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colinS3
11-27-2010, 01:51 PM
Does anybody know any solid knowledge about increasing speed, particularly for the 800 meter race? I run Track and I've done a bunch of research to come up with the following plan, let me know if it needs work.

Lifting to increase strength on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. I know that may seem like a lot but I don't do split routines, I do full body workouts. That way, instead of killing a specific muscle group, I work everything hard enough to feel a good burn, but in a way that'll allow me to make going to the gym 4 times a week actually managable. Instead of building mass I build strength at a pretty fast rate this way.

Plyometrics to increase power, followed up by an HIIT workouts on the track for cardio/speed on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. The HIIT workout will start out with 6-10 100 meter sprints (all out for each one) with 2 minutes of recovery time. Then after a week or 2 of it I'll increase my sprinting time to 20 seconds for each set. After I"m used to that I'll finally increase my sprinting time to 30 seconds for each one, which is where I'll stay for the remainder of my HIIT workouts. Also, my plyometric workouts will start off at a low or medium intensity and gradually build up to a high intensity.

Along with all of this exercise, I'll be sure to be doing plenty of stretching because in past seasons I've been lacking in that area a bit..my goal is to be able to do a full split, put my entire hand over my foot in the hurdle stretch, and things of that nature before my track season starts.

Is this a solid plan? Is there anything I'm missing? Oh and I eat fine, but I'm not taking any supplements. I've never really tried it, just a preference of mine.

Edit:

Extra info you may need to know?

Age: 17
Weight: 143

In High School.

Off Road
11-27-2010, 03:47 PM
I would think you'd be best off doing a proven strength routine, there are several posted here in the forum. Check out 5/3/1, 5x5, Westide, and others. Those will probably do a lot more for your strength than full body routines, 4 days a week, going for the burn. As far as increasing your speed, I'll leave that to the guys that actually know something about it...

Bruteman
11-27-2010, 04:47 PM
It sounds like you are talking pre-season training here, correct? I ran the 800 in highschool, in hindsight I wish I would've known about, and used, Starting Strength as my lifting routine. It's low enough volume that you have energy for the plyo's and getting your mileage in.

Something you don't mention is some longer runs. You mention some speed work, but don't forget to get your mileage in then too. I know the 800 feels like it's damn near a sprint, but it isn't. Getting that base mileage in preseason is important. Not saying you need to get as much in as you would for cross-country season, but it shouldn't be too far off from it really.

Travis Bell
11-27-2010, 05:52 PM
Does anybody know any solid knowledge about increasing speed, particularly for the 800 meter race? I run Track and I've done a bunch of research to come up with the following plan, let me know if it needs work.

Lifting to increase strength on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. I know that may seem like a lot but I don't do split routines, I do full body workouts. That way, instead of killing a specific muscle group, I work everything hard enough to feel a good burn, but in a way that'll allow me to make going to the gym 4 times a week actually managable. Instead of building mass I build strength at a pretty fast rate this way.

Plyometrics to increase power, followed up by an HIIT workouts on the track for cardio/speed on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. The HIIT workout will start out with 6-10 100 meter sprints (all out for each one) with 2 minutes of recovery time. Then after a week or 2 of it I'll increase my sprinting time to 20 seconds for each set. After I"m used to that I'll finally increase my sprinting time to 30 seconds for each one, which is where I'll stay for the remainder of my HIIT workouts. Also, my plyometric workouts will start off at a low or medium intensity and gradually build up to a high intensity.

Along with all of this exercise, I'll be sure to be doing plenty of stretching because in past seasons I've been lacking in that area a bit..my goal is to be able to do a full split, put my entire hand over my foot in the hurdle stretch, and things of that nature before my track season starts.

Is this a solid plan? Is there anything I'm missing? Oh and I eat fine, but I'm not taking any supplements. I've never really tried it, just a preference of mine.

Edit:

Extra info you may need to know?

Age: 17
Weight: 143

In High School.

Doing 4 full body routines a week is going to prove very counter productive

I understand the basic principle you are comming from but it's flawed in that while you aren't exhausting a particular muscle group, you ARE exhausting your entire body by the end of the week and it's going to prove difficult to come back from that and improve the following week . Combine that with the HIIT workouts (which I'm pretty sure you mean sprint work? HIIT is going to be way over complicated on the track) your central nervous system is going to be completely shot.

Plyos are a very good idea. Sprint work is a good idea. Work on your 200 and 400 times. A lot of times track runners feel they need to train their full run and go as fast as they can each time. Be more thoughtful about it. If your 200 and 400 times are improving, you are getting faster. Then throw some 800 and 1000m runs in there.

Sprinting the stairs, hills and dragging the sled are imperative.

As far as the lifting, you need your squat to go up. Use one day to focus on speed squats off a box. Use another day to focus on heavy squats to increase your strength. The rest should be considered secondary. But don't squat more than twice a week and try and give yourself 72hrs between squat workouts.

I've worked with a lot of longer distance sprint/run competitors and if you focus on your upper body too much, you're going to begin to gain weight that isn't going to carry itself. If you gain weight in your legs, glutes and hips, that's great. More power. But if it's too much upper body mass it's just going to slow you down.

Shorter distance sprinters this doesn't always apply to, but the 800 is a good sized run.

Ruff Riff
11-29-2010, 01:15 PM
Bruteman and Travis have some really solid advice, getting stronger over all in the areas travis explained is going to make you more explosive on the track for sure. And not neglecting the road work is important as well. You can be strong as anything but if you can't exert that strength over the full time of the race it wont matter at all! For me it would be hard to tell you anything more than that unless I saw you run or you knew what some of your strengths and weaknesses were? You say you are 17 years of age? that would make you a junior or senior right? The only reason I am asking is that if you are looking for a spacific goal for this coming season there could be some very spacific things you could put into your workouts to reach those goals? This would also depend on how experienced you are in REALLY training. And that is not meant to be a shot so please dont take it that way.

I sure hope that makes sense,

I have seen different world class 800 runners run TOTALLY different races, like getting to the quarter as fast as they can and splitting 48 to 50 seconds and then just trying to mantain that momentum to the tape for the second half. Then I have seen guys that take a more relaxed approach to how they run the race and try to set a solid pace and around the 200 ending leg just switch it into another gear. I have seen 45 second quarter milers that only cared about how fast they got to the 200 mark of the race! My point is the natural strengths that you have in many cases determine what kind of race you run and those strengths "should" help you identify your weaknesses and that is what helps you design an off season program to help you get your overall time down? Unless your relatively new at attempting an offseason program then a basic approach to over all strength and explosiveness can ONLY help if done correctly. I have seen LOTS of middle distance runners flat burn themsleves out in off season training cycles. Just keep in mind more is not ALWAYS better. Listen to the advice given here and keep the guys posted. There are some smart guys on this site who can help you alot and keep you from making some of the more common mistakes we ourselves have made and we see happening to young men all the time!

Good luck young man, what is your open 800 time now? I was a quarter miler and pole vaulter, also did some decath in college as well. I knew some fast dudes man!

colinS3
11-29-2010, 03:26 PM
Hey everybody, thanks for all the advice. I'll definitely think over my training now, but I won't start anything intense until I condition myself a bit more with the weightlifting and getting back my cardio. I need a solid base to start at.

My goal for my track season this year is pretty simple, I want to be able to run an 800 time between 2:00 and 2:05. I'm a senior now, my PR is a 2:09 for the 800. It's nothing special but it's not horrible, and I definitely think breaking 2:05 is possible for this next season if I train right.

I'm also going to ask my coach if I can pole vault because I've always wanted to at least give that a go. I have great core/upper body strength, decent speed, and I'm getting more flexible and explosive. I wouldn't mind if I was hopeless with the pole vault, I'd just like to give it a go and see how I fair against everyone else.