Help me train to run the 800 meter dash for a college-wide competition 3 months away
August 19, 2011 1:03 AM   Subscribe

Help me train to run and win the 800 meter dash for a college-wide competition 3 months away

I am 28 years old, and just slightly chubby at 5 feet 8 and 3/4 inches, and 172 lbs. I have been an athlete all my life, and have been competitive in triathlon in recent years..

I am competing in my school wide open track meet for fun on November 10th 2011.

My current 400 meter time is 63 seconds, 800 meter 2:27, 1000 meter 3:15, and 1500 meter is 5:08. 3,200 meter is 12:44 and 5000 Meter is 20:54. But I have done faster than most of these times about 9 years ago when I was a semi-pro soccer player. I assume my best chances at winning first place are in the 800, and the 1500.

Last year first place in the 800 meter was 2:16. I want to be able to drop 11 seconds off my time for the 800 to get first place, and I want to also improve my 1500 as much as possible.

What are my chances of dropping to a 2:16 by Nov 10th?
How can I do it?

Avoiding injury will be paramount, I know that.
Rest, recovery, and losing body fat will also help.

But what specific things, running workouts, non running workouts, and "other" things can I do to meet my goal of getting first place in the 800? I imagine I can start off by dropping 10 lbs of fat, and trading off speedwork, core strengthening, with rest days and longer slower running days mixed in. Any more specific recommendations?

Pain, discomfort, or hunger, for the next 3 months is bearable.
posted by crawltopslow to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You seem to have a good grasp of the fundamentals of physical training, but to reach your goals, you might also consider mental training.
posted by j03 at 1:25 AM on August 19, 2011

As a former 800 meter runner, I have to say there were two tricks one needs to master for this incredibly difficult distance.

The first one is just to accept you can already feel incredibly tired after the first lap of 400 meter, because that doesn't say everything. The second trick was that we knew we could always run the last 200 meters in 26/27 seconds, no matter how dead we were, just by keeping on running, regardless of the pain; often by concentrating on technique.

Now, running as we did, which was more on instinct than a conscious thing at the last stages, came after years of hard training. You won't have that time. But you can learn is that tempo hardness a bit.

This demands you need to learn to sprint at a moment when you seem to be incapable to sprint anymore. We did so called suicide trainings for this. Meaning we ran several 600 meters on a training, in the way of 300 meters full out sprint - 50 meters fast jogging - 250 meter full out sprint.

Once you know you have that finish, you can take it relatively easy beforehand -- as you will tire anyway.
posted by ijsbrand at 3:09 AM on August 19, 2011

You're losing a lot of speed by going from the 400 to the 800. Have you paid attention to your splits? In peak form, your 400 splits in an 800 should be very close to your 400 time. I would start by taking splits at each 200 and figuring out where you're losing the time.

But with splits that big, you're probably leaving something on the table right now. That usually happens when you're going out too slow, but looking at your splits will determine that. What happens if try to run a 63 second 400 and then just survive for the rest? I'd be surprised if you run as slow as an 84 second 400 on the back end.
posted by Kwine at 8:39 AM on August 19, 2011

This article may help.
posted by Patrick Leo at 10:07 PM on August 19, 2011

Response by poster: Today I did an 800 in 2:21.
Here are my splits by each 200 meters:
31,34,36,40 In case maybe this information helps anyone!

Any more/new tips on how I can improve my 800 now?
posted by crawltopslow at 9:27 AM on August 20, 2011

Ok, so you were leaving something on the table-you're halfway to your goal time and just getting started. Bring the splits toward one another, but pick up more speed on the back end than you lose on the front. Do a week of training, take a day off, then try to hit something like 33, 33, 36, 35.

A good 'hard-day' workout for this is 400 repeats-your best 400 time plus 10%, then equivalent rest. So if I ran a 60 second 400 on my best day, I'd do 66 seconds on, 66 seconds off. Do it until you crack, or you get to 12 repeats (you'll probably crack first). Do a light day the day after.

You don't need to increase your 400 speed to get to where you want to be for the 800. You'll get there with room to spare if you hit the track hard.
posted by Kwine at 7:18 PM on August 21, 2011

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