Today my 11 year old son enjoyed a breakthrough track workout. His outdoor track goal is to qualify for the Junior Olympic National Championship on July 22 in Greensboro, North Carolina in the 3000 m. During the indoor season, he ran the 3000 m twice at the Armory in New York City, with a 11:48 on December 22 and 11:46 on February 18 (small PR and much more even splits).
Today we ran 3x threshold mile to approach the lactate threshold (similar to tempo runs), but not run anaerobically, practice even splits, and close fast in the final 200/400. Target time for each mile was 6:20 with a 1:1 recovery break. To put that target time in perspective, the 5th place time for the 3000 m at the Region 1 Junior Olympics in 2012 (top 5 qualify for the Nationals) was 11:32 (6:10 mile pace). For the threshold miles workout, my son ran in lane 1 and set the pace, I ran in lane 2.
He ran the first mile in 6:17 (3 seconds fast), with splits of 95, 3:10, and 4:45 through the first 1200 m, and closed in 92 for the final 400 (47/45). The second mile was 6:16 (4 seconds fast), with splits of 95, 3:11 and 4:46, and a closing 400 of 90 (47/43). On his final mile, my son ran 6:13 (7 seconds fast), with splits of 93, 3:08 and 4:43, with another 90 for the final 400 (last 100 clocked in 19 seconds).
We accomplished our goals – challenging threshold workout, even 400 splits for the 1200 m with a fast close, and negative splits from the first mile to the last. The final mile, with the strong finish, showed both of us that he could have run faster (good to know that you can always run a little faster). And his confidence got a nice boost.