Running: The Hero's Journey and Yin Running

In 2020, for the first time, I tried the Hero’s Journey: 20 laps around a standard, 400-meter running track. Rather than running one lap after another without a break, you run a full 400-meter lap, then jog half way around the track (200 meters), then run another 400-meter lap, followed by jogging half way around — a pattern you follow until you’ve run 20 laps (the half laps that you jog don’t count toward the 20 laps of the Journey). There are a few more guidelines:

In addition to practicing the Hero’s Journey itself in order to get used to intervals of running 400 meters interspersed with jogging 200 meters, I include three other running workouts in my preparation:

  1. Hills and Bounding: I run up a hill or stairs, run along the top of whatever I’ve climbed, jog down the hill or stairs, bound to the base of the hill or stairs, and repeat this loop as often as it makes sense that day. There’s a school near my house and it’s at the top of a hill, so I run up the steps to its parking lot, run along the parking lot to its driveway, jog down its driveway, then bound from the base of the driveway to the bottom of the stairs.
  2. Mile Run with 100s: After a warm up, run a mile as fast as you’re able (I use four loops around a standard track, which is actually 1600 meters, as an approximation), then alternate 100 meter all out sprints along the straightaway (you’re Sha’Carri Richardson or Usain Bolt) with 100 meter jogging around the curves. For this one, it’s fine to rest a bit between the 100 meter sprints.
  3. Yin Running. This is my name for and interpretation of a recovery run. I describe my guidelines for Yin Running in the June issue of my email newsletter, Disappearing Moment.