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I created an 18 minute video on 800 meter training, with an slight emphasis for 400 meters moving up in distance.
Scroll below for the video, or click here for the video on YouTube.
Here is the presentation in PowerPoint with the transcript of the 12 slides on AuthorStream. You can also download the PPT or Video file (MP4 version) or get the transcripts from that link as well.
Below is the executive summary, with references to the charts and diagrams.
Considerations before Moving Up
There are hundreds of reasons or considerations on why you may consider moving up to the 800 meters. Here are only a handful:
- current 400m time and desired 800m time
- compare with standards in your age group, or local area
- chronological age of the athlete
- training age of the athlete (i.e. how many years of serious training)
- physical attributes of the athlete (tall, skinny, etc)
- current coach, teammates and support group
- desire for aerobic work
- mental toughness… at 500m they are all going to start kicking for home. Are you ready for it?
Bring out the Calculators
4 seconds per lap rule
5 seconds per lap rule
double plus 10 second conversion (Canada’s Gary Reed)
double plus 12 second conversion
double plus 14 second conversion, IAAF “B” standards are 45.95 and 1:46.60
Sample 400m PRs and Splits of Elite Athletes
I took a random sample of a few well known athletes (my favorites… if you have some to add, please comment below)
It’s interesting that the men in 1:41 range “only” had 46 second 400m speed!
The golden secret to 800 meter success? It’s all about speed reserve!
800 meter Training Weekly Cycle
800 meter training requires optimal balance of Anaerobic/Aerobic training… more than any race distance!
So things get pretty busy for a 800 meter runner. That’s because you have to squeeze in the following (thus 2 workouts a day is the norm):
- speed track sessions (anywhere from 30-400m, depending on your philosophy)
- 800m race pace track sessions
- over distance 1500m track sessions
- steady state or Tempo or VO2 runs (1 or 2X per week)
- easy recovery runs (4 or 5X per week)
- long run (1 per week)
- strength/weight training (2X per week)
- circuit training or other training (Pilates, yoga, speedbag, etc).
So a sample training week for a 800m would be something like this assuming hard sessions in the AM for weather reasons. Some 800 meter runners like the recovery run in the AM to allow more time before the afternoon track workout.
- Monday: AM – strength training PM – recovery run
- Tuesday: AM – speed session PM – recovery run
- Wednesday: AM – circuit training PM – steady state running
- Thursday: AM – distance intervals PM – recovery run
- Friday: AM – strength training PM – steady state running
- Saturday: AM – 800m session PM – recovery run
- Sunday: AM – long run
800 meter Training Video
Other 800 meter Training articles
- Steve Ovett 800 meter Training
- 800 meter Training with Scott Christensen
- Peter Snell’s 800m Training for 1:44.3 800m WR
- The Arthur Lydiard Method – Training from 800 meters to Marathon
- Was Arthur Lydiard Right All Along?