Athlete: Aki Kitagawa

Prescribed Workout: 8-10 x 400 in (72-70)

Result: 8×400 in (74,71, 69, 70, 68, 69, 69, 69)

On our log, I don’t see what the rest was. I probably communicated with him about the elsewhere. I asked for these to be done at, and a little faster than 5k effort. This was Aki’s last workout before competing in the Bucs 5k (think NCAA champs but for the British Universities – sort of…).

Aki wrote, “Heavy at first but felt okay towards the end. Couldn’t slow myself down once I hit 69’s so stopped after the 8th one.”

This is a great example of a workout that didn’t go as planned, so Aki himself adjusted the workout, fitting the goal of the day better. Most of our athletes do a job of following the plan, but when they are running harder than prescribed, the workout almost always has to get shortened. 8 x 400 at 5k pace is not the same as 8 x 400 at 1500 pace. 8 x 400 at 5k pace with 60 second rest, is not the same as 8 x 400 w/ 90 second rest. 8 x 400 at 5k pace is definitely not the same as 16 x 400 at 5k pace. Altering a planned workout can be okay, it’s just important to know that you can completely change the difficulty of the effort and the amount of recovery needed afterward.

That said, this was a good problem to have. Aki is a really intelligent runner, who leaves his best efforts for race day. So when Aki was having trouble slowing himself down, it was a nice sign of fitness, even with the repetitions being short.

Aki ran 14:59 about a week later after having been back to training for only a few months after having taken some time off after undergrad. A testament to his grittiness, for sure.


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