This, in our 4th year of covering post-Millrose Games workouts, was different. We had always covered the athletes in Alberto Salazar’s Nike Oregon Project group as they ran their post-meet workouts. But the group was dissolved by Nike after the WADA handed down a 4-year ban of Salazar. This left Galen Rupp and Sifan Hassan, to name a couple of the squad’s top stars, in search of new coaches. However, NOP’s assistant coach Pete Julian was coaching a number of the former group’s athletes himself, and those athletes remained with Julian in a yet-to-be-named new group.
Konstanze “Koko” Klosterhalfen was the first of Julian’s charges to step onto the Armory Track after the crowds had left. Koko had just finished 2nd in the Wanamaker Mile in 4:17.3, the thrilling race of the meet that saw Elle Purrier kick past her in an American Record 4:16.8. Koko started off with a couple 200 meter strides in 35 seconds to get the heart rate up again and loosen up the stride. Her newest teammate under Coach Julian, Paul Tanui (the 10,000m silver medalist from the Rio Olympics) had finished 8th in the 3000 in 7:51 earlier in the meet, then joined Koko for a 600 in 1:38. At this point, Eric Jenkins (8th in the Wanamaker Mile, 3:57) has been on the infield loosening up and conferring with Coach Julian. Tanui would join Jenkins in their workout after the 600 with Koko. Koko continued on solo with a 400 in 62 seconds (perhaps a bit too fast when compared to her other splits), 300 in 50 secs, 200 in 33 secs. She took ample recovery between each of the intervals which consisted of talking to Julian and some light jogging. Her workout ended with one last 600 in 1:37.
Meanwhile, already in progress, Jenkins ran his first interval of what would turn out to be progressive K’s. He ran each lap progressively faster with the type of gear change that might be needed to be successful in championship style racing. His first kilometer (5 laps of the 200m track) was solo in 2:46 — nothing blazingly fast — more like starting at a tempo pace and progressing down to 5k pace. Tanui, warmed up from his 600 with Koko, joined Jenkins for the rest of the K’s in 2:46, 2:45, 2:46, 2:44 all run in the same progressive manner. Together, they finished with a 400 in 64 secs to call it a night.
The fun surprise was when Nick Willis came back onto the track after his 4th place 3:56.7 run in the Wanamaker. He started out with a long stride of 400 meters in 65 secs to get things going again. Patrick Joseph of Tinman Elite (paced the Wanamaker Mile in 59.1 secs and 1:58.8) had been running a tempo during all of this and joined Nick for his workout. A 300 in 48 secs, seemingly was one more long stride. They jogged just 100 meters before they went into 400 in 63 secs, 100 jog, and a 400 in 65 secs. The short 100m jogs kept your journalists on their toes with multiple stopwatches in hand with no clue when the athletes would stop or start. Willis and Joseph continued with more 400s, but now taking roughly equal distance recovery in a shuffle. A 400 in 61, and another in 62. Sam Prakel (9th in Wanamaker, 3:57.8) hopped in after having done a few solo 400s of his own. They clocked off a 61. Willis, Joseph, and Prakel finished off with a 60 second final 400.
Others running workouts:
Rob Napolitano (last year’s Wanamaker pacer, and this year’s breakthrough 3rd place finisher – 3:56.6) ran no more than a handful of 200s, in which, I caught one split of 27 secs with my 5th wristwatch timer.
Ollie Hoare (2nd in the Wanamaker – 3:56.5), the collegian at Wisconsin, ran 4×200. All of my watches had broken down by now, so I did not record any splits.
Warmup 200s in 35, 35
600 – 1:38, 400 – 62, 300 – 50, 200 – 33, 600 – 1:37
Progression 1 K repeats:
2:46, 2:46, 2:45, 2:46, 2:44
400 – 64
Willis/Joseph and friends:
Warmup 400 in 65, 300 in 48
400s – 63, 65, 61, 62, 61, 60
Categories: Millrose Games