In the cycling world, “WNW” is the tongue-in-cheek acronym for “Wednesday Night World Championships,” which refers to any overly-spirited group ride or race in which the participants pedal as though the world championship is on the line.
For the Seattle Running Club (SRC), WNW is Wednesday Night Workouts, which are usually held on the Garfield High School track. SRC’s Wednesday night routine is typically an interval workout, meaning that the efforts alternate between harder efforts and easier efforts. Led by coaches Trisha and Uli Steidl, the specifics of each workout are usually set up to help participants get ready for important upcoming races, and vary from week to week. Sometimes there are hill repeats, other times the runs are along Lake Washington Blvd.
For example, a recent workout consisted of 5 x 200m hard intervals with 400m jog/walks, followed by 5 x 400m hard intervals with 400m jog/walks. To help everyone know how hard to run their hard intervals, Coach Trisha provides a list of target times based on different running paces.
This kind of “speed” workout isn’t for everyone, and you definitely need to have baseline running fitness to get benefit and avoid injury. But, perhaps more important than the speed intervals, are the social and motivational benefits of running around the track with a group of fast people. The cool thing about track workouts is that everyone can be doing their own workout, yet still be running “together.” The overall vibe is welcoming and supportive. Everyone wants everyone else to succeed.
I’m a big believer in the axiom that “you become like the people you hang out with.” If you regularly run, ride, hike, ski (or meditate!) with folks who are more skilled or otherwise inspire you, your skills will improve. To that end, SRC hosts group runs around the area five days a week.
Team membership is required to participate in SRC’s group runs, but if you’d like to test the waters they’ll let you join one for free. If you are unsure whether the Wednesday night workouts are right for you, touch base with Coach Trisha and she can provide guidance.
For more pictures, check out the Flickr Album!