Is there a place for faster-than-CV pace (sub-CV pace) training? I am specifically inquiring about sub-CV pace workouts other than actual races and a few strides (“small bits of quality") now and again.Are you following those 800s with 200s or short hill repeats, are you following the tempos with 200s or short hill repeats? I really think a good deal of the magic in the system is not just "magic" CV pace but always following strength work with small bits of quality. The goal is to be strong but also coordinated at specific racing speeds.
Doing hill sprints or 20" fartlek strides on easy days doesn't quite capture the same effect.
Also, if you're going to do a weekly CV type session that is fine, but during a track season you cannot escape the fact that 150-400m repeats are essential for success. Some times you need to go away from tempo runs and train to run fast.
The accomplishments related by Coach Hunter of Loudoun Valley athletes Andrew Hunter and Ciara Donohue makes it difficult to comprehend that the fastest these athletes train is at CV pace or slower (i.e., Tinman tempo), beyond actual races and strides. Coach Hunter indicated that Ciara Donohue was not training with 800m CV repeats as fast as 3:10, but she was capable of uncorking a 10:56 3200m, which consists of four consecutive 2:44 800m repeats. That is well over a 50 second differential per mile between the CV training pace and race pace. Although CoachRonG said (regarding Andrew Hunter and Josette Norris) “They are REALLY talented”, it is hard to get my head around that magnitude of differential.
Here is one of my favorite quotes from Tinman:
I don’t want to put words in Tinman’s mouth, but I suspect that he is not referring to CV pace or Tinman tempo based sessions. Is he referring to sub-CV pace training workouts?The important thing is getting experience at holding a hard pace for just a short time-frame. It sort of like putting your hand close to an open fire. When you first try doing it the pain is terrible, and you have to stand far away. But, with practice you can acclimatize your body to the discomfort and decrease the distance from the flames that your hand can tolerate. There's a big mental element to it, just as there is a mental element to middle distance racing…