Where Your Dreams Become Reality
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Subject: RE: Sub 1:50 800m Training
Kind words, advocate...thanks
You have to do longer (ie 300-600m) speed endurance intervals at some point to get into 800m racing shape...no way else around it. We would start transitioning once per week to 5x300 cutting down to 800m race pace -- not a stand alone workout but something you just fit into an AM or after the tempo run when your legs are feeling numb. Eventually you do a specific workout...600-500-400-300-200-100 was a Seb Coe favorite and we copied him. for a 1:50 half miler you might do 1:25, 1:10, 55, 40, 25. jog what you just ran for recovery. very hard workouts were 95% effort 600m full recovery, 95% effort 400m, full recovery, then 5x200m. When we were ready to go (these are 144-146 half milers) we ran 1:15-1:17, 49, 20,28,26,24,22. None of us except for one had better than 47 relay leg 400m speed.
The two things that I look back at where the research seems irrefutable was that 1) we were in the sharpening phase too long, you really only need 4-6 weeks if you are working off the type of base we built; and 2) Tapering works probably once a season for a boost that lasts 10 days or so. Tapering should begin no more than 10 days before the day you want to peek and just involves stepping off the mileage 20% and reducing the volume of the quality work by 20%. I would cut out the tempo runs about 3-5 weeks before nationals, but that may have even been too long. Keep running the long run on Sunday -- its restorative. Good evidence to show that tapering actually works to give you a performance boost if you just reduce workload for 72 hours before a competition to fully heal up and to have your muscle energy stores fill and your blood volume surge a bit.
I think that the year should look something like 4 months of Base, 4 months of "Strength" -- power endurance, 2 months of Pace to Sharpening, 1 month -6 weeks peek competition, and 1 month active rest. Doesnt mean you cant race more but you are shooting for one main peek at the end of the season....
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