Fatigue in 200m for masters athletes

I have a 40ish athlete preparing for the Masters Games in Sydney in 6 weeks time. We’ve followed a plan of short to long adding distance on as we progress and have developed speed.

Sessions to improve our endurance as we get closer to our big competition might be a 60m flat out (8min rest) followed by 80m (10min rest) 100m (12min rest) and 120m, all at 100%. We’ve found these sessions have been good and pace has been maintained. We’ve also done sessions of shorter distances and regualr tempo.

We’ve found however, compared to younger athletes in our group that we’ve become very fatigued in the last 20-30m of 200m races. The description is of jelly legs. Younger athletes in our group have not found this same level of fatigue.

Is this something that that is unique to althetes as they mature.

We’ve tried previosuly something like 3 x100m with short rests but the 3rd run becomes very poor technically and I’m not sure of the benefit. What d peole think.

Do people have thoughts about improving the last 20-30m.

is what you are doing with them different from your other athletes?


Our work is identical. She is a very fit person and does everything the same. She handles the work as well as the teenage atlhetes.

It seems when she runs the 200m she has fatigued more than the younger athletes.

How many 200’s have you done lately?

It could simply be age related.

Last summer season they ran quite a few. There season ended in april at the Australian Masters and they felt there they were finding the last 30m really tough. Yjey jad probably felt this for a while. We had one race against open athletes and she lead by over a metre at the halfway mark and probably still so with 40m to go but got tired at the end and caught on the line.

In our winter she competed at Helsinki at the Masters Games. In the lead up we didn’t run many 200m maybe only one here at home. In Helsinki they only ran a heat and a final

I feel where others may negative split the 200m she definitely does not.

She beleives it is an age thing but I jsut wondered if there was a pgysiological reason perhaps associated with age.

Interesting! - I wonder if it is common for masters age athletes to positive split the 200m.
I have a feeling it might be. I certainly don’t know any that can negative split a 200m.

There is a system for age-grading masters performances. A W40 100m is expected to be a certain % slower to achieve the same ‘effort’. A W40 200m is expected to be a larger % slower than the 100m.

I’m not a coach, but it sounds like you may need to start training for a longer distance, like 300m or so.

Speaking as a female Masters athlete, I would tell your athlete that it may be psychological but it is NOT an “age thing”. I have run faster 100 and 200m times as a 45yr old than I did as a 40-44 yr old. I used to die in the last 20-30 meters, but this year I changed to a long - short program and also added a LOT of open 400m to my early season meets. After that I no longer feared dying in the 200. Don’t know if this would help your runner - but it’s just my 2cents.

I agree with Renee. I used to get the rubber at the end of a 200 also if I ran the first part too aggressively. Now with a concurrent program keeping my speed intact all year while adding some 400 specific work I can mash the last 110 of my 200 and negative split by about 4/10’s. I’m 51 running 22.74 FAT so I don’t believe age to be a limiting factor.

That’s pretty impressive considering the M50 World Record is 22.53 !! I see that you closely followed Kitkat’s 400 program with great success!
I’m not so sure that many others would be able to negative split like you can though as i would imagine the elite ranks of 200m runners at 51yo
would be pretty small (elite according to my Australian charts for masters athletes would refer to that as around sub 25s for 200m).
For my curiosity do you have an accurate time for 60m??

I was only able to run 7.39 this year. I’m a little faster now.

wow! How do these comapre to your lifetime PBs?

Following up on Bold’s post, how closely do you follow KK’s template?

I was a hi 10.5 in college and 21.6 never got to run healthy tho. Also ran the 55m in 6.28 and went to nat’s. (choked on the hardwood)

As far as kitkat, this year I got back in touch with speed so my week looked more like:

Mon: 4x1, 2x2 tempo followed by warmup movements.
2x50 build up, 4x20step accels
either 4x30’s hot or 10, 20, 30, 40blk starts

60’s or 80’s or 100’s depending on where we were in the season.

Tue: tempo or 400 specific work
Thurs: Same as Monday without block work only 3x3x30fly
Fri: SAM without block work and 2x either 255, 290, 300 or 325
Sat: Tempo

This is roughly how it looked after SP phase

This took me from 11.61 to 11.31, 23.98-22.74
and 53.80 to 53.24 so far. Still have Sydney…

Having lost a medal in the World Masters 200m this year by dying several deaths in the last 20m, I can relate to the original post here. The same symptoms have cost me in a few other races too. My take is as follows:

In relative terms, I’m still improving at 60m, 100m and 200m (I’m 55 and returned as a Master at 46). Over 200m, I’ve also managed to maintain a steady actual improvement up to this season. Nothing therefore seems wrong with basic speed, or overall speed endurance. My WMA 200m heat and semi were my strongest races of the year, with no rubber legs at the end of either. In fact, they felt very relaxed, and had strong final 50m phases. I would rule out the easy option, which would be to dismiss the problem as “an age thing”.

However, the final (and some other high pressure races) was spoiled by tying up, and that feeling of “running on the spot” rather than forwards at the end of the race. I will admit that these races were probably also spoiled by not “running my own race” - being too distracted by what was going on in other lanes, and tensing up big time as a consequense. Can’t think why, as Masters, we might be any more or less prone to this sort of distraction-tension, but working to eliminate it will be on my agenda this winter.

Is your athlete perhaps too focused on what the younger ones in the training group are doing, for example, and needing just to regain focus on her own race? I’ve concluded that, for me, there’s enough evidence that the problem lies not in physical, but mental/psychological preparation.

You know Tom, I’m thinking its both mental and physical prep. I’m learning at “our age,” with any decent speed in place, we’re better served training for seconds at the end of a race rather than tenths in the start as Charlie so aptly stated.

That said I am really working in the SE - SS2 zones of speed work.

[QUOTE=kidscoach;228182]we’re better served training for seconds at the end of a race rather than tenths in the start as Charlie so aptly stated.QUOTE]

the best trained athletes can only maintain maximum intensity for 8 seconds, the aim of the start is to get out as fast as possible using the least amount of energy possible.

When the masters athletes are 170-180m into it (20-30m to go, obviously, which is where you said the problem starts, or at least becomes evident), how far into it would the younger athletes be?

Maybe the younger athletes don’t have the same fade because they get to 200m before it becomes an issue, but if they ran 220m or 230m, they’d have the same problem.

Charlie has always said that the 100m for very young kids is an endurance event, rather than a speed event. Maybe the same sort of thing is happening here, to some extent.

I think MSO nailed it: look at the times involved in the racing between the younger and older athlete, I bet that will tell the difference. The older, by dint of being slower, is getting deeper into glycolytic acidosis because the race is taking longer to finish

I would venture that the 100 is an endurance event (albeit speed) for any age group to some degree. How much more the 200?

The best I could do the last 2 years was 23.8, with some 400 training behind me, I run 22.74. I listened to what Charlie said, observed the charts from Vancouver 04 and realized that I could train short speed all I wanted, but until I worked up into special speed 1 with any consistency and aggressive tempo work I was destined to fade in the 200. Now its 11.7-11.04 for my 200.

hey kidscoach, how much tempo running are you doing in each session.