Blame it on the pain wrote:
I am a post-collegiate 800m runner who is running on the club level and trying to improve my times.
My dilemma is as follows:
Last year, I decided to move up to the 800 and as a result, did more distance oriented training. I got fitter than ever before aerobically, but simultaneously felt as though I lost all of my speed. I continued to do strides, 200's, etc. but couldn't hit the times that I ran with more speed oriented training. For instance, my split on the 4 x 400 relay was 3 seconds slower than the previous year! And I couldn't come within 4 seconds of my 800 PR. Could this have been the result of having too many miles in my legs or being aerobically underdeveloped? Running higher mileage, I always felt fatigued and dead-legged, but I wasn't anemic, as I had my iron levels checked several times. The long run of 8-10 miles seemed to take the most out of me.
This fall, I cut back on my mileage and started adding drills, sprints, and hills religiously to try and get that pop back in my legs. I am also lifting weights and doing lots of core exercises. I feel much better, but don't know if I should add anything else to my routine?
My training week looks like this:
Day 1 - 1 mi wu, drills, plyo's, 10 x 100m, 2 mi cd, weights
Day 2 - 5 miles medium hard
Day 3 - Longer Interval Workout, i.e. 3 x 8 min, mile repeats, 5 x 1000m, etc., weights
Day 4 - Long Run of 6-8 miles
Day 5 - 5 mile run with something fast worked in or at the end like strides, fartlek, and weights
Day 6 - easy 4 mile run
Day 7 - Hills (in fall -- 2 sets of 6 x 300 or 250m hill with easy jog recovery)
Thanks for any help.
I think you are correct to make certain you are working the shortest end phase....hills/short sprints, etc...this will help you feel better at speed.
If I was weighing in I would like to see a bit more structure at working the tiers of your aerobic system so that you are getting more challenged at LT pace and beyond. I would make certain that you had One day per week where you were doing 20-30 minutes steady -- it should be gruelling, not just hard. One day per week you should be doing 1000s or 800s if you are coming up from the 400....repeat miles are tough year one. Make certain you are cutting down. If you want to get under 1:50 try starting out as a bellweather workout running 5*800m with 400 jog in 240,235,230,225,220.... Over a 12 week period keep pushing the times down and keeping a little more honest pace on the recovery. You should be able to get down to 225,220,215,210,205 at some point and feel your stride start to smooth out and your ability to hold pace at "overdrive" better. If you are able to do this while working the pure top end speed with hills/strides/weights/drills you will have a decent part of your 800m worked out -- ie the first 18 seconds CP portion, and the last 300m aerobic strength lactic acid tolerance portion.
As we have suggested, save the anaerobic work for the last 10 weeks pre peek. 300s with short rest so the CP doesnt replenish, or repeat 600s so you can really stimulate that system.
More than anyone, it is important for people moving up to practice gear changing since it is more rarely a part of 400m or 400ih....try 3 times 800m where you run first 200 in 26, middle 400 in 75-80, and last 200 in 26-28...at first you will suck on the last 200 but you will figure out how to speed up when you are suffering. Make certain you concentrate on changing gears in one or two strides -- you dont get much time to react in an 800