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The Fast Times newsletter is a weekly email with seasonal training tips, ideas and inspiration from Lou Serafini and Mary Cain. We hope you'll sign up to receive this newsletter here.



WEEK 7: TURKEY TROT TIME

Your Community Team's 

Thanksgiving Plans

Mary Cain 

Fun (or not so fun?) fact: I've never completed a turkey trot.

The only time I've ever signed up to race a turkey trot was back in the fall of 2016. Leading into the race, I had been training well, but started to feel some discomfort in my calf/shin. I knew what I was feeling wasn't shin splints, but it was such a weird and new sensation that I didn't think much of it. Come race day, it was feeling a little bit better. 

About two miles into the race, I felt an immense burst of pain in my right leg. To this day, I've never felt anything quite like that. It was so sharp and so sudden, that I knew I had to stop. I limped to the side of the race course and watched as hundreds of runners passed me by. The family on the side of the course were incredibly kind and give me a blanket to keep me warm and waited with me until the race was over, so a car could come pick me up.

In my one and only turkey trot, I had to stop racing because I had a severe stress fracture in my right shin. This was the first injury in what would become an injury cycle.

Why do I share this? To remind each of us - myself included - that despite all that we are missing this year, we can never forget that our health and ability to run is a gift. Like any gift, running brings us joy, but is also not a guarantee. Injury, illness, and other commitments can quickly take running away from us.

So this year, let's make sure to get out and run. Whether you are doing a virtual race, running a workout, or joining your family and friends for a stroll around the neighborhood, let's all run. I'll never forget that Thanksgiving where my running was taken away, so this year, I'll remember to give thanks for my friends, family, and the gift of running.



Nick Willis

When I don’t race on Thanksgiving, I always like to have a hard workout scheduled, and this year will be no different. I was planning on doing a seven mile tempo run, but my workouts have been progressing really well the last couple of weeks that I’m tempted to hop onto the track—barring ice or snow, and testing myself out over something faster.  

10x300m at mile race pace (43s) with a 100m jog recovery between each, sounds like a great way to burn some fuel before the afternoon feast. My family and I will fly to a month long altitude training camp in Flagstaff the next morning and it’s really hard to do those types of workouts in the thin air, so it will be good to get a fast and challenging workout in the books before... Christmas.



Lou Serafini

This is going to be a weird one for me but I’m excited about the prospects. Generally my Thanksgiving consists of way too many beers with High School friends on Wednesday night, a turkey trot called the Cardiac Classic first thing in the morning (I’ve won 10 straight), and then a day of napping, eating, and hanging out with family.

I’m not going back to Niskayuna this year. Instead, my girlfriend Gabi and I will be headed north to New Hampshire for a quiet week and weekend off the grid with our dog Meredith. I’m doing lots of research on vegetarian dishes (I’ve never cooked Thanksgiving dinner before). I’ll do the Cardiac Classic again but it will have to be virtual. And we’ll spend lots of time relaxing, reading, and playing with our crazy puppy.

***

The Workout: Turkey Trot

From Mary Cain

This week, we're not giving you a specific workout - just get out and run for the love of running.

Choose your own adventure:Race, run, or tempo a fun run on Thanksgiving 

Tales From Past Turkey Trots

Looking for some inspiration? The Tracksmith team is united by our love of turkey trotting, from Community Manager Lou Serafini's 10-year Cardiac Classic winning streak to our founder and CEO's favorite low-key not-quite 5K in Mystic, CT. This year we asked a few team members to share stories of why they love to trot.

Full Story



On the Journal: Running is a Gift

Ron Warhurst

Need some inspiration? Watch the latest Tracksmith film that I had the pleasure of being featured in. 

Follow Gavin, a school principal, as he deepens his connection with his community. Sam, a nurse, who finds the miles a respite from the daily challenges of work. Ash, a photo-journalist, that uses running as a reminder that each battle is fought in the moment. And for myself, I remember that these miles are a road back to where I want to be.

Watch the Video





WEEK 6: THANKS TO RUNNING

Words by Mary Cain 

Why do I run?

Last week I gave the following challenge: take 10 minutes (or more if you’d like) to write with the prompt: ‘Why do you run?’ As promised, today I'm giving you my answers.

There are few times during my day when I can truly shut down my mind. One of the reasons I might love sleeping so much is it's a chance for my body and mind to both truly be at ease, my chance to dream.

During the rest of the day, shutting down and dreaming is hard to do. We have work, friends, family, and a schedule pulling us this way and that way. I cherish each of these parts of my life, but feeling the need to constantly be grounded in reality can be a bit draining. Sometimes you need to get away from your life to understand who you really are.

That's what running is for me. It's a chance to push my physical body so hard that my mind has a chance to wander. How can I keep my mind straight when pushing up Harlem Hill? Instead, I get to let my mind wander, dream, and be free. During this state of un-thinking, I often do my best thinking. 

I guess this is all to say - running is the time I get to be (via the old cliche) no longer a human doing but a human being. This chance to just be free and let my mind (and body) explore and push itself then helps me refocus when it's time to come back to the people and work that I love. Because during that time of freedom, I can learn a lot, and learning is only meaningful if you can pass it forward. 



How Will You Turkey Trot?

Whether we’re toeing the line with something at stake or just taking it easy, the Turkey Trot is the highlight of our Thanksgiving season. This year, we’re committed to trotting even if it means plotting our own course and challenging our siblings, friends or kids to a 5K. And we want to help you do the same.

Starting November 12th, every purchase will ship with our Turkey Trot Race Kit, complete with six bibs and three prize ribbons (as supplies last). 

Gobble Gobble 

***

The Workout: Finding that Miler Speed

From Mary Cain

For the last two weeks, we have focused on strength-based training. Working to get strong by going long is incredibly important, but to stay fresh we can't fully neglect speed work. Even when deep in marathon training or during your base phase, it's important to sprinkle in some faster work. Usually, that just means adding weekly strides or short sprints after a workout, but for this weekend, we're sharing a true speed workout. Scroll down to the Journal section to read more about this session run by our very own, Nick Willis, and created by his coach, Ron Warhurst.

Warm up jog, drills, and strides2x150 + 200, 2x150 + 300, 2x150 + 400Pace: 800M-1200M race pace250M SLOW jog between 150s400M jog between setsCool down jog 

How This Should Feel:

This workout is meant to be fast and since the weather is still uncommonly warm across the country this week, the goal is to run this on a track. Of course, the faster a workout, the more important your warm up will need to be, so no matter the weather, commit to getting fully prepped pre-speed.

When I asked Nick Willis about this workout, he says, 'Relaxed speed is the goal. [This workout is designed] to teach people how to run fast while being under control. So it's as fast as you can while relaxed.'

With this in mind, when attacking this workout, focus on staying as relaxed as you possibly can. You know each rep is going to hurt and burn, since this is fast from the get-go, so focus on your form and having fun trying something fast!

Truthfully, as a miler, Nick usually does this workout at 600M-800M race pace. But he normally does this workout twice a year, or a month and 10 days out from his goal race. Since many of you aren't milers or near peak speed training, we're backing off the paces a bit. That said, Nick warns that you might still be sore the day after! 


On the Journal: The Hunt for Peak Speed

Ron Warhurst

Ron Warhurst is one of the world’s top middle-distance coaches and an expert in the mile. He led the University of Michigan Wolverines for over 35 years, where he coached 44 All-Americans and 12 Olympians. His athletes include two-time Olympic 1500m medalist (and Tracksmith team member) Nick Willis, who won silver in Rio, and Canadian national record holders Kevin Sullivan and Nate Brannen, among others.

We asked Ron to share one of his favorite workouts for refining speed and the philosophy behind it.

Full Story






WEEK 5: STRESS RELIEF 

Words by Lou Serafini 

Running is always there for you when you need it. We run to get in shape, because we love it, and we run when we’re stressed out. There’s a beautiful simplicity to running. No matter if you run in a group or alone, fast or slow, with or without music, running has a way of centering. 

When I’m hurt or taking a break from running, I miss it. And often feel like “I just need a run.” I do some of my best thinking when I’m running and have these great moments of clarity when I’m running. For me, running is almost like a form of meditation and gives me the opportunity to let go of my burdens and feel free.

Look. It’s been a brutal year for everyone. We said this back in March. Running is there for you. Lean on it. Use it. Running doesn’t have to be so one dimensional. It’s not all about “how fast can I go?” Sometimes it’s just about getting out the door and breathing.

If you’re reading this and thinking, “I have no idea what he’s talking about,” then try this on your next run:

Go for a run by yourself. Leave the watch at home, and don’t think about pace. And then while you're running, pay close attention to your surroundings. Think about the burdens in your life or the problems that you need to solve. Then let go of those things and just appreciate being in the moment.

Next time you’re dreading a run, remind yourself that running is a positive. A chance to just be present and to think or breath or reflect or maybe, just to run.





Challenge 

Find Your Way

Why do you run?

This week is stressful. For many of us, running is a great opportunity for us to relax our minds and relieve stress. But why is that? This week, let’s take some time to find out.

I challenge you to sit down and put pen to paper (put your laptop away - let’s do this old school). Take 10 minutes (or more if you’d like) to write with the prompt: ‘Why do you run?’ I will be doing the same challenge and sharing my thoughts in next week’s newsletter.

What’s the purpose of this? Having a why gives us power. Knowing exactly what gets you out for your run on the good days or bad days can help motivate you, give you direction, and can let you more acutely tap into the feelings and moments that make running great. And this way, on stressful weeks such as this, you’ll never question getting out the door.

***

The Workout: Long Run

From Mary Cain

For all the long distance runners who tune into our newsletters, I wanted to mix it up and give some marathon-specific work. Truthfully, I feel many people overdo tapping into marathon pace. The effort itself is usually too slow to get that much meaningful work out of. Instead, marathon pace is meant to feel easy for most of the race. That's why, the intention of this workout is to put a little more burn into your long run without tiring you out for the rest of the week. Your goal is to finish this remembering how comfortable marathon pace should feel.

2 mile warm up jog, 6 x 1.5 miles at marathon pace
Between reps take a 5 min jog recovery, 1-2 mile cool down jog 

How This Should Feel:

With this workout being a long run, it's not as necessary to do drills and strides, since your first two miles serve as a warm up. That said, make sure to do some dynamic stretches before you leave for your run to make sure you are loose!

The first two to three reps, you should feel quite comfortable, since three to five miles at marathon pace should not be that difficult. As you get deeper into the workout, your legs should start to feel tired from the accumulated miles of work, but this is not a session where you should finish feeling wiped out.

In total, you will get 9 miles of work at marathon pace, so only a third of the race distance. With that in mind, you should feel tired, but also as if marathon pace is a very easy pace to hit. Consider doing the workout after this long run as something slightly easier (such as just adding some 100M strides to the end of a run) if you're not used to doing harder work during your long run.





On the Journal: A Life Off Roads

Roads are made for mileage and tracks are built for speed, but the trails are where runners of all hues get to experience true athletic freedom. Here, Tracksmith writers muse on what running off road means to them.

OFF TRACK

By Nick Willis

Trails - and more specifically singletrack trails - are the reason I run. Racing around a 400m oval has only ever been the byproduct of the fitness I gained on dirt. And fitness comes easy off roads: twists and turns, uphills and downhills and the constant uneven footing of trail running activate all my senses. Everything is in the moment when I’m focussed on the next step, the next corner, the next obstacle, making sure my foot-plant is secure. Time ceases to exist: trail running is full immersion with nature. It's adventure. It's discovery.

When my wife and I got married in 2007, and decided we wanted to buy a house, I offered up a deal: “you get to choose the house, but I get to choose the location.” I just wanted to be within a quarter mile of the vast trail network that meanders around and above the Huron River on Ann Arbor’s north side. An enthusiast runner herself, it was a win-win for both of us. For the past thirteen years I’ve laced up my shoes, stepped out our front door and headed into one of five different trail options to get my daily mileage. I can run up to 14 miles connecting the various trail systems without ever being more than 1.5 miles from my house. Each trail system is around  2-miles, and each has its own charm and character. One has wood chips and runs alongside the river; a couple are filled with steep ups and downs; one is filled with cruisy sweeping turns made for mountain biking; some are scattered with rocks and tree roots. 

Full Story



WEEK 4

NERVES: APPREHENSION AND EXCITEMENT 

Words by Mary Cain

Tuesday, November 3rd, is the Presidential Election. As I think about this monumental event, I find myself feeling like I do before race day: nervous.

As athletes, we often consider nerves a negative feeling. We use words like fearful or scared as its synonyms. But over the years, I have learned my nerves are not all bad. Nerves are born from a mix of apprehension and excitement.

Runners get nervous before a race because they are excited by the potential, opportunity, and fun that comes from seeing hard work pay off. But runners also get nervous because they are apprehensive of all the uncontrollable parts of a race.

I believe that's why this week's election has me, and many others, nervous. We see the potential for change, care, and have worked hard, yet the ultimate outcome is not fully in our control. But just like on race day, we have to focus on controlling what we can control. And on November 3rd, that's getting out to vote.

Here's to fighting and doing our part to create a better future.


NYC Event

RunChute Van Cortland Park Race

Join Tracksmith and RunChute from November 16th to the 22nd by racing the classic, Van Cortland Park 4k race course. Virtually compete against other runners and teams to try to become the fastest over the cow path, back hills, and flats. Prizes, including Tracksmith gift cards, are available for top individuals and teams.

I will be out cheering on Saturday, November 21, so stayed tuned for more information on how to come by, drop your bag, pick up a post-run treat, and say hi. More to come in future newsletters and on my social @runmarycain.

If you are a new team, sign up with code: runvanny or reach out to the race director at john@runkamp.com. Registration is free and you just need to link your race to Strava.

***

The Workout: 2 x 20 Min Tempo

From Mary Cain

Fall is the season of long distance. Whether your goal races are on the roads, fields, or track, runners use these months to prepare a strong base to propel them through the long seasons ahead. That's why for this week's workout, we're giving you a tough workout that's meant to get you strong. 

Warm-up, drills, and strides
20 min tempo at half marathon effort
3 min jog recovery
20 min tempo at half marathon effort
Cool down  

How This Should Feel:

Today you're running long to get strong. This workout is about mentally and physically adapting to strong efforts for a long block of time. That means, the first 20 minute tempo block should feel comfortable. You're running fast, but you should never find yourself straining in the first half. If you are, back off your pace a little bit.

By the second half of the workout, the session is meant to get tough.You will have a nice three minute recovery jog to catch your breath, but the accumulated mileage should make you feel tired as you start off the second tempo rep. This second half of the workout is a test for you to maintain a smooth stride and push through fatigue. The last five minutes, push through the burn and fight to maintain pace.



On the Journal: Michigan Racing 

Michigan Pro Half Marathon Results

On Wednesday morning, pros lined up to compete in a fast half marathon. Of the racers, we had two runners rocking Tracksmith's kit who made the podium.

Keira D’Amato won the women's race. She significantly lowered her PR to 68:57 and became the 10th fastest on the all-time U.S. women’s performer list in the half marathon.

For the men's race, Frank Lara finished in a close 2nd with a time of 62:17. Morgan Pearson took the win, while Tyler Day and Scott Fauble finished close behind. 

Michigan Pro Ekiden

Road racing has been close to non-existent during the Covid-19 pandemic and traditional mass participation events are likely to be some of the last sporting events to resume once the pandemic begins to fade. In order to give athletes something to stay motivated for this fall, a group of elite running teams from around the US took a trick out of the Japanese running playbook and came together to race an Ekiden - a road relay made up of six person (three women and three men) teams to cover the gruelling 26.2 miles of a marathon. 

What a great idea - when you can’t have large gatherings of runners packed together on the start line, a relay is the perfect way to thin down the field of runners on the road at any given time. It’s the ideal social distancing running event; thus, the Michigan Pro Ekiden was born.

Full Ekiden Story



WEEK 3: WONDERMENT IN THE DAY-TO-DAY

Words by Mary Cain

For the last six months, I've made some big moves, including joining the Tracksmith team, moving to the Upper West Side, and adjusting to our new socially-distanced reality. With all of this change, I found myself in the beginning phase instead of the being phase. For me, the shift from beginning to being is when you start to feel you belong and understand where you are headed. There is something incredibly exciting about stepping into this next phase, but it also comes with the risk of starting to take the little things for granted.

For this upcoming week, my intention is to enjoy this newfound confidence in my jobs, home, and training, while reminding myself to continue to find amazement in all of these areas of my life. For example, this weekend I am in Boston for a work trip. This is my first time away from New York since racing in Boston back in late February, and it's great to see the Tracksmith team. We're working on some exciting projects, which is motivating and fun, so each new and growing opportunity I will face with the same wonderment as my first day on the job.

Throughout this newsletter, you will find tips to help you also keep a sense of newness and excitement to your already-established routine. Whether it's seeing an old trail from a new perspective, testing your legs with multiple speed changes, or pausing to enjoy a cup of coffee, remember to hold a sense a gratitude for the new, old, and yet to be discovered.



Challenge

Run Your Favorite Course in Reverse

For the last few months, many runners are hitting the same few local trails. Sticking close to home and getting to know your go-to trails like the back of your hand is a great way to lock into a rhythm in a run, but can also get monotonous. 

If you want to shake it up, this week, run your favorite classic easy-run and nearby race courses in the reverse direction. Similarly, if you typically run an out-and-back course, consider starting at your traditional turn-around point to mix it up. 

You’ll be amazed how different the routes look and feel going the opposite way. You’ll be able to appreciate and rediscover the scenery that you’ve been starting to take for granted.

***

The Workout: 4 x 800m, 4 x 400m, 4 x 200m

From Mary Cain

Are you racing the Alumni Championships 2 miler? To run a strong 8-lap race, it’s important to have a balance of speed and strength. Our last two workouts were strength-based (tempo and fartlek), so for this week, we’re upping your speed work.

Warm-up, drills, and strides
4 x 800m at 3K race pace, 2:30' off
4 x 400m at mile race pace, 2:30' off
4 x 200m at 800m race pace, jog back off
Cool down 

How This Should Feel:

During this workout, you will tap into 3000m race speeds and faster. For the 800s, work on staying as relaxed as possible. The rest between each rep is a good amount of time, so even though the pace is quick, you will have time to fully recover between each of the 800m reps. After the 800s, the workout really begins. Your legs will be getting tired from 2 miles worth of work at 2 mile race pace, and now you’re turning up the pace to mile speeds. Each of these 400s will be tough, so focus on one at a time. You will stay have a nice 2:30 recovery between reps, so take this full block of time to help you tap into the faster pace. Once your 400s are done, the 200s are an opportunity to let your speed rip and see what’s left in the legs. 



On The Journal: A Conversation With Ryan Linden

By Mary Cain

Ryan Linden is the founder of LINDEN X TWO, a specialty coffee roaster that has an incredible assortment of coffees. LINDEN X TWO has worked with the team at Tracksmith, serving coffee to our runners at the Trackhouse, Abbott World Marathon Majors, and, most recently, at the Olympic Trials. Along with running his own business, Ryan runs hundreds of miles each week with his wife, Des Linden, who is a two-time Olympian and 2018 Boston Marathon champion. We recently sat down with Ryan to enjoy a remote coffee and a catch-up:

The Last Six Months

The last six months have been a little crazy, but I feel we have adjusted pretty well. At first we came off the Trials getting ready for the Boston Marathon and then things got shut down. I was fit, so I continued with this energy and kept getting as fit as I could by doing a lot of biking and running. 

We hit mid-June and I realized I hadn’t taken a break for over a year, so we took ten days off. I did some work on the house and that made up for no running. Since then, this whole summer we did a lot of running, easy base miles, and making it so that you really enjoy it again. If it means you’re going to trot along at 7:30 pace for an hour, so be it, or if you’re going to feel pretty good, let’s see what the legs can do and go with it. 

Read More


WEEK 2: TAKE YOUR WORKOUT OFF ROADS WITH TRACKSMITH

Words by Mary Cain

In this week’s newsletter, we are sharing a training tip, workout, and journal story that tap into that feeling of cross country season… without ever directly talking about cross country. I noticed myself feeling like each of the sections followed this theme and wondered, “How can so much content feel like cross country, without actually being it?”

Upon reflection, feel is the key word for me. Cross country is a feeling. You feel cross country on your skin when the weather shifts from summer heat to autumn cool. You feel cross country in your feet each time you run on a trail or other soft surface. And you feel cross country in your heart when you run with old friends and teammates and dream of training and racing for something bigger than yourself. 

So for me, even though I won’t be racing a true cross country season this year, I revel in this feeling. Because cross country is our opportunity to tap back into the purest form of our sport, or racing all out with your friends while trying to see who can go from point A to point B the fastest.

Alumni Championships


Training Tips

Off Roads

Last week, we encouraged you to try your weekly workout on a grass, turf, or trail loop. For this week’s training tip, we recommend once again that you try mixing up the training surfaces that you use, but this time try during an easy run. The reason for this is twofold: there is a physical and mental benefit to mixing up the surfaces that you run on. 

There is a physical benefit, since your body has to adapt to each new terrain and gets stronger and more resilient by periodically breaking out of its usual routine. For example, if you hit a dirt trail, your body has to subtly change how it absorbs force to counteract the softer surface, thereby teaching your body how to generate more ‘pop.'

Mentally, it’s also important to add variation into your typical running routine. If you’re in a city, use this challenge as an excuse to explore areas you normally wouldn’t go, such as a trip to nearby trails. If you already tend to run on softer surfaces, mix up the trail you go to and discover a new route. Adding that sense of adventure can add a lot.

Speaking of off roads running, watch our short video following four runners explore the trails outside of NYC.

View More

***
The Workout: 4 Mile Tempo, 4 x 400m

From Mary Cain 

Scroll down to this week’s Journal article to see this week’s workout inspiration from Canada’s Tristan Woodfine, who just crushed the London Marathon. Using his workout as a model, we created a great workout to help you practice a finishing kick off of tired legs. Go ahead and take this workout off the track, but if you try this on the turf/grass make sure to run by race-effort and not pace. 

Warm-up, drills, and strides 4 mile tempo at 10mi race pace (between 10K and half pace) 5 min recovery jog 4 x 400m at 5000m pace (90 sec rec between)  Cool down 

How this should feel:

During this workout, you are trying to stay relaxed during the tempo portion. Your body will be moving fast, but your goal is not to strain too much or suffer from form break-down. Instead, you should finish tired, but feeling as though you could have kept running. Try to stay relaxed so you can conserve energy for your 400m repeats at the end of the session (or when the workout really begins). The five minute recovery jog that follows is meant to help you catch your breath. The five min recovery jog you have is meant to help you catch your breath. The 400m repeats will have a short jog of 90 seconds between them and are a bigger uptick in pace, so they will be challenging. Your legs should feel tired once you start and it’ll take more mental energy to commit to turning your gears over at that faster pace. Luckily, you just have one mile of work total, so take each rep at a time and feel strong opening up your stride to hit that 5000m pace.



On the Journal: After London

An interview with Tristan Woodfine, Canada's first finisher in London

Photography By Virgin Money London Marathon

Tristan Woodfine surprised everyone in 2019 when he placed 11th in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2:13:16, making him the second Canadian, and notably placing him ahead of Canada’s chief marathon hopeful, Cam Levins. Since then, despite lockdowns and the uncertainty of a tumultuous racing calendar, he’s continued to train hard, and this last weekend in apocalyptic conditions in London he placed 14th, running 2:10:51, well inside the Olympic qualifying standard of 2:11:30. Now back in quarantine in the Ottawa Valley, we caught up with him to learn more about his performance in London.

Can you explain a little about yourself? Where you're from, some career highlights, your route into running etc?

I grew up in a small town in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, and ended up coming back to the valley after university, where my fiance and I live now. It's a great place to train since it's so quiet and the community is very supportive and tight knit. I had originally started out my athletics career as a triathlete during high school but also competing in cross country and track. While in university in 2013, I decided to just focus solely on running. 

How did the opportunity to race in London come about?

The opportunity to race in London was a stroke of luck. I had managed to secure a spot for the original date in April. Once the event got postponed to October, the head of elite athletes sent an email saying any athletes part of the original April start list could have a spot in the October race. I accepted the spot again and even when World Athletics announced all Olympic qualifications would be suspended until Dec 1st, I decided to still race it. I was just grateful to have a race on the calendar. The good luck came in August when World Athletics announced that they would open the qualification window earlier for the marathon and times from London could be used for Olympic qualification. 

Read the Full Interview




WEEK I: WELCOME TO FAST TIMES WITH TRACKSMITH 

Words by Mary Cain

This past summer, we kept you motivated to train and race with our 100 Days of Summer newsletter. Looking at the next three months of 2020 we see a lot of big moments ahead and want to remain by your side as you run through these next few months.

Rather than continue to structure these newsletters around “100 Days” we have decided to transition to the Fast Times newsletter. Here’s our reasoning: running is more than the marathon. Yes we all love the excitement that comes with watching, training for, and racing a marathon. But as we learned this past summer, as runners, we have the opportunity to decide what we want and value in our training and racing. 

Are you more interested in racing the mile and 5K (eh hem, yours truly)? Or are you locked into a marathon training plan, but want extra training and racing content? Are you stuck trying to decide which path to go in training and racing? No matter what your preference, we’ve got you covered.

The Fast Times newsletter will be a one-stop shop to find training and racing inspiration. We will share stories, elite training-level insight, workout tips, and keep each other motivated with challenges and information on upcoming events. 

Want even more content? Sign up for all of our newsletters by clicking the link below.  

Sign Up


Stay in the Know this Fall 

Introducing the Alumni Championships 

In reflecting on the things we’ll miss the most this fall, it’s clear that collegiate racing and the joys of cheering on our favorite teams was close to the top of the list. So, together with our friends at Trials or Miles, we’ve devised a racing challenge that will bring out that old school competitive spirit: the Alumni Championships. Whether you ran in college or not, whether you’re in fighting shape or fighting to get back into it, join your fellow alumni and fans for a 2 mile race and ultimate bragging rights. Profits will go to support collegiate track and field programs facing cuts. 

Register Here 

...

THE WORKOUT 8 x 3' on, 2' off 

Words by Mary Cain 

For track athletes, fall is traditionally an opportunity to build back your base while racing the cross country season. Speedy, spiked up workouts are replaced by longer intervals and more weekly mileage. Mid-distance and long distance athletes find themselves competing all season on the grassy terrains of XC courses.

Tapping into the inspiration of XC-season, challenge yourself to try this workout on a softer surface: whether on the grass, gravel, or packed dirt trail. (If you’re inexperienced running on soft surfaces, try something a little more compact like a dirt trail just to minimize DOMS in the coming days).

Warm-up, drills, and strides 8 x 3' on, 2' off 3 min on is at 10K race effort 2 min off is at easy run effort  Cool down 

How this should feel: The idea for this workout is to hit some longer intervals at a quicker pace (10K effort). What makes this session hard is the recovery: 2 minutes is a solid chunk of time, but your goal is to keep moving at an honest easy run effort. This means you’re keeping your heart rate up and legs moving, so despite getting in recovery time, you’re still tiring out your legs. The softer surface will also add to the challenge, so come rep 5 you should feel yourself getting tired. Make sure to fight to maintain your form throughout!


ON THE JOURNAL 

Being Frank 

Words by Mary Cain 

On March 7th, Frank Lara of Boulder’s Roots Running team, raced the USATF 15K Championships in Jacksonville, Florida. On September 28th, Frank Lara was declared the USATF 15K champion.

You read that right. Over six months after the race, a champion was declared. How could this happen? Sadly, it’s a not-too uncommon reason: the athlete who crossed the line first failed a drug test. Runner X (who we won’t name - we believe attention should be directed at the clean athletes) had previously served a two-year drug ban back when he was competing for Morocco in 2013-2015. He is now serving an eight-year ban.

After the race, running’s social media exploded. Athletes spoke of their frustration at having to compete with someone who had both served a ban and not been accepted into the elite field. Sponsors, such as Brooks, declared they would exclude the winner from the rankings when determining their athletes’ prize bonuses. The conversation of making bans more severe and doping in sport erupted online. But then COVID hit and the conversation quieted. Until six months later when news that surprised no-one finally broke: Runner X had failed another drug test.

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