>Running 101>Last few weeks to track.. need some evaluation please.
I'm not sure how difficult it is to "evaluate" where a runner is as my knowledge in running is somewhat limited, but I'll still give it a shot.
Sorry for not having a log with which you can look at my times (I can make one if you need it). I got my total mileage data from the GPS watch I'm using.
So, I have been running very frequently all winter (I couldn't run every day because I got sick twice, weather, and sometimes I got really busy)--I have hit 150 for total mileage and I think (hope) I will reach 200+. I began with shorter runs, and recently, I had a 9 mile run. Most of the runs were on gradually-hilly ground and on average, I estimate that the average time per mile was around 8:30.
I did some biking on those stationary bikes on some of the days I didn't run. It was about 30 minutes/bike, but I don't recall how many times I actually biked.
I just finished the cross country season some while ago, so I believe my PRs may have changed.
I estimate (the slowest guessed time is my PR in said event) that my after cross country 800 time is between 2:15-2:25, my 1600 time is between 5:10-5:30, and my 3200 is anywhere between 12:00 and 12:48. Although I do not know the actual exact time at this moment, I feel that the ranges are accurate.
My question is, where would you evaluate me right now--is a sub-2 800 (this may be pushing it a little..) and a sub-5 1600 even feasible for me (or at the end of this track season) based on where I am at right now?
-If it is, should I do anything different right now, such as adding some speed workouts?
Thanks for your help!
I'd be honest with you; with the information you had provided, anybody who could give you explicit predicted times would either be a lair or God.
In middle and distance running events, there are basically 3 fundamentals. Your stamina/endurance, your ability to hold a fast pace despite hard breathing, and leg-speed. If you can run 10-15 miles at nice comfortable pace, say, at 7-minute pace or faster and that's no problem for you, as a high schooler, you have pretty good stamina. But that does not ensure a good 1600m time. If that's the kind of training you do all the time, then you will struggle to keep up with the field right from the gun but, at the finish, you feel like you can continue running hard for another mile or more. You may be able to run, say, 70-second 400m 10 times with 200m recovery break and feel no strain, that still won't ensure you to run a sub-5 mile. Of course, if you're struggling to break 60-seconds for 400m, you'll have a hard time getting near 2:05 however hard you try.
I'm assuming, when you say you run 150 miles, that's per month??? Then that's about 5-miles a day if you run everyday. As a high schooler, 9-miles being the longest run and/or you doing all those runs at 8:30 is not quite enough. Most decent high school kid would have no problem going 12-miles (or 20k) at well below 8-minute pace and keeping it quite comfortable aerobic pace. You just finished your CC season but you never mentioned how well you did. If you were doing CC 5k race in, say, 18-minutes, you'll have a good chance of cracking 5-minutes for a mile with systematic speed training for track.
At this point I don't think you even understand where you are--20 seconds range for 1600m is not a good "estimate" but quite frankly nothing but a guess. It would pay if you just go on a track and run 2000m (5 laps) and taking lap time to see what sort of pick-up/slowing-down your laps would shoe; based on that time and how your lap time goes, and based MORE on what you've been doing in training (if you've actually been doing mostly distance work, topping at 9-mile; or if you've been doing lots of interval type training) . Right now, everything you're doing, it seems to me, is nothing more than crap-shooting.
You need, first, to sit down and evaluate whether you're a 800-1600m type of a 1600-3200 type. It really wouldn't take much sophisticated measurement to determine; just see which event you like better--800 or 3200--and also where you stand within the team; which event, 800 or 3200, you place higher within your team. It would pay you better to focus on 2 events instead of 3. If you do well in 2 events, the third one would sort itself out. And then "evaluate" where your fitness level is; again, whether you had been doing lots of interval type training or doing mostly lots of mileage. With that in mind, count back how many weeks you have from now until the most important track meet of the season. Hopefully you have somewhere around 15-20 weeks. 15 is cutting short, though it's probably realistic, but, if you had been doing solid distance work for CC, you may be fine. Take 4-6 weeks before the target event to actually get used to races; then about 4 weeks for sharpening with intervals and hills, and the rest for distance work.
Don't place the times that you would like to run in the races first. They will come IF you've done all the homework well. Think about covering all the points that you would need to race well; and THEN the rest would come to you naturally. You cannot, and should not, force your training based on wishful thinking.
Nobby's got better advice than me, but just a thought: a <2:00min 800m is much harder than a <5:00min 1600m (for most of us).
2:15-2:25 is an enormous range for 800m as is 5:10-5:30 for 1600m. If you're on the low end of that range for the 800 then you shouldn't have trouble with a <5:00min 1600.
But all that aside, if you "think" that your fitness has changed from the fall you should just go do a race effort time trial on the track. Anything, 400m, 800m or 1600m would give you a better idea as to where your fitness is at than what any of us on here could tell you.
I wouldn't waste a lot of effort trying to predict how much your fitness has changed--the only way to know is to race and you'll get your chance to do that once track starts. I wouldn't do a time trial right now, just run your base mileage and wait for the season to start.
Getting from 2:15-2:25 down to sub-2:00 is highly unlikely. Sub-5:00 should be within your reach and low 11s for 3200 is a possibility. It will require a lot more mileage as well as some event specific training to get there if I'm reading your post correctly. I'm understanding it as you running 150-200 miles total since the end of xc in early November. That's not much even for a young HS runner. I'd expect 150-200 miles per month. Your coach should be giving you workouts, not us. In any case there's no magic workout. It takes a combination of varied workouts put together over time.
2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race
Can you run a 400 in 52.xx? Then maybe you can break 2:00 this year for the 800. If not, it will be a longer road.
The Logic of Long Distance
Not enough info to go on.
You've been doing the right thing by training in the offseason, even if it was only 150 miles for the entire offseason. As a high schooler you're still young enough to "improve by osmosis" even if you don't run in the offseason but its good that you did.
The 800-3200m is a wide range of races. You may be more of a 400/800 runner or a 3200 runner who can come down to the 1600m for a "short race". With the wide range of times given its tough to tell where you stand...and its natural at the low mileage most high schoolers do that you're relatively faster at the 800 rather than the 3200 even though once trained properly you may be better at the 3200.
Let your "natural speed" be the guide for where you want to concentrate this spring.
As Jeff said if you're not down in the 52-53 second range for a 400 then sub 2 for the 800m will be tough. But if you have that top end speed I'd do 800/1600.
I'd say if you can do a 400 in 55-56 and can stick it out to 800 in 2:10-2:15 you should break 5 for the mile...(also makes your decision tougher - this is where I was).
If you don't have that top end speed and can't do under 61-62 for the 400 you probably want to stick more with the 1600/3200 and run the 800 for more of a variety.