Maybe you ran track in high school and swore never to return to the dreaded oval. Perhaps you have never run on a track and are not even sure why it’s a good idea. More likely, you know speedwork will improve your running but you are not sure what to do or where to do it.
I was not a high school runner and the first time I stepped on to the track as an adult and did not know the length, the rules, or why I should even care. Track math did, and still does, confuse me. I have made peace with the track and have come to look forward to seeing my splits as well as my progress. The track does not lie and if you do the work you will see a payoff in any distance race you have on the calendar.
We have free social runs from all of our locations most days of the week and we also have groups that meet up or run to their neighborhood track. Running at the track is hard, but running with a group makes the whole experience much more palatable and quite possibly fun. If you are looking to best your 5k time or have marathon goals on the brain, the track could be the missing piece in your training puzzle. One huge upside to the track is you cannot get lost. You can lose count of your repeats, you can forget where your interval began, but it’s a circle- there is zero chance you will get lost. Between sets you can stop, chat with fellow runners, have a drink and get right back to it. Sometimes the track gets a bad wrap but it is honestly pretty fun.
Where can you run? Who can you run with?
On Wednesday evenings (that includes tonight) Sean leads a track group at Woodson High School in Fairfax County. The group meets at the track at 7pm and get there workout done. Throughout the school year the location of the workout shifts depending on track availability. This week the group meets at Woodson. Other weeks they will meet at Fairfax High School, George Mason University, or on the roads. Coach Sean sends out a weekly email with a suggested workout, the meeting spot, and any other information you may need to know. All paces are welcome and Sean encourages runners to use their own workout if they are following a training plan.
On Thursday mornings at 5:45am I lead a group at Washington Lee High School in Arlington. The only glitch is this group is only for women only! We have a Facebook group, called Pacers Clarendon Women’s Track Group. The name is clunky but the group is fantastic and we show up no matter the weather or the relative heat or cold. Workouts are posted in advance and runners can tweak them to meet their own training goals. We meet in the far left corner of the track and we welcome all paces.
On Thursday evenings meet at Pacers 14th Street at 7pm and run with the group over to the track at Banneker Recreation Center. Run leaders post the workout in advance on their Facebook page so you know what you are in for when you get there. The workouts change up each week, and are done with different pace groups so its a good workout whether its your first time or you’re training for first place. Track workouts often end with an ab set as well as an option to head out for post workout drinks.
These groups offer not only a place to meet but a plan to execute once you arrive. If you have not tried a track workout with us yet commit to it for a few weeks and see how you feel. Take your time getting into the groove and listen to your body. See how your running changes. See how you almost look forward to getting to your track workout.