the grad student and post-doc can take over one’s life. But a year-and-a-half? Well, they must have been doing some maintenance strengthersizing at their lab benches, because they haven’t lost a step! Bwana gave a version of the mini-front-loader workout. Do the U on the IM Fields (about 660 meters). Then, with minimal rest, do 4X1 straight on the fields (about 275 meters each go). Do that whole thing twice (with a recovery rest between sets). It’s tough on a hot day, but not tough enough to make your head boil. No one was tempted to give Bwana the big F-U after this one, though one more set would have done it.

The grounds crew at the IM Fields were aerating the soil while we worked out. Hopefully, they’ll re-paint the lines before long so we can do our runs in a calibrated fashion. And, hopefully, the good weather continues!