is doing a long run every week really that vital to becoming faster in the 800...ive been doing them in college lately and i still haven't come close to my best time that i did in high school(never did long runs in HS)...discuss
singling out the long run is not a very good conclusion. you went from high school. surely, other things are different. how does your training in college compare to your training in high school? (mileage, base, workouts, cross training, weekly layout, etc)
Lydiard would say that the long run is very important. Daniels, if I remember correctly, would have you running for less time but at a faster pace; the thing is, it is still a "long" run relative to the rest of the week's workouts.
Maybe, if you mean 30-45' long runs. Look,if you are one of the best in the NCAA, the race lasts less than 110 seconds (IAAF list is 1:46+), and the real question is how strong are you after a fast opening 400m, not how strong are you after jogging two hours.
Elias Koech ran a 45.5 relay split this weekend. I don't need to know anything more about his training this weekend. I can tell you he's in 1:14 600m shape, and heading towards the 1:44's. And I can tell you his progress in the event while at UTEP is directly proportional to his improvement on the 4x400 relay. Now 800m runners are not all the same; some need more this or that to run their best. Some need less. You have to find your own way.
Do you need stamina to succeed in the 800m? Yes.
Do you need long runs? No.
i found that doing a consistent (i.e 4-6 months) hour long run on sundays with the last 30 min at an increasingly faster pace made me a lot stronger.
this would usually end up being 10+ miles, if you consider that a long run, but it was my realtive long run (about 20-25% of my weekely mileage). I felt pretty invincible later on in the season, and even when i was peaking and most of my workouts were at 54-55s/400m pace, i still would do a faster 50-60 min run on sundays to touch on some aerobic work. it also improved my 1500 vastly (about 8 seconds). I don't feel like it hurt my speed at all, i could still split a 47 for 400.
Not sure who said it, but i agree. something along the lines of "slow running doesn't hurt your speed, not doing speedwork hurts your speed." There's no reason you can't still do a quality aerobic/threshold run every week and still do some quality speedwork. In fact, I'd say it's essential to run a fast 800.
...And at 90sec into the race 91% of his energy is coming from aerobic sources, so he'd better have a good amount of aerobic fitness.
Look at the all-time 800m list for men. Nearly 40 of the top 50 were endurance-based 800m runners, and were better at 1500m than they were at 400m. You'd be hard pressed to find many that didn't run at least 70mi/wk and put in 70-90min long runs.
ask the kid who out kicks you in the last 200m your next race, he'll probably know...
The overall "aerobic" contribution is a function of race duration. If running an 800m takes you 101 hours, that's one thing, and if it takes 101 seconds, that's another. The faster you go, the more important the oxygen independent energy production.
Here's a link to more accurate information, as the 91% figure is misleading:
Kipketer (WR 800m) actually had poorer stamina than Coe.
Coe (#2 all-time 800m) actually had poorer stamina than most 800/1500 runners.
Cruz (#3 all-time 800m) had poorer stamina than does Webb.
Neither Kipketer, Coe, or Cruz ran heavy mileage.
Bungei and Borz (both among the very best all-time)?
I'd say these guys are actually more notable for their disdain of slow paced training and 45 relay speed. Both of course have peak blood lactate levels over 25 mmol.