Monday, March 23, 2009

Running Repeats

Please ignore the harsh temperatures outside - it's purely a blip in the march to continued good weather and putting those somewhat smelly tights and tops (OK, maybe it's just *my* washing skills leave a little to be desired) into the closet for another year.

It's also spring track season, though most of us won't go near a track during the year at all. Thankfully, there are plenty of places you can do repeats/interval workouts in Brooklyn (note the tortured transition here - ultimately, this is the point I want to make in this post).

If you're training for distances from the mile to the marathon, getting in some speed work is key. If you train your body to run faster, doing a variety of shorter- and longer-distance intervals, you'll perform better in races. I'm not going to tout the merits of how and why - if you've never done it, then check out some of the articles on Runners' World.

Where? Ahh, let me give you some suggestions:

First off, if you do have access to these tracks scattered throughout the borough and want to get a flat, fast measured workout, note this list. I've only run on the Red Hook track, which is usually scantily populated. (Since I'm not familiar with many of the others, apologies if this list is outdated and the mondo tracks have been replaced with weeds.)

If you don't have access to the tracks, here are some other places, with some measurements, for better or worse, to help you plot your workout. I'm pulling these measurements from various places on the Web, so if they are off by a bit, my apologies (please let me know and I'll fix)

* Prospect Park: It measures 3.35 miles around, and now, courtesy of some gremlins, has a 5K course marked in parts (complete with 1/4 increments) and a 10 mile course as well if you want to do mile repeats. I've been asked before if there's anyone with measurements for workouts on the paths, and need to do some further investigating on that front.

* Cadman Plaza Park: One of the posters reminded me of this today - a tad more than 0.4 miles around, right by the base of the Brooklyn Bridge.

* Running the bridges: The Manhattan Bridge is 6,885 feet long (though it's unclear what the start and end points might be from a running standpoint. What's perhaps more important: The span is 1,470 ft (448 meters).

* The Brooklyn Bridge has these little factoids, according to Brooklyn Bridge Facts and Information:

Brooklyn Bridge East River Span: 1,595.5 feet

Length of Brooklyn approach: 971 feet
Length of New York approach: 1,562.5 feet
Official length: 5,989 feet, or 1.13 miles.

* The Coney Island Boardwalk measures 2.7 miles, according to the New York Parks Department,
from W. 37th Street to Corbin Place

* The Brooklyn Heights Promenade - roughly 1/3 of a mile long (1,826 feet, to be exact)

Doubtless there are others - anyone want to offer your favorites?

1 comment:

Tantris said...

What an awesome and timely post. I have ladder intervals scheduled this week in my very precise training cycle for the, uh, Brooklyn Half.

Anyway, thanks a million!