slow first 200m of season

I ran my first 200m yesterday since starting back up training again in august and I am in good 400 meter shape but faded in my 200m and ended up running 22.62. I am lost to why my time was so slow. My coach doesnt do alot of speed work mainly 400 meter type workouts but I have been running my 350m and 450m workouts in 49-51 pace in flats. I would think my 200m would be around 21.5 at least and I came around the curve with everyone and was actually ahead of a guy that finished in 21.8 but then I faded the last 100m and came dead last. I am in shape but need some advice on what I might be doing wrong in training or need to do to drop my time.

Special Endurance capacity is absolutely specific to the speed you need to race at. (as you have now discovered!)
All the strength in the world at 400 pace will not help your finish in shorter events BUT your first 200 will operate as specific SE towards your next one. hopefully you will see that in your next 200m race. It may take several runs as you have been training far below race pace up to now.

so should I stick to my current training my coach has me on or move to more 200 meter type workouts and race pace speed work or just rely on racing at more meets?

I think you want to race as much as you can and not change too much at this point

well I have ran 3 200’s since
22.62 .8w

23.03 -1.5w this was 10 min after my 400m so I was still fatigued

22.66 3.8w

so I am still around the same times I think I might take some more meets. As far as training goes would it help to put in speed work this summer? The only meets left are the summer meets here so I am trying to at least get under 22 by the end of july if that is possible.

How was the 400m?

Ok well I only ran the 400 one time and ran 51.8. I ran the 100 in 11.19 and 22.62 was my best run this season:( I competed tonight but the same problem occured again, I came off the curve in first by about 5 meters then by 180 I was 4th and just gave up and jogged in a 23.4 winning time was 22.4. I just dont understand why I still cant drop my time I have ran in 3 meets since the last one . I would think I would have ran at least a 22 flat by now but I keep dying at around 130. What should I do?


How hard (as a percentage of effort) do you feel you run the bend? Also what is your tactic in executing your race (e.g. do you run hard from the gun, do you try to accelerate smoothly for 50m then hold, etc)?

Well the coach I started training with said to go all out and maintain. All my 200m races except the one I ran 23.05 into -1.5 were all out from the gun. The only reason I did not go all out on the 23 second run was because I was tired from the 400m 10 minutes earlier so I strided the first 60 meters then went all out for the rest of the race.

Try accelerating smoothly to near top speed to 40-50m (near top speed ‘feeling’ like you’re running at 97%) and then maintain rhythm from there. Just three things to remember:

  1. Don’t get drawn into responding to anyone if they seem to be moving ahead on the bend- maintain form and poise.
  2. Don’t kick off the bend, let the rhythm take you out and hold form.
  3. Hold form and stay relaxed down the home straight (as fatigue sets in it will start ‘feeling’ naturally like 100% effort as you try to maintain your pace).

Good luck and let me know how you get on.

To me, your 200m times seems about right when looking at your 100m and 400m time.
11.19 x 2 = 22.38 (a tiny bit off)
then your 51.8 400m deff has the potential to be dropping a few more seconds indeed.
If your 200m will be the sole focus - and all your training is geared towards 400m work (and only achieving 51.8) then you to ask whats going on.
A massive change in training to full speed work will only tighten you right up and potentiall cause an injury.
What you can do perhaps?

  • Race weekly
  • mid wk time trials perhaps? (120-150’s)

Excellent advice from Track007, it was Ato Boldon who said that he did not come out @ 100%, more like 90-95, then let the curve feel like it was downhill as he accelerated, maintaining in the straight is the key, 200 is like the Rodney Dangerfield of track, never gets it’s props.:rolleyes:

The thing is I always lead till 150 then flat out die and drop off bad. All of these runs I led 21.8 guys till 140-150 then they just fly by me and keep pulling away and I end up in 22.6 all within 50 meters distance. I might run one more 200m in a week then I’m through for the season. I will try going out 95% through 50 and then 100% the rest of the way and see what time I can get.

well I am currently looking for a different coach thats more geared to sprinting. I think the continuous slow tempo training year round really hurt my speed. I have never really ran track before but when I trained by myself my pr was 10.74 and I started that season with 11.4 so i decided to get a coach and now I ran a best of 11.19 all year and in my last meet ran 11.5.:confused: I’ve never ran so slow in my life well I see what happens once I find a sprint coach

Hello all,

I just raced my first 200m of the year yesterday, and I ran pretty ridiculously slow. My wind legal PB is 25.15, and yesterday I ran a 26.41- yikes!

I was in lane 4, got a pretty good start and felt pretty good in the first 50m. I didn’t really “float” the second 50m of the race though, I probably expended too much effort. (My coach had me at 12.00 ht through the first 100, so he thinks there is enough speed in place to go under 25.00 FAT which is my goal this year)

The second 100m of the race was a disaster; I was focused on passing this guy in lane 5 that I usually beat, and instead of just letting my long limbs do their job, I started to hammer my arms and muscled it big-time. I died a horrible death at 160m. What a rookie!

I have hardly done any speed endurance past 120m yet, and the past 8 weeks of SPP have been pretty heavy on the weights. I’m a lot stronger than I was last year, but I’m currently about 9 lbs heavier. I could probably stand to lose 5 to 7 lbs of fat.

So I asked myself “What would Charlie do?”, and here is what I came up with.

I’m going to back off the weights and start a maintenance phase next week, then start to compete as much as possible in early to mid July. (I’ll be in scorching hot Texas, so conditions should be really good)

I have loads of time on my hands in July and August, so I can do more low intensity stuff. I just haven’t had the time lately for more than 1000 reps of medball a week. I can slowly bump that up to 2000 to 2500 reps per week, then back it off if needed closer to late July.

My two main meets are the USA Masters in California July 22-25, and Colorado Masters August 28-29.

Is it pointless for a masters guy to do a triple periodisation?

Should I just do a long taper off what I have now speedwise through July and August, or taper down for USA Masters in late July, then do some active rest post-meet the last week in July, then another four week block in August?

Keep in mind I have a helluva lot of time on my hands in July and August for low intensity stuff.

Comments would be most appreciated. Thanks everyone!


When is your next race? If you want to get strong at the 200m and you must get some overdistance work in ex 2x250 rest 25-30mins.

For ex:

Mon: Speed 0-60m+Weights (bench+rows)

Tue: Tempo 1500m+1000throws+600abs+mobility


Thur: Starts+SE 2x300, 2x250, or 2x200-180-150+Weights (sq+bench+pullups)


Sat: Tempo 2200m+900throws+600abs+hurdle mobility


If you are feeling great maybe you can fit another tempo day into the cycle. Also if you can fit a 400m race into your cycle early on.

Hi RB,

Thanks for the detailed response. My big races are in bold, the others are possibilities. If you know of any others, feel free to let me know.

I totally agree about the overdistance. I’ve done a couple of 220’s but only at 95% since I’m racing soon. I did more of them last year and they worked for me. I think since it’s almost July, races are going to be much of my SE for the summer.

June 27, 2010: Ontario Masters Championships, Toronto, ON

July 8, 2010: Thursday Night T&F - Trinity University, San Antonio, TX

July 9, 2010: Summer Twilight Series - Austin, TX

July 10, 2010: Texas Masters Championships, Coppell, TX

July 15, 2010: Thursday Night T&F - Trinity University, San Antonio, TX

July 22, 2010: Thursday Night T&F - Trinity University, San Antonio, TX

July 22-25, 2010: USATF Masters Outdoor Nationals, Sacramento,CA

July 29, 2010: Thursday Night T&F - Trinity University, San Antonio, TX

August 13, 2010: Summer Twilight Series - Austin, TX

August 28-29: Rocky Mountain Masters Games- Boulder, CO

There is about five weeks between my big July meet and my big August meet. There are a couple of approaches I could take:

  1. Do a single taper from the beginning of July to the end of August.

  2. Active rest after the USA Masters meet from July 25 - July 30, and a short third SPP leading to the Colorado meet on August 28-29.

Which is best, and why?

Your problem is from a lack of planning because with all those bunched meets you can’t really do too much of anything. Most of your training should be done by now, you should be maintaining with starts and 1-2x150’s submax early in the week. You still have about 2 weeks before the first bunch of races = time to perform at least two overdistance sessions ex: 2x250 or 2(150+100)rest 30-60sec/20-30min. Just expect to run like shit until August use the meets as training.

I forgot your last question:

There is about five weeks between my big July meet and my big August meet.

After the USA Masters meet (July 22-25), should there be active rest and a short third SPP?

Or should I just do a long taper down from the beginning of July to the Colorado meet?

You have no time to take rest or perform SPP 3 etc. If your body is worn out take 2-3 days of passive rest then get back to work. Train then perform a 10day taper leading into the last meet in August.

Thanks RB!

I will get to work, and will do those 2x250m overdistance runs next week as you advised. I will only run meets if they work for me.

I need to run a 24.xx or I just wasted 9 months!