WILSON TRACK WORKOUT FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Where is the Wilson High School Track?
For the purposes of putting it into your GPS, use: 3950 Chesapeake Street, NW, Washington, DC. Note that you won't actually see the track from Chesapeake Street, however; you will have to go around the school to the Nebraska Avenue side. It is between Chesapeake and Albemarle.
Do I have to be fast to attend the workouts?
No, the point is to get fast. Hillary does request that you have a decent mileage base build up at first, since sometimes we cover a decent distance. You should be able to comfortably run for at least an hour (at whatever pace is comfortable for you).
What speed are most of the people who attend? I'm slow, will I be left behind?
There is a wide range of abilities, backgrounds, and speeds in the people who attend the track workouts. All of the workouts are based on time, rather than distance, so you won't be holding anyone up if you are slower, and you won't have to wait if you are faster. Instead, faster people get to run farther and slower people don't run as far.
I'm new. How will I fit in?
We have new people every week (at least when its warm out). Either way, every week we introduce ourselves to each other and share what we have been up to in terms of racing or what we are training for.
When do track workouts start for the year? When do they end?
They never end. We are out there year round, even in the snow.
How will I know if a track workout is cancelled? What if the weather is bad?
The workout has only been cancelled 2 or 3 times over the course of its almost two years of existence. If you are on the e-mail list, you will receive an e-mail if its cancelled, and it would generally be called off by 5:00 PM. This is, however, highly unlikely. We have been known to run in the middle of a snowstorm, rain etc. If its icy and dangerous, that would likely be enough to cancel it.
What if there is snow on the track?
We run hill repeats on Brandywine street, nearby to the track.
I hear you do hill repeats sometimes. When is this?
We tend to run hill repeats instead of track workouts about once per month, and its not regularly scheduled. It depends on Hillary's personal schedule, whether there is a game on the field that would affect us being able to run on the track, and whatever else Hillary feels like using as a justification.
Where do I go when I get to the track?
You will find others putting their belongings down on the bleachers. Set your stuff down with the other triathlete-looking people and start warming up.
Is parking available?
East of Nebraska ave. are neighborhoods where you may parallel park, for free, up to two hours (before 8:00 PM). On the other side, closer to the metro, are metered spots that you may pay (until 6:30; and yes, they will ticket you as late as 6:29). You may park on Nebraska ave. right next to the track if you are late (don't park there before 6:30).
I don't know anything about lactate threshold, VO2 max, or proper running form. I read the e-mail with the workout, and it makes no sense to me. How will I know what to do?
Every week Hillary (or one of her trusty substitutes, James, AJ, Matt, etc.) will explain the workout at the track and make sure no one has any questions. The e-mails are for those who have been coming for a while and understand the terminology and want the details. Don't worry if you don't understand it; eventually, the jargon will make sense.
What if I forget the workout intervals in the middle of the workout?
Hillary (or the person in charge that week) will keep the time throughout the workout, and will call out the times for each interval. All you have to do is run.
What should I bring to the track?
You should bring yourself, comfortable running attire, a watch, a heart rate monitor (if you have one, this is highly recommended, though not a requirement), water or sports drink (this IS required), running shoes that are less than 6 months or 500 miles old (get new ones if you need to), and you may want a towel and change of clothes for after, especially if it is cold outside.