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.

Thursday Track Report: Inside Out

August 31, 2017

It was, unfortunately, a pretty nice day. Unfortunately because the Thursday Track Crew is bereft of an outdoor track, at least for now. Jim Myers, Lance Bland, Judd Michael, Mike Casper, Joel Niemann, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur went to the MSF indoor track, where it was a bit clammy. Jaimie Wright did a warm-up with the indoor crowd, but as soon as Tom Cali and the Rec Hall group poked their heads to say that they were going to run outside in the nice, cool, late summer weather, Jaimie was out the door!

Adam had already done an impressive workout of 6X800 and laid it out as a challenge to the rest of us. Adam’s goal is to work up to 10X800, which is a great topper before a marathon or a half-marathon. Most of the marathoners in the crown aren’t close to needing that topper yet, and the Nittany Half is still 3 months away. So we needn’t go that far. Yet. Bwana did end up modeling his workout after Adam’s. Let’s say it was Adam Lite: 4 X 3 laps in the outer lanes. There, the distance of a 3 lapper is around 700 meters. The kicker is to start it in Lane 5 (680 meters for 3 laps). Do two reps there with a consistent lap time. Then for the last two reps, move it out to lane 6, where the distance is 20 meters longer over 3 laps. Keep the same lap time.

We’re all familiar with this kind of workout from the long winter when we’re grateful for the indoor track. Bwana and the NVRC are working on getting us “into” the outdoor track before the winter days cover it with snow. We’ll keep you informed!

Thursday Track Report: Cheat Sheet

August 17, 2017

Summer’s making another stab at it. It was hot and humid as Jim Myers, Tom Cali, CJ Wagner, Bob Shafer, Mike Weyandt, Rob Peterson, Mike Zimmerman, Dan Coughlin, Seth Senior, Ryan Burke, newcomers Erin and Andrew (I’ll get their last names next time!), Kelly Lehtonen, Joel Niemann, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur made it to the State High for the penultimate workout at that track this summer.

Bwana had the initial idea of having the Crew run a bunch of 200s, the usual wuss-out when the temperature peeks up. But this bunch has been working out in the heat for a few months now, so it was time for Bwana to turn up the heat. Today would be the Fortitude Workout: N X 400-200. Run a 400 at 5K+ race pace, then after a very short 100 meter rest, run a hard, kick pace 200. Rest for 400 meters, then repeat N times. The “fast group” decided to cheat the rest between. That usually cheats the quality of the next set, but these guys (and gals) were not noticeably slowed. All the same, don’t cheat on this workout! If you feel like you can cheat the rest, you’re sandbagging the reps! Today, Bwana suggested N=4. If you want shorter rests, then do the reps a bit slower, but increase the volume!

Bwana’s got an email in to the PSU track people and hopes to hear back in time for two weeks from now when we’ll hopefully be able to use the outdoor track there. No promises yet, but stay tuned!

Thursday Track Report: Adiós, Summer!

August 24, 2017

It seems funny to bid adieu to summer on the second-last Thursday in August, but if the long range forecast holds up, summer ended on Tuesday. That day it was nearly 90 with horrendous humidity, but today the temperature didn’t get above 70 and the air was dry. The forecast says we won’t see temperatures above 80 until…next May? With a nice mild day for a workout, John Domico, Tom Cali, CJ Wagner, Mike Casper, Mike Weyandt, Bob Shafer, Mike Zimmerman, Mike Martin, Andy Maguire, Rich Harter, Doug Schunk, Logan Madill, Erin, Kelly Lehtonen, Joel Niemann, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed for the State High track.

Bwana thought the milder conditions called for longer reps. How about 4X800? Run the 8s at 5K+ pace with a slow 400 meter recovery. The workout is best done with negative splits on each 800 with a strong kick on the final 200. Oh, and maintain consistency if not continuing improvement on each 800. This workout isn’t so hard, particularly if your goal is Yasso 8s for your next marathon or half. Take the same idea and slowly work your way up to 8 or 10X800. That’ll put some hair on your chest (which you’ll definitely need if winter comes early!)

We’ll be moving back to the Penn State track next week. Which one, indoor or out, won’t be known maybe until then. Bwana is working on it. Stay tuned!

Thursday Track Report: Up Front

August 10, 2017

The intersection of Thursday Track and mOUnTaiNBACK training is a little earlier this year due to the mOUnTaiNBACK being three weeks earlier than last year. Today is the day of the first Discovery Series run in Rothrock. The Series takes apart the mOUnTaiNBACK course and doles it out in 8 slices over the coming weeks. The runs sometimes take runners away from Thursday Track, at least those runners who aren’t hip to the value of running two-a-days in training for a multi-stage relay race. But you wouldn’t know it from today’s turnout! John Domico, Michael Goldfine, Mike Casper, Joel Niemann, Mike Weyandt, Dan Coughlin, Bob Shafer, Mike Martin, Rob Peterson, Doug Schunk, Logan Madill, Sharon Lester, Kelly Lehtonen, Ryan Burke and newcomers Ken Farnsworth and Noah Christie, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur headed for the track under warm, sunny skies.

Bwana welcomed the new recruits Ken Farnsworth and Noah Christie, brought in by Ryan Burke. The Burkes’ family operated gym, One On One Fitness on Aaron Drive, has been responsible for numerous Thursday Trackers over the year. Ken is the son of one of Bwana’s neighbors. Noah is Julie Christie’s son. Julie is an experienced runner who used to be a Thursday Track regular with Julie Grubb. The “Two Julies” weren’t messing around when they came to the track! Today Bwana gave what he keeps hearing is one of the Crew’s favorite workouts, though he can’t figure out why. The Double Mini-Front-Loader. One rep is an 800 at 5K race pace followed closely by 3X200 with just 100 meters’ rest after the 800 and each of the 200s. The 800 front-loads you and the idea is to to run the 200s, each faster, while recovering from the 800. Do 2 or 3 reps. Maybe people like it so much because it’s NOT the Front-Loader (without the “Mini”), which doubles the distance in each of the steps of a rep.

Hopefully, today’s workout front-loaded the crew for this evening’s Discovery Run. The mOUnTaiNBACK is only 8 weeks away!