Former UT long distance star Craig Lutz has started his professional running career off on the right foot with a number of personal records in only a few short months following his 2015 graduation. Lutz had a successful career at the University of Texas, earning 4X All-American honors between Cross Country and Track. His move to Flagstaff, AZ to train with the NAZ Elite group has been a shift in training, but he still refers to a workout from UT as his favorite hard workout. Check out his cut down mile repeats:
What is your favorite motivational quote?
“A runner must run with dreams in his heart, not money in his pocket.” Emil Zatopek
What is your favorite hard workout?
I love cut down mile repeats on the track.
What do you feel it benefits?
They make me feel strong. At Texas we would do 6 one mile repeats and go on every 6th minute. So the rest would grow as each mile got faster. We would also cut down by 8 seconds with every repeat so by the end of the workout the group was flying. It was a good strength workout that also allowed for you to open up and feel confident about your turnover with the final reps. Starting at a 5 minute mile would act as a warm up but by the final mile, you’re running a 4:20.
When do you like to do it?
This style of workout is always great in the meat of the season. You have a strong base under you but it’s time to run faster while also still getting in an appropriate amount of mileage. With a long warm up and cool down, a 6 mile cutdown is a great way to continue to build strength. The faster last reps also emulate the feeling of a race which is appropriate as a race prep workout.
Do you do best with other people running with you during the workout, or is it best done solo?
It is definitely a workout best done with others. You can run solo for the slower reps but as the pace begins to drop, having teammates to share the lead is always a plus!
Do you recommend other runners try it?
Definitely! Though I feel as though the basic repeat workout is a weapon of choice for many programs. The cutdown mile workout is something to consider for a bread and butter workout though as I find it to be fun and passes by quickly as you get into a rhythm with the pace obligations.
What do you do for recovery after this workout and before your next?
Grabbing a few miles of cool down is important and also incorporating drills and dynamic stretching. These are my instruments for flushing out my body while working on my range of motion. You obviously also want to make sure that you allow enough time to pass before instituting another strong performance.