Believe it or not, I missed the Olympic 800 meters in the stadium, and I didn’t even watch it on TV.
Why? Because I was attending a private coaching clinic with Jessica Ennis, Toni Minichiello and Mick Hill. I’ll be posting that 60 minute interview shortly on this Blog, so stay tuned.
David Rudisha 800m WR
One of the reasons why I collect splits for the sprints and hurdles is to find the sweet spot for ideal race pace.
This will lead me to the most important question:
What do you need to do in TRAINING to accomplish this?
It doesn’t matter if you run 1:40 or 2:00 for the 800 meters. You need to have the right stuff (I’ll get more into that later)
Now, I wasn’t at the stadium, so I’m relying on second hand information.
According to LetsRun.com, David Rudisha’s 400 meter splits were:
49.28 + 51.63 (a differential of 2.35) = 1:40.91
According to Track and Field News, 200 meter splits were:
- 25.8 [49.28]
- 25.0 [1:14.3]
I think we all know David Rudisha WAS the rabbit in this race as opposed to the other races. Quite an incredible feat!
Predicting 800m Potential
That double plus 10 seconds works out to the first lap around 3-4 sec slower than your 400m SB, and the second lap about 3 seconds slower than the first lap. (For example, [3.3 x 2] + 3.3 = ~10 seconds)
As you can see from the splits above, the sweet spot between the 2 laps is anywhere from 2.5 to 4 seconds. Each body is different because every trains differently.
Multi-pace 800m Training
One of these days I’ll have to interview Wynn Gmitroski.
If I ask you to run the first lap in 50 seconds and your PB is 50, you’ll be in a world of hurt at 500 meters. If it’s 46, then you should be okay.
What that means is you need all 3 types of pace training at the 400, 800 and 1500 meter levels. Hence 3 track sessions a week, each one with specific goals. Speed, race pace, and endurance/strength.
You need that speed reserve for the first lap, so the faster your PB, the easier it will feel when it’s 3 or 4 seconds slower. You still have to do the aerobic and lactate training, though.
Now everyone has their theories, and they have proven it with their results like Arthur Lydiard (coach of Peter Snell) or Harry Wilson (coach of Steve Ovett). This Blog has a wealth of training articles, so here goes…
800m Training Articles
- 800 meter Training Weekly Cycle (and Video slideshow) This gives an example on how to setup 13 training sessions in a week.
- Peter Snell Training with Arthur Lydiard famous training methods. Definitely a long to short program!
- Steve Ovett Training: Again, definitely a long to short program and quite a contrast to Seb Coe.
- Scott Christensen Training Videos. This is worth a look for the High School and Junior College coaches, as he follows a similar philosophy as me.
- 800 meter training by William Wuyke. This is a classic article with over 30 comments with full workouts and annual plans.
- How Much mileage should a 800 meter run? The classic question to prevent overtraining and burnout.
- Sample 800m workout: The Breakdown Here is my performance indicator chart that breaks down one of tracks classic workout. Looks easier on paper.