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Middle distance (800, 1600, 3200) race problem diagnosis for a relatively inexperienced track racer. (Read 115 times)

    ^That's actually another point I wish to address-


    I've actually been told that my endurance is good, but I lack speed-> How would you tell if you're lacking skill in one area (as in, am I doing well in the speed workouts because I'm fast, or because my endurance allows me to hang in there; is there some kind of difference?)

     

    Well, there's many ways to tell.

     

    When you race, do you find that going any faster than a certain pace feels nearly impossible, but yet you can hold a slightly slower pace for a long time? What would happen in races, especially track, is that everyone else gets way ahead of you right away, despite you feeling like you're running your tail off. But, but the time 800m rolls around, you're starting to reel in those that have speed and started fast,  but lack the endurance to hold the fast pace.

     

    Another way to tell is to compare your times across various distances. If you take your 1600m time, and plug it into a running calculator it will tell you what you should be able to run at other distances. Let's say you plug in your 1600m time and it says you should be able to run a 2:220 800m, but you can't go faster than 2:30, I'd say you lack some speed, or haven't done the training to race faster yet.  If on the other hand you can run appreciably faster than 2:20, you probably lack endurance (or guts).

     

    The other thing you need to consider or ask yourself what kind of runner/athlete are you? If you've played other sports such as basketball, were you one of the fast or quick guys on the team?  If not, you might just not be suited for short fast races.  In most cases, the fast and quick guys in basketball, do well in the short track distances, but fall apart quickly in a race more than a mile.

    I think it was Spaniel (frequent poster here) who once said he could never break 60 in the 400m, but yet he has some pretty impressive 5K, 10K, and marathon PRs.


    Feeling the growl again

      ^That's actually another point I wish to address-


      I've actually been told that my endurance is good, but I lack speed-> How would you tell if you're lacking skill in one area (as in, am I doing well in the speed workouts because I'm fast, or because my endurance allows me to hang in there; is there some kind of difference?)

       

      If that were the case, you would be doing comparatively better at the 3200m than the 800/1600.  I would know as there was a time I was doing 9:50 for the 3200 but couldn't break 2:12 for the 800m.

      "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

       


      Muddling through

        ^That's actually another point I wish to address-


        I've actually been told that my endurance is good, but I lack speed-> How would you tell if you're lacking skill in one area (as in, am I doing well in the speed workouts because I'm fast, or because my endurance allows me to hang in there; is there some kind of difference?)

        The comment about lacking speed may merely be an acknowledgment that you don't have the speed to be a good sprinter, not necessarily that you are slow. Endurance or lack thereof can often be seen by how quickly your performance worsens as the race distance increases. There are calculators that give equivalent performances, sort of like the way point values are awarded in the decathlon events, so performances in different events can be compared. As an example I'll take your 800m time of 2:35 and assume an age of 15. One calculator I use gives the equivalent 1600m time as 5:40 and your 3200m time as 12:05. Comparing those times to what you've actually run, it does seem that you lack some in endurance. You have enough speed and endurance to run as well at 1600m as you do at 800m, but not enough endurance to carry much beyond that as evidenced by your much slower 3200m time. Of course that could also be because you are running too hard in training, race when you're tired, so of course the longer races would show a slow down and degradation in performance.

        2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

        II Run II


          Hmm, is there any way to target this weakness without a loss of training in the area of speed?  (is it enough just to run more distance, or is there something else such as temp runs, etc.)

          scappodaqui


          rather be sprinting

            My coaches swear by race-pace-specific work, as do others like Jack Daniels.  Basically, the idea would be to run a number of reps at 3200m speed to get used to it and slowly decrease rest/jog intervals.  But ask your coaches.

            PRs: 5k 19:25, mile 5:38, HM 1:30:56

            Lifting PRs: back squat 176 lb

              Hmm, is there any way to target this weakness without a loss of training in the area of speed?  (is it enough just to run more distance, or is there something else such as temp runs, etc.)

               

              By running more mileage, you will build your endurance and your bodies ability to absorb the hard training days. That should almost always be a distance runners starting point.  W/out endurance, speed means next to nothing for a distance event.

               

              I don't believe the key for you to getting appreciably faster at any of your distance is to starting hammering 300m or 400m reps.  You'll improve more with more mileage, and more tempo-paced efforts. The tempo efforts could be what some call cruise intervals (1K to 1mile repeats at your threshold pace), or longer continuous runs at slightly slower than threshold pace. What you can do to thwart your concern about leg speed, is to tack on some fast 200's (800m to 1600m race effort) after the end of your tempo runs. This type of blended workout will hit your primary weakness (which by the way is nearly every runners weakness), and keep your legs used to running at track race speed.   You could/shouid do this once/week. One other day per week could be dedicated to race pace efforts (e.g. 200 to 300m reps at 800m pace, or 400m reps at 1600m pace, or 600m reps at 3200m pace, or a combination of these. I'd use your 1600m race as the basis for your training paces.  Just make sure you include a decent amount of mileage as a warm up and cool down.

               

              I suggest picking up the Daniels' running forumla book as I think he does a pretty good jog explaining some of the key concepts, and it includes some training plans for a HS track distances.

              II Run II


                Ok, thanks!

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