My First Track Workout

Last night Gina and I went to the track meet with the Somerville Road Runners.  This was my first time ever experience with track.  The plan was to do intervals workouts of 6×800 at the  Tufts Outdoor Track – Ellis Oval/Zimman Field.  We got there a little early and no many people were there yet .  So, we decided to go for a couple of laps just to warm up.  At about the starting time, Coach O’Leary  arrived and he called us together and explained the evening’s workout.  Each runners get assigned to one of the 6 groups according to their fitness level and each group has different workouts.  They have a set of interval groups, “A” thorugh “F” which is good to break up the workouts so that everyone does basically the same amount of intensity for the same amount of time.  Each runner is assigned to a particular interval pace group (A, B, C, D, E, F). Different groups typically have different workouts.  He explained that “Groups A and B” was doing the 5 x 1000 meters at INTERVAL pace, Groups C and D was doing the 6 x 800 meters at INTERVAL, and Groups E and F was doing the 8 x 600 meters.  Earlier in the week I sent an e-mail to the coach with my times from recent races (5k, 10k, half marathon,marathon) and he put me on the pace chart.  This is what he sent me:

That basically meant that I was suppose to do my 800 meters in 3:16.  Joe originally put me in the D group because he was a little confused about how there was not much difference between my pace for the long races (Marathon and Half) and the short races (5K & 10K).  He was like:” Either you just had a good race on you marathon or you were just born to be a runner”.  Anyway, since Gina the week before was in the D group and she was way to fast to be in that group as she was passing the leader, I thought I would upgrade myself to the C group, which basically meant to do the intervals 800 at 3:12.  Our group was made by me, Gina, Victor and another girl.  We started off with a warm up lap.  It is very important to do a proper warm-up routine before speed workout to prevent muscle pulls and other injuries, plus it raises the body’s core temperature, which is necessary for peak performance.  After the warm up, we started the workout and each group was going at its own pace doing its own distance.  The plan for our group was to do a 800 meters at INTERVAL pace followed by a 400 meters jog recovery for 6 times.  After the first lap I was very happy to be with this group, I knew it was going to push me harder.  Gina & I were definitely on fire as after few laps we lost the girl that decided to turned it down a notch and Victor as he had some pain in his legs and decided to rest a little.  Now, it was just Gina and I.  What a great session we had, we did exactly as we wanted, 6X800 from 3:07 to 3:15 and got faster and faster and kept all of the breaks at 60 sec or shorter.  The sun was out too, but not too hot.  There was a bit of a breeze on the track that felt very nice.  A perfect start to a summer of track work.

Kara Goucher

I definitely need to practice with the laps better and get my Garmin set up right for intervals, but for the first time was ok, I was a little “confused” a couple of times but fortunately I had Victor that was timing us.
Being new to track I had no ideas there were actually rules to follow.  First of all, the track has many lanes, and I was wondering where do I run?   So, what I learned is that whenever you are doing the fast part of the workout you run in the first (inside-most) lane.  If you are doing the hard segment of your workout and a faster runner comes up behind you to pass, it is his/her responsibility to move to the outside lane to pass, not the other way around.

When doing the recovery of a workout you should use the outside two lanes, to leave plenty of room for others to pass.  If you need to pass another runner who is also in the first lane:

  • Look behind you to be sure no one is coming in the second lane
  • Move fully into the second lane
  • Pass
  • Move immediately back into the first lane

I am really excited for next week!


2 thoughts on “My First Track Workout

  1. You were born to be a runner!!! That is very clear….seriously, you have mad skill bella. I am so excited for you that you got to do your first track workout. Can’t wait to hear more about it! I spent most of my childhood on a track and love the smell of rubber, the warmth of the summer sun radiating off of the track’s surface, and the bouncy feeling one gets as you take that first step into the outter lane. I miss it so much! Best thing ever? Yelling “Traaaaack!” when you are racing down the inside lane and someone is going slower than you….it’s like a turn signal on a car, but a lot more fun to get “cars” out of the way. Awesome pace, you are so incredibly skilled and such a natural athlete. Go speedy Gonzalez go! xoxo

  2. I love your track story, great memories…it gave me chills and I could smell and feel everything you were describing, again you are confirming what an amazing writer you are. Thanks for sharing=)

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