Responses to workout feedback in the 2023 Runner Survey (2 of 4)

And now for part 2…

Evening Workout Feedback Responses from Adam

We didn’t start 2023 expecting to have a Tuesday night workout every week of the year, but we ended up missing only a few weeks, one due to problematic air quality, another that conflicted with Halloween, and a few nights when Barton Hall was closed. But given the consistent popularity of the workouts, how could we stop? First off, thanks for the kind words, including:

General Workout Appreciation
  • They’re great, hoping to participate more.
  • I love the evening workouts, too!
  • love them! no improvements needed
  • Seems good to me!
  • Tuesday evening workouts are awesome! I really like getting a heads up about the workout a day ahead of time. Adam does a phenomenal job!
  • I’m so impressed by the track workouts that I’ve taken part in. Adam does a great job of organizing the huge crowd that has been coming out. It isn’t lost on me how fortunate we are to have access to the indoor track and workout suggestions through FLRC. Thanks a million!!
  • I like the indoor track workouts. I can’t always attend every week, but I like that the option is there. typically in the warmer months I can find other times to run.
  • The “crazy” relay was rather fun when I did that a year ago.
  • Love the Botanic workouts. Haven’t been to Mithacal yet this year but hope to go in January again. Love them too. Great job with them.
  • I love the evening workouts! I find it really helpful to have a workout already planned for me. I usually use the workout as a framework and adapt paces/reps/etc. based on my fitness and what I want to get out of them.

Here are the comments and questions we received with some answers:

Ask Cornell to build an 800m indoor track facility.

It’s good to have an active fantasy life. With luck, Cornell will build another 200m indoor track facility sometime in the next decade since Barton Hall isn’t as attractive as newer tracks for collegiate competitions.

  • Maybe weekly trail running workouts in the summer, such as hill repeats or time-based interval workouts (i.e. 4x 5 minutes hard, 5 minutes easy, all on singletrack)
  • Potentially change the outdoor location to a few different locations like Cass Park, Botanical Gardens, Stewart Park

In fact, we do just that! The Summer Speed workouts took place in Stewart Park (with one switch to GreenStar for a night we wanted to get ice cream as a group at Purity to say goodbye to some departing runners. Then the Cross Country workouts moved up to the Cornell Botanic Gardens F.R. Newman Arboretum. We seldom move things around more than that because consistency makes it easier for people to plan their work and dinner schedules and know where to go without having to check each week.

With the Cross Country workouts, there’s an emphasis on hill work because it helps so much for the races, especially our “home” course of TC3. Singletrack might be tricky for a large group, though, because I put quite a lot of thought into designing workouts that keep runners of widely varying paces together. But I’ll ponder it and also think about where such a workout might work well as a break from the flat ground of Stewart Park in the summer.

A suggestion would be to offer variations for people targeting other distances than the mile.

The MITHACAL MILERS indoor track workouts target the mile, but the Summer Speed workouts are aimed at 5K/10K training, and the Cross Country workouts focus on grass and hills from 5K to 8K. Creating workouts that an entire group can do while staying together is enough of a challenge on its own, but the workouts are usually easily modified for other distances (usually by increasing reps, sometimes at a reduced pace). Anything is possible, just ask me when the workout is posted or before we start.

Switch up nights. I have a conflict every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30, so no track for me! (sad face)

We’re working on this! Through March, we plan to have indoor workouts on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. More generally, the reason for Tuesdays (apart from it being a good distance before weekend races) is that I have my own weight workouts on Mondays and Thursdays and the second Wednesday of every month is an FLRC board meeting. If someone else wanted to organize a workout on another night, that would be fine—get in touch!

Track workouts are great, but huge. While I know several people there, I am also trying to imagine being a new person. Is there a way to signify who are regulars (at minimum, who is on the FLRC board) via a wristband, shirt, hat, etc. so folks might have a few people to easily reach out to if they wished?

Good feedback, though my experience is that many new people seem to find me easily, especially once I start calling people in for warmups. I’ll try to remember to wear my FLRC cap more in the future.

  • I work hours that make evening runs personally impossible. I prefer a noon option.
  • Evenings don’t work for me
  • I don’t attend because I am not an evening runner.

You might be in luck. The High Noon Athletic Club is an informal running group that meets many weekdays at noon at the east side of Teagle Hall at Cornell (facing Lynah Rink). Before the pandemic, it was a safe bet that High Noon would meet every weekday; with more people working from home after the pandemic, it’s less of a guarantee, so the best bet is to post on the High Noon mailing list. To subscribe, send email to: with nothing but the word join in the body of the message. (Or just click the link above, which should create the message appropriately.) High Noon mostly doesn’t do workouts these days but could be encouraged to do a workout posted for another time.

A revitalized High Noon could provide a daytime option for a variety of people who can get to Teagle Hall at lunch. Hint, hint!

  • Having a simultaneous kid workout is a game changer!
  • I am going to try to make the kid workouts. I would love to expose them to running and also get a workout myself! Otherwise, I can’t make it easily until they are older.

That’s the goal of FLRC’s Family Running Program! Kids 5–11 are welcome at the MITHACAL MILERS indoor track workouts, and Kate McCormick will have a running game workout for them. Some parents are coordinating to provide an opportunity for younger kids too; if your child is under 5, check with me before coming to make sure there will be a parent working with younger kids that night.

  • This is largely out of our control, but starting the track workouts earlier would be nice.
  • I might be more likely to participate if they were immediately after work. Since they start at 7pm, I have two hours between the end of work and when they start so it’s an awkward time of day: figuring out what to do in the meantime but also, by that time of day, I’m very ready for dinner. I’m sure you’ve already taken a lot into consideration, including indoor track availability, and I know not everyone has my work schedule.
  • Start earlier (5:30)

Indoor track scheduling is entirely out of our control. The Cornell track team has the track until 7 PM, and technically, they have it until 7:30 PM. It’s just that they’re usually done by 7 PM so we can start if they’re actually off the track. So we’re grateful we can get it at all, much as we’d all prefer an earlier start time.

With the outdoor workouts, we’ve played with the times a bit, but 6:30 was the most popular option this past year. When it comes time to go outside again, I’ll run a poll to see what people prefer.

  • I liked the summer ones in the Botanical Gardens. Again, I think the lack of any option afterwards means that an opportunity for a social group to grow is lost.

Post-run socializing is a great idea! With the first few Summer Speed workouts in Stewart Park last summer, I broached the possibility of getting dinner afterward because we were already downtown and the 6:30 start time seemed like it would segue into dinner fairly well. No one bit, although we did have a nice evening at Purity Ice Cream saying goodbye to Breanna and Andrew.

Like so many other things, if you have a good idea and want to make it happen, just speak up! If you can recruit a few friends to start the ball rolling, post-run dinners could become a great tradition.

In fact, there’s one such group already. On Wednesday nights, an informal group gets together to run on the Jim Schug Trail or, when there’s snow, snowshoe at Hammond Hill (there are always loaner snowshoes available). Afterward, some or all of the group gets dinner at a local restaurant near Dryden, currently Brewer’s. Let me know if you’d like to join.

  • not a a member, but parent of one of the teens who runs with the group indoors at Barton on Tuesdays. Just wanted to say thank you for opening the group up to these middle schoolers who aren’t eligible for indoor track with IHS. Its been a great way to keep running with friends for my 7th grader after the cross country season. Thank you to the adults who have made the teens feel welcome and included every week!
  • I so appreciate how you included my teenage son

There’s an age that can be awkward, where kids are too old for the Ithaca Youth Bureau track and cross country programs but too young to have gotten into the Ithaca High School programs. Plus, homeschoolers aren’t allowed to run with the public school teams. So although we can’t guarantee an entire group of age-appropriate kids, we often have young teens and homeschoolers at the workouts and participating in the PGXC series U18 team alongside adults. Teens are always welcome, but they should make sure to talk to me so I can adjust workouts for their level of conditioning.

Location Problems
  • I’m usually unable to attend due to location / timing / work obligations.
  • I would be there every week if I lived closer.
  • I am unlikely to attend evening workouts because I would have to drive Back to the Ithaca area after commuting home from work.
  • They sound so great! I just live too far away!
  • I wish I could attend these. I’ve only been to two, but enjoyed both. Just too much going on with picking kids up, making dinner, getting youngest ready for bed, finishing work, etc.
  • Can’t join - commute is too long, but very much appreciate that you post details of the upcoming workout.
  • I’m in the Binghamton area so am not really close enough to group runs & evening workouts to participate

We hear you. Schedules are tough, but if there are other runners in your area, you could always arrange to do the posted workouts together, at least in the warmer season.

Outdoor evening workouts are great! Barton workouts are too late for those of us that have to be to work early the next day. And I find them dangerous with so many other activities (basketball, volleyball ball, etc) and children using the track space at the same time.

Barton Hall—and the track in particular—can get pretty crowded. This year, we’ve standardized on running fast counterclockwise in lanes 1–3, and jogging recoveries clockwise in lanes 4–6. Plus, I make sure to tell everyone at the start of the workout that everyone on a fast rep “owns” lanes 1 and 2 and should hold their position so faster runners can pass safely in lane 3. As long as people follow those rules, things should stay pretty safe. Fingers crossed!

Also great, and I know it’s still early in the year, but more short fast stuff! Super happy about kids having an exercise activity at the same time, too.

I’ll definitely be continually changing the workouts as we go. The Wednesday night workouts in Barton have a stronger emphasis on short, fast speed. (Although it won’t have separate workouts for kids 5–11, which will be limited to Tuesdays.)

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