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Track Tuesday: Deck of Cards Track Workout

This workout feels more like a fun game, with variations to run it alone or with a group.

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Looking for a way to liven up your track workouts? This out-of-the-box (and into the casino) style track workout comes from J’ne Day Lucore, USA Triathlon coach and Colorado Running Hall of Fame athlete. Always one to add a bit of excitement to Track Tuesdays, she shared one of her favorites when it comes to adding an element of surprise to an early morning workout: The deck of cards track workout.

If you’re feeling a bit hungover from the first Monday of the new year, you’ll be awake after this one. Grab a deck of cards and follow along.

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Warm Up

Start with a one-mile jog followed by some dynamic stretching and drills.

  • Leg swings: 10 front with each leg, 10 side with each leg
  • 50 meters of butt kicks
  • 50 meters of high knees

Three-Mile Deck of Cards Track Workout

For a three-mile workout choose a selection of even numbered cards between 2 and 10 that add up to the number 48.

  • 2 = 200 meters
  • 4 = 400 meters
  • 6 = 600 meters
  • 8 = 800 meters
  • 10 = 100 meters

Shuffle the cards and prepare to be surprised.

Start here if you’re running solo:

Step one: Warm up as noted above with a one-mile jog, dynamic stretching, and drills.

Step two: Choose the card from the top of the pile and run that distance. The recovery in between sets is half the distance on the card (plus the time it takes to draw the next card). Continue in this order until you’ve gone through the deck.

Math challenge: Why not challenge and wake up your brain while your body is hard at work? If you can work out what the last two cards will be when you get to the last two intervals, give yourself a high-five and reward yourself with a hot coffee.

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Start here if you’re running in a group:

Step one: Warm up as noted above with a one-mile jog, dynamic stretching, and drills.

Step two: Take turns drawing a card.

Step three: The person who draws the card, leads that distance. Recovery in between sets is half the distance on the card (plus the time it takes to draw the next card).

Additional rule: In a group, for slower runners who might not want to lead a long interval (despite the fact everyone else in the group will probably appreciate it), there is a PASS bonus, where everyone has the chance to reject their card and add it back to the pile once.

Math challenge: For those middle school math whizzes who pay attention, extra bonus points for the runner who can work out what the last two cards will be before the last two intervals. They buy coffee!