Chris Solinsky is one of America's finest distance runners! He holds the 2nd-fastest US times in both the 5,000m and 10,000m and was a 5X All-American in Cross Country and Track while competing for the University of Wisconsin. He now lives and trains in Virginia where he's an assistant coach at the College of William and Mary. How does he build his aerobic strength before heading into racing season and maintain this strength mid-season? A classic killer workout: mile repeats!
What is your favorite workout?
What do you feel it benefits?
Depending on the time of year that you do the mile repeats they can serve a different purpose. In the offseason or early season, you can run 5-8 times a mile at half marathon pace with 90 seconds to 2 minutes rest and build your aerobic strength leading into the racing season. If you run them mid season to the end of the season you can run 3-4 times a mile at goal 5k or 10k pace with 3-4 minutes rest and you can work on your speed endurance and muscle memory to try and maintain pace longer into the race.
When do you like it?
I am usually not liking these workouts before or during, but more afterward once I have made it through the workout and hopefully have surprised myself with what I had just accomplished.
Do you usually do this workout with people or alone?
I think that both are beneficial. When you run these types of workouts with a group it helps to pull you to hitting splits that easier than you would alone. When you run the workouts solo you know that when you get into a race and are surrounded by people that you will not have to focus as much about pace or effort rather just race and let others do the work.
Do you recommend others try it?
I absolutely recommend that others try this workout because as I said it can really be used year round you just have to tweak the number of repeats and rest to get your desired result.
What do you do for recovery afterward?
Typically after an easy 15 minute cool down and a solid post workout leg lift, I stretch well and jump into an ice bath for 15 minutes. I like to warm back up in a hot shower, get home and fill up my belly on a bunch of protein followed by a good session with the R8 roller to flush out any kind of damage in my legs. I try to get out the door in the evening for a shake out to make sure the legs get fully recovered for the next day's training.