Prepping for the HS Track Season — Part 4

We are into April now, and it’s about to be the start of the CHAMPIONSHIP season, at least for the state of Texas. Most District meets will be the second or third week of April, followed by the Area Championships, then the Regional Championships, and finally (and hopefully) the State Championships!

That’s a lot of important racing and so you have to do a balancing act between getting in the work that you need to get in to carry you through the 4-6 weeks of racing that will be left in the season!

Here is what I suggest for the last 4-6 weeks of the Track season.

Cycle #1 — 2 x Two weeks. 

Monday — Medium long run — include a 5-10 min steady segment at the end w/ strides.
Tuesday — Easy run.
Wednesday — Mixed workout of 3200 and 1600 meter paced reps — see below.
Thursday — Medium long run — easy.
Friday — Pre-meet routine.
Saturday — Meet day OR easy run w/ speed maintenance reps.
Sunday — Rest day.

Monday — Medium long run — include a 5-10 min steady segment at the end w/ strides.
Tuesday — Easy run.
Wednesday — Mixed workout of tempo and 1600 meter paced reps — see below.
Thursday — Medium long run — easy.
Friday — Pre-meet routine.
Saturday — Meet day OR easy run w/ speed maintenance reps.
Sunday — Rest day.

Workout notes for Wednesday:
Week #1 — Mixed workout of 3200 and 1600 meter paced reps. 
On this session we want to do a reduced load of 3200 meter work — about 50% of what you were doing in March and follow that with 1200-1600 meters of mile paced work. A sample session could be this:

3 x 800 meters at 3200 meter pace w/ equal time rest.

4 min rest after the 3rd 800 meter rep.

4 x 300 meters at mile pace w/ 2 min rest.

When we do 3200 meter paced work, we want to take equal time rest between reps, so if you run an 800 meter rep in 3:00, then you would take 3:00 rest. For our 1600 meter paced work, you want to do about a 1:2 work-rest ratio. So, if you are a 5:20 miler, then running a 300 meter rep in 60 seconds (mile race pace) would mean that you’d take about 2 minutes rest.

Week #2 — Mixed workout of tempo and 1600 meter paced reps. 
This is a session where we do about 50-75% of the tempo work that we have been doing, so 10-15 minutes for younger athletes, or 15-20 minutes for older athletes and can do this in whatever form works best for your team…so, could be 3 x 5 min tempo w/ 1 min rest, or could be a simple 15 min tempo.

After the tempo portion, you’ll take 3-5 minutes rest, and then run 800-1600 meters worth of mile paced reps.

This could look something like this:

3 x 5 minutes tempo w/ 1 min rest.

4 min rest after last tempo segment.

4 x 200 meters at mile pace w/ 200 meter jog rest.

Cycle #2 — 1 x Two-weeks. 

Monday — Easy run w/ strides. No longer need a long or medium long run.
Tuesday — Easy run
Wednesday — 1600 meter paced session — see notes below.
Thursday — Easy run
Friday — Speed maintenance
Saturday — Easy run
Sunday — Rest day

Monday — Easy run w/ strides
Tuesday — Easy run
Wednesday — Taper session — see notes below.
Thursday — Easy run
Friday — Pre-meet routine.
Saturday — PEAK RACE
Sunday — Rest day

When we get to these last two weeks of the season you MUST realize that the work is done. Nothing you do will help you improve fitness…but the work you do can make sure you are ready and sharp…so, it’s about managing that, but understanding that you don’t need a lot of anything during this time!!!

Workout notes for Wednesday:
Week #1 — 1600 meter paced reps. 
Simple session here…just 1200-1800 meters of mile paced work. Just fine-tuning and sharpening a bit with some 1600 meter paced work. Very simple…take about a 1:2 work-rest ratio and make sure that you run actual 1600 meter (or mile) pace.

6 x 300 meters at mile pace w/ 2 min rest.

In and out. Simple day. Effective day.

Week #2 — Taper session. 
Over the years, I have found that including just a little bit of tempo work in the taper session will keep my athletes feeling good…but you don’t need a lot. Here I would do a very small tempo segment, something as small as 5-10 minutes worth, and then finish up with no more than 800 meters of 1600 meter paced work.

5-10 min tempo run.

4 min rest.

4 x 200 meters at mile pace w/ 200 meter jog rest.

And that’s it. That’s all I would do. Some coaches might ask why there is not any 800 meter paced work in here…and I would just say that if you feel it is necessary, then simply add in a few reps here and there at the end of a session at 800 meter pace…but this sample athlete was a 1600-3200 meter athlete and this was not a middle-distance article.

I like to keep things simple. The month of April and into early May should be about tuning the runner to the CHAMPIONSHIP season. You don’t need a lot of work during this time if you’ve had a great December, January, February, and March!


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