Guys, thanks for contributing to this huge tread.
I have a question.
I have done a good base training period. With medium high milage and something similar to 5 pace training. Now while I think I have the base plan figured out I am still unsure how to train in the summer (in the weeks before important competion) Can you guy recommend me some good 800m session during the competition phase?
I was thinking something like this over a 14 day cycle:
600-500-400-300-200-100 (1500m-800m pace)
10x100m (400m pace)
400-300-200-200( 800m pace)
4x800m good speed, long rec. (3kpace)
4 sets x 3x200ms. 30sec rep recovery. 6min set rest. (800m pace)
Pleasy qriticue this summer schedule. Thanks.
Guys, thanks for contributing to this huge tread.
I've skimmed through many pages of this thread. There is a lot of great information on here.
I would love some help from OldSub4 or anyone else who has coached/trained with "elite" 800m runners. By no means am I elite, but I have goals of going sub 1:50 like many of the posters in this thread.
I've began training this month, to peak by May 2014. My focus from now until the end of August is to slowly build up my mileage to around 55 MPW. I'm currently sitting pretty at about 20, and my lifts are going fine.
What I am confused about is what sort of track workouts I should be doing during this period (June-end of August). I'm doing shorter mileage 3x a week, and 1 long run per week as of now. I'm going to include TEMPO runs in the next week or so, but what sort of workouts would one do on the track at this time?
Maybe I skimmed too much of the thread and didn't pay attention, but I haven't really seen much on this. Should I be doing 200s this early/hill sprints?
Thanks, and good luck!
From what I understand from reading trough this tread, 4-6 weeks until peaking you need to do some harder anaerbic intervals. 2 hard sessions pr week+1 speed session on track (120s?) Rest is easy runs+1 longer run.
The 2 other days might be:
600-400-3x200m 8 min rec between the 600-400 and first 200m
5x300m with 4 min rec.
4x400m with 5 min rec.
600-500-400-300-200-100. Rec same as running distance.
If other readers of this tread have picked up some other things please report.
I've got a few questions about this last 3+ weeks leading up to the season peak.
1. is there any lifting at this time of year?
2. assuming this is an 800 specialist, there isn't that much real speed work, and by this I mean say 200 training or speed development. Has this happened at other stages of the preparation? There is this 10 days before the heats (2x5x100m @11.5 90sec and 5min rec). I guess that might be close to flat out. There is 4 x 150s @ 400 pace 3 days before the heat. How important do you consider it for an 800 runner to get the runner's outright speed up?
3. Was it a concern doing an 800 race only 5 days before the naationals heat?
4. The aerobic work seems to stop about 2 weeks before the race. You don't seem to do much overdistance stuff leading up to the race (say 800s at 2-3km speed). You don't seem to do much short recovery stuff, with even the 100s having a 90" rest. Is this for this athlete, or something you use for others running 800s?
5. How hard are the 30-40 min runs that stop about 10 days before the race? Is there an element of a tempo run in these?
Appreciate any responses.
Let me start by saying that I by no means think I’m an authority on coaching 800m. I come on here like everyone else – to learn more about the event and OldSub4 has been very helpful is sharing his knowledge and shaping some of my views. Along with the other 5000 articles I’ve read on the event (I think I’m a little obsessed)!
Just a quick overview of the goals for the season, as it might help explain a lot of questions. We have always had the goal of gradual progression. It’s always a lot easier to train harder and do more, than it is to hold back and be patient. He missed a bulk of last season with a stress fracture in his femur, so we didn’t want a repeat of that this year.
Basic goals for the season;
-Stay injury free
-Win Nationals (peak at the right time)
-Put yourself in a position to win every race you enter regardless of the distance.
1. Lifting was done twice a week and stopped about 3-4 weeks before Nationals. We have a strength and conditioning coach take the lead on the program as he has a lot more knowledge in relation to this than I do. Basic Olympic lifts and a small amount of plyo’s.
2. I’d like to do a bit more speed work (not much quicker than 400m pace), but didn't want to risk injury, so keep it to a bare minimum. That said, he ran a few rep 200’s in 22.5 without that much effort and would do a fast 120m as a part of the warm up before most track sessions. Yes, speed is very important.
3. There a number of races that you have to do in Australia to be in line for selection. The race 5 days before Nationals was one of them. So it was part of the plan for the year and we really didn’t see it as a major concern.
4. We did keep a few endurance type sessions in like the 3x5min and 12x60sec. Normally we’d do 8x2min reps on the grass- again, this has been progressing over the years.
5. Off day runs are normally between 4:00-4:15 km pace, so nothing special. He only did his first ever tempo run 4 weeks ago and this was only 20min at about 5:10 mile pace. Just like speed, yes I think endurance is very important, but just running more mileage is not always the only way to achieve this.
I believe if you want to run a good 800 (1:43) you need to be able to run 46 point and 3:35 (+ or – either side), so the training has to reflect these requirements and that is what we are slowly working towards.
Let me start by saying that JRinaldi is an excellently qualified elite coach, has already coached national champion level athletes down under, and should be sought out by the Aussies and Kiwis trying to get A Standards. He absolutely understands exactly what is needed to run 3:34 and 1:44. Nuff said
Secondly, Agree that lifting, all auxiliary work is tapered off by 4-6 weeks pre championships....then the work you are doing on the track is so intense that you need to have your body's nervous systems focused on that session and none other.
Also echoing JRs thesis RE "Bracketing" --you must be at a decent level is the events below and above yours to truly achieve. I see so many 400-800 folks just dissolve when they have to run a tactical race or get through rounds. I will bet against them any time, other than the every-so-often freaks of nature (Mark Everett).
For runner starting summer work --dont get on the track...just get your mileage up, get a core routine started and then gradually up to 3-4 times per week, start weights, start drills....but dont add more than one thing per week....this should take you 12 weeks to blend all in before adding your first tempo and grass interval sessions in Sept.
I do love this sport and helping folks get better. Happy to answer anyone (even trolls) who ask questions....
Thanks for taking the time for the detailed response.
I've got a question about your 20/21yo 800 runner.
I note he hasn't been pushed when young, and is only now starting tempo runs. There is a lot of merit and common sense in bringing along young athletes slowly.
However then you look at Kitum and Amos, 18-19yos who won Olympic medals in the 800 last year. They are presumably training like fully fledged grown-ups, or close to it. Even Mary Cain would be doing a whole lot more than other girls who have just turned 17, and close to what a lot of adults do.
So is there anything wrong with pushing along 18/19yos hard? Why bring them along slowly to peak at 23-28, when they could be winning Olympic medals at 18? We'll see if Amos and Kitum improve (that's assuming Kitum and the other Kenyan who ran 1.44 at World Youths 2 years ago really were under 18).
This is by no means a criticism of how you are approaching this athlete's development. However, I wonder what you have to say about the other school of thought. If you have a talented 15yo, then why not gradually bring in more mileage, tempo runs and other hallmarks of senior training over say an 18-24 month period, so by the time they are 17-18 they are at 85-90% of where an adult should be (training wise)?
To partly answer my own question, there would have to be an element of tailoring, that some things work better for some than others. For example, I might not know that you've tried some of this before and he's broken down, so you've been forced into a softly softly approach.
I also have a question about your last line, about an 800 specialist having to be good at both 400 and 1500. Obviously there are different types of 800 runners, 8/15 types, 4/8 types, and 8 specialists. Do you think Rudisha could go 3.35?
And I know this sounds silly, but:
- if you want to run a fast 400, you have to be able to run a good 200
- if you want to run a good 200, you have to be able to run a good 100
- if you want to run a fast 100, you need to work on speed development etc
And on the other side:
- if you want to run a fast 1500, you have to be able to run a good 2 mile and 5km
- if you want to run a good 2 mile and 5km, then you need 90 min runs, tempos and mileage and a strong 10km
So where do you draw the line? You can't train someone like both Bolt and Farah.
Sorry to pick your brain, but I'm trying to toy with these philosophical issues myself, with a talented kid who looks like he'll end up an 800 specialist (and more a speed one). "He's falling behind the other kids who are doing more mileage". "He's getting pushed too hard". "He needs to focus on his speed for now". "He needs to improve his vo2max". "He should be playing other sports". "He shouldn't be playing other sports and should be specialising in running now".
You can't listen to what everyone says and have to work it out for yourself. I'm still learning, but one thing I did learn last year that when his 400 is good, it makes a difference to how relaxed he can run a fast first lap.
bump. this is one of my favorite threads
Oldsub 4 or others
Should I do 2 anerobic workouts (300m-600m)+1 speed workout during the 4-6 weeks of summer training?
An also, in base training, if the weather does not permit me to do the hill sprints, would 120m flat on the track be a good option?
I ran 1:53 last night going out with 26 - 54 - 68 - 1:22 I felt great at 600m but simply died after 650 it was like I hit a wall and ran 1:53.
This was my 3rd race since HS after 2 years of injuries I started running again a little over 6 month ago at the end of december. Between september and december I just did a few runs 6x1000m sometimes but no real base work just trying to start if off slowly.
I was fairly disappointed overall.
Last monday I did 500-400-300 in 67 53 25 all low, with the wind blowing like crazy. 15mins rest in between. My coach had me do easy runs and my pre race routine for the rest of the week.
Now my question is what would you guys do. This is the first year with this coach so I don't know how confident I am here. I don't know if it is my aerobic base or if I am just very lactate intolerant or what. What kind of workouts would you recommend now what do you think would help me go under 1:50 which I think is tough but reasonable. I have 6 weeks until I want to peak.
If you need more information regarding my training please ask. Thanks for helping me out.
This thread should get a sticky. For every distance runner it is really an awsome source of information.
The good news is that you have had so few races. The general consensus is that one's best 800 is usually the 5th or 6th of the season, so you do have plenty of time.
Coincidentally, one of my guys ran 26,53, 1:21 and felt great all the way to 700 before blowing up. The guy behind him at 700 finished in 1:50.
So my advice to my own guy is the same as to you- this was our second race, so its ok to be frustrated, but it will come.
This week we will run;
600,300,200 @ 1:24, 42,27, with 60 sec rest; 10 min then
400,200,200 @ 55,27,27. with 60 sec rest.
Next week the big workout will probably be either 2 sets of [email protected] with 60 sec rest or 3 sets of [email protected] with 60-90 rest.
I watched some elite guys run 1:18,30 on the weekend, so it is clear in all cases that it is the last 200 that causes the problem.
If you are concerned about maintaining base, you can cruise [email protected]:00-6:10
as part of a workout once a week.
Good luck and keep posting.
Just a bit more back ground on Alex, which might help explain things a little better;
I first started coaching Alex when he was 15 and he was already a huge talent 1:54 @14, but he came to me with a stress fracture and was already doing a lot of intense training. So, I pulled back on both e volume and intensity and just focused on doing the bare minim to get by (about 25km per week). He ran 1:50.63 after 6 months and finished 2nd as a 15 year old in our U20 Nationals. Over the next few year, we only made small increases to the volume (no more than 10km per week) and his times progressed along with it; 1:[email protected] 1:[email protected] 1:[email protected], but shortly after that 1:46 (Mar 11) he developed another stress fracture and missed the remainder of the Australian season before we really started any serious 800m type training). Over the following winter we built up the mileage to around 60-70km per week and he made big gains in his aerobic capabilities, but was again struck down with another stress fracture (in his femur) and missed about 12-13 weeks at the start of our summer season. Off 6 weeks of training he came 2nd at Nationals and ran 1:47.55 a few weeks later (still only 19 at this point in time).
After this, the main goal was to get thru a whole winter and summer without an injury, so we kept the mileage at that 60-70km range and had a good season this summer running pb’s over 400 and 1500 and winning Nationals….so big tickets. As already discussed, since then, we’ve added some tempo runs, plus increase some of the volume of the sessions (up to 8km ) and I’m confident that he’ll run a pb when he races in Europe come July (prob around 1:45.5). Program below
Agree, it’s hard when you see guys like Amos and Kitum running amazing times at such a young age (if they really are that age) and even seeing Mary Cain doing what she is doing is incredible – but at the other end of the spectrum Symmonds was 28, Solomon 27 when they ran their 1:42’s and Coe was 25 when he ran his 1:41, so there is an argument either side. Given Alex’s back ground, the safe bet is to err on the side of caution…or now.
Alex is one of those athletes that you hate to train with – you can keep up and even beat him in workouts, but then he comes and blows your door off in a race. I’m sure we’ve all trained with guys like this before. I only ever ran 1:47/3:40 and Alex hasn’t been able to match any of the times I ran in training, but he 1.4 seconds quicker than I ever was. I know which athlete I'd rather be.
Re Rudisha, well he is very very good at 400 (I’m sure he’d run around 44.5 in peak shape), but I also believe that he can run about 3:34 at the same time (I’m sure Vent has some crazy formula to work out what he could run with wabbits if he stayed in lane one the while way!) So, I think you just need to be good at either side of your event and not too much beyond that. There is only so many sessions you can fit in to a week.
OK, this is getting a little too long- sorry
Alex’s basic program for the last few weeks (mini base in prep for Europe)
Mon – 5km WU + 2x6x150(50j) @ 25.5/24/22.5/21/19.5/18sec with 4min between sets. 5km WD (run in racing flats, not spikes) Basically starting at 68 pace and finishing in 48 pace. The 50m jog takes about 35 sec.
Tues – 4km WU + 10x800 on the 3min recovery (so if you run 2:20, you get 40sec rec) + 2km WD (on a bike path, not the track)
Wed – 45min (10.5km) + Gym
Thu – 4km WU + 6x600m Hills with jog back rec (about 3:30) getting quicker each rep (1:50 down to 1:35) + 2km WD
Fri – Gym only, no running
Sat – 4km WU + 6km tempo run (20min) + 3km CD
Sun – 16km (61min)
Thanks again for the reply.
Those are serious jnr times. 1.54 at 14? How big/developed was he?
What's a lot of intense training for a 14yo?
1.46 at 18?
Hi, uhm I'm antonie and I'm from RSA. I'm currently in 10th grade and started training in 9th grade. I wanna know, can I become an accomplished runner if I keep training until my mid 20s like you. My pb at the moment is 2:17, but I've only run it twice. In the summer we run shorter stuff like 200s, 300s, 400s. In the winter our coach let's us run far and do strengh workouts because we do cross country in winter. So can I push for maybe olympics if I keep training till my mid 20s??
OldSub4 how much upper body work would you advise? In the last 150m-200m of every 800, my upper body is killing me and my form is gone. And how can I improve my 400 speed? I can only run about a 52 and 24, and I can feel the lack of speed endurance hurting my times. Thanks
Congrats to both u and Alex on reaching the world champs semi-finals in his first attempt at a major championships!Anything that you and Alex have learnt from the experience that will bring about changes in training? good luck in the future
i echo these sentiments. What a terrific run from Alex! He certainly appeared comfortable at that level and will only improve. What happens now JR? Is it simply a matter of gradually increasing volume/intensity or are there clearly areas that he must focus on to make that next step.
Sorry Guys missed seeing the last few posts re Alex and his runs at the World Champs.
Quick update. We did a solid block of training after our Nationals here in Australia and he was in great shape before we departed. The first 6 weeks was as I outline above in an earlier post, then we started adding in some speed endurance sessions @800m pace and quicker. As per normal, we still kept one longer session (8x2min) going every week right up to the last 10 days before World Champs.
The one session that showed me he was ready to run very well was one that I borrowed (stole) from Johnny Gray and KD;
15min WU + Drill + Strides
2x400m (with 300 jog) @51/52
3 laps jog
6x150m (50 jog) @5km pace in flats
2 laps jog
2x400m (with 300 jog) @51/51
3 laps jog
6x150m (50 jog)
2 laps jog
2x400m (with 300 jog) @51/50
3 laps jog
1x150m builds up
Races in Europe and World Champs.
Alex hit the ground running and ran a big PB in his first race. We were based on Cologne and were within driving distance of every race. We arrived a week before the first race and had time to fit in one solid workout before the race (2 sets of 300,300,200 @race pace with 45sec rec). I was speaking to Alex’s manager before his first race and said that I thought he was in 1:45.5 shape and I was pretty close.
1:45.44 PB (46) 2 Buyle Oordegem 6 Jul
1:48.64 4 Naimette-Xhovémont 10 Jul
1:46.01 3 KBC Heusden 13 Jul
1:45.77 4 Rasschaert Ninove 27 Jul
1:45.96 4h5 WC Moskva 10 Aug
1:45.80 6s1 WC Moskva 11 Aug
Of the 6 races he ran, 5 of them were is fastest times ever and apart from that 2nd race, he was very consistent. It was funny watching him after each race waiting to get his picture taken with Charles Jock, Ryan Martin, Mark Wiz, Felix Kitur..etc – all guys that we watch on flotrack over the last few years. I’m sure most of you have seen these races on flotrack – they have large fields 13+ starters and everyone gets out pretty quick. We worked on getting out for the first 200 in around 24.7 to get in a good spot. Even with that fast start, Alex kept finding himself towards the back of the field and was left running in lane two for most the race. I’m sure he was ready to run about 1:44.8 if he had of found a clean race. He just missed out on getting a run in London and I’m sure he would have run sub 1:45 there had the opportunity presented itself.
World Champs went well and I was extremely proud of the way he handled himself there and ran as if he belongs in that company. The semi went exactly as we had planned – sit at the back on the rail for the first 500m and then put yourself in a position to qualify. He end up 6th and that is probably exactly where he is at at the moment. 13th over all in your first major champs is a great start and a good platform to build from.
We are not going to change too much in terms of training this year. Another 12 months of exactly the same work will yield better results. Staying injury free is always the major key. That said, we will spend a lot of time working on his form and his ability to get out quick with as little effort as possible. Couple that with just getting out further that the previous years on the 8x2min reps (we just run out and back when we run this sessions, so the aim is just to get out further that you did previously) and we should see some good results. The one area he really needs to work on is between 600-700m. Thanks to the 100m splits at the WC’s we can see that is the area where he lost ground on those who qualified. I think that will come with the confidence that he can start kicking at 200 to go rather than waiting for the last 100m.
OK, post is getting way too long sorry. Thanks for the support.