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NACAC Coaching
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Anonymous
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Mileman said 4 months ago

How much mileage is required for the 800m?

So I'm sure there are a 1000 different threads on this on let's run, but I'd be interested in getting peoples take on here.

I know there are different types of 800m runners, So I'll break this question in to 2 parts.

How much mileage do you think is required during the base phase for a speed specialist 800m runner, to eventually run say a 1:50 to 1:52? My definition of speed specialist is pretty moderate 48.xx to 50.xx for 400m.

and...

How much mileage do you think is required during the base phase for a endurance 800m runner, to eventually run again a 1:50 to 1:52? My definition of endurance specialist is pretty moderate again (3:53 to 3:55 for 1500m, 8:3X for 3K, but can still do a 51.xx, 52.xx, 53.xx for 400m.

Thoughts?

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  • powerboy User since:
    Dec 11th, 2014
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    powerboy said 4 months ago

    Always nice to have a real question to discuss! You did ask about 2 quite distinct levels of talent. However, generally speaking, a 3:53-55 guy with 51 speed simply isn't fast enough to run 1:50, so the mileage is irrelevant . However, if you take that model down to 3:50 and low 51 speed, he has a chance, and certainly could run 1:52. I think this endurance based guy needs about 80k at a minimum, and if he is 22 and older, he should be doing 100k.

    Your speed guy is quite a different story, especially if he is sub 49. He can survive on as little as 50 k in base. Where he will run 1:50 will come from specific intervals like 600s in 1:22 etc.

    But how about a 3rd option! If this speed based guy trains more like the mid D guy-80-90k and builds his strength to be able to run 3:50, then he should be able to run 1:48!

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    Anonymous said 4 months ago

    http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?thread=2669719
    this is all you need.

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  • kantrun User since:
    Oct 24th, 2017
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    KantRun said 4 months ago

    I think mileage depends a lot on how training affects that person. Just as much as being a 4-8 compared to 8-15 is important.

    Since this question describes me exactly I can give you the experimental results from myself for a couple seasons. I guess I would be described as a 8-15 guy. Given this is just my experience so take it with a grain of salt.

    In my g12 year I was playing basketball in the winter and and running partime 10-15km from workouts, then in the spring I was doing the same except I was playing rugby and that was till the start of June. Starting in June I was running 30km a week through a four workout a week (one specific speed workout) plus one off day run regiment. I ran 1:50.58 that season.
    The next season I was just running track with no other sports. I trained full time running 60km a week with only 2 workouts a week and no speed workouts. I didn’t pb that season despite training way more and having a base season under me.

    So for me lower mileage worked better despite being more of a 8-15 guy. Therefore I would say that you should try both ways, higher mileage and lower mileage because either might work.

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    Anonymous said 4 months ago

    How about for a female HS runner who is just starting and wants to run under 2:20 .Ran cross in the fall made top 115 at OFSSA. Did indoor season and tried running everything from 200 to 1500. Best events were 400 and 800. 400 was 63 ish and 800 2:27 ish 1500 5:28. Any advise would be appreciated. Been on let’s run and looking for better knowledgeable sound advise not to injury or discourage this young runner from the sport.

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  • runningman User since:
    Feb 23rd, 2018
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    Runningman said 4 months ago

    I am assuming this is a question about an adult over the age of 18.

    Seb Cor ran some awfully high mileage as does David Rudisha. I always wondered why but given their success it seems to work.

    I am surprised at how little mileage youth 800m runners put in on Canada. Perhaps this might explain our weakness compared to US times. When I mean little I mean under 30 km a week.

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    Anonymous said 4 months ago

    Quoting: Runningman
    "I am assuming this is a question about an adult over the age of 18.

    Seb Cor ran some awfully high mileage as does David Rudisha. I always wondered why but given their success it seems to work.

    I am surprised at how little mileage youth 800m runners put in on Canada. Perhaps this might explain our weakness compared to US times. When I mean little I mean under 30 km a week."



    I would not say Canada is weak at all compared to the US on the high level end. Look at the top 3-5 JR PB’s of last year compared to the US top 3-5 PB’s and keep in mind they have a population that’s 9 times bigger.

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  • caymantan User since:
    Jan 25th, 2015
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    Caymantan said 4 months ago

    I believe Tyler Smith ran 1:47 in high school on 60 Km/week and on the other hand Doug Wournell (1:46) was 80 - 100 Km. I would lean to more on the distance side especially if you are competing in meets with multiple rounds. Everyone is different though.

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  • bestcoach User since:
    Oct 20th, 2014
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    BestCoach said 4 months ago

    keep it under 55k/week
    long run 60mins max.
    join a mid/long distance club.

    Quoting: Anonymous
    "How about for a female HS runner who is just starting and wants to run under 2:20 .Ran cross in the fall made top 115 at OFSSA. Did indoor season and tried running everything from 200 to 1500. Best events were 400 and 800. 400 was 63 ish and 800 2:27 ish 1500 5:28. Any advise would be appreciated. Been on let’s run and looking for better knowledgeable sound advise not to injury or discourage this young runner from the sport."

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  • natd User since:
    Feb 7th, 2018
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    NatD said 4 months ago

    Quoting: Anonymous
    "How about for a female HS runner who is just starting and wants to run under 2:20 .Ran cross in the fall made top 115 at OFSSA. Did indoor season and tried running everything from 200 to 1500. Best events were 400 and 800. 400 was 63 ish and 800 2:27 ish 1500 5:28. Any advise would be appreciated. Been on let’s run and looking for better knowledgeable sound advise not to injury or discourage this young runner from the sport."


    Speaking from experience (and not as a coach), you could probably run sub-2:20 based on your current times. If you are not already doing a couple runs a week (like 20-30 min with one being easy and one being steady state), you could add that in to improve your endurance. This is assuming you are doing 2 interval workouts a week.

    Do you have a coach? If not, I would highly recommend looking into working with a coach that has a group with girls with similar goals.

    Good luck and please let us know if you run a sub-2:20 800 this season.

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  • oldster User since:
    Sep 25th, 2013
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    Oldster said 4 months ago

    If you're serious, my advice would be to consider the long term before you consider what you want to accomplish this season. And, while it may seem paradoxical, doing what's best in the long term often ends up getting you where you want to go in the short term too.

    On the question of mileage (by which I'm assuming you mean easy aerobic running), looking at the long terms means thinking in terms of more rather than less. If you are over 16 and are serious about the sport, you need to begin modeling your training after global norms for elite 800 runners-- not doing exactly what they do, but copying the format they use. And while there is some variation when it comes to peak training volume, the majority of top 800m runners have tended to do periods of pretty high volume (up to 160km/week for the fully mature athlete) at least since the time of Lydiard/Snell. For a high school aged athlete, I'd put this at 100-120k/week during early spring and fall (building carefully and keeping it very slow if this is new for you). Again, depending on how you respond, this may not give you maximum returns this particular season; but, it will teach you what it will take to maximize your long term potential, if that's what you're interested in. If you're not looking beyond the next couple of seasons, however, then just skip the aerobic base phase and do 3 sessions per week at race pace jog 20mins on the other days for 4-6 weeks, and don't even bother calculating your total volume. Your performances will fall off a cliff after about 8 weeks, but you will likely get a PB out of it (however, it may be the last PB you'll ever get if you try to repeat this approach more than 2 seasons in a row).

    P.S. If you're young, don't pigeon hole yourself as a "speed specialist" or "endurance specialist" 800m runner. Just train for the 800m, which is a highly aerobic event no matter who is running it.

    This post was edited by Oldster 4 months ago . 
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    Anonymous said 4 months ago

    Thank you for the advice. I am still very young just turned 14 at the end of November. I am now running with a club. I will let you know if I make my goal this summer but really would like to aim long term and if it does not happen this year , I have next year to try again.

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    Mileman said 4 months ago

    For an adult male (20+), ideally how long should a base phase last? We talking 3 months or substantially longer?

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  • runningman User since:
    Feb 23rd, 2018
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    Runningman said 4 months ago

    Quoting: Anonymous
    "I would not say Canada is weak at all compared to the US on the high level end. Look at the top 3-5 JR PB’s of last year compared to the US top 3-5 PB’s and keep in mind they have a population that’s 9 times bigger."


    Are you kidding?

    Top 800m times in the USA at high school levels destroy Canadian times. Look it up.

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    Anonymous said 4 months ago

    Quoting: Oldster
    "If you're serious, my advice would be to consider the long term before you consider what you want to accomplish this season. And, while it may seem paradoxical, doing what's best in the long term often ends up getting you where you want to go in the short term too.

    On the question of mileage (by which I'm assuming you mean easy aerobic running), looking at the long terms means thinking in terms of more rather than less. If you are over 16 and are serious about the sport, you need to begin modeling your training after global norms for elite 800 runners-- not doing exactly what they do, but copying the format they use. And while there is some variation when it comes to peak training volume, the majority of top 800m runners have tended to do periods of pretty high volume (up to 160km/week for the fully mature athlete) at least since the time of Lydiard/Snell. For a high school aged athlete, I'd put this at 100-120k/week during early spring and fall (building carefully and keeping it very slow if this is new for you). Again, depending on how you respond, this may not give you maximum returns this particular season; but, it will teach you what it will take to maximize your long term potential, if that's what you're interested in. If you're not looking beyond the next couple of seasons, however, then just skip the aerobic base phase and do 3 sessions per week at race pace jog 20mins on the other days for 4-6 weeks, and don't even bother calculating your total volume. Your performances will fall off a cliff after about 8 weeks, but you will likely get a PB out of it (however, it may be the last PB you'll ever get if you try to repeat this approach more than 2 seasons in a row).

    P.S. If you're young, don't pigeon hole yourself as a "speed specialist" or "endurance specialist" 800m runner. Just train for the 800m, which is a highly aerobic event no matter who is running it."



    How would you adjust this if you are talking a masters 400 sprinter moving up to 800?

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    Anonymous said 4 months ago

    It is very difficult to get this volume of running in with school, work and basically 2 hours of riding the bus each day to and from school. Rest and good nutrition are equally as important so how do you fit this all into 1 day? Maintaining a 90% + average is also important to me which usually means atleast 2 hours of home work each day. Suggestions?

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  • powerboy User since:
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    powerboy said 4 months ago

    Quoting: Anonymous
    "It is very difficult to get this volume of running in with school, work and basically 2 hours of riding the bus each day to and from school. Rest and good nutrition are equally as important so how do you fit this all into 1 day? Maintaining a 90% + average is also important to me which usually means atleast 2 hours of home work each day. Suggestions?"


    You can't do everything. So you have to decide how important the running is to you.

    But I often have similar discussions with my athletes, and point out that you always have 1 hour a day to run. To say you don't is making excuses. So run for an hour a day in base period. That should give you 75-80k a week. That's enough base to start.

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    Andrew Jones said 4 months ago

    And while there is some variation when it comes to peak training volume, the majority of top 800m runners have tended to do periods of pretty high volume (up to 160km/week for the fully mature athlete) at least since the time of Lydiard/Snell. For a high school aged athlete, I'd put this at 100-120k/week during early spring and fall (building carefully and keeping it very slow if this is new for you). Again, depending on how you respond, this may not give you maximum returns this particular season; but, it will teach you what it will take to maximize your long term potential,

    I feel that this is a very important factor that many 800m coaches/athletes overlook. And the track media (see LR) loves to crow about "Athlete runs 1:45 off 40kms a week", or some such similar headline.

    Granted, there have been athletes that may have achieved fast 800m times off little volume, but as Steve mentions, this doesn't last very long -- both within a season and across multiple seasons. These runners tend to make a brief appearance on a stage (see national/international) but we don't go on to remember their names, owing to the brevity of their careers.

    Any of the (remembered) "greats" will have no doubt put in some solid aerobic development to 1) maximize their potential, and 2) be able to run fast times year after year. And the numbers Steve outlines are right on, though many may think that 100-120 for a HS 800m runner is a lot.

    Powerboy is right that an hour a day is little sacrifice for a serious runner, and at, say, a 4:45 per kilometer training pace that would produce a week during base phase of just under 90kms. Add a double on some days, or a slightly longer run here or there, and the athlete would be at the 100km level.

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  • nc-blogger User since:
    Sep 12th, 2014
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    NC Blogger said 4 months ago

    Quoting: Anonymous
    "It is very difficult to get this volume of running in with school, work and basically 2 hours of riding the bus each day to and from school. Rest and good nutrition are equally as important so how do you fit this all into 1 day? Maintaining a 90% + average is also important to me which usually means atleast 2 hours of home work each day. Suggestions?"


    Get off the bus early! When I was in HS, I would send my bag home with my brother (it could be a friend that gets off at the same stop) and pick it up when I got home. I lived about 8 miles from school. The run usually took me 50-55 minutes. The bus ride was 35.

    You have to commute anyways, so commute with a bit of a run. The way I saw it, I got a 55 minute run in and only took up 20 minutes!

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  • runningman User since:
    Feb 23rd, 2018
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    Runningman said 4 months ago

    Think you guys are being trolled by our anonymous poster.

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  • new-post-last-visitanonymous Anonymous
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    Anonymous said 4 months ago

    Not at all! The information is well received. From another 14 year old going on 15 year old girl my parents might be a little concerned about me running instead of taking the bus. I really appreciate all of the advice.

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