10kTruth.com Web Letter - February 2001 - Issue #1

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New this week at 10k Truth is a garden fresh Training Tip from 10kTruth.com's The Rage! See the whole story at: http://www.10ktruth.com/q_and_a/training_tips.htm including new photos of runners at Hayward Field Track in Eugene using giant carrots for batons.

The Rage on Training: Want to Spice Up Your Workouts? Try a Carrot Relay.

O.K. So either you got into this page intentionally or you are a Master Gardener, looking for some organic tips on growing better carrots. In any case, both of you have undoubtedly already made your minds up to change your search engine. If you are the gardener, you can go now. But for you, the runner, hear me out. The Carrot Relays might sound like more strange ramblings from The Rage, but rest assured, do this one and you will begin to understand and appreciate what hard running is all about. Once again, Manciata gets the credit for this workout. He's got a million of them, and I'm determined to write them all down.

While you and I may understandably allow our mouths to drop and shake our heads at the race times on a runner's resume who has competed at a high level, it's their workouts that are the real mouth droppers. If you know someone like Bruce, listen to them. And take notes. For this workout, you first need to find another runner preferably one who is not afraid of hard work. Next, you need a track. While it takes a minimum of two runners to do this one, it's even better when you have a couple of other teams. If the teams are evenly matched and the runners are competitive, this one's brutal. It's a four mile relay (16 x 440 yards or 400 meters on a metric track) with each runner doing a lap and handing off to their partner. Therefore, each runner does a total of eight laps and the amount of rest in between laps is entirely up to their partner. Believe me, if you run these hard (I don't think you can avoid it with this format) your partner will be upon you before you know it. This is a real good way to spice up what otherwise might be just another speed workout.

If you are having trouble getting up for speed work, it's a real good way to get motivated, especially when your team mate is tapping their foot impatiently while waiting for the baton or you feel your buddy coming up on your shoulder on the last turn. Oh the carrot thing. While you might think I added this part to try to get linked to all the extension service web sites, I was just trying to have some fun. Sensing some blahs from some of my running partners, I decided we needed to put a bit more spice into our Tuesday workout one afternoon at the Hayward Field Track. For batons, I surprised them with some huge carrots each team would carry. It got a few laughs and helped keep things loose. Actually, slapping hands would work just as well, but then it wouldn't be a Carrot Relay now would it?

With this many teams on the track (a fifth team joined in for part of the workout when we got there), I was thinking it might be challenging to keep the lap count straight. Just in case, I brought over some cups and lined them up next to the start with a stack of pennies for each team to record their laps. I really don't think this was necessary, but it was there if anyone needed it. Finally, we tried to keep the teams as balanced as possible to keep it interesting for everyone.

It was quite a scene, with five runners coming down the stretch for the first exchange, extending a carrot. Needless to say, we got a few funny looks, with a bunch of runners flailing down the backstretch all waving carrots wildly as they tried to reel in the person in front of them. I would venture to guess it was a first at this storied track. What was even better, was after the fourth lap, one of the runners from the eventual winning team was all bent over, trying to catch his breath while suggesting we cut if off at six laps. He's a good runner, too, and he was running exceptionally well on that day. I loved his comment. It spoke volumes of the intensity of this workout. The leader wants to cut it short. I immediately had a mental image of Manciata, smiling as he turned away saying nothing. The first team came across in 21:18, followed by 22:08, 22:42, and 23:56. Keep in mind, that this workout works just as good if it's just the two of you. The key thing is to pick a realistic goal to hold your interest, plan your pace and go after it. Brace yourself. There's definitely some Truth in this workout.


Copyright 2001, Mike Logan, Bruce Manclark & Cory Eberhart. All Rights Reserved.

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