We frequently confine ourselves to laps on the track based on distance and fail to take advantage of the other things that we can use a track for.  For example, use the track markings for triggering fartlek-style pickups, beginning and ending every time you pass over a line.  This week we’ll run the two minute drill.  Every two minutes, we’ll run a pickup for 2 minutes and then run easy for 2 minutes, signaled by your stopwatch or the whistle.  Each pickup should be run at about 10K race pace and you should be able to complete 6-8 repetitions without being completely wiped out on the last.  Instead of running a set distance for time, we’re running a set time for distance.  Pick out some helpful reference points around the track and for each two minute pickup, try to go just a little bit farther than the last, picking up the pace until the last rep is your fastest.

Warmup: 10′ easy
Workout: 8 x 2m T x 2m E
Cooldown: 10′ easy

Post-cooldown: high knees, butt flicks, kick throughs, strides, leg swings

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Take to the hills!  Sport specific strength is most appropriately achieved through functional strength training and the best strength training for running is hill repeats.  This week, we’ll take you to a short hill near the track and do a few repetitions of different styles of hill training.  For those following along at home, find a hill of moderate incline that takes about 10-15 strides to cover.  A hill of well manicured grass like the edges of a baseball or soccer field is best but these drills can also be done on paved surfaces – just make sure that you have an adequate base of road running before attempting on asphalt.  And stay away from concrete.

Repeat the following cycle about 4 times: UP #1 – sprint (emphasis on drive, leg extension and achieving maximum leg power); down easy; UP#2 – leap or bound for either distance or height; down quickly emphasizing rapid leg turnover, especially at the bottom of the hill where you rejoin the flat; UP #3 – bound laterally, slowly moving up the hill but really emphasizing the side to side motion; down easy; UP #4 – skip for either distance or height, being sure to achieve as much leg lift as you can get from your hip extensors.  Finish with 2-3 rapid sprints, carrying your speed and momentum through the crest of the hill and 10-15 steps beyond.

Warmup: 10′
Workout: 4 x 4 x hills
Cooldown: 10′

Post-cooldown: strides, high knees, leg swings, fast feet

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On Sunday, we met at Long Pond in Brewster for Practice Triathlon session number 3 of the year.  Apart from a bit of humidity and a stiff SW wind that nearly blew us off the road on the descent of Route 137, the weather was beautiful and the athletes primed.  Andy’s son put out the buoys for the swim and then monitored the course to make sure that we all got out of the water safely.  It was touch and go for the webmaster who swallowed a major part of Long Pond around the first buoy and then spent the rest of the swim trying to spit it out.  If you were in attendance and you’d like your results recorded, send timings, including all your splits if you took them, to ccac@cape.com and we’ll post them to the results page.  Many thanks to Andy for coordinating and if you’d like to join the team for these informal workouts, Heidi Russell is manning a self-supporting version every Saturday starting at 7:30AM and the next semi-supported time trial version will be held August 31st.  See the Weekly Event Calendar and Race Calendar for details.

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Every Wednesday during the summer we meet at the Mattacheese Middle School track in West Yarmouth at 5:30pm for a semi-structured … (and free for club members!) … workout.  [Send questions to ccac@cape.com.]  Workouts range in intensity and length based on who shows up, what their goals are, what the weather conditions are like, and what races are coming up.  But not to fear if you can’t make it.  Suggested workouts are posted to the Wednesday Night Workouts blog weekly and we’ve built a nice little archive of track workouts for you to browse through and select.  Each week focuses on a slightly different aspect of your running and can be tailored to the events and dates that you’re training for.  Run hard, run fast!

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Let’s give those distance intervals a rest and concentrate exclusively on leg turnover this week with some cadence drills.  A simple cadence drill involves counting your steps for a minute, taking a rest minute, and then counting your steps again for a minute trying to increase your step count by 2-5 steps.  Count on one side and repeat 10-15 times.  Your base cadence will probably lie somewhere in the 75-85 steps per minute range and you should aim to get your final few repetitions in the 90-95 range. Most elite runners typically race with a cadence of 92-98 steps per minute and research also finds that when increasing race pace, the elites increase their stride length while their cadence remains more or less the same.  For triathletes, matching your running cadence to your cycling cadence will make it far easier to make the transition from the run to the bike without blowing up in the first mile of the run or falling over with locked up hamstrings.

Warmup: 10′
Workout: 15 x (1m cadence x 1m rest)
Cooldown: 10′

Post-cooldown: strides, leg swings, high knees, butt kicks

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The internet is a haystack of news but we’ve done your homework for you. Here are a bunch of track & field, running, triathlon, and more- related stories culled from the internet newswires. Check back from time to time since we continually add new items to the list. I guess we could call it the CCAC topical non-RSS old-school newsfeed ripper. Enjoy!

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Don’t know what to do with yourself during these long, hot summer weeks? Take a peek at our weekly calendar for the full skinny on runs, rides, and swims (and sometimes all three!) taking place all over the Cape. Since regularly scheduled events are typically seasonal and can come and go at will, please check with the listed contacts to verify workout information before showing up at an empty parking lot! Play hard!

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