I want to tell you a story about how I discovered the track workout. It was the summer between my junior and senior years at Harvard. I had just come off an incredible season where I played #1 singles for the team and had huge wins against top ranked players – beating a top 10 nationally-ranked player along the way and gaining my first ever national D1 singles ranking. I was on the upswing and I started working with a top level track coach that summer so I could extend my success into my final year (and try to transition that into a successful pro debut once I graduated).
I hadn’t worked with many running coaches before, and this guy was a top trainer for many elite track athletes. I knew that improving my fitness was a must if I wanted to push forward my success up until that point into the future.
During our workouts, we would go hard. Within the first 15 minutes of many of the workouts I was completely gassed. The 1000 meter sprints would suck everything out of me, especially at the pace the coach wanted me to run them in.
I didn’t realize how effective working out on the track could be. Tennis is an intense sport – but getting in a great running workout is simply unparalleled. Pretty soon my tennis game was taking off from the track workouts – my endurance, leg strength, and confidence in my fitness was skyrocketing.
If you’ve never done a track workout before, don’t be intimidated. Often times you can use a local track at a high school or college — so head there for your next workout and do this: 4 repetitions of 200 meters. 200 meters is about half the track on an outdoor track and all the way around on an indoor track. Run at a 75% pace of your maximum and then take 2 minutes in between reps. If you’re gassed after the 4, take a few days off and head back again. If you feel you have more in the tank, then do 6 reps.
Start using the track to jump start your lean body transition. Let’s do this! Time to get lean.