MITHACAL MILERS Ridiculous Relay and Jack Daniels talk Tuesday, Feb 27, at 7 PM in Barton Hall

Cornell is on break Monday and Tuesday this week, so we have Barton Hall to ourselves and have arranged for some special things. First off, we have a special guest coming to our Monday and Tuesday workouts: world-famous running coach Jack Daniels, author of the influential book Daniels’ Running Formula.

After the workouts, at approximately 8 PM, Jack will be answering questions and telling stories from his decades of coaching some of the top collegiate and professional runners in the world. If you have a specific question, feel free to post it here and Ian and I will collect them to give to Jack in advance. He’ll also be signing copies of the book and will have some for sale if you want to read his advice. I base all our workouts on his formulas.

As for the workout, since I’ve been getting requests and it’s something we can do only when we have no competition for the track, we’ll be doing our indoor Ridiculous Relay. It’s essentially 8 by 200m at R pace, with lots of lovely chaos.

Here’s how the relay will work. After our lunge matrix, leg swings, and 10 minutes of warmup jogging, we’ll gather at the starting line and line up in order of mile pace so I can build teams. The first team will be composed of the person on each end of the line (0% and 100% of the line) and two people in the middle, at roughly 33% and 66%. Once they have picked a baton, the second team will form from the new person at each point. We’ll continue along those lines, making as many four-person teams as we can.

(If we have fewer runners, we’ll do 3-person teams instead. And if the numbers don’t work out evenly, two evenly matched people will occupy one slot on a team and run together for each rep.)

Once teams are formed, the group of the 100% runners will line up and run a 200 (one lap) at race pace. They’ll hand off to the 66% runners using standard relay handoff methods (lining up in order as the runners come in), who will run their 200 and hand off to the 33% runners for their 200, who will hand off to the 0% runners. In between fast laps, everyyone should jog a lap or to the water fountain or whatever, paying attention to the other runners on their team so as to be sure to be back at the starting line for their next handoff. Each runner will run 8 laps, and each team is responsible for keeping track of their total laps.

Afterward, everyone can cool down for 10 minutes or so before we start Jack’s talk—we’ll skip strength and mobility for the night.

If you’ve never participated in one of our Ridiculous Relays, don’t be intimidated! This approach is designed to create essentially random, evenly matched teams to help people make friends, work together to run a fast team time, and ensure that everyone feels included. There’s no predicting which team will win! We’ll demo how handoffs work before getting started to make sure everyone understands how to line up and exchange the baton.

Any questions?

See you Tuesday night!


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@adamengst and @Ian: thanks for arranging for the visit by Jack Daniels. Here’s a question for him.
As a 71 year old male, I limit my running to 3 non-consecutive days per week as a strategy to keep niggling achs and pains to a minimum. My weekly mileage is 22-28. I’m using JD’s “5 to 15 Kilometers Training Plan” to prepare for some upcoming 10k races. The plan incorporates 3 quality workouts plus a long run and 2-3 easy runs per week. I am modifying the plan to run quality workouts on Monday & Friday and one easy run of 6-9 miles mid-week. This approach is going well and I am targeting a 44:30 10K time.
Questions for Jack Daniels:
Does my modification to the training plan make sense or would you recommend a different approach?
As an older runner, should I put greater emphasis on Threshold workouts over Intervals or Reps?
Can I simply follow the Training Intensities Based on Current VDOT tables or should I consider some modification as an older runner?

Good stuff, Charlie! I’ve added that to the sheet of questions, and we’ll see you tonight.