I recently filled in as the leader of the Monday Evening Track Sessions at Handley High School put on by the Shenandoah Valley Runners. I wanted to do something a little different and more interactive, so I came up with a workout decided by the playing card you draw from the deck.

We started with a ten minute warmup at an easy pace around the track. Then we all drew a card. If you drew a Heart, you had to do 200 meters. Draw a Spade, you do 400 meters. A Club earned you 800 meters. Diamonds translated to 1600 meters (1 mile). Everyone was dreading the Diamonds.

If you are not familiar with track running, one lap around the track is 400 meters.

We have a pace chart that shows what pace you should be running in training for certain distance races. This is the pace that you run the fast part of your interval training. Or you just run by increasing your effort for the interval you drew.

After you ran your designated distance, determined by the card, you take a 400 meter cool down lap. Then it is back to the deck to draw your next card.

We did this for 40 minutes and then did 10 minutes of cool down.

The cards I drew were Spade (400m), Spade (400m), Diamond (mile), Diamond (mile), Heart (200m), Diamond (mile), Spade (400m).

All together, my workout came to 7.1 miles including the warmup and cool down.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the workout … even though I got a few dirty looks from the runners that drew Diamonds.