not a track coach plz wrote:
Wow, that's amazing, I always thought penultimate means next to last.
Then why would you type "the 3rd 200 is where you gather yourself for the penultimate 200 which is usually the fastest"? That makes zero sense....the 3rd 200 IS the penultimate 200!!
Also, you know nothing about 800m running if you think the 3rd 200 of a race is the fastest lol.
I actually know quite a bit about the 800; I ran it and coached it for a combined 26 years. Personally, I never won an NCAA individual championship and never made a national team, but I've done just about everything else short of that. For nearly 2 decades, I've had the pleasure of watching athletes I coached (coach of record -or worked with) at some level compete in H.S. National meets, NCAA and even global championships.
Here we go, a classic 800m race...
1. Get out as fast as you need to positon yourself; the first 50 meters is a controlled sprint. You should be in position by the time you reach the first straight. Your position could be in the lead, mid-pace or the rear, it depends your qualities and what you expect to accomplish. You want to hit the 1st 200 about a second faster than the 2nd 200 and your 1st 400 should be about 2 seconds faster than your 2nd 400. Always be aware of your 400m split, which if you are right on it, it should give you confidence that your race plan is in effect. If you got out too fast, see it as a sign of big PR, but you can't slow down, because you can't get back what's already been put into your legs.
2. 'If possible', don't make any hard moves in the first 400. Only make a subtle move if necessary in the 3rd 200 if runners are slowing down and blocking your path to the leaders. 'Only make one hard move in a race.'
3. The first 400 should feel like you just ran a 400, but no so hard that you can't keep going. Maintain your speed and position through the 400 to 500 and stride down the backstretch from 500-600. You should not purposely slow down, but make a slight break from your sprint posture by opening up your stride. Some people call it striding down the final backstretch or gathering yourself.
5. At the 600, make your first and only hard move and begin your push for home. From 600-700 you should be practically flat out as hard as you can.
6. Coming off the final turn, at around 710, you should be lactic. Fight off fatigue by maintaining your form, lift, pump your arms and fight for each step to the finish line.
...every athlete and every race is different, but this is classic 800 racing
Let me know if you have any question?