FLRC workouts for the week of June 15th

Gorgeous weather this week, so let’s make the most of it with some tough workouts.

Middle Distance Workouts (5K to 15K)

We’re aiming for some pace change this week with a ladder and a progression run.

  • Workout 1: Ladder of 1-2-3-4-4-3-2-1 minutes, all at I pace, with a 1-minute jog after each repetition. If you’re on the lower end of the weekly mileage, drop a 4-minute rep in the middle. Don’t run these too fast—this is I pace, not R pace.

  • Workout 2: Progression run, starting with (after the warmup) 12 minutes at M pace, followed by 6 minutes at T pace, followed by 2 minutes at I pace, with a 3-minute jogging rest after each repetition. When you’re done with the I pace work and are rested, do 6 by 30-second strides (30 seconds at R pace, followed by 30 seconds of jogging). Don’t start too fast—the heart of the workout is that 6 minutes of T pace while staying strong enough to hold your form in the I pace and strides.

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

Long Distance Workouts (Half Marathon to Marathon)

Marathoners also get to work on pace changes with some faster T-pace jam in between the M-pace bread and butter, to muddle the analogy.

  • Workout 1: 20 minutes at M pace, 10 minutes at T pace, then 20 minutes more of M pace. 5 minutes of E-pace rest between each change of pace and don’t forget the minimum of 10 minutes at E pace for a warmup and cooldown.

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


For those of us who don’t know - what is I, R, M, T ,E pace?

Glad you’re interested in the workouts, Marcia! The goal behind these paces is to make it so the workouts are usable by people of widely varying speeds. My T pace probably wouldn’t be the same as your T pace, but the workout would work for either of us.

E = Easy (your normal easy pace, at which you can maintain a conversation)
M = Marathon (your marathon race pace)
T = Threshold or Tempo (think of it as your 10K race pace)
I = Interval (think of it as your 5K race pace)
R = Repetition (think of it as your 1-mile race pace)

For more details, look at the bottom of the message in the Resources section. I’d encourage you to read the first and last items:

It’s a little harder to calculate these paces given that few of us have raced in the past few months, but try to take as recent and reasonable a race time as you can when using the pace calculator.

And of course, feel free to ask here if you still have questions. My experience from the MITHACAL MILERS workouts is that if one person has a question, other people actually have it too, but are being too shy to ask.

Thanks for the clarification

Reporting in as I did both of @adamengst’s workouts this week. I have been struggling with motivation ever since the start of lockdown back in mid-March. It’s been a rollercoaster from week to week. Some week’s I get in two workouts and a long run, other weeks I run easy every day. My fluctuating motivation has been a bit paradoxical: I have limited interest in doing workouts or higher mileage (60–70mpw) with no races on the horizon, however, I also lose motivation if I have no structure to my training. All of this is to say that @adamengst’s weekly workouts might be just what I need in a running world without formal races.

I did both workouts during the heat of the day during my son’s nap. This made them a bit more challenging than I would’ve liked despite my attempt to keep the effort “relaxed.” I’m not sure there’s such a thing as a relaxed workout in +80°.

Workout #1 (Wednesday): 12’ @ M (5:48m/m) / 6’ @ T (5:38m/m) / 2’ @ I (5:07m/m) / 4 x 30" on-off. I was looking forward to this one as it consisted of a nice mix of paces and was relatively brief. I turned the splits off my watch and just went by feel. The 12’ @ marathon pace ended up being too fast. Oh, do I wish that I could run 5:48s for a marathon in the heat right now. I ended up only doing four 30" reps because I was feeling pretty cooked. GPS data.

Workout #2: Fartlek ladder. I did this on a loop in Cayuga Heights so there’d be some rolling hills. Like Wednesday, I tried to keep it relaxed early on due to the heat. The longer reps of 3’ and 4’ were both on gradual uphills, which was a bit rough. I cut out the second 4’ rep due to the heat. This one was a grind as my legs felt like junk but, as always, it was good to just get it in. GPS data.

Totals: 51.8m on six runs. I also got in a pleasant two hour (16.6m) Father’s Day long run on the Black Diamond.

I’d love to hear what everyone else has been up to for training. How many others are doing the FLRC workouts? How are they going?


Nice work, @RichHeffron! The heat really does make a difference, and if there were racing involved, I’d encourage specific heat training, since it takes the body about two weeks to acclimate. Without goal races in sight, though, it’s fine to run these at cooler times of day so they’re more fun.

@gplwoo and @KateB are the main people who have been reporting back regularly. @bdonato, are you back to workouts yet?

Keep the reports coming, folks. If nothing else, they feed my motivation to continue coming up with new workout ideas each week.

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Nice job, @RichHeffron! I’m enjoying the structure of prescribed workouts, too. I took it sort of easy this past week because on 6/14 I ran a half marathon PR (1:45:49; unofficial, of course, but I tried to make the course long). But I was feeling rested enough to do @adamengst 's distance workout on 6/18. Instead of running by minutes (20 min M pace/10 min T pace/20 min M) I ran 2.5 miles, 1.5 mile, 2.5 miles at the prescribed paces. I’m aiming for an October marathon. Both M pace and T pace are feeling good. These workouts are making faster paces feel attainable for me.

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Congrats on the PR, @KateB! That’s no small feat in a time trial. It looks like you are on track for a breakthrough October marathon.

That’s great, @KateB—a half marathon PR on your own is a serious accomplishment, and I think that means the workouts are really having an effect.

I really like the half marathon distance (he says, despite having only run four or five of them) because you can run hard and still be able to come back and run again a few days later. Marathons are much harder—my understanding is that we have glycogen in our muscles for about 90 minutes, so if you can keep a race in that realm, you’ll recover more quickly. Once you get into 2-3 hours or more, as is necessary for a marathon, the glycogen depletion would seem to result in more muscle damage. When I ran the New York Marathon in 2008, I could barely walk for a few days and couldn’t really run for a couple of weeks.

Or maybe it’s all coincidental, and the muscle damage would happen with that length of exercise regardless of glycogen depletion. Maybe @JTuori knows more about the physiology involved.

@adamengst I haven’t seen much on this, but delayed onset muscle soreness doesn’t seem to be linked to glycogen depletion or carbohydrate intake. The mechanism of DOMS (or how to improve it) isn’t fully understood.

Is DOMS what’s really involved with the damage done by racing a marathon, though? I see DOMS as being the soreness after a new and hard workout a day or two later, which usually lasts a day or two at most. Running a marathon would seem to involve a lot more tissue damage and metabolic byproducts. Perhaps it’s just DOMS on a higher scale, but it feels different to me.