Threshold Miles

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.



  1. nice job, the pace works out good for your training

    1. Just an additional benefit that the pace of my son’s threshold miles is a good pace for my half-marathon training. Although I did not specifically mention it in the post, the 6×200 speed workout that we include after a long trail run (based on your recommendation to incorporate speed work) has helped my son develop a kick and close fast even during tough workouts.

  2. No doubt he’ll get below 11:30 by regionals, especially with competition. My only hope is that it is not nearly as hot as it was last year though. Have him be prepared for an extremely long, hot, and humid day, and one in which the officiating breaks down about halfway through. I think the NY regionals were the worst meet we attended all of last year. Pray for cooler breezes and the wind at his back. Great job.

    1. Hey Mark – always good to hear your perspective. We were there at Mitchell Athletic Complex last year, and you’re right, it was the worst managed and officiated meet I have attended. Christian ran the 1500m around 7 pm, This year regionals will be at Icahn Stadium, which has covered bleachers and locker rooms (if they’ll open them). Should be fun.

  3. Covered bleachers? Oh good, my brother in law and sister might actually come back to to watch a meet. Might have scared them away for good though… hahaha

    1. Was built in 2005 for $45 mio. Roof is cantilevered so the view of the track is unobstructed. Icahn Stadium is the site of the Adidas GrandPrix as well as the HS dream mile. That doesn’t guarantee that the meet organization and officiating is up to the facility’s standards.

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