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RE: Sub 1:50 800m Training
Old Sub 4 makes some good points, especially about transitions. Over and over I've witnessed runners getting injured while transitioning from base-work to interval work (intensity work). That's why base work should include some easy short-rep workouts that aren't horribly glycolytic.

A base phase for an 800m runner can include some 150s or 200s that are not too hard or at least with plenty of recovery to keep the motor-neural coordination reasonably tuned. During base-training, a potential 1:50 runner might run 8 x 200m in 31 seconds with a 200m jog, once a week. At the end of base, 10 x 200m in 29 seconds with a 200m jog is fine. During the first or second week of a 10-week racing season a workout of 12 x 200m in 28 seconds with a 200m jog would be useful. By the middle of the 10-week racing season 12 x 200m at 27 seconds with a 200m jog might suffice. Two or three weeks prior to a peak race a rep workout might include 8 x 200m in 26 seconds with a 200m jog.

Some coaches might say the reps need to be faster or more of them, but I'd say that regular rep work pays dividends over the weeks and it's not necessary to pound oneself into the ground and rush the process. Why not focus on longer intervals, tempos plus hills, etc for other key workout to build "strength-endurance" to carry speed through the whole race?

A peaking workout for a 1:50 runner might look like this: 3 x 400m at 8% slower than one's 400m speed with a walk-jog of 3-4 minutes, then jog 10 minutes and do an 300m rep at just shy of flat-out. An option to the 300m rep at the end would a 500m rep at close to all-out; if speed-endurance is lacking.

Note; I am not saying I can run a 1:50 or every came close to running 1:50. I am speaking as a coach who has studied the sport and observed some very fast runners train. I have great respect for runners like Old Sub 4; who were able to run that fast or faster in their prime.

Take care,


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