If it helps support your cause, 3 x 400m at 800m pace with about a 4 minute jog between reps is a very common workout I prescribe for 800m runners as they close in on their peak race. I find it highly effective!
i'll be doing some time trials soon. they are called 800m races, to end off the season, and i hope to change my letsrun handle then. :) why is the 600 tt the way to go? 3x400 is the plan. i'll save the 'one timer' for the races, or else i risk racing too much. now you are going to get me started on the lydiard time trial concept....oh no.....
As to why a 600 time trial, because it would be a reasonable indicator of what sort of pace you could hold for the full distance. Running the distance itself is also another approach. Personally, I'd rather have a 600 tt under my belt at race pace than a session of 3x400 at race pace as the 600 is more like a race.
If, on the other hand, you've had success with the 3x400s in the past, I wouldn't tell you to change it, although I might ask how you're defining success.
If a runner does 3 x 400m at 800m race pace with a moderate recovery 3-5 minutes, the last rep will feel just like it does in a race - very hard in terms of lactic acidosis. The average of those reps is is very close to what most middle distance runners can do in a full 800m race. Thus, it serves a similar purpose as doing a 600m time trial, but it is double the volume of training. Tinman
thank you tinaman and hre for your ideas. the way i see it, 600 tt is like "gee i wonder if i'm ready for that pb 800, i'll do a 600 and see". but the 3x400, just as tinman describes, is a really good peaking / training session - something that DIRECTS me towards that 800, rather than "testing" myself for testing sake. i'm sure the 600 has training value, but the 3x400 is much better imho. i have to say the idea of these time trials makes me shake my head. train, then race. don't race in training.
nobby i was agoodvictorian for a couple of posts before i decided on 1:49. i know skuj post here but i am not him.
I have helped Knut Kvalheim with coaching theory and methods, yes, because he is genuinely open to understanding the "why" of training as well as the "how" of training. I haven't gone into excruciating scientific depth with him, which can be boring to some people, but, rather, I explained the general meaning behind the approaches and gave examples.
It has always been my goal to explain or clarify in simple terms so that more people can benefit, not just science geeks.
*It seems that one has a choice between coaching as a dictator and coaching as a teacher / facilitator. I choose the latter and that is why I explain, not just tell someone to do something. Later, when I am not around, they can make informed and intelligent decsions for themselves. They become self-directed. Thereafter, they can teach others ... and the cycle continues.
Tinman, I think you gave coach Kvalheim a appropriate advise of changing recovery jog of, what's her name, Suzanne?, from 100m to 200m (when performing 200m repeats). I think she would be much better off doing them that way. Arthur would have been proud.
My oldest son ran for his middle school track team this spring. They had all of three meets and he'd won the 800 in the first two with times of 2:43 and 2:39. He wanted to run in the low 2:30s for the last meet and wanted to go to the track on the Saturday before that race (on Tuesday)and have a go at running an 800 in that range.
I told him that was too much too close to the race and wanted him to do a 600 time trial in 1:54. But I knew that he was looking for "proof" that he could run in the low 2:30s and that a 600 wouldn't convince him. So we settled for a 700 in 2:12. When he was done, I asked him if he had another 100 in him and he knew that he did. He got 2:33.8 in the race.
I could have had him do 3x400 in 75-76, but I thought running at his race pace for most of his race distance would be a better indicator. If I'd trained him for a whole season I'd have alternated time trials at 500-600-700, but I wouldn't have sent him out for intervals at precise times or distance. In fact, I'd have been more inclined to have him do fartlek as I think it better adheres to Arthur's ideas about just developing a big oxygen debt and stopping.
A lot of that thinking was inspired by the Tayler story mentioned above. But another part of the Tayler story is a 5,000 time trial that he did a couple of weeks before the BCG 10,000 where he ran 13:42.
The 5k time trial Tayler ran looks like it was close to his 10k pace, did he plan to run at that pace or just went by effort.
Again, things all depends. When you do your first time trial of the season and you're not quite sure where you are, you don't want any pre-determined lap times. You just run and see where you are; not just time-wise but also your stamina and speed ratio.
In the case for Tayler, I'm sure Arthur and Dick both knew pretty much where he stood; I believe they were shooting for 27:50 with his PR at the time being 28:20. That's a lot of improvement but they knew he could do it. That final time trial--which by the way, as I recall, was a week before the final???--was more or less reassurance as well as giving his body certain stimulus for the race; to keep him race-sharp. I don't think he was particularly shooting for that particular time. Remember, especially that close to the race, you cannot squeeze certain time. "Time" will become a psychological burden if you try to achieve it or stick to it. As HRE said it before (though the content was different), let the time find you. If you've done all your homework, and you'd hope that you have, the time will come to you. If you're not ready, all the mental strength and positive thinking will not get you anywhere. Especially, if you try to prove it a week before the race, it will only become a psychological burden; believe me.
The trial took place 10 days before the 10k final. He actually PRed by 2 seconds with 13:40. "I could hardly believe how easy it was and I had plenty in reserve at the end," he said.
And that, I think was the point. Had he run 13:50 or 13:35 and felt the same, he'd have known that he was capable of sub 27:50, though he might have not known how sub or even if he'd get to that time in a particular race.
4x400 today went 53-56-55, i started a little too quick. so i really backed off on 2, and 3 was good - just 2min rests. coach sais the next workou is 600 plus 4x150, and the 600 will be at close to goal 800 pace. i guess this is similar to a lydiard tt but not quite an all out 600 of course, i'll be holding back, saving energy for an 800 race 3 days later. i should add that my goal is 1:49, not my current pb. i like this thread a lot, but it really has shown me that i am really a fan of mr daniels and his approach. i like exactitudes. i want clear defined goals in training because lets face it, when you toe the line for a race, there must be a clear defined goal. that story about tayler, as good as he was, does not speak to me at all, but i understand that lydiardites love that 'freedom', and good for them. that's just not me though. in this thread i keep seeing things like 'keep it simple' or don't bother with all those numbers and paces and all, but in my world, there is a reason for all that stuff, and i enjoy it. i have a feeling that those lydiardites who do really well, they actually 'stumbled' upon these scientific things accidentally. ie they hit the right zones in the right amounts without really thinking too much about it.
i meant 3x400, not 4x400.
Good luck in your race!
Your comment about exactness (pace precision) is what I enjoy too. As a coach, I have found that it does work very well - if one is realistic and uses paces concurrent with one's ability.
Some people, on the other hand, prefer to not be pinned down to a time. Perhaps they want freedom to do whatever inspires them. That is ok. n such cases, I give them verbal guidlines, such as "run the reps at a strong but not hard effort - a level 3 on a 4 scale."
What I find is if they do use the description to guide them, even in just a handful of workouts, they understand more what is the goal and how must stress is realistic. They end up hitting close to the times I would normally give them. Without the scale of effort there is a good chance that runners fail to become consistent because their competitive drive pushes to run harder and faster. The result in overtraining and inconsistency in race performances. One race is fine and the next is not. One season is fine and the next is not. This is particularly true when athletes are self-coached.
I believe their must be a scale to guide one's training. It can be based on times realtive to current racing ability or it can be an effort scale (e.g. "1 = Easy, 2 = Moderate, 3 = Strong, 4 = Hard or Fast"). Regardless, some means of control is important, I have observed.
Take care, Tinman
tinman, totally. today, i got carried away on number 1, but the instructions were, quick but hold back. in other words, make sure you can do all three the same or faster. well, i got carried away, but the session was still really good. i totally agree with your comments about drive and competitiveness, and this is something i have been trying to manage, with clear descriptions. this again is why that tayler scenario could never work for me, but kudos to him and lydiard. this thread became totally lydiard but i know there are many daniels fans out there and the man himself. would like to hear his comments regarding controls and strict planning of sessions.
I do not remember seeing members of the East York Track Club stretch. I usually did not.
I do remember seeing Bill Crothers run three extremely fast 220s from corner to corner on the track as he sharpened for a big outdoor 880. He ran with a running start and his break was a walk kitty-corner across the infield. They were fast!
I would like to add that stretching does cure some types of leg injuries. In the 1960s and 1970s, I hade numerous achilles tendon problems. In the 1970s, a running orthopedic surgeon who is in our Sunday morning breakfast group cleared one of my worst achilles injuries up by recommending the proper stretch for the problem and advising me to do that stretch every hour. It worked! From that time on, I have done achilles stretches every morning, before every run and often before bed. I no longer have achilles problems.
Can you show/tell me that stretching? PLEASE! I've had this Achilles problem for the past 7 years; rest (not running) didn't help; PT didn't help; nothing... The only thing that actually helped (beside "magic tape" from Japan) was wearing minimalist shoes (also from Japan) and XC running. It eased the pain but it's still there. I massage it a lot whenever I have a chance; that seems to break down the scar tissue.
If you wouldn't mind, please send me an e-mail directly (unless you want to share it with everybody else) at: [email protected] or [email protected] (yes, my new address!).
Thank you in advance!
I think this difference in approach between prescribed paces and prescribed efforts sometimes reflects situational differences for athletes and their coaches.
It's a lot easier, I'd wager, to describe a pace based on recent race experience than to describe a particular effort. Pace has a quite natural, accepted scale based on time and distance. Effort, not so much.
Even Dick Quax' joke by way of Nobby that 1/4 effort is full effort divided by 4 sort of gets at that problem. How do you divide effort by 4.
I can see that for someone coaching a large number of athletes, or who may not be observing every session, and there to witness or hear about how the workout is going, the prescribed paces approach will be more attractive.
Over time athletes probably do learn the correlation between effort levels and paces, though if one is improving (or going backwards) that can challenge you, accepting that X pace is not the same effort as it used to me.
One of the inherent problems is that coaches aren't in the workout. Time/pace is something they can monitor easily, effort they can't feel for themselves, though they can see some of it in recovery and form and drop-off in pace through the session.
Whats the record for the longest Letsrun thread?