Posts Tagged ‘Track and field’

My mom gave me this book back during the Holidays but I didn’t get the chance to read it until our trip to Miami. ┬áSince it’s been called “the best novel ever written about running” by Runner’s World, I figured it’d be fun to review it here, on my running blog ­čÖé

via Amazon

Be warned: It’s a bit slow and confusing at first but (just like the mile-race the main character competes in) it finishes strong.

**Did you catch that sweet metaphor (Simile? Grammar is not my forte) I just did there?

Anyways, Once A Runner tells the story of an elite-miler, Quenton Cassidy, who attends a fictional Division I university during the 1970’s, a decade when the American distance running scene was both prolific and competitive (think Steve Prefontaine.) When he is barred from competition due to a series of unfortunate events, he embarks on a personal quest of sorts to prove his talent to both the school and the world.

Here is a passage that particularly resonated with me:

“…The legs became prematurely heavy, and the central nervous system sent up the message that such punishment could not be endured. ┬áBut the central nervous system is overridden, of course, the runner knowing far better by now than his own synapses of what his daily in such absolutes of physical limitations that the nonrunner confronts only in dire situations.” p. 219

Mind over matter, that’s definitely my running philosophy, and I think Parker’s apt description is just so right on.

I definitely acknowledge that if the world of track and field is completely foreign to you, there may be portions of the book that either do not make sense or are hard to understand but Cassidy’s battle of will in order to prove himself draws you in, regardless.

I recommend this book, especially if you’re training for a race or new to running, since I found it highly motivational. ┬áIt makes racing sound exciting, which it is.

If there’s any type of running race in your future, this book will psych you up and make you determined to meet whatever goal you’ve set for yourself, even if it’s just to finish.

Got another running book to recommend? I’m on the hunt for a new one (I’ve read Born To Run and Ultramarathon Man)



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Today’s workout comes to us via my college track and field coach, who liked to inflict this one upon us when she felt we needed a good figurative kick in the arse.

I would put this in the “medium to hard” category, as far as workouts go, since it requires you to be conscious of your pace for the entire time.

Before I write out the workout, I think it’s best if we all refresh our memories as to what a bell curve actually looks like:


Remember these bad boys from high school algebra? Or was it geometry? Clearly, math is not my strong suit!

Anyways, here’s how the workout goes:

*5:00 easy jog warm-up (with some dynamic movements thrown in, if you want)

*2:00 at a pace you would consider a “1” on a scale of 1-5 (one is the easiest)- this is the beginning of the bell curve; follow this with 2:00 at a “2” ┬ápace (slightly faster.)

*Continue the workout with 2:00 intervals at levels “3”, “4” and “5” (level 5 being a pace you could maintain for 2:00 but probably not much longer than that. In other words, you should be sucking wind by the end of that interval!)

*Once you do 2:00 at level “5,” drop down to “4” for 2:00, then “3” for 2:00, etc until you back down to the “1” pace, or your easy jog.

*5:00 cool down of easy jogging or walking

This workout is designed to be done continuously, moving from one level to the next without stopping and it’s a great way to focus on your pace and push your body out of it’s comfort zone.

I also like this workout because it’s quick but it gets the job done. Cardiovascular limits are pushed, mental barriers are broken and it’s just a great little session to bust out whenever you’re feeling the need to push yourself.

What do you guys think, does this look to difficult to attempt or could you do it?




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