800m training short to long

I’m all for the short to long approach for 400m athletes and was wondering if it would be wise for an 800m athlete to take a similar approach. For example, spend the fall season training toward new personal bests over 200m. Then take that new speed over the winter to achieve best times at 400m. Then in the Spring train for the 800m. I know some top national 800m runners who use the opposite approach to good results. But one girl I know has a 2:02 pb, and a 400m best of only 56.0. If she wants to get down under 2:00, would it not benefit her to spend early part of the season trying to get the needed 54.0 400m speed? The only problem is that the aerobic component may not be addressed, but perhaps you could keep in touch with it by doing a weekly aerobic power session throughout the year.

Anybody have any ideas about this?


This is a tough one.

Lyddiard approach (eg Peter Snell) would say long to short - hi mileage, hills, working to race pace work.

The Seb Coe type approach emphasised lower mileage with year round quality. Not exactly short to long but not the Lyddiard approach.

Different people respond to training in different ways.

My personal opinion is closer to the long to short approach. Decent mileage with short intervals at race pace and good form (eg 150`S) as the base. Building to race pace work.

I think it depends on how one wants to approach the 800 and what the athlete’s strengths are.

I really like short to long for the 800 because i spent a lot of years on long to short so my speed is my weak factor, bar none. (I also run the 400, so this is another reason that short to long feels better).