New Topic, Same Subject....
Same dozen guys or so ranting on this thread, but I have to admit I have learned alot about the physiology surrounding the general training regime. Hopefully this will be read by more people/coaches/athletes as I think it is important. We have too many guys running 1:48 out there who could make it to the next level but dont. There are another 6 Nick Symmonds out there I am convinced who should re-stack the US at the international level.
How fast do you need to be?
I dont think you need to be a 47 quarter miler in high school to be considered, but you probably need to have run a 50 or so. Like I said my top end 200 speed was around 21.7, but I think I had a little more front end speed than a number of guys. If you are a real 800m man with fast and slow twitch you can take 22 200m speed and run a 47 quarter off that. With 47 speed you can go out in 50 from the gun and feel comfortable enough to compete over the last 400m. If you are much slower than this I dont know if you can be on the pace at an international level. When I was in HS i was amazed by anyone who could run under 50, but particularly for late growers, your 400 speeds really keeps improving with age and with training until you are probably 21....even Michael Johnson dropped a few seconds in his 20s. So if you are a 51 second 400m man in HS you should absolutely be encouraged to shoot for the moon if you have the gumption to take up 800m training.
WILL THEY DO THE TRAINING
Too many incredible athletes with all the tools flat out wont do the training. They come up with every excuse in the book (I cant run distance, I am more of a sprinter, etc) NOT to do the gruelling, hard, distance pace work and tempos that sculp your middle striding gears. It does take commitment and it can be demoralizing....plus you roll the dice on wear-down injuries. But if you are a post collegiate athlete my philosophy is --what do you have to lose? If you are not going to be competitive internationally find that out and go have another life! Running 1:45 high and finishing 6 at Nationals is a wonderful feat for one year, but not for 4 straight.
Depending on your build, training capacity, and desire...everyone should keep pushing up an event if they feel limited by their speed. 800m is a wonderful event--the toughest in my book since you are never running faster out of lanes--but the 1500m is a really fast race as well with more tactics and more time to race. The training is so similiar you will barely notice and you can be so much more competitive.
It is all about preparation and relaxation. Nothing worse than feeling unprepared and dreading how terrible you are going to feel at the end in horrendous oxygen debt throwing up. I did it all through HS and racing was SO MUCH EASIER WHEN YOU ARE IN BETTER GENERAL CONDITION. You feel more confident, you run more relaxed, and that lets you run faster times. Someone posted about how they needed an occassional speed workout every 3 weeks and i have to agree -- the training needs to be patient (your coach should take responsibility for this) but also give you the milestones you need to feel confident and encouraged.
We havent even addressed this, but remember that you are running 3 tough races in about 5 days....Coe was great at addressing this. In the OT in 1992 I ran good races day one and in the Qtrs but on day 3 I was destroyed and did not recover...luckily my whole extended family globally got to see me blow up on Global TV in the Semi. I did great for me that year but I realized I hadnt done the work to keep moving on...