What is the difference between running 4-5x1000m with 1 min. rest at a 80% pace, vs. running a 15 min. tempo run at near the same pace? Are the benefits equal or do these work different systems?
Couple of things that i am seeing with the HS crowd particularly in the 800m this year.
1. They start hard speed work too early in the season...if you are starting track March 1 and have a state meet May 20th, you should be doing strength work with only a few 200-300s at the end until April 20th. Use your duel meets to train through and double-triple back if you are a state level person. Run the 3200m as your tempo!
2. Weather....if you dont live in Florida, Texas, or SoCal you dont really have a chance to run a good time until May, so DONT WORRY ABOUT IT. A guy who is going to run 1:56 should be running 2:01s right now if you are training correctly for a State Meet peak.
3. practice race tactics....keep yourself wide the first 200m to avoid boxes....DONT panic and make a big catch up move in the second 200m. If you have a backstretch wind NEVER make a big move into the wind. Start practicing changing gears twice....275m to go and 125m to go.
4. Stay healthy....sleeping, eating, hydration, stretching, massage.....all things you can do sitting in front of the Xbox, FB, etc
5. Visualization.....mentally rehearse....get to that point with 200m to go and remember the pain; and make that DECISION to go with the pack or change the gear upward....create a practiced "groove" in your mind to "fight" when you are posed with the "fight or flight" moment.
6. Talk with your coach...tell them what you are thinking and what you want to get done the next week....younger runners have a breakthrough and think they are going to improve in a straight line (it doesnt happen that way)...having a knowledgeable (like not your parents unless they are track coaches) sounding board to discuss short term goals is really good so you dont go into a race with an unrealistic expectation and get disappointed. If you run 2:05 one week and its a 5 second pr, tell your coach "I want to run 1:58 this week" and they can help you guage whether that is reasonable or not.
7. Keep training....make yourself uncomfortable. If you are a speed person run those repeat 800m. if you are a distance person coming down burst out the last one of the cutdowns...
I will belabor this point again....by the time you get to 600m you have used up most of your anaerobic power and are shifting to aerobic energy systems to try to maintain your speed. This is why 800m races are positive splits....you DONT want to have to accelerate late in the race since it consumes so much energy....(also why tactically you can beat a better runner by controlling and changing the pacing from the front....). It is how fast you can run when you are still breathing...feeling the distress in your lungs that will carry you in the last part of the race....so this is why most of your work needs to go to building your power in this stage.
You are interpreting the energy systems improperly. Yes longer efforts are more aerobic and shorter all out efforts are more anaerobic, but in an 800m or 1500m race it is the other way around. Because you are not going all out for the first 200m, you are actually mainly using the aerobic energy system.
The faster you go early in the race, the earlier you will create oxygen debt (this happens when you are expending more energy than you can supply with the aerobic energy system).
As you get into the race, and your debt grows, your body will start to use the anaerobic energy system. When you get to that 600m mark, you may start to feel the by-product of the anaerobic energy system - lactic acid (scientists are now telling us that it is not actually lactic acid that slows us down but hydrogen ions).
Therefore the more you train aerobically, the more you will delay the anaerobic system and thus delay the hydrogen ions from screwing up your muscles electrically. You can train your muscles to withstand the hydrogen ions, but this training is limited. you can increase your strength which will help you run at a higher pace, but if you keep the same intensity, you will still feel the lactic acid eventually.
The reason most great 800m runners run a lot of distance is because it is one of the best ways to delay the use of the anaerobic system. Of course form, better pacing, and natural speed will also help.
When an athlete trains at a very high intensity for example, 7 x 300m fast, they are increasing the body's ability to buffer the high acid state the muscles find themselves in during anaerobic exercise.
This is why the 800m is the most difficult race to coach. you need to develop all the systems of the body. 800m runners I've coached have done long runs in the fall (20k) and double runs all winter (mileage depends on how much they can handle). Toward spring, we speed up the distance runs and start lowering the volume. I like to keep up with double runs 3 or 4 times a week.
I believe you need to keep your speed all year around with fast access and sprints. hills should be a big part of an 800m runner's training. Once you get to the track, it is good to intersperse strength type intervals and work gradually to very fast shorter intervals.
Plyometic training a couple of times a week is key for 800m runners as they need very springy tendons.
One big mistake I see is coaches that do too much the week of the race. Ease off and run easy for 3days before the race.
i disagree with your interpretation of how the energy systems work in a race. The first system used is the CP system, then anaerobic glycolysis then lastly the aerobic system. The aerobic system can't generate the necessary amount of energy (ATP) to get the body moving as fast as it needs to in the first 200m.
Also i believe that the role of aerobic training in 800m though still incredibly important is misunderstood. All three energy systems are used at all times in the body during an 800m race (and really any activity) however the aerobic systems actually attributes less to the demands of the race in comparison to other systems (such as anaerobic glycolysis) Its more of a personal belief but I believe one's aerobic capacity affects the volume of training that they can stand (and subsequently through training things like peak lactacte production and lactate threshold) more so than it affects their actual race performance.
Just read the whole 60 odd pages.
Ran a 1:49.6 in May and looking to go 1:47 this time next year.
Currently working in Vietnam and building an aerobic base.
Never lifted a weight, ran up a hill, done any core, circuits or plyos.
Ran 3:51 1500m and 15.08 5k in April this year.
My aerobic side sucks and I need to develop much more leg power. (49.8 relay split)
Hopefully with all the notes i've made from this thread and with long term planiing for the first time I can get down to 1:47.
I've got the time, energy and patience. Lots of ingredients still to add and most of all what i consider my natural talent... being able to focus, form a strategy and be disciplined to carry it out.
Will update here monthly on the progress.
couple of months building into the volume and adding elements such as plyos, drills, strides, circuits, core and some basic weights and conditioning.
Tempo runs and longer sessions and short sprints.
Now upto about 55-60mpw with;
1 tempo/steady eg 6-7miles in ~35-40mins start at 6.20s down to 5.20s
1 longer session (3x2k, 2x3k or 6x1k all with strides)
1 plyo or short sprints
1 long run (60-70mins)
The rest just easy runs, double 3 times a week.
Vietnam really sucks and most is done on a 500m grass soccer fields or on dirty busy roads in tough heat and humidity.
Example week this past month;
M - AM 45, PM Circuits and Core (7)
T - Steady/Tempo 6.8miles 38mins (7)
W - AM 35, PM 35 + Weights/Core/Conditioning (10)
T - 3x2k with 5x120m strides between each set (6min cut down to 5.50s)(7)
F - AM 35, PM 30+ Core (9)
S - PM Plyos, drills and sprints (6)
S -72mins - 12miles exactly. Felt good so kept rolling. Must have been 5.30s/mile from about 9miles. (12)
Saturday just gone tried OldSub4 session of 1600,1200,800,600,400, 300, 200.
1609- 4:32 (2:16, 2:16)
1200- 2:21 @800m calf cramped! eased up
Messed it up on the 1200 but rest of the session not so bad.
Falling apart this week so taking a very easy week.
Love the Thread, some really great training advice. But I have one big question. What coaches in the collegiate ranks today use the methods discussed here? Obviously Gags did and does for his, but what about some college coaches?
*his club team
Coaches that use this type of regime ...
Centrowitz at AU
Lannana and his coaching staff at Oregon (Gags close friends)
Gina Procaccio at Villanova and O'Sullivan (Gina trained with Gags/Helmer)
Wetmore at Colorado (ran for Gags I believe)
Ron Helmer at Indiana (Coached with Gags)
....and I am certain there are others....
Greatest training thread in the history of letsrun needs a bump.
was a low 1:50's guy 3 years ago (consistently 1:51-1:53) Took 2.5 years off and gained 20 lbs. This thread has really inspired me due in large part to OldSub4's postings so i decided to start training again 4 weeks ago. Up until then i had only been doing about 2 runs per week for general enjoyment. Did 5x800 in 2:31-2:32 with 1:45 rest. Can definitely feel the effects of weight gain. Also did 4x(400,600,400,200) (1:45-2:00 rest and 4 mins between sets). Time averages were 68 for the 400's, 1:47 for the 600's, and 29 for the 200's. General speed has also diminished but aerobic endurance is surprisingly ok. will post back with more training. very excited to see how much i can get back by late spring especially with all the new tools i've added from this thread. I figure i may as well train hard while i can rather than regret it later when i can't.
that's an interesting question, I hope others will chime in. Of course there will be some outliers, but I believe that the vast majority of 800m runners will only reach their potential with regular weight/circuit sessions. I have not run under 1:50 and am not particularly talented (only had 56 relay split) but I don't belive I would have broken 2 if I had not done regular weight/circuit sessions. Typically for me I did 2 sessions a week focusing on high weight low rep exercises (3-4 reps @ > 80% max) and another session which was very low weight or bodyweight circuit training. over the session I could gather up close to 300-400 reps total of squats, lunges, stepups, and squat jumps. If you build into this type of work carefully I think it can aid in injury prevention and sustainable speed. I am curious as to what others have to say.[/quote]
I've coached many sub 1:50 600m runners, and they all lifted weights.[quote]loki wrote:
Want to get this this thread going again. I read a lot of the pages and got some good stuff from Oldsub4 about some of his training weeks during this time of the yr.
Would like to get some more examples of what kind of training and what energy system workouts i could be doing right now.
Also, to OldSub4.. i was wondering if i contacted you via e-mail and gave you some detailed info about my experience and what i have run if you could help create a training plan for me. I'm willing to pay if that would be required. thanks
Bump for high school training to go sub-2.