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By Mark Haas

I feel like I’m on the high school track team again and it’s awesome.

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The biggest reason my commitment to running has gone up and down over the years is because let’s be honest, running can be kind of boring. A long jog can be a good way to clear your head, but doing it several times a week can be monotonous.

(Credit Mark Haas)

(Credit Mark Haas)

That’s why I’ve really enjoyed the Tuesday night speed/strength work with the Runner’s Edge of the Rockies training group.

(Credit Mark Haas)

(Credit Mark Haas)

Last week we met at Jackass Hill Park in Littleton. (I texted a picture to my wife that they named a hill after me, but I don’t have confirmation that’s true.) My other theory is that the hill is a real jackass to run up.

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(Credit Mark Haas)

(Credit Mark Haas)

For this workout we did 6 x 1/4 mile hill climbs and 5 x 1/2 mile hill climbs. After each one, we’d jog to the bottom as recovery and go again. I fell in with 2 other guys and the workout was a real jackass, but was awesome afterwards and we were rewarded with a beautiful sunset. Total workout about 10 miles (counting warmup, uphills, downhills and cool down).

(Credit Mark Haas)

(Credit Mark Haas)

This week we met at Garland Park in Denver. After warming up, we did a 20 minute tempo run on the Cherry Creek trail. Here’s the kicker though, we ran 10:30 at a decent pace in one direction, meaning when we turned around the goal was to get back in 9:30. We had to really pick it up but me and the guy I was running with made it by a couple seconds.

(Credit Mark Haas)

(Credit Mark Haas)

Then at Garland Park, we did 800 meter repeats around a lake. Sticking with the same guy Daniel, we ran our first one in about 3:25, and then after 90 seconds rest, tried to get slightly faster on the next one. We did 8, with the final one at 3:12! Again, total workout about 10 miles.

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I haven’t done this type of workout since high school, and I can already tell it will pay off come race day!