Ato 200m strategy

Based on a question about 200m strategy Ato stated:

All out, all around was when I was stuck around 21.0-20.6 too…u have to use the physics of the race…into the turn, if u are at 100% you are going to have exactly what is happening to you - dying a horrible death at 150 or soon after…do all your running from 50-150 the last 50m is an excercise in holding form and of course you will be fatigued, but not as badly…the first 50m you have to keep a lid on it. React to the gun, but then bide your time, wait, wait until that turn starts to head the other way, otherwise you are going to be going too fast in the opposite direction of the finish line…use that centrifugal force to your advantage…I can’t tell u how easy 19.77 felt, but I was never able to do it again like that because I was never patient enough to really wait on the turn to head back the other way.

Sounds logical! Although, I don’t think that was MJ’s strategy when he ran 19.32 in Atlanta. :smiley: Thoughts?

Interesting … I ran a 200 last week where my first 50 was not all out (maybe 98%), but I managed to finish strong and relaxed in a decent time for me (23.29). Initially I was disappointed with my start and thought the next time I’ll take it out harder.

I ran another one yesterday where I did go all out from the start, easily making up the stagger on the guys outside of me. I faded on the last 50 though and tightened up more than I wanted to. Would up running slower (23.60) and felt the race more of an effort than the previous week.

I’d be curious in knowing what other members’ strategy are for running 200m … especially around the turn.

I spoke with Obadele my sophmore year in college and he told me basically the same thing. At a last chance meet that year I tried what he told me. I had a nagging injur going into the race so I was cautious. After the gun went off, I took out easier that I ever had and last 50m felt much better than before. Needless to say, I had a huge PR of 20.90 as a 19 year old and qualified ranked 2nd in DII. This was the easiest 200m that I had ever felt. I was actually mad when I got done because I thought my time was going to be horrible. At nationals I wasn’t patient and ran the same times that I had always rans (actually a little slower).

The way Ato and Mj described is exactly how I run the 200. Go out quick but relaxed and increase speed around the bend and pedal to the medal at around one 150 get tall gain momentum and explode off the curve. If my memory serves me correctly many others including Charlie say to get out hard for 50 and relax and maintain. That has never worked for me however.

Would you utilize the same method if you were stuck in lane 1?

Good Point. I am not sure. I think in Lane 1 and Lane 8 its important to go out from the get go.
In lane 1 you need to make up ground so your not way behind coming off the curve and Lane 8 you need to run scared and since the curve is wide and feels shorter it will feel easier to run. Whats everyone elses thoughts on this?

I guess it depends on what the reason is behind not going all out from the start. Is it effort/energy expenditure required in running the turn, or is it speed maintenance over the 200m distance?

I think its a combination of both. Proper effort/energy expenditure required in running the turn to allow you to maintain your top speed for longer?

I agree that it’s probably a combination of both. Having said that, would it not make sense to start just under 100% from lane 1 due to more turn running as opposed to lane 8?

While from what we both said that would seem like the right thing to do, I am not sure if that would work. Since you are so far behind I think it is important to eat up the stagger as much as possible and hold on. I am not sure however.
If you got lane 1 or 2 I feel your screwed .3-.4 regardless. lol. Thats a shitty attitude to have but its true. So when you are stuck in lane 1 or 2 best thing to do is to try to beat your lane 1 or lane 2 p.r. That is the only way I feel that a negative can be turned into a postitive.

Agree- My PR is 23.60 FAT from lane 4, yet running in lane 2 only managed a 23.91… Hard to adjust when you’re so tight on the curve. I never realized there was so much strategy in the 200m, I have never used one before. Next season will be much better if I can get it down. 22’s are in order for me no doubt :slight_smile:

I’ll have to look into this because I think I come out to quickly in the first 50 meters. I watched a video of one of my races and I’m in 1st to the first 50 but then people start to speed up at the end of the curve and are ahead of me at the straightaway. I blew by one guy at the first 50 and by the end of the race he’s edging me out at the finish line.

btw I just beat my PR by almost .2 yesterday running in lane 2, I seem to run faster on the inside lanes, as my best time from lane 5 and out is 24.5 and my best from lane 4 and in is 23.8

On a cost/benefit ratio I think it’s worth “saving” more for the second 100 m while running in lanes 1 & 2, or at least in relative terms. If run as the rest of the turns, 1 & 2 will take a lot more out of you and leave you with nothing to fight on the straight…

Hope this makes some sense! :confused:

You have to compromise and distribute your efforts depending on lane draw.

In any case, however, what Quikazhell said is true, you’ll be slower anyway… :frowning:
(that’s the attitude, Quick :wink: )

I don’t think 200m lane is as big of a factor as most people think…especially if you run above 20.x. As long as you do not feel like you have to slow down to stay in your lane, you should be fine. Now if you’re indoors on a 200m unbanked track, that’s a different story. It’s nearly impossible to run full speed around the turns and you can tell you have to slow down to stay in your lane.

Back when I was running around 22.80, it didn’t make a damn bit of difference to me outdoor. In fact, my PRs were in lanes 1-3 for several years.

Also, when people talk about taking it easy during the first 50-70m…I think that’s a personal choice. If you watch the NCAAs, Tyson Gay runs blistering turns (ran 19.96) and Spearmon runs slower turns (ran 19.91). It’s just a matter of personal preference. If you do take it out slow…I would consider slow to be ~99% of max speed not 70% like I hear some people throw around.

One of my ex-teammates (now on full scholarship to Southeast Missouri State on football-WR and 100/200 guy in track) said his strategy was to “stride the turn” and then pour it on coming out of it… And he was a 10.78/22.04 runner… He is a float type runner so I mean I guess it worked well for him; he ran very relaxed, I mean very… When he ran 300’s in practice it looked like he was jogging- I told him he could’ve been a phenomenal 400m runner if he really wanted to but he refused to even run a 4x400 with us… Anyways, yeah that was a strategy he used, but everyone is different I think… Should be practiced alot to get it down (I have much work to do with that)…

my strategy has always been run all out until i fade then run some more. my p.r is 23.4 handtime and 23.65 auto. the auto p.r is from lane 5 and the handtime one is from lane 1, i never really tried to “hold back” on the curve as its the best part of my race but i gotta try it since the last 50-60m of my race are crap. how fast should i take the curve? 80%, 85%…

I’d say I only hold back around 2% maybe 11.2 on the curve instead of the 10.8 I am probably capeable of running. But as I said its only the first 50 meters where Im holding back that 2%.
Then off the curve with a flying start my last 100 would be around a 10.5-10.8. Which would be roughly high 21 low 22 which I run.


No disrespect but if your friend ran 10.78 he should be down around 21.60 for the 2.  I really think it is a mistake to stride or float the turn.  Again, by 'taking it easy' on the turn, I would bet that most elites are talking about running the 1st 100 about .10 slower than you are capable of running it....NOT running 70%,80%,or 90%.

2 good examples I deal with. I have a guy who ran 10.88 at a meet then ran 21.77. Another guy (not mine), ran 11.08 and then ran 21.85. Neither race was windy and they both blasted the 100m open and the first 100m of the 2. Also, both of them train primarily for the 100 and jumps (no speed endurance work over about 150m).

At the Pennsylvania state meet, Tommie Campbell ran 10.65 and won the 100. He also devastated people on the 4x1 anchor. Someone obviously told him to run the first part of the 2 slow. He did and was in like 6th coming off the turn. He then activated his dominating speed and came back to get 2nd in 22.42. I bet you $1000, if you talk to Tommie, he is kicking himself for taking the 200 out at a moderate pace.

Again, in summary. If you run 11.00, try running the turn in in about 11.1x. Anything much slower is questionable in my mind.

Edit: According to my video, Ato came thru his 19.80 in 10.21/9.59. He ran 9.90 in the 100m.
So 9.90/10.21=97% on the turn
Of course, this assumes he can run 9.90 on the turn which may not be the case. If his turn 100m best is 10.00, he is running around 98% for the turn.

Having said that, would it make sense to practice running turns from lane 1 or 2 when doing speed work, or just concentrate on the practice at hand regardless or lane. I ususally do my turn running from lane 3-5 in practice, and only run from lane 1 or 2 if doing anything below 80%

yeahh I know, he should’ve had a way better 200 time. He didn’t have much training in his belt, he missed a lot of practice this year, and I think he was a little ‘reserved’ you could say on the turn. Had he ran it better, yes he should’ve been in the 21’s. But then again he only ran that once, the rest of the season he was in the 22.2-22.4 range, and that 10.78 only came once as well, he was a solid 10.8-10.9 runner. Im thinking the 10.78/22.04 were wind-aided runs, but there was no wind-gauge at the meet. Just by observation.