XC workout Tuesday 9/19 at 6 PM at the Cornell Botanic Gardens

Since many people raced on Sunday at PGXC #1 in Buffalo, I’m testing a new workout that shouldn’t be too much stress on the legs. Instead, of hills or long intervals, we’re going to do surging grass loops in the Arbor Road field below where we meet (see the image below for the workout location and locations of additional parking spots, since we’re often running out of close-by spots).

We’ll meet at 6 PM (ready to start at 6:15 PM) at the parking area in the bowl of the F. R. Newman Arboretum in the Cornell Botanic Gardens (Google Maps pin). After our lunge matrix, leg swings, and 10 minutes of warmup jogging, we’ll reconvene at the top of the Arbor Road loop. I’ll split the group into two by rough pace/weekly mileage and each group will start running around the loop.

I’ll start the workout by blowing a whistle. Group A will surge to I pace (5K race pace), while Group B will continue to run at E pace (conversational pace). After 15 to 60 seconds, I’ll blow the whistle again, at which point Group A drops to E pace and Group B surges to I pace. Every subsequent time I blow the whistle, the groups will swap paces. We’ll keep this up for 15-20 minutes or until it seems like people have had enough—the reps are short, so they shouldn’t be too taxing. But with lots of people on the relatively short loop (and plenty of places to cut short if you want—it’s all about time, not distance), there should be some fun group chaos.

The goal of this workout is to help you learn how to run at different paces and to change gears as necessary in a race to pass someone on a turn, extend a lead on a straightaway, or kick into the finish. You never know when in a race you’ll need to surge, so the random nature of the timing will help your legs learn to respond as needed, rather than at some predicted time or distance.

Everyone is welcome at these workouts, though you must sign the FLRC Training Programs waiver once for 2023 and, if you’re coming regularly, be an FLRC member. You don’t have to run PGXC—the workouts are great social running on their own—but we’ll try to recruit you.

Any questions? See you Tuesday night!