Pyramid Scheme


Coach, I’m sick of intervals, do you have any advice for a different sort of track workout?  –Martha W., Brooklyn

Today, Martha, I’m going to ask you to build a pyramid. Three, actually. Just like in Giza. Know how long it took a pharaoh to build himself a pyramid? Twenty years. Know how long it’s going to take you? Well, let’s head over to the track at the high school and find out.

The gate’s locked? You can’t get in? Come on, now. Jump the fence. Lemme show you how it’s done.

Okay that wasn’t so bad. Now I want a ten-minute warm-up, and don’t let me see even one bead of sweat. Easy does it. Nice long strides to open things up.

Ready? And now we work. I want you hurting in practice so you can make others hurt in races.Up one side and down the other:

 200 m fast + 200 m jog, 400 m fast + 400 m jog, 800 m fast + 400 m jog, 400 m fast + 400 m jog, 200 m fast + 200 m jog

What’s “fast”? Let’s say a smidge faster than your 5k race pace. To figure out how to translate that to these shorter distances, use a pace calculator. Okay, that’s two-and-a-quarter miles total. Do two more, with a five-minute sit-on-your-butt rest in between. Then a ten-minute cooldown. And that’s how you build pyramids–

Whoa, looks like we got company. John Law is pulling up. Seems as if somebody called us in. C’mon, follow me. Over there behind the bleachers. There’s an opening that the kids use when they want to sneak off campus. Move it! We’ll take this party over to the soccer field in the park and finish up there.

“I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.” –Psalms 119:32

coach randyCoach Randolph Müller was a longtime track and cross-country coach at a private secondary school in New York City, where he also taught several languages and European history. He was born in the Black Forest region of southwestern Germany and received his doctorate at Universität Stuttgart before moving to the States. Never an athlete himself, he gained an avid following in the tri-state prep running community for his homespun, commonsense coaching methods. Since retiring, Coach Müller has dedicated himself to community service, including offering free coaching advice to visitors. Contact us with your questions for him.