Author Topic: 800m Stamina  (Read 10475 times)

Tinman

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800m Stamina
« on: December 14, 2010, 12:07:12 PM »
I'd like to share with you insight into how I perceive the value of stamina training from a practical perspective. Here is an email I sent to a friend today. He was inquiring how I might define the stamina needs of an 800m runner. I said the following:

An 800m runner doesn't need to have equal performance capacity to a
10,000m specialist, but they must have good stamina. The following are
what I think constitute the required stamina over 10,000m, for an 800m
runner. Otherwise, they need exceptional anaerobic capacity or speed.
For example, to achieve a 1:48 in the 800m, I would develop that
runners 10,000m time to near 30:50. I am not saying that I would omit
800m training until the 30:50 is reached; I would consistently include
stamina work that develops that runner's 10,000m performance toward
the 30:50 mark. If that runner was only able to run 33:00 in the
10,000m, for example, I would put specific 800m training on hold
(maintenance), while I worked on that runner's stamina; attempting to
to lower their time for 10,000m.

800m  10,000m
1:42.0  29:07
1:45.0  29:59
1:48.0  30:50
1:51.0  31:41
1:54.0  32:33
1:57.0  33:24
2:00.0  34:16
2:03.0  35:07
2:06.0  35:58
2:09.0  36:50
2:12.0  37:41
2:15.0  38:33
2:18.0  39:24
2:21.0  40:15
2:24.0  41:07
2:27.0  41:58
2:30.0  42:49
2:33.0  43:41
2:36.0  44:32
2:39.0  45:24
2:42.0  46:15
2:45.0  47:06
2:48.0  47:58
2:51.0  48:49
2:54.0  49:41
2:57.0  50:32
3:00.0  51:23
---------------------------
If you use this information, please cite the source at Tom (Tinman)
Schwartz @ www.theurunzone.com
Tinman
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Schebo

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Re: 800m Stamina
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2010, 03:50:47 PM »
Most 800m runners have excellent anaerobic capacity and speed - otherwise they wouldn´t be running the 800m. My wife ran 2,04 in the 1990s, and there was no way she could have run those times in the 10000m. Our club organized a 5 km road race every year  and she ran it a few times and she barely broke 18 minutes.

ap4305

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Re: 800m Stamina
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2010, 06:21:35 PM »
An 800m runner doesn't need to have equal performance capacity to a
10,000m specialist, but they must have good stamina. The following are
what I think constitute the required stamina over 10,000m, for an 800m
runner. Otherwise, they need exceptional anaerobic capacity or speed.

I think too many people fancy themselves as the next Juantorena and use that "misdiagnosis" as an excuse to avoid the stamina training that their body needs to run their best 800m.  Yeah, there are definitely 400m/800m types out there who are best suited for the "hang on" approach to the 800m, but the high aerobic energy demands of the 800m make more of these runners outliers.  Can you still succeed in the 800m with stamina deficiencies?  Sure.  Will you maximize your potential?  Probably not.     

Also, we often forget that championship 800m running is not just about peaking for a single 800m race.  Even at the high school level, you're most likely facing at least one round of prelims and if you're good enough finals caliber at a championship meet, the coach will probably stick you on at least one relay team and possibly the 400m or the 1600m as well.  Even before our fancy aerobic/anaerobic energy contribution charts came along, Peter Snell showed the importance of having stamina in championship 800m racing.   
« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 06:28:33 PM by ap4305 »

Tinman

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Re: 800m Stamina
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2010, 08:26:44 PM »
Schebo -

The 10,000m time is a stamina target that I think is the ideal for an 800m runner. I acknowledge that some people will achieve an 800m time that is not on the same line as the 800m time. That's not the point. As a coach, I would compare the 800m and 10,000m times and see how far off they are; that would determine how I would train the 800m runner.

Let's say a runner achieves a 1:48 for 800m, but their 10,000m time is 32:30 because their focus has been speed work and not much stamina or endurance work. Rather than pushing speed work for that runner, I would prescribe more long interval work at slower than race-pace in order to elevate their stamina, which would lower their 10,000m time. I'd put their speed work on maintenance and design workouts and a training plan to reduce the 10,000m and 800m gap. Conversely, if the 800m runner hit 30:30 in the 10,000m and 1:48 in the 800m; I'd probably prescribe more speed and speed-endurance work. Make sense?

Take care,
Tinman
« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 12:08:53 PM by Tinman »
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Schebo

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Re: 800m Stamina
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2010, 03:37:51 AM »
You shouldn´t be under the misconception that my wife only did speed and no stamina training. Typical off season week would be something like this:
mon: 8+8 km easy
tue: (am) 6 km  (pm): 8x3 min (1 min rest)
wen: 65 min long run
thu: (am) 6 km  (pm): 3x8 min (2 min rest)
fri: track, such as 3x5x200 rest: 1 min/3 min
sat: 8+8 km easy
sun: 100-200 hill repeats focusing on good form and strong leg drive.

Tinman

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Re: 800m Stamina
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2010, 12:06:17 PM »
Schebo -

I had no misconception about your wife's training because I did not know what she did. I made no assumptions.  I am only saying that, as a coach, I look for the areas that I should help an athlete develop. That could be speed, stamina, strength, technical skills, tactical skills, strategies, mental elements, or racing experience(s).

In regards to stamina for 800m runners, I use the model I presented. When I think an athlete's speed component is high but their stamina lags - based on the model - I place their speed training on maintenance mode, and I prescribe more stamina work: long intervals/reps/fartlek, tempos, progressive tempos, long hills, or long, progressive runs over hills).

Note that I have changed the example runner in the previous post, so that it doesn't resemble your wife's stats. Hopefully that will make my point less personal and, instead, more general, which is the intention.

Regards,
Tinman

« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 12:10:40 PM by Tinman »
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Re: 800m Stamina
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2010, 12:30:46 PM »
I'd like to clarify a point about stamina training. I have been told by coaches that they do stamina work because they have their runner doing workouts like 6 x 800m. I ask about the pace, the 800m runners times over 1500, 3000, 5000, and 10000m, and I find out the reps at 5000m to 3000m pace. On the surface many people might think this is stamina work because the intervals/reps are fairly long for an 800m runner. I don't see it that way. I think slower paced reps, more of them, develop stamina better. It's why I use CV pace as a guide. I know that CV pace develops stamina to a very high level for all runners, even middle distance runners. CV pace is set at 90% of Vo2 max, which I believe is ideal for developing the aerobic capacity of fast (intermediate) fibers (type IIa). In my schemata of training, the type IIa fibers are the most important for track racing distances.

To demonstrate my idea; let me give an example of what I do not consider good stamina training:

Runner's performance time: 4:01 in the 1500m (about 4:20 in the mile); 8:50 in the 3000m; 15:40 in the 5000m.
(This runner has more speed than stamina, as the trend toward a lower performance level appears as the race-distance lengthens.)

80 miles per week: two runs per day, most days; including distance runs at 7:00-6:15 per mile, 600s to 1200's at 5000-3000m pace, or 1500-800m race-pace reps on the track.

Yet, despite the volume of training, 5k-3km paced reps, this runners' 3000m time is on a lower performance level than his/her 1500m time. And, to illustrate the point further; this runner's 5000m time is on a lower performance level than his/her 3000m time. It's a trend that show this runner's stamina is poor. That is, this runner probably has good speed and a strong VO2 max, but they are lacking in stamina, so they are not holding a high percentage of their VO2 max during races.

The problem is most runner hit a ceiling in the speed quickly and their Vo2 max a little less quickly, so further training in these areas produces less and less improvement. Continuing to train the above runner with heavy doses of speed and VO2 max will not make them improve over the 1500m race-distance - their specialty - after 2-3 years. Even running 80 miles per week won't help them get off the 4:01 plateau.

How is the problem solved? In my opinion; stamina training is the solution. I would prescribe slower paced, long intervals @ CV to 15km pace, progressive tempo runs over hills, and long distance runs with the pace increasing as fatigue sets in.

Note this strategy is (more or less) akin to the Lydiard philosophy of regularly performing plenty of long distance running at a good/strong aerobic pace. The goal, I think, of Lydiard's focus is developing stamina; to expand a runner's ability to hold a high fraction of their peak speed longer.

Regards,

Tinman
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RunBob

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Re: 800m Stamina
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2010, 10:29:31 AM »
Thanks Tinman, I like the 800/10k chart. I get what you are saying, and as a High School Coach, I concur. My kids have speed, but stamina is low, especially when you look at different distance PR's.

WHS

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Re: 800m Stamina
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2010, 12:29:47 PM »
Obviously the main point here is the need to optimally develop stamina, however, keep in mind too that it may be unlikely that a 800m athlete will be able to step onto the track to run the corresponding 10,000m times even if that athlete is physiologically capable of doing so.  The 800m athlete could more easily complete an appropriate volume of CV reps for their ability level more easily than jumping into a 10k while racing predominately at the 800-1500m distances. 

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Re: 800m Stamina
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2010, 03:32:32 PM »
I also concur with the points of Tinman and WHS.  Stamina training is key for 800 runners, especially high school 800m runners.  High school runners tend to be very underveloped stamina wise.  Tinman and others helped me out with one of my athletes last year who could consistently run 50/51 in the 4x400 but couldn't break 2:03 in the 800.  I gave him one session of 800s or 1000s per week at CV pace over the last 5 weeks of the season and he was able to run 1:57 by the end of the year. 

Wellpark

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Re: 800m Stamina
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2011, 04:46:14 AM »
Hi Tinman,

What about the reverse. If someone has more typically been an endurance guy and runs 33:30 for the 10K. Can they potentially run sub 2 minutes for the 800m?

Cheers

Wellpark

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Re: 800m Stamina
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2011, 09:42:54 AM »
Wellpark -

The reverse direction seldom happens. In most cases, speed must be honed at a young age. Waiting too long to develop speed makes it very hard to return to a short event and perform well. People that have started running in their 30's and ran marathons, for example have contacted me after 5-10 years of racing, saying they want to race the 800m or 400m in a masters race. I ask them if they were in sports at an early age and developed speed. If they say no, I tell them up-front that chances are small that they will reach the top tiers of the masters ranks in short events, simply because they would have to (basically) stop long distance running and do speed work for 18 months.

Speed is a combination of three things: innate physical structure (motor-nervous structure), specific strength, and trained (developed) coordination. Long distance runners become good at their event because they become, over time, very efficient at a stride-pattern that's suitable for long distance racing; however, that stride-pattern won't produce top sprinting speed. Thus, to become good at the 800m requires that same person to start from scratch and learn how to sprint. That's takes technical skills training often under the guidance of knowledgeable coach.

The way to become a top 800m runner, in my opinion, is learn how to sprint with efficiency, and then retain the sprinting efficiency while developing stamina to hold speed. The mistake a lot of coaches make is assuming the stamina for 800m running is best developed by doing a lot of race-pace work. I think that only 8-12 hard workouts at race-pace are needed to run a top 800m time/performance. Develop sprint-speed and efficiency, develop stamina, race enough to learn the skills involved, and then hit the race-pace work for a couple of months prior to a big race.

« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 09:53:13 AM by Tinman »
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rxb

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Re: 800m Stamina
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2011, 10:55:21 AM »
Hi Tinman,

What about the reverse. If someone has more typically been an endurance guy and runs 33:30 for the 10K. Can they potentially run sub 2 minutes for the 800m?

Cheers

Wellpark

Wellpark, 33:30 for a 10k road race is about the same level of performance as 2:07-2:08 for 800m.  If the 33:30 runner is endurance-oriented (lots of slow-twitch fibres and/or lack of speed training as Tinman noted above) he probably won't be able to run sub-2:10, never mind sub-2:00. 

Tinman's chart in the original post wasn't intended to show equivalent race performances for 800m and 10,000m; it is indicative of a basic level of stamina that 800m runners should have before going on to race-pace work for a particular level of 800m performance. 
« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 10:57:49 AM by rxb »

Wellpark

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Re: 800m Stamina
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2011, 04:30:27 PM »
Thanks for the clarification, that makes sense on both counts.

I am not really thinking about the track too much. I have only ever run one track race as a senior, two years ago.

I ran 2:21 off base training only. (Running around 38:30 minutes for 10K)

My 100, 200 and 400 times are way quicker than predicted 5/10K performance times, yet even if I could get down to 33:30 10K shape (conceivable but probably need a couple of years consistent training to do so). I don't think I could achieve a 2 minute 800m.

I am intrigued re what may develop over the next wee while. One step at a time.

Cheers

Wellpark

Ninetonite

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Re: 800m Stamina
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2011, 06:28:54 PM »
It appears that the top Masters and age group 800m runners were the same guys who were running the 400m/200m well at younger ages.  Tinman is right, to run right around 2min at age 40-45 requires years of running the 400 and 800 well and honing your speedcraft. 

Even back in my day the kids who were running under 2min in high school and beating me at the distance were blazingly fast over 200m-400m. I'd beat them in XC and road races but on the track they made me look really slow.  It is a fantastic distance to race and I am jealous of anyone who has the natural ability to be competitive over two laps.  I, alas, am just another also ran.

 




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