FLRC workouts for the week of April 6th

Glad to see so many people completing a virtual Skunk! As before, please reply with comments about how your runs went, if the workouts felt too easy or too hard (or if you were too scared to try them), and anything else so I can adjust the workouts appropriately. Remember, these are pace-based workouts, so they should be appropriate for anyone—you just have to slot in the pace that’s appropriate for your fitness level. The Jack Daniels pace calculator and suggestions for warmup and cooldown are at the bottom of this post. Questions welcome!

Middle Distance Workouts (5K to 15K)

We’re going to add some speed this week. Without a track, we’ll be doing it by time, but notice the faster pace.

  • Workout 1: 4-6 sets of 2 by 45 seconds at R pace with 90 seconds of jogging after each one, plus 1 by 90 seconds at R pace with 3 minutes of jogging afterward. R pace is roughly your 1-mile race pace, so it’s pretty fast and should feel hard, but you’re not doing it for long. (In essence, what I’m trying for here is 4-6 sets of 2 by 200m with plus 1 by 400m with equal rests.) Adjust the number of reps to your weekly mileage.

  • Workout 2: 1/2 mile, 3 miles, 1/2 mile, all at T pace (roughly 10K race pace), with a 3-minute jogging rest after each repetition. When you’re done with the T-pace work and rested, do 4 by 30-second strides, where you increase your pace to what feels like your R pace (1-mile race pace), hold it for the remainder of the 30 seconds, and then jog for 30 seconds before repeating. With the strides, focus on maintaining good running form—they’re more neuromuscular training for when your body is tired than anything else. If you don’t have at least 25 miles per week, drop the middle rep from 3 miles to 2 miles.

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

Long Distance Workouts (Half Marathon to Marathon)

Make sure you’re fresh for your long run, whenever that is in the week!

  • Workout 1: 20 minutes at E pace, 2 by 12 minutes at T pace (similar to 10K race pace) with 2-minute rest between them, 30 minutes at E pace. No need to do the extra 10 minutes warmup/cooldown.

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



You asked how the workouts are going.

Almost every morning I start with a run. While I have plenty of time these days with all other activities cancelled, I have been limiting my recent runs to just 4 miles. That is so I do not use up too much of my body’s reserve of energy. I think I may someday need energy to fight off the virus. I call these morning runs my “Sanity” runs as a relief from the current confinement.

In my comeback from not running last summer, I was struggling to run continuously for more than a mile or two without a short recovery break, and my pace at that time was about 10 min/mile. I have gradually improved on that. I am now able to run the four-mile morning run continuously and my pace has improved to about 8:20 if I push myself a little.

Our in-house fitness center has been closed because of the virus. As a replacement I have set up some alternatives in my living area with a weight bench, dumbbells, a yoga mat on the floor and my bike attached to a resistance trainer.

So far, I have avoided getting sick. Apparently nobody yet has Covid-19 in our retirement community. I have made myself a cloth mask, and some additional ones to give to others. As of today, I started wearing that mask outside my apartment, except that I don’t wear it running. I feel there is enough fresh air outside to dilute the virus, and currently there are few people out there early in the morning, so that the mask is not needed.

I hope you and Tonya are staying well.

All the best,



Glad to hear you’re still getting out for a run every day, David, even if you’re not doing the kind of training you used to before the plantar fasciopathy last summer…

From the research I’ve read, it’s important to keep exercising to keep your immune system strong, in fact. There’s some debate about whether a really hard effort like a long race would dampen your immune response, but I think everyone agrees that normal levels of exercise are only positive for fighting off infections. The body requires some level of stress at all times to keep rebuilding.

Should workouts be done on the flat/not on trail? Sam-dog and I did part of our first 12 min pickup of the marathon workout straggling up Snyder Hill (yes, poorly planned route) and definitely didn’t hit T pace. Does effort count? :stuck_out_tongue: the second 12 min pickup felt great because we were racing back down…

Effort absolutely counts, and that’s a subtlety I definitely would have discussed if we’d been doing these on specific routes. Pace is all relative to incline, so yes, you want to see if you can feel what T pace is like on the flat, and then translate that to the hills (up and down) without worrying about the actual speed.

Uphill running is actually really good, since it’s more work with less impact. Downhill feels great, but the main thing to keep in mind is that you want your feet landing under your center of gravity (shorter strides) so you’re not heel-striking out in front, which increases the impact loading and slows you down.

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I enjoyed this workout from the week of April 6 distance list: 20 minutes at E pace, 2 by 12 minutes at T pace with 2-minute rest between them, 30 minutes at E pace. I did it on Black Diamond, starting the first 12 minute interval at the 7 /14 marker. It went well and was fun because that first 12 minutes was uphill. On the downhill, I raced myself to see how much farther I could go in 12 minutes.

The Black Diamond Trail would be a great place for some of these workouts if it’s not too crowded, since you get that wonderful downhill boost on the way back, just when you might otherwise be getting tired. Good work!

The lower part near the Turtle Park is moderately crowded in the afternoon. Past the power line and the hospital (Lehigh Valley coal dump for the heating plant) not many people. Starting at Glenwood or Perry City and going outbound is pretty sparse.

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Good point about crowding on Black Diamond. Without thinking about it, I did this workout early in the morning and passed only 2 walkers. So that worked out. Anyway, thanks for the workout plan, Adam. Keep them coming!