Final 11 weeks of my 800m

Okay, today was pretty much the last straw. I had a very sub-par performance at a track meet, I had just been worked to death, and so I approached my coach. My coach isn’t anywhere near as compitent as he should be, and he knows this; he understands this, and is willing to let me produce a program for the last 11 weeks of this year that we can both go over together. He wants final say, but he wants me to do the work. (which kind of shows how he may be enthusiastic about he sport, but how hesitent he is to actually put in the work). Interesting guy, my coach is. Anyway, I’ve gained an incredible amount of info these past few months, -Joel, Pakewski, Nikolouski, and of course Charlie have all helped me rethink and revise my training philosophies. And so I present this fairly polished (POLISHED!! HAH!) 800m schedual of my last 11 weeks coming up to state finals. (PreComp/Comp Phase, and Champ phase) Take note that I’ve got a lot of races, and so must “train through” a number of them, though I’m not going to put a “hard day” the day before a race, I’ll have them 2 days from a race.

I’d like every single day of my schedual scrutinized, but that’d mean a MONSTROUS post. I’ve got the entire thing offline, and am working with it in word, so I’m going to post about 3 weeks from key points.

Each practice follows this same template, but I don’t see the need to repeat it 100 times. The template like this:

800m team “warmup”, static stretches, duckwalks, toe-walks, A-B skips, Highkneed-Buttkickers, 10 min run (warmup), WORKOUT, 10 min run (cooldown) stretches, contrast shower/Ice bath/Hot or Cold shower (depending on workout and my condition), Roller-Massage on legs

EDIT: Just saved your scroll finger some work

Yah… that took me like 2 and a half hours to make. God, danm. Help please guys. This is real urgent!

I remember from reading your journal last year that you seemed to peak pretty well in the end. What were you doing at this time last year that worked so well.

I am a 400m/800m runner as well. I see that you don’t have longer intervals (1000m-1600m) and tempo runs. 800m runners who leave these 2 componets out tend to have a sub 50 400m and barely getting 1:57. I recomend that you read an article written by Joe Rubio if this link doesn’t work then when the elitetrack site gets back up do a search on Joe Rubio. This is a really good read.

That’s a really ambitious race schedule, palmtag. Almost forces you to “race” yourself into shape. I’ll say that I’m amazed at the structure and focus you have for a high school athlete. You are essentially self-coaching with advice from Charlie, the forum, and the elsewhere on the internet, which is the same as I do…I think it’s the best way to solving the so-called 800m puzzle. Which brings me to a point; no matter what suggestions are given here there will always be (in my mind) a large question mark over every approach to the 8; you’ve really got to trial and error the training and figure out what stimulates you as an individual. Just make sure you’re consistent with one approach for a good long while before you switch.

So my suggestions:
-If it were me, I would do less anaerobic power earlier in the 11-week cycle. By this I mean less of your sessions of 800pace with short recovery. (ex. 6x250@800pace w/ 40sec rec.) However, I alluded in the paragraph above to being consistent, and you have been consistently progressing with short recovery workouts all season, so you should probably see it through now.

But my approach would be anaerobic capacity earlier in the 11-week cycle with sessions like:
5x300@800pace w/ 4min rec.
4x400@800pace w/ 5-10 min rec.
3x500@800pace w/ 10-20min rec.

followed by the anaerobic power in weeks 4-7:
8x100@800pace w/ 100m jog
5x200@800pace w/ 100m jog
4x300@800pace w/ 100m jog

followed by a taper in weeks 8+9:
5x200@800pace w/ 3 min rec.
4x300@800pace w/ 5 min rec.

I think the board will be interested in watching your journal and results post over the next 3 months.

I like what you’ve said joel. Division of Anaerobic power and capacity really didn’t pop up into my mind when I was drafting my schedual. I’ll have to rethink some of what I’m doing to incorporate those kinds of workouts because they look like that “thing” I felt my program was missing. I personally, like split runs for my longer intervals. If I were to do something like 3x300+200 w/4-10 mins recovery , do you think that would be just as efficient as 3x500? Or maybe (hypothesizing here) there is a specific adaptation that I can gain from running almost 2/3 of my race…hmm wait that’d be anaerobic capacity, no?

I’ve another question, though. Is my basic structure okay? I’m thinking of going with the longer intervals on Thursdays, but I want to keep the volume down (actually I just don’t want to kill myself before my saturday meets) I like having the faster intervals on Tuesdays because they are the main emphasis of my training program and I want to be fresh for them. I thrive off of short intervals, but longer intervals will probably do me a lot of good too.

In regards to longer 1000-1600m intervals, Kung fu-guy :stuck_out_tongue: , I’ve been thinking about doing those on thursdays. I’m just not entirely sure if I’ll gain a whole lot from them. During Cross country I saw some progression, as far as carry over to my 5k, from doing intervals from 800-2000m, but overall I dropped about 15 seconds from begining of season to the end.

Oh yah, and in High School… we run shiploads of races. To a certain extent I understand that racing oneself into shape isn’t the most ideal way to “work it”, but I think that as long as I carefully incorporate my meets into my traning schedual I can avoid injury and continue progression. I find that I respond very specifically to specific stimulia, so racing myself into shape might be one of the best options I’ve got.

RE: Split runs - I think that’s a great idea, and seems to be de rigeur for 400m event specialists training anaerobic power. A common power session for a 400 guy would be like 250+150 or 300+100 or 300+150 with long recoveries.
As far as 300+200 for an 800 guy I would say that’s a better way of building up the special endurance than just immediately going for a 500m rep. You should be able to hold proper form better during the 200 portion by giving yourself the brief letup. Not getting ragged is all important to your economy. I think eventually I would still go for the 500m reps so you’ll have confidence at the bell that you’ve covered more than this distance in training and can just keep cruising. And yes both 300+200 or 500 I would call anaerobic capacity; when the recovery is long between runs. However at 400pace I would call 300+200 anaerobic power since the exertion is so close to a race. The equivalent for an 800 guy might be 700+300, but I can’t see that being productive as it’s too much like racing. By the way, I’ve heard that Tiffany McWilliams, the former 800/1500 Mississippi St. standout, used 700m reps at 800pace in training.

RE: Basic structure - Maybe put the more taxing workout on Tuesday, and the peppyier workout on Thursday. So you can drain yourself Tuesday after having had a 3 or 4 day recovery since the previous weekend’s meet, but on Thursday you could do something short, fast, and not taxing to prime yourself for the weekend meet ahead. Or the 1000-1600 intervals Thursday and some strides the day before the meet.

I’m going to make a couple adjustments to my program… I’m also going to try and find a way to post the entire program on an easier to read excell sheet. Hmm… I guess it’ll just be a JPG or Gif of my excell, either way, It’ll give a much bigger picture.

Ahh here we go. Hard days in light grey, "training’ meets in dark grey. **'s are my post-season weeks

Wow, got some good news. My coach took one look at the above sheet ^ couldn’t stop aggreeing with me. I guess if I can refine this thing, that I’ve got complete leeway.

My updated program. 3/22/05

Edit: 3/25/05 I’ve dropped all of the fartleks and progression runs. they are now just normal easy runs with 2-3 100m striders tossed into them at various points.

bump-chika-bump… chika-bump-chi-bump… Bump-chika-bump-chibump


Based on my limited knowledge of the 800m :slight_smile: your training looks very good. With a meet every week you don’t want to have more than 1 hard RP training day per week. You’re keeping up your aerobic capacity with extensive and continuos tempo. The only suggestion is to make sure you handle regeneration very well so your legs are fresh and ready to go for the weekly meets. There is where you want to really push it…

Will do scarface. I’m very careful to use my gettoh roller (soupcan) every night. Contrast baths, and ice baths, are also staples of my regen. Though my sleep is pathetic :frowning:

What do you do in your tempo sessions ?

  • Distances, speed and recovery.

I am interested in whether you find tempo better than continous runs.

Well, tempo is kind of a complicated issue for me. Ideally, I’d be doing 2 tempos a week as recovery workouts because they are a bit more event specific. However, I’m a varsity quality Cross Country athlete, so I need to do about 2 aerobic runs a week in order for me to “jump” up to the 40 mile weeks that i need to be at the begining of summer. I then build up to around 75 in the early fall with double days and everything. So I do tempos once a week and easy aerobic runs 2x a week.

A short one looks like this

A long tempo looks like this

  • is a 50m jog, and - is a 100m walk. The work phase I usually hit at a little bit faster than my 5k pace, so 37-38 seconds per 200m. Now this tempo is a lot more continious and slower than the kind of tempo that is normally used by sprinters, but I’ve found that running at 65-75% of my max… is my 800m race pace! So I try and avoid running that fast five days a week. It kind of burns me out.

For you tempo days you are doing a good warm-up rand cooldown? This is the best way to sneak in mileage. For monday and thursday I would have 1-2 mile warmup, light drills, 4000-4500 tempo (I pray to God you’re doing this on grass), 1-2 miles cool-down. Also are you doing any kind of general strength work? (medballs, calisthenics, core). This is were I’ve seen a lot of improvement. I usually include this tempo type stuff as an “extra workout” in the morning and at night. Anything you can do to raise your conditioning that isn’t running is worth it’s weight in gold.

I couldn’t handle two-a-day running or 70 mile weeks, because of injuries and the faxt I’m 6’3 200 lbs, but I realized that I can still do other stuff. My senior year I would do aqua-jogging/other pool workouts i the morning, regular track after school (usually one high intensity day a week plus one meet. high=track+weights low=tempo- sometimes continuous, fartleks grass runs, basically whatever I felt like doing then some low-intensity medballs or whatever), and a few hours before bed I would do some more bodyweight exercises and core work. However, this might be a little much for you if pushups, burpees, bw squats, split squats etc… are hard for you (by hard I mean not low-intensity). What I’m trying to say is that the two things that really helped me were

  1. Taking the low-intensity work and dividing it up into many sessions throughout the week. Basically doing less, more often.
  2. Incorporating more general work (raising my GPP)
  3. Lowering the volume on the high intensity days, and raising the intensity.
  4. Getting stronger: The little time I could get into the weight room. I didn’t have time to do 10 sets of curls or kickbacks. I would do the big lifts with heavy weights and and very low volume.A sample session would be: 6 singles in the power clean. followed by 3x3 squats, 3x3 push press alternated with 3x5 weighted chins, then some hypers. If you’re not lifting, I wouldn’t recommend starting now this late in the season, I’m just telling you what has helped me most.
  5. Focusing on my nutrtition, not supplementation. I thought gatorade was as good as PWO drink gets. But I made sure I ate well even at school.
  6. Communicating with my coach what my goals were and how I intended to get there, seems like you’ve done this well.

Have you ever raced an open 200m or 100m. For what you posted above to be true you’d need to run 22 flat. The short tempo workout you have looks like what a sprinter would do, but obviously you’re not going to need as much rest between efforts.

I’ll work backwards, here, Elars… My short tempo is usually something I’d only do at the begning of a championship week, or immediately before a meet (that is, if it’s an unimportant meet) and the longer tempo I kind of pulled out my yin-yang, because I haven’t a copy of my little tempos… I’m also a big slacker when it comes to BW work. My coach seems to think that when I say, “we should do our most intense core/strength work on our hard days,” that I of course mean to do it RIGHT before our workout. Uhh… no. So more often than not, I end the workout and go home without doing any of my intended core work. (sigh I’m a lazy arse) You think I should do core work right before I run even if it is a slight detriment to my workouts? On hard days, I’m thinking not, but on every other day, I personally don’t have a lot of objection to it.

But you’ve really struck a positive key Elars. I like the idea of doing more BW and conditioning work and kind of spreading it throughout the day. The only thing is: I just need to well… DO IT! I follow the old saying, “If I don’t do it know, it probably won’t happen at all.”

I’m thinking doing 1/2 of a session in the morning (every morning, starting light and building up) including something like 2xBurpies, 2xPushups, 2xSitups/Crunches/Twists…
Oh shit, it’s 3:40, I have to be runing 20 minutes ago. Finish this later.

I always do it after. If it is intense than it should go AFTER your hard workout. You won’t be able to perform as well, but which would be better, to do it after and not be able to do as many reps, or do it before and possibly run slower (even if it’s .1 second off on a 200m) or worse have your form break down from exhausted core muscles.
Once a specific exercise becomes low-intensity (I would say push-ups would be low intensity when you can do at least 30 and bench press your BW 3-5 times) then it can go after the tempo runs, but before the cool-down.You will be surprised at how fast you will progress

Here’s what I just did an hour ago.
On a big 150x50m field
Warmup: mile jog 6:00
Drills:light skips, bounds, etc.
20x150m (walk 25m jog 100m walk 25m recovery)
(The actual runs were into a strong wind, with the recovery going with the wind
It took me about 25 minutes to do the workout. I did it barefoot, I don’t know if you like barefoot running, but I love it. If I ever do XC again I’m going to race barefoot.)
The runs took me about 27 seconds which is about 65%

After this I did :
push-ups (3x10)
bodyweight rows or fat man pull-ups (3x10)(on a chin-up bar that’s way too short for you lean back and pull-yourself up, until your chest almmost touches the bar.)
walking lunges (2x12)
bodyweight squats (2x12)
I save actual core work for later on as a seperate session in and of itself.

Cool-down (supposed to be a mile but only did a half, not cause I was tired just lazy)

I know you are also a xc guy, so you love you some mileage. On a tempo day I’m able to log about 6 or 7 miles if I do a full warm-up/cool-down, and the tempo runs are at 5k pace. Gee where would that come in handy? XC maybe? Also my legs feel like a million bucks after I’m done, but if I just run even 4 miles on the roads my quads are sore, my lower legs ache. I’m not saying there isn’t a need for continuous running in your training, it’s just I feel it doesn’t allow me to recover nearly as well as tempo.

Well, I have a slight objection to “sneaking” in miles during tempo or recovery days, because increased volume on an off day, is kind of counterproductive to recovery, no? Increasing volume on an “easy” day could very well increase the intensity of a workday from “easy” to “medium”. Now, during the GPP, I think there’d be less harm in going Medium-Easy day, then Medium-Hard day, then Medium-Easy day, and by the end of the GPP that Medium-Easy day is… an easy day. But right now, I think I should have a little bit more definition between easy and hard days.

That BW stuff is the nizzle… Ima write them down and try somethin’ like that, myself. Oh yah, my PR in the bench “was” 150lbs… My bw :smiley: and it’s a real push for me to do 50 pushups straight. Which is wierd because I “have” squated (a bit above parallel) 300lbs… Eh, figure that out.

Wait, wtf am I talkin’ about here? I put in a 1.5 mile warmup and cooldown every day… of course I sneak in milage :smiley:

Anyway, going to put up the strength/conditioning portion of my schedual together (otherwise i probably won’t do any BW work anyway… :stuck_out_tongue: )