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Subject: RE: Sub 1:50 800m Training
In an 800 you reach VO2max around 500 or so and hold it for a while. But in the last 100m as you know you are gradually slowing down even though you are trying harder and harder.
Why do we slow down? Because racing generates heat and as heat production rises, there comes a point where enzyme reactions slow down, so you work harder to maintain the pace, but there has to be a point where the energy systems are shutting down, and this is very noticeable in the last few strides of an 800m race.
Why did Lydiard say that anaerobic work halts aerobic conditioning in the base phase? Well for a start he was using the words "anaerobic work" incorrectly. In a race such as an 800, you aren't "going anaerobic" the opposite is happening, the second lap is more aerobic than the first.
However, what he wanted his runners to do was to condition themselves to be able to handle lots of fast pace work several weeks later, and history and experience told him that the best way to do this was with a lot of mileage at slower paces in the base phase. That's not how I train, because I race all year round, but Lydiard was not in favor of this.
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