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WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Nicole Sassine

This year, Nicole Sassine competed with her Canadian 4X400 relay team at the IAAF World Relay Championships where they reached the qualifying standard for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sassine, a University of Windsor Lancer graduate, has her sights set on an individual qualifying mark in the 400m to the 2016 Olympic games as well! How does she prepare for the speed the strength necessary for the 400 meters? Hard sprints and long recovery:
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What is your favorite motivational quote?
“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. If you don’t step forward, you are always in the same place.” – Nora Roberts

What is your favorite hard workout?
3x350m at 80% (3-4mins between runs)
6-8mins recovery
4x40m sprints (30 seconds between runs)
6mins recovery
2x250m at 90-95% (2mins rest between runs)
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What do you feel it benefits?
It’s a great workout for switching up the energy systems used during the workouts. The 350m’s are usually in my flats at 80%, but then I have to get into my spikes and sprint full out for the 40m’s. It’s a great workout with a lot of benefits.

When do you like it? (Before, during, the last half, not until it’s over, etc.) 
I have a love/hate relationship with the anticipation of a tough workout like this. There are so many mixed feelings before including a lot of excitement to nervousness. Mid way through is usually tough because of how I am feeling and how much more I have left to do, but I try to keep my mind on the glass half full side of things. I love the rewarding feeling of it being over and knowing that I am better because of it, even if it means my legs feel like cement for a while!

Do you do best with other people running with you during the workout, or is it best done solo?
When it comes to this type of workout, it is definitely nice to have someone there to pace you, especially during the 350m’s, when you don’t want to take them out too hard or too slow. However, I have had success with it on my own and really enjoy the challenge.

Do you recommend other runners try it?
This is a great workout for 400m runners trying to improve. If you are not a 400m runner and would like to try it, I recommend maybe increasing the recovery and/or decreasing the volume a little bit and go from there.

What do you do for recovery after this workout and before your next?
Right after the workout, I try my best not to sit down (as much as I want to). Instead, I hop on the bike and lightly pedal for about 10 minutes. After that, I stretch, use my R8, and ice. I also make sure I get my recovery and protein drink in right away, have a good meal, and drink lots of water!
Photos via Nicole Sassine.