Final 11 weeks of my 800m

You said post what you think even if you know nothing about the 800, so here it goes.

A couple things kinda jumped out at me as I looked over your sheet.

The first thing was this, in 10 weeks of training you do not have a single day off. Not one day of just passive recovery sitting there letting your legs rest and just chilling. The only days where I could possibly see that are the 3 Thursdays from Week 3 to Week 5 where you might now race. I don’t know about you, but I can gurantee that I would burn out if I didnt have at least 1 day off passive rest every 10 days. I understand that you want the miles for cross-country, but it’s track season. You can start packing on the miles in the summer, right now if you want to do well I think you should make the Sunday in Week 3, the Thursday in Week 5, and the Sunday in Week 8 days OFF. Complete passive rest. That’s only 3 days, and I think it’ll make a world of difference as far as recovery and your mental motivation. I know that if I take a day off I’m just aching to go the next time I’m out running, cuz mentally I feel like I’m not doing enough. However, I also know that physically I’ve allowed my body to recover so that it can perform to the best that it’s capable of. However, I am not familiar with distance training as some of you may be, and I dont know the effect of taking a day off on your aerobic capacity or whatever it’s called that makes distance guys run all over the place with ease while I’m huffing and puffing after 3 laps, but I assume it’s negligible, am I right or wrong on this one?

The next thing was the lack of speed work. Now I know that the 800 is not an event based on pure speed, but it seems to me that if you want to run a 1:55 or lower, you’re gonna have to be capable of at least a 52-54 second 400 at max effort. That means having decent speed. Every workout you have that is listed as “hard” are all workouts geared for endurance with partial recoveries. The only places where I see you developing the speed component is actualyl during the races, which you have a lot of, and although it’s not the most efficient way of doing it, it is better than nothing. I guess that can’t be helped really, but I would say that changing the Saturday in Week 7 to a pure speed focus day instead of a fartlek would be more beneficial, but that’s just me being a sprinter :smiley:

Now I know you say that you’re gonna post your strength portion of your workout soon, but I just want to talk about that for a second. Since you arent doing true speed work, have you considered doing a lower body lift just once a week to help develop limit strength? I think it would helpful, but I dont know how draining it would be on you physically and as how fatiguing it would be to the CNS, especially with all the volume you’re doing. If you feel comfortable and up to it, I would say doing some type of weightlifting involving the legs, medicine ball explosions/throws, and low volume high intensity ab work with medicine balls/weight plates on Tuesdays in Weeks 5,6,7,8,9, and 10 and on Saturday in Week 7 would be good. You could also throw in a couple of other excercises like pulldowns, rows, bench, and dips to round out the workout. I would also do low intensity ab work on a daily basis (except the day before or day of a meet). Stuff like bridges (or planks) and side leans will also help build core strength, which I think is important for all runner, whether they’re sprinters or marathoners.

Finally, the last thing I wanted to address is your taper for near the end of the season. I know that in Speed Trap, among other things, Charlie talks about utilizing a full 10 day taper for his sprinters. 10 days. I dont know how much different it would be for an 800 runner, but it appears, to me at least, that your workout tapers for your big meets (CCS, State) are almost identical as the ones for your meets at the beginning of the season. Have you considered doing something along the lines of moving your hard workout (on tuesday now) to monday during a big meet week (weeks 9 and 10 specifically), putting a progression run on Tuesday, then the workout you have listed for Thursday (weeks 9,10) moved to Wednesday, then a tempo run on Thursday, and a couple of striders on Friday? I think that would leave you fresh for the races you need to do well on. Week 11 is a little tougher cuz its on Thur/Fri instead of Fri/Sat, so you lose a day. I’m still thinking on that one, and I’ll get back to you on that.

Overall, those were my thoughts. Like I said, I have no clue about 800 training, but from my perspective that is what I noticed. Please forgive me if something I suggest is completely bogus because of the way trainig for distance works, but I just did my best :cool:

So Palmtag, hows that for input, and what do you think?

Recovery? what is this “recovery” you speak?

Well quite frankly, my aerobic fitness would not get totalled if I took my sundays off. However, they serve as sort of general fitness days. I realize that I’m kind of defending my “junk miles” but last year I was doing like intense long hill workouts (with lower volume) and fast tempo runs the day after my meets. I don’t know if that was such a good idea. I was injury-proof then, I’m not now.

However, I am not familiar with distance training as some of you may be, and I dont know the effect of taking a day off on your aerobic capacity or whatever it’s called that makes distance guys run all over the place with ease while I’m huffing and puffing after 3 laps, but I assume it’s negligible, am I right or wrong on this one?

Now speedwork… here is where I have a big Grrr. See what I did last year was during the winter, I did a sort of mix-match strength training program, (in my weight-training class) I brought my bench up from 120 to 150, my powerclean from 90 to 135 and my squat from 180 to a little under 300 (It’s alway more impressive to say “a little under 300” than 290… :stuck_out_tongue: ) And during this time I did tempo and sprints. Pretty much a 400m GPP, but with more hills than god himself would have approved. Of course during that fall I’d done XC, but I didn’t care.

This year I really didn’t do much. I mean, by that I didn’t do much in the realm of my top speed or my max strength even str end. I just did a lot of miles, (all of them really hilly miles.) Some fast some slow some long, Hard-easy-hard-easy, etc etc. Now I know that my personal strengths are in this order:

  1. Lactic Energy System
  2. Special Endurance
  3. Aerobic Energy System
  4. Speed Endurance
  5. Top Speed

The only problem, is that high top speed correlates to speed end, which correlates to special end. For me, I get much more carry-over than a regular sprinter if I improve one it kicks on down the chain. Now granted, I’m a pretty good 5k runner, but I’m not great, I would have placed top 6 in XC league finals had I ran well that day. However I was league champ in the 800 and a sectional qualifier, and probably would have won the 400 too, if I’d ran it. My pr’s used to be on my sig, but they’re turned off, (or I turned em off, I forget) 1:56, and 51.3. What I guess I’m trying to say is that I’ve got the ABILITY to run fast, I just haven’t trained for my speed or my strength. And so I haven’t been able to clock under a 53.00 this year, which is a bit of a pisser b/c last year I was nailing 52.0’s and 51.8’s right now.

As far as weight lifting goes, I really don’t know when I’d fit it in. My coach is not willing to wake up and let my lift in the morning, and I don’t know if I’d be willing to go to my classes smelling aweful after a run, then lifting in the afternoon. I wish I had weight training class… Grrr…

However, I do agree with you totally on when I would… no WILL do my meager weightlifting. Tuesdays. some light plyos, bw squats, chinups, medicine balls, all of it… definately going to work on that stuff on tuesdays.

(((I wonder if I’ll get any good out of 3-4 speed/strength dedicated sessions during my entire 9 weeks that I’ve left over. )))

As far as core and ab work… heh, our girls coach is a gnarly marathoner (kinda hot for a 35 year old teacher/coach, though) Anyway, she does 6 minute abs (and core)… they’re gawdawful. You do 6 minutes solid of various ab work non-stop changing excersises every 60 seconds. The core one is similar, only you’re just doing various bridges. I slip in and out of shape with these things, mainly due to my lack of dedication.

The problem I have with the 10 day taper is that I have 1 race I have to run well at (now it’s starting to look like 2 races…) in order to make it to state. Then after that, I’ve got Nike Outdoor Nationals. If I could, I would take a full 10 day taper, where my volume would pretty much bottom out, but I can’t do that :frowning: I’ve got about 2-3 weeks of racing after my important 2 races. As far as intensity of those workouts, I was really surprised at how easy they become near the end of the season. At the begining of this phase, they are HARD to do at sub 30sec pace and then notice how I’ve got the speed increasing so that the intensity stays the same, while I get in better and better shape. And then by the time I get to CCS and State those workouts at 29-30 second pace are pretty easy, especially if I cut back on the reps.

As far as your thoughts and Input Mister C, I couldn’t have asked for more :smiley: Thanks…

P.S. all of my progression runs and fartleks were dropped in favor of easy milage. Progression runs and fartleks are HARD… well too hard for an off day.

No problem, but what were you doing up at 3 in the morning? Do you ever sleep? Maybe that’s your problem right there:)

Uhh… family history video. I’ve been editing for a solid 6-7 hours now. No time to post, must keep editing…Can’t stay awel;kf;l; ppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp

Agree you could try adding in a session of 400m pace training, most of your speed work is at 800m race pace.

Seb Coe (based on Frank Horwill theory) used the multi pace training theory. So he did interval sessions at above and below race pace - 400 pace, 800 pace, 1500 pace, 3k pace.

These can be spread over a 2 week period to fit in all the sessions.
For example
wk1 tue 3k pace
wk 1 thurs 1500 pace
wk2 tue 800 pace
wk2 thurs 400 pace.

These would be the key sessions. He would fit in steady state aerobic runs as recovery days and to build mileage. I think you use tempo for this.

Also, I am not sure it is true to say high top speed equates to special endurance. I think it equates to max sprinting speed. For example, special end for an 800m runner would be say 500m reps. Top speed would be sprints of say 60m. To sustain speed in the context of 800m you could do 100m reps (this was the Coe pure speed session). 60m stuff is probably more relevant to 100/200 sprinters.

Well, the problem I have, oldbloke, is that on a number of weeks i don’t have 2 hard days to work with. Would you recomend doing the faster workouts on tuesdays, or the longer ones on tuesdays? I’m going to make my program a bit more dynamic, for sure. With some workouts at 400m pace, and others at 1500 pace. I’ll probably do that at the same time that i do my strength update… (which is probably going to be next year :stuck_out_tongue: )

I don`t think it matters whether you do the longer or shorter reps on either Tuesday or Thursday for most weeks.

The exception is if you are racing at the weekend. If you are racing on saturday do shorter faster work on tuesday and don`t bother to do a hard session on thursday. If you are racing sunday do a longer session on tuesday and shorter on thursday. This way you get at least 2 non intense days before a rest.

As mentioned by others you seem to have a lot of races. This prevents (IMHO) an optimum peak.

Why I feel like letting this thread go…

  1. I haven’t touched it in several weeks
  2. I haven’t been running well (or as well as i expected)
  3. Every time I start to work on my plan I stop
  4. I’m very tired and have a lot of other things on my mind…
  5. Such as AP tests, grades, etc all of which are slipping.
  6. Rupert told me my Avatar was too large, and that I had to trim it down =(
  7. Everything I’m doing has been a slow and painful route towards mediocrity (what I want is a CCS championship)

Why I don’t feel like letting this thread go…

  1. Running and the whole “can do and MUST DO” attitude have been ingrained into my very being
  2. I want to run well next year and want a referance
  3. I DO believe I can run fast
  4. I simply don’t know how to achieve my goals, and want some help getting there
  5. I would loose self respect for myself if I gave up

Why did I post any of this? One reason

  1. I want to achieve my goals. Last year I set goals for myself, and I achieved them. I wrote an essay and what I said verbatum was “I set goals for myself, and it was through the realization of those goals that I defined myself as a person. I determined that I could climb MY mountain. I could cross MY rivers.”


Sounds like some time management is in order. You’re in a tough patch with the semester coming to an end and the accumulation of many months of hard workouts taking its toll. Your feelings about this thread are a microcosm of your feelings on life and training in general. When I was in school I worked it out like this:

-Sleep is #1…nothing else works without it
-Follow the plan you’ve got and rethink it after the season. You’ve already put a lot of time into creating it. Those deep google and searches may have to be put on hold for a while.

Thanks joel. Your words of encouragement always seem to help me refocus on my goals. I did refocus on my goals and racing these past two days. I popped off a 51.2 open 400 today, so I don’t think I really can do any more whining about speed or strength :smiley:

Have you read my short story, The Kiss? It’s based on my trip to Raleigh. It’s in the off-topic section.

I can’t be telling you what to do anymore; you’ve run faster than I have…Nice race! Hadn’t been checking the boards lately so thanks for pointing out the Kiss story. Good stuff. I promise they won’t tease like that in college.
Give a shout on the board if you expect to be in Raleigh again.