The BeWOW Breakdown: Philly Runners Test Our 1-Mile Sprint Workout

They're taking on our Be Well Workout of the Week — a.k.a. the BeWOW — to show you what you're in for.


This is Rebecca getting her single-leg step-ups on.

This Week’s Workout: The One-Mile Sprint

Testing date: Monday, October 26th. See the workout here.

The Breakdown
Total time commitment: 25 to 35 minutes (depending on sprint speed).
Difficulty (out of five😭): 😭 😭 😭
Soreness factor: We are going to be sore, but it won’t stop us from our normal workouts tomorrow.
Overall grade (out of 5 💪): 💪 💪 💪 💪  — We knocked it down one point because while it was super easy to do on a track, it would be harder to do in a gym when you have to hop on and off the treadmill.

First impression: Alon was coming off some weekend speed work, and Rebecca was coming off running the Marine Corps Marathon the day before the workout. So it’s safe to say that neither of us was particularly pumped to get out on a cold morning to do a bunch of sprints. That said, we were kind of excited for the excuse to get out of gym and see if we had any box-jump game. Then again, with Rebecca’s penchant for falling while running, she was admittedly worried about the box jumps.

Afterwards: This was a fun workout! It really was a leg-burner (squats to lunges — ouch!), but each of the four rounds went by really quickly. We did our workout on the track at Franklin Field using some benches for the box jumps, single leg step-ups, and tricep dips. Rebecca’s sprint section looked more like a jog after the marathon. UPenn’s ROTC was on the track, so Alon got to test his speed against the young, strapping college kids (he passed scores of them) and Rebecca just aimed to not get lapped (she wasn’t). And success: Rebecca ended the workout without drawing blood or knocking any front teeth out. It’s a miracle.

About our testers: 

Rebecca Barber is the founder of the Rocky 50K Fat Ass Run, a just-for-fun 50K run that follows Rocky Balboa’s footsteps in Rocky II. She’s a 16x marathoner and 14x ultra marathoner, having started running when she was a kid. She’s an active volunteer with Back on My Feet Philadelphia, where she works to help the homeless community use running as a means to better their lives and find stable employment and housing. When not running all the miles, she is the social media coordinator for The Wharton School.

Alon Abramson is the founder of the West Philly Runners, the creator of – a web resource for running in Philadelphia – and the organizer of a number of running events in Philly, including the annual 26×1 Mile Team Marathon Relay, Beat the Bus, and Beat the Commute. Running since high school, Alon is an on-again, off-again runner with ebbs and flows to his mileage and commitment. More recently however, he’s taken a new approach to training, emphasizing cross-training and speed work as much as building up mileage and this has dramatically improved his running performance. When he’s not organizing and running, Alon works as a research project manager at Penn’s Institute for Urban Research, studying energy efficiency best practices. He’s on a number of non-profit boards and works on his whole-home retrofit project whenever there’s free time.

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