FLRC and MITHACAL MILERS workouts for the week of October 5th

The fall colors are fabulous this year, so do whatever you can to get out in the countryside to appreciate them during your runs! We’ve had a number of up weeks for these workouts, so this week we’re going to chill out a bit with some solo fartlek runs.

For the Tuesday night MITHACAL MILERS workout, we’re returning to the Monkey Run parking area and will run in the fields once again. Remember, all FLRC club members are welcome, but please register (just once is all that’s necessary) so we have you on the roster.

Middle Distance Workouts (5K to 15K)

  • MITHACAL MILERS: The goal of this week’s workout is to combine fun and fast running. I’ll go over this again at the workout, but it’s time for Ridiculous Relays. We’ll split into two teams, and within each group, we’ll match up the fastest and slowest runner, the next-fastest and next-slowest, and so on. Then we’ll pick a field with a farm road around it and one set of people from each team will start. Here’s the twist. Within each set, the runners run in opposite directions until they meet, then they turn around and run back the way they came to the start. That way the faster runners run farther and the slower runners run less, but in theory, they both run for the same amount of time.

    Once they both make it back to the start, their team’s second set of runners go. And while all this is happening, the other team’s runners are doing the same thing. We’ll have to figure out the best number of reps to do based on how many people show up, and the winning team will get all their runners back first.

    With any luck, it will work out to a nice set of 2- or 3-minute reps, with decent jogging (and cheering) rest while the others on the team are running.

    And I hope it will be delightfully chaotic!

  • Workout 2: Fartlek time! For each repetition, look ahead of you to a telephone pole or mailbox or tree or just something you can fixate on that will take at least 30 seconds to get to. Then pick up the pace and run hard to that spot—no specific pace but it should feel fast enough that it’s exhilarating. The goal is to enjoy running fast for an easily doable distance. Then come back to a steady-state pace—slower than M pace, but not just jogging. Run that pace for 30–60 seconds, or until your breathing has stabilized and you feel ready for the next pickup. Repeat for 30 minutes, or until the pickups don’t feel fun anymore. Don’t go over 45 minutes.

  • Long Run: 25-30% of your weekly mileage at E pace

Long Distance Workouts (Half Marathon to Marathon)

  • Workout 1: Follow fartlek instructions above, but for 45 minutes or until the pickups don’t feel fun anymore. Don’t go over 60 minutes.

  • Long Run: 25-30% of your weekly mileage at E pace


A quick request,@mithacal-milers—it would be great if you could try to arrive at the Monkey Run parking area a bit before 6 PM so I can take we can start with our warmups right then.

It’s looking like a glorious evening to run, but I’m a little worried that we’ll run out of daylight given how much more quickly sunset arrives every day. Thanks, and see you tonight!

Adam - thank you for organizing the event. Looking at your guidance with respect to mileage, I think I should postpone my participation until my mileage is higher.

Thank you,

Michael Lee

No worries, Michael. The important thing to stay health and keep running, so I encourage you to work your mileage up slowly to the point where you’re comfortable joining.

Before anything else, let me just note that we agreed to meet early next week, such that we could be ready to run at 5:30 PM, since it’s getting dark so early. People who can’t quite make that can meet us en route.

The @mithacal-milers first Ridiculous Relays workout went really well, and everyone had a great time, with some good-natured complaints about not expecting to run so fast. We had 12 people come, so we broke into three teams of two pairs each. Each pair was matched to be as complementary as possible in terms of speed (and complimentary, we all looked great).

We thus had three pairs of runners circling the farthest field, with one person in each pair running clockwise and the other running counterclockwise, and when they met, they immediately turned around and ran back. Faster runners ran farther and slower runners ran less far, but everyone ended up running for roughly the 3 minutes. Once both runners were back, the next pair would start.

One team proved to have the fastest average speed by quite a bit, but the other two teams were neck-in-neck every time, and the turnarounds made for lots of interesting lead changes, finishes, and cheering.

(The funniest part for me was that, just before one of my legs started, a dog walker got in her SUV and started driving away down the farm road I needed to run down. I joked as I went out that if I caught the SUV, I got to keep it. It went slowly at first because Bill Watson and Dave Kania were coming in from their leg on the farm road, but even after it passed them, it didn’t speed up. So I did catch and pass it, which is a really unusual feeling. But, sadly, the driver didn’t acknowledge my victory and hand over the keys.)

It worked out well to have 12 runners so we could have three teams of four. If we’d had an odd number or a number that wasn’t divisible by four, I’m not quite sure what would have been the best way to adjust. Have to think about that.

If we can ever get back on a 400m track, we have to try this approach there too, where I think it would make for a whole lot of fun.

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